As most know, a smartphone and GPS can get you anywhere these days. We moved off route to deal with some heavy traffic and route ourselves daily using the little Google walking man. When we look for small roads and short cuts the walking man is there and often full of surprises. Today was a reprieve from the rain of recent days. Ed & I started out at different times and did the same route in the beginning, but as we got into our walks we both started tweaking short cuts and discovered some beautiful back roads most cars couldn’t drive these days. Their existence is due to an earlier day when the populace was spread thinner across the land … And more of them were walking! Here’s a few views and wonderful surprises from my google maps journey today.
A cold rain challenges even the best of walkers. There is a sense of vulnerability as the weather chills the body. There is a likelihood that your thoughts will turn inward and the journey will become a bit introspective.
By now most of you must know that the demonstration I was walking to attend has been canceled by the Paris authorities for fear of terrorist attack. Ed & I walk on. It isn’t that I lack fear, nor is it plain stupidity that sees me make these steps. It is a faith that my answer will come when I finish the task.
We all must walk in a cold rain from time to time.
- On the way out of Bernay we passed a sign drawing our attention to a medieval gate that had served as the entry for the road from Paris. Much has changed since then. The road to Paris bypasses the little town entirely. All that is left on this side of the stream we follow out of town is a narrow little road that follows a gentle valley. On the other side of the stream is a railway with trains flying past every 20 minutes. They are fast and the engine’s electric, so the disturbance is slight and you return to a natural ambiance in short order. The newest road (there are others) is on the other side of the ridge and we can’t hear or see it. A day earlier we battled its high speed traffic for 12 miles. While it is legal to walk that size road it isn’t safe. I battled many such roads across America and still find it disheartening to see such a loss of humanity when drivers are behind a wheel. But today that isn’t a problem. I share the road with vehicles but the speed is not great and their are farm tractors and machinery moving along this lane. The road rolls over the land without disturbing its natural contour. I couldn’t help but wonder about the numbers of people who moved by foot on this lane over the centuries. Then I noticed a Camino marker. Pilgrims from the 11th century used this very rode to make their way to Santiago… Amazing, isn’t it? The world is so small and so connected. You are meant to travel some roads whether you know it or not… A pilgrims walk is not done with me yet. It was a day to soak up natures gifts. Ed and his foraging for food along our way is beginning to rub off. I found my share of late blackberries and chewed on a chestnut or two.