Day39 Bucey les Gy to Besancon – Hills

“No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.”

Patrick Rothfuss A Wise Man’s Fear

I love the quote above sent to me by a follower. It is so very true. Today was a difficult one physically and a great joy emotionally and spiritually.

Morning update Day39

Leaving another ville

First off, due to some shopping detours and general sidetracks we clocked in 22mi. Additionally the hills really kicked in today (1330ft elevation). That’s not a ton of climbing but with the distance combined and the fact that we’ve only recently had any consistent daily elevation gains, we are sore and achey.

The gite we stayed in last night was amazing. The actually lodging was perfect and clean and had everything we wanted. But the family included us in predinner drinks and a home cooked meal. The conversation flowed in French and English. Our hosts daughter in law speaks fluent English and she was so helpful. The entire family made us feel at home.

This morning Mark cooked breakfast in our accommodation and we were able to begin walking early. Of course our walking began with a climb which was to repeated just a few times over the course of our day. We both love and dread mountains. The love comes when the scenery is always changing and the views are inspirational. The dread comes from the fact we have not had to climb mountains, and all of a sudden we must develop our cardio and mountain climbing muscles.

Why did the Chicken climb the ladder?

Several of the villages we walked through today had village fountains and old public laundry buildings in the town center. Before washing machines in every home, these served as public laundry areas. I can imagine them as a center of activity only two generations ago. They are always decorated with flowers and are charming. Many of these are feed by natural springs.

Once again the VF and the Camino part ways.
Concrete whimsy.

We ate lunch at a beautiful spot along the trail near a little lake. It was ideal. There was a new picnic table. While eating our assortments of salads, we watched ducks teaching their young how to fly, frogs pretending to be plants in order to catch flies, and just enjoying the sun and cool temperatures.

While we were packing up, three other hikers walked up. It turns out that they are also waking the VF to Rome. The first pilgrims we have encountered!!! We are so excited.

Our first Co-Pilgrims – more later

The rest of the day was spent climbing and descending ever steeper hills. The 19mi day was lengthened by about a mile due to a couple mis-turns. These happen occasionally but having GPS made it easy to get back on track.

Finally we approached the suburbs of Besancon, our destination for tonight and the site of our final rest day in France.

One of many lavoir

Besancon is quite the large city. It seemed to take us forever to walk into the town center. We have become used to small villages and this is not a small village. An hour after entering the city we finally made it to our hotel. But to be perfectly accurate we did stop by the North Face store to check out shoes. Because, yes it is time to replace a pair of my shoes. Shockingly I will be replacing my La Sportiva trail runners. The Hokas are doing just fine! Tomorrow we will hit another outdoor store. We have worn out two stoppers on our hiking poles. Those also need to be replaced.

….direction Rome

To end our night we went out for dinner. Mark had an odd craving for Chinese food but I corrected this serious flaw in judgement and we went French. Seriously, Chinese???


Published by

Mark Dowty

"An Intentional Life"

12 thoughts on “Day39 Bucey les Gy to Besancon – Hills”

  1. FYI: The Citadelle de Besancon looks interesting if only because of the blending of two different types of tourist traps – a castle and a zoo. However, I should warn you it looks like there is a steep walk UP to the castle. ;>)
    Where are you staying in this city?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since there was an ornamental thing with a snail on it, have you been offered escargot anywhere?
    And yes I may start out with a jacket and it would be off in less than 5!
    Love you are hitting mts but I can appreciate the state of dread mixed with anticipation mixed with joy at the top!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just to keep you guys a little bit humble, there is this AP story posted today:
    “This 5-year-old became one of the youngest kids to hike the Appalachian Trail.
    Harvey Sutton and his parents hiked more than 2,100 miles in 209 days – a feat mom and dad, Cassie and Josh Sutton, have been preparing for when their son was still a baby.
    “Making a goal to hike in 2021 lit a fire in us to save and build a business to a point that we could take 7 to 8 months off of work,” Cassie Sutton, of Lynchburg, Virginia told FOX News via email of putting her job in real estate on hold to save up for the hike.
    “The family began hiking when Harvey was 2 – walking in parks and slowly began increasing the length of hiking time while exploring different climates, Sutton said. The family worked their way up to a 50-mile backpacking trip that sparked the inspiration to hike the Appalachian Trail, the Associated Press first reported. On the hike, their days consisted of waking up at 5:30 a.m., sleeping in a tent and hiking during the day.
    “I thought being cold and wet was going to be the hardest part of hiking the Appalachian Trail. But in actuality, it was the mental game of motivating and keeping an upbeat attitude to help Harvey stay positive and enjoy his hike,” Sutton said.
    “To keep the kindergartener occupied, Sutton recalls transforming the hike into fun and games playing pretend to help Harvey use his imagination along the way, despite challenging elements like snow and rain.
    “Harvey even participated in a treasure hunt with hidden toys while hiking the trail through New Jersey, when hikers gave him toys like Hot Wheels and a pet rock, the Associated Press reported.
    “The hiking community really surprised me. I didn’t know how interconnected it was,” Sutton said.
    “Everyone is there to support and help each other,” she added. “They really look after you. And not just those hiking. Past hikers come out to the trail to give out food or what we call ‘trail magic.’ It’s truly a special community.”

    Liked by 1 person

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