Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Always hard to avoid looking just a bit wooden in selfies.
I've just crossed the Moselle at Thaon, so am across and out of the mountains that rise high on both sides of the Rhine valley, and with neither the snow nor storms that Herzog battled.

The land being flatter brings it's own challenges. Long slogs, little shelter, busy agriculture and so less hidden woods or derelict barns to sleep in, and speeding traffic on narrow twisting roads. And rural France is a struggle for many locals too - unemployment; so gambling, drinking, suicide. Symptomatic is the small number of village bars and cafes still open. I found just three still trading in over a hundred kms of walking and passing through tens of small villages.
Now, in Thaon, I've found a joy. Bar Le Cosy. Good coffee. Wifi - hence another post. An armchair and friendly hostess and clients. It's rather smart and chic and I may look a tad out of place - that facial hair? Vilely unshaven or Serge Gainsbourg chic? - but the French egalitarianism (as well as liberty and fraternity) manifests itself in a polite respect for all; a lovely country to be a hobo in.
And also how civilised to be in a society where - as one might - ordering a glass of wine or a cognac before ten in the morning is seen not as moral turpitude but merely what a working man needs before hefting a chainsaw, driving a tractor or gunning down wild boar for the rest of the day. A hand steadier, as it where.
And on that note, on to Mirecourt. Due west. I'm about to walk off the first of the two and a half 1:200 000 scale maps that will get me to Paris. I'm up to my optimum 20 miles a day speed, so barring accidents or stupidity or...

1 comment:

  1. I will follow your journey from here. I will have to read back all previous posts, but after the first two, i simply enjoy. Because of you, I will have to read the Herzog journal. Thank you for that and to share your path with us.

    Thanks the following article witch inform me about your journey.

    Take care

    Sebastien Lefrancois


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I'm an independent writer on wilderness activities, slow adventures, traditional horsemanship and odd stuff. I'm the author of Paddle; A long way around Ireland (Sort Of Books), and i was the story consultant on the IMAX documentary on cowboy cultures across the globe, Ride Around The Word. The Slow Adventure sends reports back from the front-line of a slow and simple life; horses, kayaks, guitars, long walks, travel, books, simplicity, trains, travel, wildlife and the occasional thrill.