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LIVE from the Camino Via Francigena - northern France

2020 Camino Guides

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
London to Rome; currently Day 23 - 526km

I started in London on 21 March walking the Pilgrims Way to Canterbury & then commenced the VF.
I will be in Chalons-en-Champagne tomorrow (Friday 12 April).
The following are excerpts from the group emails I send from the trail.
This one was written on Day 20.
Here goes...

"Today is the first day there's been a change in the landscape. Hills have appeared & there's more wooded areas. Until now, the scenery has been huge expanses of crops, mainly canola (in flower now) & grasses. They stretch on in all directions interspersed only by villages & are criss-crossed by narrow quiet roads or farm tracks which is how I've mostly been navigating my way through this region. There is the occasional small pocket of forest capable of sustaining mostly birds & squirrels. Apart from that, the generally flat terrain is only broken up by electricity pylons & wind turbines. I love wind turbines. These giants march majestically across the land all the way to the horizon. I never tire of them.
The sky above, blue more often than not, is crowded with vapour trails reminding me that although there are wide open spaces here, busy & heavily populated Europe is rushing about all over the place elsewhere. France's motorways, never far from sight or sound, carry an astonishing volume of traffic (especially trucks) but I rarely have to stand aside for any vehicle & if I do, its a tractor. Every now & then I catch a glint of something metallic in the distance...another high speed train appears & is gone just as quickly.

This part of France (including the Somme) although peacefully rural today, was the scene of so much horror through World War 1. It can't be ignored even if you wanted to (which I didn't)...it's all around you, you can feel it. There are war memorials & cemeteries scattered throughout the region. The Commonwealth war graves are all beautifully kept even if in the middle of nowhere. By coincidence, I've passed many & I pay my respects at each irrespective of nationality. I have however, gone out of my way (as much as practicable when walking) to visit the cemeteries & memorials dedicated to Australians. They died so far from home but someone from home has come to visit them...it's the least I could do. Apart from how young most were, the saddest graves are the unknown soldiers. Their loved ones waiting across the ocean didn't know what happened to them or where they ended up.
One afternoon walking along a busy major road, I saw a sign indicating a French WW1 cemetery ahead. I passed the boundary hedge & just burst into tears. Laid out in front of me were rows & rows of crosses neatly marking graves as far as I could see...there were thousands of them. I know the history, I've watched documentaries & seen photos of these mass cemeteries but to actually stand amidst it is truly overwhelming & confronting. This was compounded further when I realised each cross represented two graves..they were buried back to back. There was 8500 in that cemetery alone. I wandered around for ages & all I could think was 'this can never happen again'.
It was an emotional few days & I was relieved to move on...but the scene of those lost lives & my reaction to it will stay with me forever.

I'm not going to lie, I'm finding this walk hard going. The daily distances are uncomfortable for me. It's relentless. I stagger into each nights destination. I'm leaving earlier & arriving later than previous walks. I'm tired. My feet are sore. I got my first blister today but that was only because my feet were wet. It was supposed to rain all day increasing to heavy in the afternoon but I only copped light rain for about an hour. It was walking through wet grass that did the damage. Spent last night in Laon which I loved (first place all trip) so a rest day there would have been great but continue on I must.
I am completely going my own way. I spend substantial time each night plotting my course for the next day & then am constantly navigating throughout the day...it's exhausting...BUT it's also hugely satisfying knowing I reached each destination by all the decisions I made; I didn't follow waymarkers, signs, a guidebook or an app. Me & offline Google maps set out each morning & just see what happens. I've made boo-boos, come to dead ends where a road is clearly shown & taken a chance on tracks that aren't on the map. Some days I'm a well-oiled machine & others I sputter along but I always get there in the end.
No matter how tired, footsore, wind blasted, sunburnt or filthy...somehow you recover during the night, get up & do it all over again...& the whole experience just blows me away every day."
Sempre avanti,
👣🌏
 
Last edited:

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Thanks for your post - brings back a lot of the way for me. The cemeteries especially. I stumbled across a Commonwealth cemetery solely for members of the Chinese Labour Corps completely by chance. A story I had never really considered. And looking over the fence at a huge French war cemetery and seeing an odd shaped slab headstone here and there amongst the many rows of crosses: marking the graves of Muslim soldiers, probably from the French African colonies. Another part of the story I had never thought about before. Ultreia!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
"it's also hugely satisfying knowing I reached each destination by all the decisions I made; I didn't follow waymarkers, signs, a guidebook or an app. "

THAT appeals to me! All the best to you.

