Day11 Wissant to Guines – Rain and Mud

Well, we awakened to a thunder storm and heavy rain. By the time we’d packed up and headed out for the day it was a steady drizzle but no downpours yet. Farewell to the sea. We won’t see you again until Italy!

Because of the rain, we took few pictures. Luckily my camera is waterproof, and we did get a little video shot.

Walking in the rain does present one danger – wet feet. We’d each brought waterproof socks. Yep, they are a thing. The waterproof socks worked perfectly, and I do recommend them. Still Allison was having some discomfort with one of her feet. One of her shoes was really uncomfortable.

History was everywhere today. At one point we climbed to a peak containing intact WWII German fortification and got to explore. It was surreal to be inside the fortification. As you might expect it was built in a strategic location and peering through the embrasure, you could easily see the sweeping coverage over the valley. It didn’t take much to just close your eyes and imagine the lives of soldiers stationed here.

And then this happened…(perhaps we’ve discovered the source of the foot discomfort)…

Walking in the rain, isn’t as bad as it sounds. We have good rain equipment except for my iPhone cord (more later). Allison and I are new enthusiasts of rain pants and waterproof socks. What great inventions they are! We stayed dry all day, and we only got uncomfortable when we had to climb “steep” hills (which made wearing the extra layers too hot) and when the rain stopped and the weather temporarily warmed.

A brief respite from the rain during lunch.

Honestly, it wasn’t bad at all…I rather enjoyed it. I felt pretty good about the equipment we’d brought. Overall we were still on a high from making it to France.

In a shocking development it poured shortly after this picture was taken.

Unfortunately 90% through the day’s walk, my phone started to die. We use it often for navigation since the signage on the VF is not excellent. There are signs, but not at every intersection. Being hunkered up in rain gear likely allowed us to miss some signs as well.

Baby-chicks in a yard

Anyway, as the battery started to die, we attempted to plug in my phone to our backup battery. However the cable must have been quite wet because we received a warning message, and the phone wouldn’t charge. Who knew that a wet phone cable could be an issue?

We had to resort to our instincts and fortunately they were good. We made it to our lodging for tonight.

By the end of the day we’d made our way to the village of Guines. Speaking of that…we found a campground that offers free camping to pilgrims. Yeah us! Not to worry, we still supported the enterprise by patronizing the restaurant on-site. It was an odd kind of place – all decorated in cartoon medieval characters. If I was to guess, the campground is used as a children’s theme adventure. Despite the odd setting the food was hearty and quite good (picture enclosed).

Our home for the night.

Our lodging tonight is our tent. This campground is what our English relatives would refer to as “posh”. The place has individual small houses to rent, a heated indoor pool, a putt putt golf course, an exercise ground, playground, and a complete laundry facility. Someone has to live the hard life. We, however, just took advantage of our small plot of grass.

Before dinner we had made a somewhat long trek back into, through and out of town to find a supermarket that sold a new charger cord. We also bought some groceries. However the extra miles after a long day really wore us out.

As I’d mentioned, we had a long day, but before we could crawl into the tent, we took advantage of the campground washing and drying machines.

The great pilgrim joy…machine washed clothes!!

The campground was nice and quiet and we had no trouble going to sleep. I’m glad that we decided to bring our tent and camping gear although I’m really unsure that it will be worth the extra weight. But it was nice to camp today. One of our few luxury items were two inflatable insulated air mattresses. We have had these for about a year and they really increase the nights comfort.

So good night all, we’ve survived our first day of rain – I’m sure there will be many more, but in general we’re pleased. It was a good day.

Published by

Mark Dowty

"An Intentional Life"

13 thoughts on “Day11 Wissant to Guines – Rain and Mud”

    1. We thought for sure they’d be uncomfortable and hot but they don’t seem to be. Well to be fair they are must be hotter than regular socks but I do t notice. Comfort is quite good but you do need to be careful because they are thicker than a thin sock. Your shoe needs to be able to accommodate the volume.
      This morning my waterfront socks were dry but my shoes still very wet. But with the waterproof socks your feet stay dry even in a wet shoe. Bonus.

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  1. Wow you sure seem to be blessed with the accommodations that have a washing machine and dryer. We only hit that once on the Camino. And yes the running I don’t mind walking in that but I haven’t had to work through wet feet. Will one day consider those waterproof socks but since my shoes are waterproof I haven’t had much of an issue. The quiche and the fruit salad looked amazing.

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  2. Very useful your comments about the water proof socks, I bought a pair today at Amazon, really a nice tip! And also reinforced my intention to bring along also my impermeable trousers. Not sure about the tent which together with the mattress would add quite a weight.

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    1. If I was to do it again I would not bring a tent. It offered some stress relief in a year of Covid uncertainty, but wasn’t worth the weight add. We planned to and did ship it home from Lausanne.

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