Friday, August 19, 2005

I coulda used a horse... my assault on Troyes. In fact, there was one there in the field outside of Romilly-sur-Seine, a pretty chestnut brown one with a white diamond on it's forehead. But whatever piracy i get up to, I ain't never gonna be no horse thief, ya hear?

And besides, it only took two and a half hours to get a ride. It was very wet this morning, and I felt weak after yesterday's stupidity of walking 10 hours in heat that had DROPPED to 35° by 5pm. It's still very warm and humid hear in Troyes (nice and cool in the cathedral), and hopefully my tent will have dried by the time I get back to the campsite.

On the plus side, I got a lift from a self-described revolutionary, hunter, ex-union agitator, and occasional vendange worker. So I could maybe do all that grape picking nonsense in Champagne (and what better place), if only it wasn't so far to backtrack. Still looking for more southerly options.

Some may have noticed and not remarked, others not, but I at least have thought to myself, 'Four and a half days by the sea and not so much as a salty toe. What gives?' I don't know, but I got my feet wet at Montereau Fault Yonne a few days ago, even if it was fresh water. Walking along the Seine has been divine, and frightening. Have I turned into more of a river person than an ocean person? Has London's work on me cut that deep? I shudder at the thought, and hope for many hours by the mediterranean.

But first, up to the sources of the Seine and the Ignon, then down to Dijon.

Those of you who've read Stanley Park (and if you haven't, get cracking) may be interested to know that I'll be passing through St-Seine l'Abbaye. I checked the Michelin guide. No such place as the Relais, though this comes as no surprise. There is a restaurant in an old Poste, but I'm poor and it doesn't even get a Bib Gourmand (michelin's value for money icon), and I won't be there on a Sunday, so chances are I'll give it a miss. With any luck, though, I will get the appropriate photo at the source.

Otherwise, the wildlife seems to have shifted from mouse to lizard, though still small enough to be cute. Roadkill I've spotted includes 8 porcupines, 4 rabbits, 2 cats, 1 snake. Very sad, all of them, and I emphasise that I was only a witness to the aftermath and in no way responsible. That said, these boots were made for walking.

With that, gentle reader, I leave you. Of course if there's anything in particular you want to hear about...

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hard Graft

I'm about to head off from Paris, towards Fontainebleau, Troyes, St-Seine-l'Abbaye, Dijon, ...

Sadly, though, it's clear the money will run out before Rome unless drastic measures are taken. So I'm gonna have to do some work for a few weeks when I get to northern Italy, was thinking along the lines of the vendange (or whatever they call it there), a fish boat, something seasonal I guess.

So, anyone out there got any leads? Quick searches while I've been here in Paris haven't turned up anything concrete (though Genevieve, hero that she is, has a tip on some vineyard).

Go on, make me richer, keep me away a little longer.