I set out this morning into a biting wind from the west. I had the option of walking 40 kms, or breaking it into two steps. With a mist threatening to become an English drizzle, I stopped half way. My camerades du chemin have gone on.
Today I am not Plodder, but Strider. Most of the time I was racing along grassy tracks or dirt roads with little climbing. Again I was glad of my leather boots as I forded a couple of raging streams and strode along a boggy stretch.
As I walked along a dirt road, the GR markers suddenly sent me up the embankment, along the top for 50 yards or so, and then back down onto the road. There was no need for this. The road was a perfectly adequate surface to walk on.
It wasn't the first of what seemed to be a quite unnecessary detour.
The other day, the GR sent me up to the top of a hill and then down again when there was a perfectly good path around the side.
Sometimes it seems that the spirits of Albert Wainwright and the grand old Duke of York have possessed the designers of the grandes randonnees.