Distance: 10.9 km – Elevation +50 m -170 m
Weather: Sunny. Temperature: High 26 degrees
After the rest day I had decided to complete a relatively short walk of 16 kilometres to Chalindrey to allow an easier day for further improvement in the tendonitis, so it was a leisurely rise this morning. I left the presbytery just before 10 am and wandered down the now busy main street of this fortified town. I walked to the terrace of the Tower of Saint Ferjeux and walked a short section of the ramparts
I called into the local supermarket to buy additional supplies for today and then onto the main square for a coffee and a croissant. It was market day and the square was full of stalls selling every conceivable produce – I managed to find a pair of shorts for 10 euros.
A tourist train had just started its journey as I left Langres through the “Gate of Windmills”
The views were magnificent as I started my descent from the town
My route out of Langres initially followed the N19 and I envied the views that the residential properties that I passed had of the open countryside
Temperatures were rising as I joined the quieter D17 and around noon, close to the village of Corlee, I found a convenient field with bales of hay, golden in the sun with a stream running through being the early waters of the river Marne. I rested here, first to cool my foot in the stream and then with my back resting against one of the bales, shaded from the sun, I enjoyed my lunch of cheese, tomatoes, bread and fresh fruit.
Duly refreshed I continued on my way, crossing a bridge and looking down, I was surprised to see a canal.
Close by was an access to the canal and I followed the path and came to the tow path. It was beautiful with tall trees lining both sides of the canal – the colours were extraordinary, so many shades of green with the sun finding its way through this sheltered bower.
It was the “Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne” which is 224 kilometres in length and I was close to its longest tunnel ” Tunnel de Balesmes” which is 4820 metres in length. This is a summit level canal and this tunnel is at summit level and runs beneath the source of the Marne. It seemed relatively unused but as I stood enjoying the peace and quiet a boat did pass on its way to the tunnel
The rest of my walk to Chalindrey continued to follow the quiet D17, it was flat and level walking through glorious open countryside
I arrived in the small town of Chalindrey close to 3pm. My accommodation for the night was a B&B and was not available until 4.00 pm, so I found one of two bars in the village open and enjoyed a cold beer. Later that evening, after settling into my accommodation, I went in search of food. I tried the bar where I had earlier enjoyed a beer but no food was served. So moving on to the second bar I found a lively audience seated at tables outside enjoying a variety of drinks. I asked a rather charming waitress if I could eat here and she said no food was being served, then just as I was about to leave a seated gentleman, who I was later to learn was the bar owner, spoke to her. She then took me by the hand and took me to a table inside the bar where a table was laid for me and then a three course meal prepared especially for me – another example of the wonderful hospitality I have received from the people of France.