Day30. Donnement to Dienville – Back on the VF, time to whip out the tent – perhaps.

Looking forward, 10 of the next 11 days will be walking less than 17.5miles per day .   It’s odd to say that that is going to feel like a break.  As we walk out of the “desert” today,  the VF will rejoin us.  We will be hitting more populated villages and hopefully more open stores.  Unfortunately, today is Sunday.   So we will have to wait  one more day to see if that holds true.

Actually we were provided for very well by our host families,  and we never lacked for anything but cold water.  But passing open supermarkets and pharmacies will be comforting nonetheless.   Because of the spacing between villages,  we will end our day at a campsite (our third for this pilgrimage). 

Today started out cool,  but the temperature quickly rose as the sun climbed and pounded down on us. I found another use for my cotton bandanna since we ran out of sunscreen. I pinned the bandanna to my cap,  and it worked perfectly throughout the day.

Sad sunflowers

We found a shady spot to stop for lunch. It is amazing the temperature difference in the shade here. I would imagine it is at least 15 to 20 degree difference in Fahrenheit. We enjoyed our sandwich and nuts and dried banana chips. Then we  began to contemplate how to refresh our food supplies realizing it is Sunday.

We decided that the largest town around was Brienne le Chateau (site of the military school where Napoleon was schooled). It was a total bust. 

Everything here is marketed as Napoleon
The Chateau of Brienne le Chateau
Napoleon as a boy

We finished a hot day in the sun after totaling 18.1miles (more than intended due to a busted search for water and food in Brienne le Chateau. And everything is closed on Sunday in France apparently. But thanks to a kind young woman relaxing in her backyard with probably friends and family , who filled up our empty water bottles. That was physically and mentally refreshing.

We tiredly stumbled into the campground,  and we were promptly turned away.  They were full.   There were two campgrounds in the area.   We had one last chance.  The opposite of our somewhat rude dismissal at the first place, the second one initially said they were also full but quickly stated that for pilgrims they would find a place.  Indeed, they found us more than a tent site but an actual room with a double bed.  We were in end-of-day heaven. So no tent camping after all.

I so wanted to hug the gentleman who graciously found us a room. I highly recommend Colombier as a place to stay. They are so helpful, and the hospitality is beyond what is expected.

The bos trotters homeschool van.

This is a family run business.  The oldest daughter actually sat and talked with us for some time.  They were a homeschool family (rare in Europe) and had travelled through the Middle East and Africa together as a family.  It was such a cool story.  see

Well, we ended the day with a dinner at the restaurant near the campground. This is a hoppin’ vacation area with lots of boaters and beach vacationers at the adjacent lake. 

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Mark Dowty

"An Intentional Life"

3 thoughts on “Day30. Donnement to Dienville – Back on the VF, time to whip out the tent – perhaps.”

  1. All your adventures are so interesting but this one seemed the kindest so far! I know you have been provided for each step of the way and that has been my prayer for you all! God is good! And so are the hearts of people who have come along side of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In a world full of messages of how evil people are, hearing the stories of you meeting people who administer God’s grace to the strangers in the land (you the pilgrims) is refreshing.

    Liked by 1 person

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