(one question - are you camping or staying in b&bs etc? - if you're plotting your own route I'm guessing you don't necessarily fall across pilgrim accommodation)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I am completely going my own way. I spend substantial time each night plotting my course for the next day & then am constantly navigating throughout the day...it's exhausting...BUT it's also hugely satisfying knowing I reached each destination by all the decisions I made; I didn't follow waymarkers, signs, a guidebook or an app. Me & offline Google maps set out each morning & just see what happens.
I felt much the same. I walked in summer 2015 and I thought the official VF route in northern France was very erratic and counter-intuitive. So I decided to make my own way to Besancon and join the VF there. It makes much more sense from there on! My route took me mostly along canal towpaths with diversions on to minor roads for some sections. I still managed to work interesting towns like Laon, Reims, Chalons and Langres into my route. I navigated mostly using schematic maps of the canal system and pages from a large road atlas of France, with occasional online help from the excellent French government mapping site Geoportail for complicated junctions, towns and the odd occasion when I was even more geographically challenged than normal :oops::)
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
"it's also hugely satisfying knowing I reached each destination by all the decisions I made; I didn't follow waymarkers, signs, a guidebook or an app. "

THAT appeals to me! All the best to you.

(one question - are you camping or staying in b&bs etc? - if you're plotting your own route I'm guessing you don't necessarily fall across pilgrim accommodation)
Thanks for your good wishes.
My walking motto is 'travel light, comfy at night' so no camping for Moi! 😇
My route is determined by accommodation; it can be thin on the ground outside sizeable towns hence the longer daily distances.
I've stayed in a variety of places incl B&Bs, gites, farmstays, apartments & hotels.
👣 🌏
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
I felt much the same. I walked in summer 2015 and I thought the official VF route in northern France was very erratic and counter-intuitive. So I decided to make my own way to Besancon and join the VF there. It makes much more sense from there on! My route took me mostly along canal towpaths with diversions on to minor roads for some sections. I still managed to work interesting towns like Laon, Reims, Chalons and Langres into my route. I navigated mostly using schematic maps of the canal system and pages from a large road atlas of France, with occasional online help from the excellent French government mapping site Geoportail for complicated junctions, towns and the odd occasion when I was even more geographically challenged than normal :oops::)
Had quite a bit of time on the canal path from Reims today & will also walk all the way to Chalons-en-Champers along it tomorrow.
Love a canal path...less chance of 'personal misplacement' & the locks fascinate me!
👣🌏
PS.👍for your new avatar!
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Thanks for your post - brings back a lot of the way for me. The cemeteries especially. I stumbled across a Commonwealth cemetery solely for members of the Chinese Labour Corps completely by chance. A story I had never really considered. And looking over the fence at a huge French war cemetery and seeing an odd shaped slab headstone here and there amongst the many rows of crosses: marking the graves of Muslim soldiers, probably from the French African colonies. Another part of the story I had never thought about before. Ultreia!
Yes...I noted the different shaped headstones with Arabic script too. Also came across a few South African memorials. It truly was a World war. 😔
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Love a canal path...less chance of 'personal misplacement' & the locks fascinate me!
You would think so, wouldn't you? But I managed it at a canal junction at Berry-au-Bac :) Fortunately you are well south of there by now!
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
You would think so, wouldn't you? But I managed it at a canal junction at Berry-au-Bac :) Fortunately you are well south of there by now!
I did say 'less' chance of personal misplacement, not 'no' chance!! 😉 It's making sure you're on the correct side for where you need to go next...I fancy a swim across in some of them less than backtracking! 😁
 

SSojourn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Plan walk solo in April. SJP to St. James, Santiago
London to Rome; currently Day 23 - 526km

I started in London on 21 March walking the Pilgrims Way to Canterbury & then commenced the VF.
I will be in Chalons-en-Champagne tomorrow (Friday 12 April).
The following are excerpts from the group emails I send from the trail.
This one was written on Day 20.
Here goes...

