Camino de Madrid

Camino de Madrid
Camino de Madrid

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Day 3. Gallargues-le-Montuex to Montpellier

3 April, 2011

Today was hard. With all the wrong turns I took, I walked a good 40 kms.
Still overcast, but no rain yet.

For a while I walked along a Roman road, treading where the legions trod.

Walking through a wood, I passed a group of pilgrims, about a dozen or so, men and women, who were making their way slowly towards Santiago. They were camping every weekend and reckoned it would take them four years.

Then I got lost.

A word about signage. In England the trails are marked with their own emblem. The Pennine Way, I think, is marked with an acorn. In France, however, les grandes randonnees (GRs) are all marked the same, with a white horizontal stripe on top of a red one. To indicate a turn, a white inverted L is added below to produce the effect of a 3-striped flag on a pole, with the direction of the flag indicating the turn. And the road not to be taken is marked with a red and white cross.

You still have to be alert. If you are talking to someone or are lost in your thoughts, you can miss the turn and keep on going. Or sometimes sections of the trail are poorly marked. I took a wrong turning several times today, adding three or four kilometres to a very long walk.

Another problem can arise when two GRs cross. On the Chemin de Stevenson, I took the wrong GR and walked 11 kms out of my way in rain and sleet.

Broom is starting to appear. I also noticed some crocuses and more poppies, yellow and orange this time.

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