There’s guidance and there’s common sense and sometimes the two don’t coincide. While in Barcelonnette I planned my route from there for the following seven days. I made a particular note of the road numbers out of Digne. Today when I got to a major road intersection I saw one of the arteries marked as N85. My reaction was to check my notes. I did this and saw I had written references to roads N85 and N1085. I thought, “Oh, they must drop the one zero.”. But the note did say to take the N85, which I did. What I failed to put in my notes was the fact that there are two N85′s out of Digne. Of course, I should have been on the other N85, an entirely different road. It wasn’t until I had my first food break about an hour and a half later that I discovered my mistake and chastised myself for my stupidity.

These occurrences rarely turn out for the worse, like having to retrace my steps. I found a new way which took me to Camping la Celestine, a caravan/camping ground on my ‘new route’ which was still a respectable 17km from Digne. I can pick up my previously planned route in a couple of days time. Tonight I have a beautifully shaded, green grassed tent site among the trees, hot shower, and a table on which to type this blog, versus the uncertainty of what would be available to me in the place I’d previously planned to stay. My glass is always half full.

Camping la Celestine is a massive caravan/camping ground but there are very few people around at the moment? The French holiday ‘season’ does not commence until the beginning of July by which time I hope to have reached Spain. The proprietor told me because it wasn’t the holiday season he didn’t stock bottled mineral water. He recommended the tap water which I’ve been drinking.

Walking the bitumen roads has really taken a toll on my boots, particularly the heels. I thought I’d be able to do the entire walk in the same pair. I probably will but by
the time I reach Santiago they will be well and truly shot.

It was quite a leisurely walk today. After my food break I stopped again an hour later
in Mezel for a mineral waternat a garden bar which overlooked a luscious green valley. I was there more than half an hour. It then only took me another hour to reach the camping ground. The countryside is flattening out. More is now under farming. I expect to be camping again tomorrow night.

What I get some pleasure from is thinking about the contrasts I’ve experienced on
this journey like sleeping in a sheeted, made up bed in a hotel room, or sliding into a sleeping bag in my tent; eating food taken from my backpack while sitting alone on the ground, or sitting in a restaurant choosing food from a menu while glancing at other people’s selections; and going without a shower, or standing under a hotel shower letting my body rejoice at the feeling of hot water flowing over it at the end of a hard day’s walk.

The other thoughts I regularly have involve flashes of places I’ve stopped at either for the night or for a rest. They are usually places I feel good about, but no matter how
good I feel about them I invariably say to myself, “I’m glad I’m not back there.”
It was a musical sentiment of monumental hope, comfort and even joy at a do my homework for money moment when all were in short supply