Night in a Chateau

Day 15 – Saturday, August 10 – Chanaz to Les Cotes to Desingy – 31 km

Last night was really, really hot. I just lay on top of my sheet. I was afraid the guy in the bunk under me would be a snorer. He snored when he took a nap earlier. So I took some tylenol pm and was trying to fall asleep faster, but it didn’t work. Thankfully I don’t think he really snored much. But it was very hot. I did have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, which I had been dreading. The bunk is very difficult to get in and out of, and it’s incredibly hard on my feet. I had a dream afterward that I found a kitten I was going to take care of, and then there was a mom and 3 other kittens. I had to go to the store to buy food and litter, but I had enough presence of mind to know that meant I had to get out of the bunk to go to the store.

But I woke up to the best possible news. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy rescinded their ban proposal. We won! Kratom will not be banned in Ohio, at least for now. I started crying when I read the news. From relief and gratitude. And I can’t tell my parents. They were so supportive.

It was raining when I woke up and it looked like it was going to rain most of the morning. It stopped by the time we finished breakfast. I was on my way a little after 8, Just leaving the town, you have to climb a very steep bridge over the canal. It was a little slippery. I decided to take the inland way for a bit, since most of the day would be along the river. I ran into a guy who had camped in a tent. He asked where I was going, and I said, Rome, and he said, “Me, too! I go to Rome!” His name is Christophe. Maybe we will meet again and maybe not. He has until the end of September and I have a month more. He is going south of the lake too, but along the lake instead of the GRBL. 

I had my poncho half on. I just fasten it at the neck and don’t put the sleeves on. That way there’s better airflow, and if it does start raining I can put it on quickly. It actually never rained again, so it was perfect.

It was a very flat day at first, mostly just following the Rhône. Even though I was very close, I often couldn’t see it due to vegetation. There were a lot of signs warning of flash flooding, even in nice weather. 

It was a really nice, easy day, compared to yesterday. 

I was staying in Les Cotes, which is just up the hill from Seyssel, which is on the river. Seyssel is a popular, beautiful town, so I wanted to see it, even though I wasn’t staying there. Staying in town was too expensive. 

I had two choices. I could go along the river and visit the town first, or go up the hill and to my Gîte first, then drop off my stuff and go back down without my pack. The latter option was temping, but then I’d have to climb back up the hill. If I went to Seyssel first, I would only have to climb the hill once, instead of twice.

I got into town about quarter to 1, and I happened to be right by the office of tourism. It opened at 1:30. I had plenty of time, so I thought I’d try to find some accommodation along the GRBL. Sitting on the step outside I could use the WiFi. By the time it opened, I had some options ready to go. Unfortunately, the girl wasn’t super helpful. She kept saying I could make the reservations myself. The problem is, when I place was full, she could ask if they had any recommendations for something else nearby, and I can’t do that. She was able to make one reservation for me, and I got a number for another place I can try later.

I headed up the hill to the Gîte, but it was pretty much straight up hill. I got there shortly after 3, but the whole thing was locked up. I knocked on the doors and waited for a bit. 3 is usually good, but sometimes it’s 4. I decided to call just in case it was really closed and I was in trouble.

She didn’t speak much English. I said, in French, that I had a reservation for tonight, and she sounded like that wasn’t going to work. She said it wasn’t possible tonight because she’s not there. I said I had a reservation.  She said sometimes she makes bad reservations. What the heck?? I was shocked, and a little pissed off. What was I supposed to do? I looked in my book and saw that the next town 6-7k away had two options and it said they both spoke English. I called the first place, both numbers, but no one answered. I called the second one and the guy answered, but he said it wasn’t possible for tonight. I said I was at Gîte l’edelweiss and I had a reservation but they said it wasn’t possible when I got there, and I don’t know what to do. I almost started crying. The guy took pity on me and said it was ok after all. He also said it was far away and he could come get me in his car if it was too far. I said I could be there in less than two hours.

I set off with renewed vigor. Apparently my time at the office of tourism was good for my feet, because I felt pretty fresh. I was also spurred on a bit by my anger at the lady. Don’t take a reservation you don’t want to keep. Did she see I was the only one and didn’t want to bother? IDK! But mostly, I’m just relieved and grateful that I have a bed to sleep in and a shower. The book had said dinner was possible with reservation, but we didn’t talk about that, so I’m not really sure if I’m getting fed.

The book said it’s called “chambre pelerin au chateau”, which means pilgrim room at a castle, and it’s actually a castle. I wasn’t expecting that. I could see it in the distance, but I had to walk alllll the way around to get there. It was about another 2k from the village, and the driveway itself seemed like it was a km. 

It turns out another pilgrim named Annalee, from Germany, had just showed up without a reservation looking for a room. We have to share, but I don’t care! We have a place to sleep tonight! Annalee thinks they are going to feed us as well.


Apparently they are hosting 12 people for something else and that’s why they didn’t want to take us in at first.

The castle is full of dangerous stairs and very low doorways.

It was a family gathering of some people they hadn’t seen in 3 years. It really was wonderful of them to bring us in anyway.

Dinner was zucchini soup, a cucumber salad, a rice and tuna and tomato salad for the main course, cheese, and a rhubarb tart and fruit.


One Comment

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  1. Bad reservations… that’s crazy! I’m glad you found a good place. 🙂
    I want to go see Chanaz!


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