The trailer was indeed God sent: it was raining all night long and several this I was woken up by something crashing on the metal roof - probably some tree branches. Better being under a stable roof than under a Silnylon tent in high winds. No one came to bother me in my trailer: in fact, all the time from getting there around 6 pm and leaving at 9 am only one person passed nearby on an ATV and he did not notice me. I saw similar trailers later that day and apparently they are refuges for hunters. When I got up at 7 am it still looked rather gloomy outside. No way I was leaving this cosy shelter in bad weather. I started to repair my gaiters. But to my big surprise the forecast turned out to be true. At 9 am it started to clear and there were even blue patches in the sky. I left quickly as I wanted to get in and out of Bourbonne-les-Bains, another spa town, to do resupply.
It was still raining on and off the whole day making me wonder whether this bad weather would ever stop. The GR 7 follows a dead straight old Roman road for several kilometres. Most of it is paved now, but in these conditions this turned out to be great because everything was flooded after the big deluge at night. This was cattle country and there were raging torrents in the meadows. I saw a whole cattle trough completely inundated. I guess the rain last night would not have been so bad but it had been raining for a week now and the ground was totally saturated. The trails were in incredibly bad condition, too. This turned into a mud bath and walking around mud pools and puddles slowed me down a lot.
I still made it to Bourbonne, another rather run down spa town that is full of holiday apartments. But again I could not find a fountain with the famous waters, but I found a supermarket. After a quick resupply I was on the road again looking for a campsite.
I want to mention that the forest here is some of the weirdest and most inhospitable forest I have hiked through. First of all it is all deciduous forest whereas I love pine forest because of its nice and soft duff. To make things worse most of it is shrubbery which makes it difficult to find a site big enough. But even in the old growth areas the ground is totally overgrown with ivy and black berries. But the very worst is the soil: it is some sort of clay that has been worked over by thousands of moles creating an incredibly bumpy surface. And for a reason I do not understand at all there is no duff whatsoever. I wonder what happens to the leaves. So in order to find a campsite I have to find a noon overgrown spot and then flatten the clay ground with me shoes - which makes a mess out of them. And no matter how hard I try there are always some unforgiving bumps left and the ground is hard, wet, cold and uncomfortable.
|Along the canal|
|Ferme Ste Anne|