Walking past exhaustion, solidtude, capacity to really observe as on day 1. Yet I have gotten better at reading paths and maps of paths, and wished I could have had my own spray paint cans to mark some of the trails (and to fix a few markings, no thanks to someone messing up!!!) And now, I don't look like these cute bearded pilgrims of yore or cartoonism, but hey... we do share the coquille St Jacques (yes, I have one tied to my bag and it flaps in the wind sometimes startling me)
But here I am in Vendôme (pictured left). I had a LONG walk yesterday from the gîte d'étape seated at the bottom of the walls of the Châteaudun castle (if you look at the image at the right, it is of the castle walls, the rooftop of the gite is just in front of it. It is ont he Loir directly on the water, and a nice waterfall runs by it, which sounded great from my room where I was alone as there are not a lot of folks passing through). I walked yesterday around 28km (given the lost moments!) to a wonderful house stay in Frétéval. The house had been in the family sinc ethe 1600s and had been there since the XII century. Amusingly, they had hung the American flag up alongside their French one to welcome me. I think I am kind of a curiosity around here, sort of an anomoly part American part French.
I then had a relaxing walk from Fréteval to here. Learning to pause often.
Also first rains today. I mostly followed the Loir (ancient map of it on the right!) and then I was pausing just after passing the Château de Meslay on a bench, shoes off, stretched out when.... drip drip. Threw on the shoes, grabbed the bag and dashed over the road and under a big bush-tree. By the time I had dug the poncho out of the BOTTOM of the sack, gotten all of the velcrow and zips undone, it stopped raining. I think I have learned how NOT to pack the poncho.
Tonight, in Vendôme with another wonderful family. I am then off in the morning to Chateau Renault. It is 30km on foot by the paths and dept roads (25 if I could take the interstate!) So cross your fingers for me. I think I should end with my favorite texto of the week thus far, sent to Michelle this morning:
Roadkill I have seen: hedgehog, bees, fawn, toad, butterflies, viper, pheasant, red squirrel, mice, robin, crow, misc fluff.