Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Long Walks in the Countryside

Cormatin Randonnée
When the alarm went of at 6 in the morning last Sunday and I heard rain on the windows, my heart sank and I had a distinct feeling of déja vu. You see last Sunday was the Cormatin walks which we help organise every year. We had worked all day Friday and Saturday preparing for the walks, marking the roads, buying and assembling the food that was to be given out at the food posts. Last year was an absolute disaster, not only financially but on the morale of our little club. It rained all day and no one came to walk, well not nobody, there were in fact 39 hardy souls in total, when an average year should yield about 300. We all got very cold, very wet and very miserable, not to mention the 200 Euros loss - money we can ill afford to lose.

Cees and I set off anyway to meet the others and by the time we reached St Roch (the starting post) the rain had stopped. In the end it was an excellent day for walking, a bit cold for us at the food posts, but for the walkers, there was no sun and until about 4 in the afternoon, no rain either. We had a very good year, more than 400 entries, so that should help a bit towards paying for the old aged pensioners’ lunch next year.

The food distribution left a little to be desired though, our president had chosen the typical French model of centralisation, so the sandwiches were prepared in St Roch and the distributed (or not) to the food posts. Not a bad idea, but seeing as even the French government had scrapped the centralisation of food distribution back in the 60’s. it might say something for the efficiency of the system. In the end I had to drive to collect the missing sandwiches, by which time of course, all the walkers had disappeared - ah well better luck next year.

Chardonnay Randonnée
This Sunday the alarm was set for a much more relaxed 7 in the morning, for our favourite walk of the year – the walk in Chardonnay. A misty morning, but the weathermen had promised a nice day with sun in the afternoon. Well they were wrong, it turned out to be a beautiful day with sun all day and by the time we were half an hour into our two hour walk, we were sweltering. Never mind, it was all worth it.

I always marvel at the organisation of this walk, I have absolutely no idea how many walkers they have, but if someone said 5 or 6 thousand, it would not surprise me. The photo is of one of the food posts and everyone got a sandwich ! Decentralisation was the key - maybe our president could learn a trick or two from them…

Food distribution on the Chardonnay walk
Anyway, we had a superb walk through stunning landscape and we came home and slept in the garden – 25 degrees in the shade and it is the end of October – now that is the way to spend a Sunday.

La Tuilerie Website gives details of our holiday accommodation, ideal for a walking holiday of all degrees of difficulty.

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