Good to be back on the trail! After a quiet and rainy night in Dijon, and a week of not hiking, I caught the bus that took me to the small village north of town where the GR2 goes through.
It was cloudy and very windy but the rain clouds had moved on.
It was a short day, 9 or 10 miles, since I didn’t get walking until 1pm.
It’s a bit different here: mostly wheat or straw fields that have already been cut. Not sure how get, but a different character than the south.
Walked past the source of the Siene river, which flows through Paris and into the English Channel.
Then a few more miles to the tiny village of Chanceaux, which has a tiny bar/tabac and a small bakery that wasn’t open. Staying at a small gite, in which I am the only guest. Happily I packed some food while in Dijon, which is now serving as dinner.
Took off on a brisk morning. Had to bust out the long sleeve shirt got the first time in two months or more, maybe since southern Virginia.
The owner of the gite impressed upon me, with zero English and my poor French, that I should have food, since all the villages were very small and had no stores. I grabbed some things at the little bakery and head out. Good walk; cropped fields of what was wheat, looking like my head the day after I shave, writ large.
Got some actual forest trails to, taking me back to the AT.
The villages were indeed small. I had to stop and water up at a small river since the public water fountains were dried up.
I passed the Seine a couple of times, getting bigger and bigger.
After 8 hours of walking, my feet were tired and I was yet again in a tiny village with no food and no gite.
Only option was to get to a bigger town. I had just missed the bus and the next one wasn’t for three hours and it was going back to Dijon, the other way. I set up my tent in a small corner by the church and read for a while.
Then, while waiting at the stop for the wrong-way bus, a nice guy stopped and offered me a ride in the right direction!
So now I am in Châtillion-sur-Seine, on a rainy, misty day.
Probably going to take a bus west a bit to another trail that seems better populated.
Took a bus the following day to Auxerre, a beautiful old town right on the river. Two huge churches dominate the town. Old creaky houses leaning over from age.
Spent the night in a great hiker hostel in town, chatting with Pablo, my Spanish roommate.
My right heel was still bothering me from a steep hill a couple days before, which was weird. I limp a bit until it gets warmed up but hurts again if I stop for a bit or step on it incorrectly.
Again, I was literally at a crossroads. I could head to a town south of me which was one of the starts to the way of st. John, which I had been on earlier. Lots of people, more gites, I would be going with the traffic…or head north to Paris: quiet trail, in the direction I need to go, unsure of villages/food. I was a bit indecisive but chose to head north. I hobbled to where the trail should be.
I got to where it should be but saw only red Xs, telling me where not to go. I couldn’t find the right way, nor anyway, to go.
This, plus my tiredness of walking and growing lack of purpose was surprisingly disheartening. In some way, I literally didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know what I was doing or why.
I hobbled back to the cafe I passed some time back, got a coffee and signed up again with Helpx.
Sat there for a while and looked through listings. I found a couple I liked and sent off emails to them.
Then got back into town, went to the train station and got a ticket to Paris leaving within the hour.