Objects in Motion

(It’s not uncommon to go 3-4 days without WiFi. If you don’t hear from me for a while I wouldn’t worry too much!)

Day 3 – Monday, 29 July – Saint Front to Saint Agreve – 30 km

I actually slept a lot better last night. My temperature seemed to be more stable. 

I got myself breakfast and was out by 9 am. The place I’m going tonight is hosted by a regular person. She said she was working and I couldn’t arrive until 6. It was supposed to be about 27k, so I thought I should give myself 9 hours just in case. 

I tried to go see the church, but I couldn’t get the door to open. It was very noisy, so I didn’t want to try too hard and cause a disturbance. It was a steep climb out of the village, but it wasn’t too long. It brought me up on top of some fields and then into a forest. There are a lot of GR and PR paths in this area, so I had multiple choices on my route. GR stand for Grande Randonnee, which is a hike that goes a long way. PR (idk what the P is) means it’s a more local hike and shorter. A lot of times they run together. I chose a PR route that looked like it would take me past some cool rock formations.

It was a gorgeous morning, around 50 degrees. Europe just finished having a heat wave with temperatures in the 100s. I got very lucky, or maybe I brought it with me. Either way, the cooler temperatures were just for me! It was very sunny. I did remember to put sunscreen on, but I’m already burned a bit. Even with the cooler temperatures, being in the sun is very hot. I can’t imagine what hiking in the 100s was like. Hopefully I won’t find out. 

The PR route took me through a lovely forest with lots of rocks on the path. I didn’t see anyone until I ran into a guy on a dirt bike coming the opposite direction. I decided shortly after this to take a potty break. The Law of Peeing in the Woods states that if you don’t see anyone, and haven’t seen anyone for a while, as soon as you go potty someone will show up out of nowhere. It just happens!

I’d been walking for a while, so I checked my phone to see how close I was to these rock formations, and I’d already passed them. I guess they were hidden in the trees. It’s too bad I didn’t know what to look for. But no regrets going that way, it was a lovely walk through the woods, and I don’t think it added any time.

I ended up at Fay-sur-Lignon right at noon. I found a pharmacy and bought some arnica cream. I also could have gotten a real meal for lunch, but I just wasn’t hungry. I’m sure I will be in the future as I walk more, but I just haven’t been hungry at lunch. I made the decision to trek on. Also, I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to get to Saint-Agreve, and I didn’t want to take an hour on a sit down lunch. For some reason Fay-sur-LIgnon breaks the rules and is on top of a hill. It was a very long steep climb up, just to come right back down again. 

Then it was back up again on the other side of the valley. I ran into a large group of day walkers with no packs coming down a hill as I was going up. There must have been 50 people and I probably said “bonjour” 30 times. 

One thing I did not plan well today was my water. Usually you can find places to refill, but I didn’t find any.  I rationed it pretty well, but I really should have had more for such a long, sunny day. 

I passed through a tiny village that is having a cabbage soup festival on august 4th. Too bad I will miss it! I bet it’s really good cabbage soup. I was able to stop in and see the church. I do love being able to go in the churches in France. I was really disappointed about that in Spain. All of the churches were either locked, or the ones that were open you had to pay to go inside. France is awesome. I didn’t see the church in Fay-sur-Lignon because they had run a bell calling mass right when I got there.

I went through some fields that had lots of puddles in the road. It seems like these are pretty permanent puddles. I’m pretty sure I saw a frog hop in one. Some of them were a bit tricky to walk around.

My feet were getting pretty tired around the 19km mark. I always debate about whether I should stop for breaks or not. Objects in motion want to keep moving. Stopping makes it harder to get going again, so usually, when I want to stop, I know it’s better to just keep walking and stop when I’m done. The best is a place to sit that is off the ground. Sitting on the ground is ok if you have to, but it’s harder to get up and my legs are stiffer when I get going again. I had just crossed a major road and there was a line of trees with some good shade. Ahead there was no shade at all. I decided to sit for a bit. It’s a good thing I did, because when I looked at the map on my phone, the markers were sending me on a route that was longer! I was supposed to go down the road I had just crossed. Luckily I only needed to backtrack about 100m. I rested for about 15-20 mins. When I got up, it took several hundred meters to get back into a good stride where I wasn’t limping. 

