Day 18 Verzy to Chalons en Champagne – 18th June

Distance: 38.3 km – Elevation +280 m -350 m

Weather: Sunny. Temperature: High 23 degrees

The day started well as I left Versy. I climbed out of the village to the path I was taking and found myself walking along a woodland path. I exchanged ” bonjour ” with a runner, an elderly man walking rapidly with hikers poles, and a lady walking her “Scotty”. After around 40 minutes I emerged and saw a familiar view

I hesitated and checked my route and found I was walking back to where I was yesterday! So back along the woodland path, and my 8.00 am start was now 9.20 am and an unnecessary 6 kilometres added to my day. I philosophically said to myself ” that is a warm-up “.

So I set off knowing that I still had 34 kilometres to walk to reach my destination of  Chalons en Champagne. I would add that daily distances walked are not always by choice – it is because there is nowhere to stay in between.

Early in the walk I passed through Villers-Marmery

and shortly after I reached Trepaul

There was much more going on in the vineyards than yesterday. I passed a group of young workers tending the vines and they called out ” Bon Route”

It was getting close to lunchtime as I approached Arbonay and passed wicker men tending vines.

I found a bench to rest and eat my usual packed lunch of bread of cheese. It was siesta time and everywhere was quiet. What has surprised me about this part of France is the absence of the sound of dogs barking compared to the other regions I have walked through.

It was a beautiful afternoon as I passed fields of golden corn.

with the field verges full of wildflowers

I took the canal path into Condè sur Marne

before rejoining the Via Francigena trail

It was now close to 4 pm and I still had 11 kilometres to walk. In retrospect, it may have been better to have taken the canal path from Condè sur Marne directly to Chalons.

I arrived in Chalons at 7 pm, rather weary after a long eleven hour day.

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