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...