Back in France again and September is on my mind. Got to get more serious about training. And so I’ve headed out a few times while here, to try to keep some conditioning.
The roads are quiet around the house and luckily they are quite shaded as well. The heat has been punishing for someone that lives so close to the Arctic Circle, pushing towards the 30’s with very high humidity.
Off I went, down from the house and left at the bottom. Following the road past the little hamlet I headed along the single track road until it reached the forestry track. I stayed on the road as it veered sharp right and started to wind downhill. So far so pleasant. There was surprisingly little life other than me and some insects. I saw a couple of birds and heard a few things in the verge at the side of the road. After a mile the road reached a junction where I turned left and immediately began to head up the road. I was entertained by the little signs either side of me as I plodded up the hill. On my left side was a signed declaring that the lad was reserved for the Chasse. On my right side was a sign delaying that the Chasse were forbidden. Obviously the neighbours are not great friends.
Quite suddenly I burst out into the open and came upon a crossroads. Straight ahead seemed the obvious choice but something told me to go left. With a shrug I turned down the little road and started to head uphill again. After a short distance I came to another crossroads. By now I felt as though I was completely turned around. The way ahead was a dead end at a farm and so I turned right and carried on for a few hundred yards before thinking that I had gone in completely the wrong direct. I turned on my heel and headed back the way I had come.
The road headed on through trees, passing the occasional building. I went past some very hot cows that were trying to find some shade until I started to recognise where I was. All of those gut feelings had been right. Now I started to look out for the forestry track that would be on my left and that would take me back towards the house. Having been down it once before I certain that I would find it again.
I kept heading uphill. Eventually I came out of the trees and was flanked by fields. This did not look familiar. I kept going. In fact I kept going for another mile. By now I had worked out that I must be heading towards Parisot, which was much further than I wanted to go. But at least I would know where I was when I got there.
And then luck found me again. Up ahead a tractor pulled out of a field and turned away from me, but the driver stopped and got out to close a gate. I put on a bit of speed and caught him before he drove off again. “Bonjour monsieur, je suis perdu”. He looked at me as though I had teleported in from the future. I managed to convey, in my best Franglais, that I had missed the track that would take me back towards my house. Did he know where it was. Luckily he did and gave me pretty good instructions for finding the ‘chemin’ again. To be fair it wasn’t that hard to spot once I had plodded the mile back to it, but I thanked him and headed off back down the hill with him staring after me incredulously.
I was starting to think that I would be lost on this road forever when the track appeared on my right. Up the gravel I crunched to the top of the hill and then picked up speed as it gently descended back to the road, past the hamlet and then home again. Everyone had wondered where on Earth I had been. I had enjoyed myself though.