Just a few words from me tonight but I just want to keep you all up with our progress : )
First, I must tell you about last nights dinner! Madame fussed around, making sure we were all very comfortable and produced really yummy, traditional French fare…with seemingly little effort at all.
It was really quite funny watching her prepare the meal last night. I was sitting at the kitchen table writing my blog and she kept disappearing through very small doors which seemingly were no more than a cupboard! A little like the kind of door Mrs. Tiggywinkle would disappear through from Enid Blyton fame : ) On closer inspection, one led to quite an extensive fridge and the other led to a very, very old cellar. I tried to take a photo but the light was bad and my photographic skills don’t lend themselves to much more than ‘ point and shoot ‘ !
Our meal began with a lovely leek and potato soup, followed by a beautiful potato dish and succulent pork and lastly a wonderful rhubarb pie… Most of the ingredients were straight from their small but very productive and extensively cultivated farm…so the flavours were absolutely delicious!!
This morning we woke to dark, threatening skies…with the promise of torrents of rain for much of the day : ( We were faced with the additional concern of where we were going to find a bed tonight. Dear Mme Gevas had placed many calls for us to try and find accommodation along our route but to no avail….everything seemed to be booked. As I have already mentioned in previous posts, one of the biggest challenges on our pilgrimage to Rome, is finding a place to sleep. We are taking a route slightly off the main tourist path in most areas.. which in fact means, often these smaller villages may only consist of a few houses and nothing else…..not even the smallest of bars : (
We made a decision to take a train from Lillers, about 8 kms from Amettes to Arras, initially a distance that we had planned to walk in two days. Unfortunately,for tomorrow also,we have scoured the accommodation guides and have been assisted by the local tourism office in Arras to try and find accommodation 20- 25 kms ahead but no luck! The next few days apparently are public holidays, so anything suitable for us, has been booked. Our only option tomorrow, is to don our boots early and put in as big a day as possible…maybe 30 plus kms and then take some form of transport to our booked hotel in Perrone, some 42 plus kms away. This is a little disappointing but we were always aware that this area of France has long distances between places to rest a weary head : )
There’s still so, so far to go…that we’ve decided that we really have to go with it a bit and do the best we can, in this part of France.
I guess in a way, this is what a true pilgrimage would have been like…way back in the middle ages. No idea really, from day to day, where the next safe house would be…No infrastructure as support but just the reliance of generous folk to help you out with your next place to rest. : ) )
We bid a fond farewell to Mme Gevas and set off on our way this morning.
Arras is a lovely small city with another beautiful cathedral and a special town square.
We were lucky enough to arrive at about 12.30 and to enjoy the end of a local market held periodically in this square. What a feast for the senses! Beautifully ripe fruits and vegetables, robust terrines and pâtés, meat and seafood and cheeses you could only dream of….
Well, we’ve just arrived back to our hotel after a fairly ordinary meal at a restaurant as close to our beds as possible : ) as we are all very tired.. Not such a physical day today but more one of decisions and planning… which is, in some ways, more wearying than walking : )
Love to all and big hugs to my girls,