"Today is the first day there's been a change in the landscape. Hills have appeared & there's more wooded areas. Until now, the scenery has been huge expanses of crops, mainly canola (in flower now) & grasses. They stretch on in all directions interspersed only by villages & are criss-crossed by narrow quiet roads or farm tracks which is how I've mostly been navigating my way through this region. There is the occasional small pocket of forest capable of sustaining mostly birds & squirrels. Apart from that, the generally flat terrain is only broken up by electricity pylons & wind turbines. I love wind turbines. These giants march majestically across the land all the way to the horizon. I never tire of them.
The sky above, blue more often than not, is crowded with vapour trails reminding me that although there are wide open spaces here, busy & heavily populated Europe is rushing about all over the place elsewhere. France's motorways, never far from sight or sound, carry an astonishing volume of traffic (especially trucks) but I rarely have to stand aside for any vehicle & if I do, its a tractor. Every now & then I catch a glint of something metallic in the distance...another high speed train appears & is gone just as quickly.

This part of France (including the Somme) although peacefully rural today, was the scene of so much horror through World War 1. It can't be ignored even if you wanted to (which I didn't)...it's all around you, you can feel it. There are war memorials & cemeteries scattered throughout the region. The Commonwealth war graves are all beautifully kept even if in the middle of nowhere. By coincidence, I've passed many & I pay my respects at each irrespective of nationality. I have however, gone out of my way (as much as practicable when walking) to visit the cemeteries & memorials dedicated to Australians. They died so far from home but someone from home has come to visit them...it's the least I could do. Apart from how young most were, the saddest graves are the unknown soldiers. Their loved ones waiting across the ocean didn't know what happened to them or where they ended up.
One afternoon walking along a busy major road, I saw a sign indicating a French WW1 cemetery ahead. I passed the boundary hedge & just burst into tears. Laid out in front of me were rows & rows of crosses neatly marking graves as far as I could see...there were thousands of them. I know the history, I've watched documentaries & seen photos of these mass cemeteries but to actually stand amidst it is truly overwhelming & confronting. This was compounded further when I realised each cross represented two graves..they were buried back to back. There was 8500 in that cemetery alone. I wandered around for ages & all I could think was 'this can never happen again'.
It was an emotional few days & I was relieved to move on...but the scene of those lost lives & my reaction to it will stay with me forever.

I'm not going to lie, I'm finding this walk hard going. The daily distances are uncomfortable for me. It's relentless. I stagger into each nights destination. I'm leaving earlier & arriving later than previous walks. I'm tired. My feet are sore. I got my first blister today but that was only because my feet were wet. It was supposed to rain all day increasing to heavy in the afternoon but I only copped light rain for about an hour. It was walking through wet grass that did the damage. Spent last night in Laon which I loved (first place all trip) so a rest day there would have been great but continue on I must.
I am completely going my own way. I spend substantial time each night plotting my course for the next day & then am constantly navigating throughout the day...it's exhausting...BUT it's also hugely satisfying knowing I reached each destination by all the decisions I made; I didn't follow waymarkers, signs, a guidebook or an app. Me & offline Google maps set out each morning & just see what happens. I've made boo-boos, come to dead ends where a road is clearly shown & taken a chance on tracks that aren't on the map. Some days I'm a well-oiled machine & others I sputter along but I always get there in the end.
No matter how tired, footsore, wind blasted, sunburnt or filthy...somehow you recover during the night, get up & do it all over again...& the whole experience just blows me away every day."
Sempre avanti,
👣🌏
Wow, great observations. So much feeling. I will try to follow you. Me SJPDP 4/20.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
@kazrobbo sorry to bother you again! What does “longer distance” mean in number terms? 35? 40? 50?
And how are you sourcing your accomodation? Booking.com or other similar site or do you have a magic list?
 

SSojourn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Plan walk solo in April. SJP to St. James, Santiago
Great ?. I'd like to know too! Thanks.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
@kazrobbo sorry to bother you again! What does “longer distance” mean in number terms? 35? 40? 50?
And how are you sourcing your accomodation? Booking.com or other similar site or do you have a magic list?
No bother at all Kiwi-family (& SSojourn)..I'm happy people are interested. 😊
'Longer distance' for me means over 30km a day. My comfortable distance is 25-28km per day. I know others do more but if I do, it becomes a slog & not enjoyable. The constant navigating is time consuming plus I like to take photos along the way & generally just observe all going on around me...even a ladybug on a leaf. Also I prefer to arrive at my daily destination with enough energy for errands & to explore. I've felt rushed at places like Arras, Laon & Reims which have plenty to see but I only have remaining daylight to visit. I'm under Schengen visa restrictions so don't want to 'use up' days by having time off at this early stage. I intend to ease off the throttle distance wise in Italy.

