Yesterday I hung around Chavanay until the early evening for my siesta, had a glass of the excellent local Saint Joseph wine (Cote du Rhone) at a degustation cave, and then began the walk upwards into the hills to find a place to sleep for the night. I decided to chance it with a house and rang the bell. The electric gates opened and as I walked in and met the owners I asked if I could lay my sleeping bag down in their garden under a spot with cover from any potential rain. They invited me in and I got to sleep in their spare room and in the morning had a shower and then breakfast, before thanking the owners and walking up further into the hills just after first light with the town of Chavanay behind me:
The walk from Chavanay is beautiful and at first takes you through some of the vineyards which produce the excellent wine of the region:
As you walk higher in altitude the vineyards slowly disappear and the landscape merges into netted orchards:
My first stop was in the village of Bessey, where I took advantage of this bread vending machine:
As I ate the bread and continued walking up and through the hills I felt inspired by the walk again; the landscape was again becoming a pleasure to walk through:
The next town with a bakers was going to be Saint-Julien-Molin-Molette and before long I was approaching the town:
The town architecture is mainly from stone construction and it is a pleasant sight on the eyes. I took this photo as I approached the town:
I arrived just before midday and pigged out on a 1,90 Euro Croque Monsieur (post photo) and on a baguette, tomato, shallot, and cheese from the hills surrounding the town:
From here on the next big town (Bourg-Argental) was only about 5km away and I soon found myself viewing it in the valley below, with the mountains to be climbed in the coming day(s) looming overhead:
I’m currently using the free wifi internet at the extremely friendly and informative Tourist Information office in the centre of Bourg-Argental. I asked in all the local bars if I could use their wifi but they looked at me as if I had asked them if I could use their time machine; le internet hasn’t made it fully this far yet I guess 🙂
Its important to note here that the people in this region of France so far (Loire) are generally very friendly and hospitable and the countryside is gorgeous. Also, whereas before the path took sometimes illogical routes which made you wonder whether the route planner was a masochist or hippy from the 60’s the path since Chavanay and since crossing into the Loire region is more direct and has more of a sense of purpose. Actually, technically Loire isn’t a region but a “Department” but for the purpose of these posts its simpler to write each new area as a region.
It is just past 4pm, I can smell my boots from where I am typing. It’s time to get going to walk towards Saint-Sauveur-en-Rue and tomorrow to start the very demanding walk upwards to the 1,200km summit.