I brought 5 Larabars with me, so I figured I should eat one around 3 pm. I bit my tongue. It will be interesting to see what happens. Before, whenever I bit my tongue or cheek, I would develop canker sores a day or two later. Always. After I went on my first Camino that changed. Something about the food changed the flora in my mouth. It lasted for about 3 years after I came home, which was really, really nice. I’d like that to happen again. It’s no fun having mouth sores all the time. It does make you wonder, though, what’s really in our food. And why is it, really, that I can’t eat wheat in the US, but I can eat all of it I want over here? No tummy issues at all. 

I had some more options for some PR routes, and I decided to take one that went past a chateau. It took me through a nice forest, but the chateau was a bust. From the back it didn’t look that interesting, and I couldn’t see the front. It looked like there were people living there, and there were some dogs that didn’t want me to come any closer.

By this time I was pretty short on water. The signs took me the long way again before I realized.  By the time I made it into town, my 27k day was a 30k day. I had no idea where to walk to, since I didn’t know where I was going. I was supposed to call Cecile at 6 and it was about 5:30. I found a grocery store, a carrefour, and went and bought a 1.5l bottle for .27. 

There was some shade by the store, behind a car wash, and there was kind of a bank that I could sit on so my feet could hang down. I drank my water and waited until 6 pm to call Cecile. No answer. I called 4 more times before she finally answered at 6:20. She said she was working till 8! But then she said she would come and get me in 15 mins. It’s a good thing, because it was pretty far away. Still on the path, but on the other side of town. 

She showed me my room and had to go back to work. She works with horses. The room is in her parent’s house, which is empty most of the time. It looks like she has several rooms available. My rest must have helped, because I had no trouble climbing the two flights to my room. She said it was a very old house, and it is. I didn’t realize that that meant there are no electrical outlets. My phone was at 13%. Luckily I have a battery I can charge it with, but that means no posting tonight. Hopefully there will be WiFi tomorrow. Tomorrow is a bit of a mystery. I don’t have it booked, but I do have the next day booked, which limits my options of where I can go. I tried to call my first choice 3 times, but they didn’t answer. I left a message. They could be out of town and I wouldn’t know. Hopefully something will work out. I should have had the girl at the Le Puy tourism office try to book that one for me too, but I felt bad asking her to do more than one. I should have tried to call before tonight. 

She said dinner would probably be about 9. It’s a good thing I ate that larabar. I’m starting to get hungry. 

This kind of accommodation is donation based, but you’re supposed to donate what you would spend somewhere else. I don’t really want to give 40 E for a place that I can’t charge my phone. I will ask her what she recommends. Hopefully that’s ok. 

My legs really did pretty well today. It seems like my legs and feet are recovering with rest. Hopefully that continues. The problem last time is that they didn’t. Rest days didn’t really help. I’m wondering this time if I should try some shorter days instead of full rest days. I’ll probably do some of both. It depends on how early I can arrive at my destination. No point in taking a short day unless you have a nice bed to rest in. 

When I sit cross legged for a while, I have to use my hands to move my right leg. My right hip flexor isn’t used to hurting. My left one is used to it, so I think it recovers faster.

Dinner was acceptable. It was two fillets of dry salmon and rice with some kind of sauce she didn’t know the English equivalent. I don’t mind dry meat. Mom wouldn’t have been able to eat it. It would have been a lot better with any salt. But there was a lot and it was filling, so that’s a win in my book! Probably 90% of the meals in Spain were worse lol. Salt would have added a lot, especially for hikers.

She owns 15 horses and ponies, so taking care of them is a full time job. 

Breakfast is at 8, then I will find out how much I owe her. I will have to try calling some places in the morning.

I feel like I will sleep well. Hopefully that is true! I slathered my hip flexors with arnica, and I put sunbreeze on my sunburn. I’m debating about whether I should hike in a long sleeve shirt tomorrow to let my harms heal a bit. The problem is I get so hot so easily. I never hiked in a long sleeve last year, even in 30 degree weather. Idk!

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