Re; accom. I use Booking.com as a start point but of course not every property is listed. I then go to Google maps & zoom in to find other possibilities. After that a general web search. From there I compare prices booking engine vs going direct. As much as possible I make sure reservations are cancellable without penalty & I do 'spot checks' for a better deal/rate (made some huge savings!). Sounds a lot of work but I enjoy the planning process so its actually a fun challenge for me. 9 times out of 10, I use Booking.com for ease; it's instant, no stuffing about with emails, removes language barrier, etc.
This walk, there's only been a few places I paid a few € (or £) over the going rate by using B.com...but its worth it to me to save hassle. Many times, by booking ahead, I've saved substantially on advertised rates, late or last minute bookings...much to the annoyance of others at the check in desk when they hear what I'm paying! 🤭😇
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Wow, great observations. So much feeling. I will try to follow you. Me SJPDP 4/20.
Thanks SSojourn...& happy trails to you! Just over a week to go, how exciting...enjoy.
👣 🌏
 

cathn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed one 550 Miile and six partial caminos
London to Rome; currently Day 23 - 526km

I started in London on 21 March walking the Pilgrims Way to Canterbury & then commenced the VF.
I will be in Chalons-en-Champagne tomorrow (Friday 12 April).
The following are excerpts from the group emails I send from the trail.
This one was written on Day 20.
Here goes...

"Today is the first day there's been a change in the landscape. Hills have appeared & there's more wooded areas. Until now, the scenery has been huge expanses of crops, mainly canola (in flower now) & grasses. They stretch on in all directions interspersed only by villages & are criss-crossed by narrow quiet roads or farm tracks which is how I've mostly been navigating my way through this region. There is the occasional small pocket of forest capable of sustaining mostly birds & squirrels. Apart from that, the generally flat terrain is only broken up by electricity pylons & wind turbines. I love wind turbines. These giants march majestically across the land all the way to the horizon. I never tire of them.
The sky above, blue more often than not, is crowded with vapour trails reminding me that although there are wide open spaces here, busy & heavily populated Europe is rushing about all over the place elsewhere. France's motorways, never far from sight or sound, carry an astonishing volume of traffic (especially trucks) but I rarely have to stand aside for any vehicle & if I do, its a tractor. Every now & then I catch a glint of something metallic in the distance...another high speed train appears & is gone just as quickly.

This part of France (including the Somme) although peacefully rural today, was the scene of so much horror through World War 1. It can't be ignored even if you wanted to (which I didn't)...it's all around you, you can feel it. There are war memorials & cemeteries scattered throughout the region. The Commonwealth war graves are all beautifully kept even if in the middle of nowhere. By coincidence, I've passed many & I pay my respects at each irrespective of nationality. I have however, gone out of my way (as much as practicable when walking) to visit the cemeteries & memorials dedicated to Australians. They died so far from home but someone from home has come to visit them...it's the least I could do. Apart from how young most were, the saddest graves are the unknown soldiers. Their loved ones waiting across the ocean didn't know what happened to them or where they ended up.
One afternoon walking along a busy major road, I saw a sign indicating a French WW1 cemetery ahead. I passed the boundary hedge & just burst into tears. Laid out in front of me were rows & rows of crosses neatly marking graves as far as I could see...there were thousands of them. I know the history, I've watched documentaries & seen photos of these mass cemeteries but to actually stand amidst it is truly overwhelming & confronting. This was compounded further when I realised each cross represented two graves..they were buried back to back. There was 8500 in that cemetery alone. I wandered around for ages & all I could think was 'this can never happen again'.
It was an emotional few days & I was relieved to move on...but the scene of those lost lives & my reaction to it will stay with me forever.

I'm not going to lie, I'm finding this walk hard going. The daily distances are uncomfortable for me. It's relentless. I stagger into each nights destination. I'm leaving earlier & arriving later than previous walks. I'm tired. My feet are sore. I got my first blister today but that was only because my feet were wet. It was supposed to rain all day increasing to heavy in the afternoon but I only copped light rain for about an hour. It was walking through wet grass that did the damage. Spent last night in Laon which I loved (first place all trip) so a rest day there would have been great but continue on I must.
I am completely going my own way. I spend substantial time each night plotting my course for the next day & then am constantly navigating throughout the day...it's exhausting...BUT it's also hugely satisfying knowing I reached each destination by all the decisions I made; I didn't follow waymarkers, signs, a guidebook or an app. Me & offline Google maps set out each morning & just see what happens. I've made boo-boos, come to dead ends where a road is clearly shown & taken a chance on tracks that aren't on the map. Some days I'm a well-oiled machine & others I sputter along but I always get there in the end.
No matter how tired, footsore, wind blasted, sunburnt or filthy...somehow you recover during the night, get up & do it all over again...& the whole experience just blows me away every day."
Sempre avanti,
👣🌏
 

