Day 3 – Boisemont to Maudetour en Vexin

by Stephen

It rained a lot!

I left La Ferme Rose after being well fed by my hosts. Yvonne, the owner, had his Great Grandfather’s rifle in the breakfast room. I couldn’t imagine carrying the weight of that too.

I am firmly in the French countryside now which reminds me of the Chiltern Hills in parts and Lincolnshire in others. A lot of this route is on road so I have been cautious of cars but all the drivers so far have given me plenty of room (and odd looks).

It felt very autumnal today with dried maize swaying in the wind and beech leaves blowing everywhere.  I snacked on walnuts I found along the way.  B5 boots make great nutcrackers.

I found a well stocked bakery in Vigny to refuel knowing there would be no meal at my destination this evening.

I have met few people along the way today and the route was generally quiet. Lot’s of polite ‘hellos’ but little conversation. One elderly lady was very interested in all the tape on my feet whilst I was resting for lunch. It’s mainly been dogs that have noticed my passing. The sound of hobnails seems to drive them into a frenzy of barking and jumping at garden gates.

It has threatened to rain all day and finally the wind picked up and the heavens opened six miles from the end. The open fields were very exposed. I tried out my WW1 rain cape for the first time. It turns out not to be very waterproof but creates a good little shelter from the worst of the elements. It was also very useful to rest on under an ivy hedge.

Needless to say I got very wet. I was very happy to see my chateau hotel in the distance. Unfortunately the owner wasn’t as pleased to see me in my wet stinking wool with muddy boots. He didn’t recognise the uniform and asked if I knew the price of a room. I politely said I did and made an effort to demonstrate me placing my wet cape in the shower.

I think these countryside stretches may be lonely in part due to the lack of people and also to the language barrier. All the more reason I’m looking forward to Francois and his pipers joining me on day 8