Monday, 4 June 2007

Pilgrimage from Calais to Guines 02/06/07

Today was absolutely HORRIBLE! After totally overexerting ourselves yesterday we were feeling it today.

As we were sleeping in a public park we were lucky to be able to sleep in to 09:00. We were both very slow getting moving and by the time we had had breakfast, rested on the beach and read a bit it was 11:00.

The walk started OK and once we had a map we were looking good. Our aim was for a minimum of 20km with the first major town being 12km away. It didn’t take long before our bodies started to complain and we had to stop every few kilometres.

After about 10km we stopped in a small town of about of about 100 people to get some water. Unable to move any further we collapsed out the front of the only shop. It didn’t take long before the local “mafia” showed up to check us out. They were four kids about 16-17, dressed out of a gangster film (one even had pants with one short leg and one long leg), and keen to see what these strange foreigners were doing on there street corner. I have a feeling that after seeing us the first time, they only came back 15 minutes later to see if we had died so they could steal our stuff.

We did manage to hobble the next two kilometres to the bigger town where we were going to stop for lunch. Once again we collapsed in the first bit of shade we found but unfortunately we were not able to make it to a restaurant. We then had to take turns minding the stuff while the other went for food. Funnily enough it was only about 200m down the road but there was no way we were making it with our packs at that stage.

We were planning on trying to keep on going but we didn’t end up feeling like we could move until about 17:00, so we decided to stay in this town, Guineas. We had managed to stagger only 12km in about 6 hours! Things weren’t looking good.

I don’t know if it was just the smell of us or what, but amazingly enough the people at the campground recognized us as pilgrims! This was the first time anyone had done this since we started. (Even the information people at Canterbury cathedral had never heard of the Archbishop who had started this walk. They were very surprised when Dan pointed out his name one of their walls).

This was a turning point for us both. The people at the campsite were so friendly to us and gave a very good discount. They also gave us information on where we could stay for free in the next few days. It was just what we needed. Obviously the powers that be had wanted us to stay here…

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