cathn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed one 550 Miile and six partial caminos
Thoroughly enjoyed your mail.
This route has been backing me for some time now, so loved reading about your journey.
Buen Camino
 

roving_rufus

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013-2015) Camino Portugues from Lisbon (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??)
Really enjoyed your reflection on Northern France
I made it as far as Chalons last August from Canterbury and I didn't realise the emotional impact that all those war graves I passed would have. The walk was tough enough and they added a significant burden to me.
It was a rarity that I actually followed the official VF which seemed more designed for walkers coming for a day or 2 rather than those making their way to Rome. My worst mistake was reaching one path I intended to take to find it had turned into a stream, leaving a choice of a couple of extra km or trying to get through it.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
London to Rome; currently Day 23 - 526km

I started in London on 21 March walking the Pilgrims Way to Canterbury & then commenced the VF.
I will be in Chalons-en-Champagne tomorrow (Friday 12 April).
The following are excerpts from the group emails I send from the trail.
This one was written on Day 20.
Here goes...

"Today is the first day there's been a change in the landscape. Hills have appeared & there's more wooded areas. Until now, the scenery has been huge expanses of crops, mainly canola (in flower now) & grasses. They stretch on in all directions interspersed only by villages & are criss-crossed by narrow quiet roads or farm tracks which is how I've mostly been navigating my way through this region. There is the occasional small pocket of forest capable of sustaining mostly birds & squirrels. Apart from that, the generally flat terrain is only broken up by electricity pylons & wind turbines. I love wind turbines. These giants march majestically across the land all the way to the horizon. I never tire of them.
The sky above, blue more often than not, is crowded with vapour trails reminding me that although there are wide open spaces here, busy & heavily populated Europe is rushing about all over the place elsewhere. France's motorways, never far from sight or sound, carry an astonishing volume of traffic (especially trucks) but I rarely have to stand aside for any vehicle & if I do, its a tractor. Every now & then I catch a glint of something metallic in the distance...another high speed train appears & is gone just as quickly.

This part of France (including the Somme) although peacefully rural today, was the scene of so much horror through World War 1. It can't be ignored even if you wanted to (which I didn't)...it's all around you, you can feel it. There are war memorials & cemeteries scattered throughout the region. The Commonwealth war graves are all beautifully kept even if in the middle of nowhere. By coincidence, I've passed many & I pay my respects at each irrespective of nationality. I have however, gone out of my way (as much as practicable when walking) to visit the cemeteries & memorials dedicated to Australians. They died so far from home but someone from home has come to visit them...it's the least I could do. Apart from how young most were, the saddest graves are the unknown soldiers. Their loved ones waiting across the ocean didn't know what happened to them or where they ended up.
One afternoon walking along a busy major road, I saw a sign indicating a French WW1 cemetery ahead. I passed the boundary hedge & just burst into tears. Laid out in front of me were rows & rows of crosses neatly marking graves as far as I could see...there were thousands of them. I know the history, I've watched documentaries & seen photos of these mass cemeteries but to actually stand amidst it is truly overwhelming & confronting. This was compounded further when I realised each cross represented two graves..they were buried back to back. There was 8500 in that cemetery alone. I wandered around for ages & all I could think was 'this can never happen again'.
It was an emotional few days & I was relieved to move on...but the scene of those lost lives & my reaction to it will stay with me forever.

