Thursday, 21 June 2007

Pilgrimage from Reims to Ludes 19/06/07

It was a bit touch and go once again about whether we would start walking today or not. Dan was looking for any excuse he could to stay, but finally we made the move. We are back to being pilgrims!!!

Once again we were planning on getting an early start but it just doesn’t seem to happen. We slept in, missed breakfast and then checked out from the hostel around 11am.

I needed to get my passport stamped so we stopped back in to the cathedral and then grabbed a sandwich for lunch.

It wasn’t until around 15:00 that we finally left the city. It felt great to be walking again. The body has recovered, all the blisters have dried up and we both feel fitter than when we started.

The great thing about this part of the walk is of course the abundance of wineries. It is incredible! The first little town we came to probably had a population of 100 and about 20 “Champagne Houses”. Most of them weren’t very interested in having smelly pilgrims sampling their wares but finally we managed to win someone over :)

The winery was Coquert-Benard in Ludes and Mrs Bernard was a gracious host. She showed us around the gardens and ensured that when we left we had some home-made rhubarb dessert and some champagne biscuits for the journey.

From our brief samplings we have to say that the smaller wineries have much finer champagne than any of the mass produced stuff.

We bought a bottle to have with dinner but realized we didn’t have any glasses. Dan went and asked the local bar owner if we could buy some, but because they were kind enough to give them to us without charge, we decided we better stop for a beer.

They were big movie fans so Dan and the owners were soon deep in discussion about actors, directors and whatever else it is that movie fans talk about. One beer soon turned into three but we did finally manage to drag ourselves away before dark.

Dan seems to have got his head together again and is looking in much better spirits. I’m glad he’s decided to keep at it. There are times when I think he is going to chuck it in.

Another 1km down the road and Dan realized that he forgot his staff. I stopped to mind the bags and Dan ran back. This turned into a blessing because a big storm was just about to brake when he returned. Where we had stopped was an old shooting range so we found shelter in there for the night.

The storm had the loudest thunder I have heard in a long time. Absolutely amazing! The whole building was shaking. It felt great not to be in our tents.

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