For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

On The Banks Of The Rhône

For the next three days I would walk close to the Rhône, sometimes on forest footpaths high above the river, sometimes along its very banks. Here are my backpack and trekking poles - and yet another shell marker. It also looks like a starburst or a sun...


I passed a road bridge, Le Pont de la Loi. The mountain behind is Le Grand Colombier...


This day, Monday 19 September, was to be my last day of rain. For the rest of the trip I enjoyed wall-to-wall sunshine. Sleek, brown slugs commandeered the path. Walnuts rained down from the walnut trees. I scooped some up and broke the shells. Difficult to find a perfect kernel -  the freshly fallen ones were too unripe and pulpy, the older ones too bitter (apparently you have to keep them just a day or two - no longer). I walked through what my guide book called the biggest poplar forest in Europe, then finally, late in the afternoon, emerged at the small riverside resort of Chanaz. I was feeling very tired, exhausted in fact...
  

Chanaz was ravishingly pretty. When I was there it was very quiet, but in the summer it must be teeming with visitors. There's a marina. There are boat trips. There are picturesque backstreets with artisan craft shops and delicatessens. And there are lots of flowers...


I spent the night in a chalet on a camping and caravan site, and slept on-and-off for twelve hours. The next morning I felt so much better. It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do. I breakfasted on a café terrace in the centre of the village...


... and, at 10 o'clock (quite a late start for me), headed back into the hills, appreciating this old water-powered oil mill on the way...



8 comments:

Ruth said...

I see shells and sunbursts everywhere now. The header photo, the path markers. The arches of the bridges. (Chanaz!) The mill.

That’s news about walnuts. And the forest sounds like something out of Tolkien.

Truly Chanaz is resplendent. I see that “MOULIN’ sign . . . I didn’t realize the word means simply “mill.”

So glad you got exhausted and then refreshed! Both, in the right combination are extremely satisfying.

I’m loving these stages, Robert.

George said...

On the way to Santiago, this section must have seemed more like the Way of Glory than the Way of Penitence. Chanaz looks splendid! I think I could have lingered there a while.

With great pleasure, I am reading your older camino postings, which serve as a virtual guidebook for future camino pilgrims. This morning, I was delighted to read "To Be a Pilgrim," which you posted in 2008. The quote you provided from James Harpur's book, "Sacred Tracks," was very interesting because it focused upon questions I have been pondering recently about what it truly means to be a pilgrim. It seems to me that I have long been on an inner pilgrimage, and the physical counterpart — the movement from one place to another in search of meaning — only serves to intensify and enrich the journey .

ksam said...

Beautiful pictures as always. And such perfect timing..a quiet and restful resort to refresh you.

am said...

Have not been out commenting much lately, but have been following along with your Camino. A good time of year to be out walking. Wonderful new photo at the top of your blog!

I think that the visuals are different each time, but there is a Camino shell/sun ray that appears sometimes while Madeleine Peyroux sings from Blood on the Tracks here:

http://interimarrangements.blogspot.com/2011/10/bye-bye-summer.html

Gerry Snape said...

I'm glad you had a bit of a rest. They say that walnuts are as good for your joints as fish oil! Keep well.

Friko said...

Do you have an exact timetable? No lingering anywhere?

The Solitary Walker said...

Ruth - echoes, connections, correspondences. That's what it's all about, and what my blog's about, in part. Moulin. (Think of the Moulin Rouge?)

Oh, George, how wonderful to think some of my earlier Camino postings have inspired you! It's a fact that this last mini-Camino was the Way of Glory rather than the Way of Penitence.

Thanks, Karin ... and, Amanda, will check out that link. (Dylan, the night before last, was disappointing, I'm afraid - he rasped and shouted in a most unsubtle and unmusical way, with a very loud and heavy band trying and failing to cover up his noodling organ and guitar playing. Support act Mark Knopfler and his band, however, were invigorating.)

Gerry - I like walnuts, but best of all sweet chestnuts (we ate these after they'd been boiled in water for an hour, and they were delicious and succulent).

Good God, Friko, a timetable, me? Not likely! But I didn't linger. The horizon allured like a Lorelei mermaid, and the fairy forests beckoned me ever onwards.

am said...

Bob's been preparing "for to fade into (his) own parade" for a long time now. It is nearly accomplished, and what a grand parade it is! I remember seeing him with Santana some years back. Bob's show was disappointing. Santana and his band were the invigorating part of that concert, as Mark Knopfler and his band were at the one you attended recently. Bob Dylan's singing in recent years is mystifying. It just occurred to me that he is beginning to remind me of Pope John Paul II, continuing to make public appearances until very late in life. What an odd thought.