I'm not going to lie, I'm finding this walk hard going. The daily distances are uncomfortable for me. It's relentless. I stagger into each nights destination. I'm leaving earlier & arriving later than previous walks. I'm tired. My feet are sore. I got my first blister today but that was only because my feet were wet. It was supposed to rain all day increasing to heavy in the afternoon but I only copped light rain for about an hour. It was walking through wet grass that did the damage. Spent last night in Laon which I loved (first place all trip) so a rest day there would have been great but continue on I must.
I am completely going my own way. I spend substantial time each night plotting my course for the next day & then am constantly navigating throughout the day...it's exhausting...BUT it's also hugely satisfying knowing I reached each destination by all the decisions I made; I didn't follow waymarkers, signs, a guidebook or an app. Me & offline Google maps set out each morning & just see what happens. I've made boo-boos, come to dead ends where a road is clearly shown & taken a chance on tracks that aren't on the map. Some days I'm a well-oiled machine & others I sputter along but I always get there in the end.
No matter how tired, footsore, wind blasted, sunburnt or filthy...somehow you recover during the night, get up & do it all over again...& the whole experience just blows me away every day."
Sempre avanti,
👣🌏
This is an incredible journey you are on. You write beautifully and your account is very moving.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
This is an incredible journey you are on. You write beautifully and your account is very moving.
You're very kind Gittiharre, thank you. I normally only write for my trusted circle rather than a more open format but have been encouraged by others to post here. If you would like to be added as a recipient to my group email (where the excerpt is from) just PM me your email address & I'd be happy to include you. 🙂
👣 🌏
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Really enjoyed your reflection on Northern France
I made it as far as Chalons last August from Canterbury and I didn't realise the emotional impact that all those war graves I passed would have. The walk was tough enough and they added a significant burden to me.
It was a rarity that I actually followed the official VF which seemed more designed for walkers coming for a day or 2 rather than those making their way to Rome. My worst mistake was reaching one path I intended to take to find it had turned into a stream, leaving a choice of a couple of extra km or trying to get through it.
I agree completely Roving Rufus. I was especially overwhelmed because I hadn't thought about the war connection as an aspect of this walk at all. I knew I'd be passing through the region but my reaction was completely spontaneous & a direct result of what was in front of me. I wonder what it would have been had I mentally 'prepared' myself beforehand.
Yep...I've had a few geographical misadventures too...they're eating into my Swear Jar credit!
Do you have plans to continue the VF from CeC (where I am right now) to Rome at some point?
👣 🌏
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Yep...I've had a few geographical misadventures too...they're eating into my Swear Jar credit!
:) My worst was in the rice paddies of the Po Valley. Probably added 6 or 7km to my day. Even people who didn't understand English would have got the gist! I may still be paying off my swear box overdraft nearly four years later... :cool:
 

roving_rufus

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013-2015) Camino Portugues from Lisbon (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??)
I agree completely Roving Rufus. I was especially overwhelmed because I hadn't thought about the war connection as an aspect of this walk at all. I knew I'd be passing through the region but my reaction was completely spontaneous & a direct result of what was in front of me. I wonder what it would have been had I mentally 'prepared' myself beforehand.
Yep...I've had a few geographical misadventures too...they're eating into my Swear Jar credit!
Do you have plans to continue the VF from CeC (where I am right now) to Rome at some point?
👣 🌏
Heading back in May for 1 week and then nearly 3 weeks in July with aim to cross the pass and get into Italy
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Heading back in May for 1 week and then nearly 3 weeks in July with aim to cross the pass and get into Italy
Excellent!...wishing you all the best 🙂
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
This is an incredible journey you are on. You write beautifully and your account is very moving.
You're very kind Gittiharre, thank you. I normally only write for my trusted circle rather than a more open format but have been encouraged by others to post here. If you would like to be added as a recipient to my group email (where the excerpt is from) just PM me your email address & I'd be happy to include you. 🙂
👣🌏
Hi Tassie Kaz..so pleased you've been encouraged to post here as you do make for very descriptive and heartfelt reading. The Commonwealth cemeteries would be truly humbling to visit....very emotional to read. The VF is on my 'to do' list but severe PF has stopped me going on the vdlp where my partner is walking at the moment...your 25 -28km daily is doable and you can still smell the roses!!!! Keep enjoying and writing 😊
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Hi Tassie Kaz..so pleased you've been encouraged to post here as you do make for very descriptive and heartfelt reading. The Commonwealth cemeteries would be truly humbling to visit....very emotional to read. The VF is on my 'to do' list but severe PF has stopped me going on the vdlp where my partner is walking at the moment...your 25 -28km daily is doable and you can still smell the roses!!!! Keep enjoying and writing 😊
Thanks Loretta. Been there, done that with the PF...& it reocurring is a concern. Hang in there & don't give up...it takes a long time to heal but I hope you'll be back on the trail soon. I'm intending to combine the VdlP & the Mozarabe next year...with a side trip to the Caminito del Rey.
👣 🌏
 

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