Day 25, 19:41 – Vendôme

vendomeMay 25: Cloyes Sur le Loir – Vendôme

This was a longer than expected day for two reasons; as it becomes more and more popular to do the Camino with a bike, which is faster and easier, the municiples start to prepare different routes because the walking paths often cross open field with muddy ground where bike have their difficulties. So as a consequence you sometimes come to a crossroad where signages point do different directions but it doesn´t show clearly, which is the bike route and which not. The bike route is mostly a normal paved road which is good to ride but sometimes much longer. At the exit of Cloyes, I came to such a crossroad and decided wrong, I chose the bike alternative and had a big detour as a consequence.

The other reason is, that in France they try to avoid for walkers the paved roads at any circumstances only that this has as a consequence again large detours because there are mostly no small beautiful ways in parallel to the national roads, which would be the shortest connection from town to town. Sometimes I got really angry about this, as after a long day, exhausted, 5 km before Vendôme where I decided to follow the St. James signs and turned left onto a sand road instead of continuing straigt. By this decision, the 5 km became 10 and with both mistakes a 30 km distance between Cloyes and Vendôme for me became more than 40.

Day 26

May 26: Vendôme – Château Renault

No photos because my cel phone flooded on this stage due to strong rain. I had protected it in the pocket of my waterproof trouser but apparently this was not good enough.

Day 27, 19:43 – Tours

toursMay 27: Château Renault – Tours

Beautiful city and time to buy a new cel phone and / or to try to repair the old one.

There was a nice moment, when I was taking photos and suddenly it started raining ice nuggets from above. I was standing in front of a shoe store and was relatively protected but a young lady (probably the owner) came out and asked me to come in her store to stay dry and warm. This was just one of the many pleasant situations I had with the so friendly French people.

Day 28, 15:23 – Veigné

veigneMay 28: Tours – Sainte Maure de Touraine

I left Tours pretty late because I was hoping the guy in the electonics shop could repair my flooded cel phone, as promised the day before. Unfortunately he couldn´t, it was gone. I still pushed it that day over 30 km to Sainte Maure where I arrived late at night and fell down at the village entry.

Day 30, 17:44 – Buxerolles

love-birdMay 30: Châtellerault – Poitiers

Since I left Brazil, so many strange bird contacts happened to me. This is one of them. When I arrived in Buxerolles, some hours ago, I bought some food in the local supermarket because I was starving. Suddenly this lovebird landed on my shopping cart and a little later on my sandwich, probably because it was starving too.

When he or she finished his or her meal it started climbing on me and talking to me. I asked for help in the supermarket but when they finally came out with a box, it was gone. Bizarre!

Day 31, 22:00 – Saint Sauvant

saint-sauvantMay 31: Poitiers – Saint Sauvant

Saint Sauvant is a tiny kind of “ghost” village, I arrived there at about 9 pm, when there was nobody any longer on the street and I didn´t even try to ask for accomodation. There were 2 benches in front of the church where I initially intended to stay that night. But when the bells of the church sounded, to mark the hour, it became clear to me that this was probably nos such a good idea.

So I packed my things and moved outside the village in order to find some place in the fields. Suddenly a municipal camping arrived on the left side and I was more than happy to stay there, only that it took me about 1 hour to understand that, except a lonely horse, I was the only one there, it was kind of abandoned.

I first didn´t care but at about midnight, I heard some strange noises around me always ending with some kind of screaming, it was really spooky, I started to imagine things and of course couldn´t sleep any longer. So I packed my things again and moved a litte more closer to that “ghost” town where I could at least hear the noises of some kind of a nearby birthday party and where I felt safer.

The next days I still had to think about these strange noises and my theory is that there was probably an owl hunting and what I heard was the noise of its wings and the screaming the mouses it caught? Its just a theory, of course.

Day 32, 15:35 – Melle

melleJune 1: Saint Sauvant – Brioux Sur Boutonne

This was another one of the French nightmares. I arrived on Sunday afternoon, after 7 hours walk or so in Melle, a really larger town and they keep telling me that everything is closed and that it will be difficult to find something to eat, maybe at night.

Fortunately, I heard some music from somewhere which coincidently was close to a little bar where they were having a kind of street party and two guys from Strasbourg were making paella. When they heard where I came from and where I intended to go, they served me like a King. The paella was excellent, the sangria also, but man, you really shouldn´t drink when you still have some hours to walk!

When I arrived in Brioux sur Boutonne at night and the only hotel in town was closed (as so many times), Francoise from the local Saint Jaques association spotted me on the street and offered me the association’s house, for sleep. So for one night I had a really nice house just for myself. When she asked me where I came from and I responded her, Aachen one month ago, she couldn’t believe it. She told me that never before anyone passed here from such a long distance, in such a short time. I was not really surprised.

Day 33, 15:19 – Aulnay

aulnayJune 2: Brioux Sur Boutonne – Brizambour

The roman church of Aulnay was to me the most beautiful monument, I have seen in France.