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Day 25 - Unfortunately
March 27, 2010                    Le Pian Médoc to Saint Laurent Médoc                      15 miles
Perfect bench
Chateau Fonreaud
As the placenames show, we're in the Médoc region. It's full of vineyards and chateaux, and it's not at all the boonies as I'd said. In fact, the traffic on the few main roads was enough to make a hiker ask, "Who do they think the roads are for?"

Unfortunately . . . well, there were a lot of unfortunately's today.

Unfortunately, the traffic stream was incessant.

Unfortunately, the roads often lacked a shoulder.

Unfortunately, the grass verge often sloped unpleasantly, and was wet.

Unfortunately, it rained at times.

But the biggest misfortune was the wind. It blew all day most usually from my left. Nearly always strong, it gusted to high levels, easily 50 mph (80 km/h).

I admit to thinking, "never mind taking pictures".

Just a couple of brighter moments came along. A shopping visit to Intermarché (pack in my cart this time, where they didn't see it) gave me a taste of normal French life. I bought apples, two cheeses, some canned mackerel, chocolate, and bread - and today's breakfast of a liter of orange juice and a substantial packet-sandwich.

What I didn't eat at once was heavy, and I could feel the added weight in my pack, but I could see four meals today and on Sunday spent on the road or in a hotel room with a closed restaurant. Man cannot hike on fresh air alone. Trying it would be a mistake.

Then in Listrac Médoc, I came across the pictured bench. There were lots of red plastic road barriers around, and I'm not sure that this one arrived behind the concrete bench deliberately. In any case, they're on to something. It fitted the pack-on exhausted hiker like a glove.

Overall, it was one of those hiking days which pleasure isn't a part of. You put one foot in front of the other, and say to yourself, "If I can keep doing just this, I'll get there".
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