Monday, 25 June 2012

People, places and stuff...

This finds me on the outskirts of Geneva, where you could say I have come for a drink - a two day break at any rate, having gained a day by walking from Orbe to Lausanne in one go which was only 27 miles. I have effectively left the route for a brief moment hence I walked to Ouchy, Lausanne's harbour, where on Tuesday morning I will take the steamer across Lac Geneva to St Gingolph, thence to Aigle and the climb into the Alps begins. This is such an exciting part of the journey and to be in the mountains, quite wonderful.

From Ste Croix, I made the steep rapid descent from the Jura to Orbe where I stayed the night with the delightful Daisy Nicolet, a chaos of a lady whose house was a jumble of gumboots, cats, chickens and post cards laced with the rich welcoming perfume of fabric conditioner throughout. She had hair that would be the envy of an 18th century "perruquier" and was instantly not only adorable but huggable and lovable like the central character from an Alan Bennett play. It was her daughter's wedding yesterday (Saturday).

But before, as I heaved my way out of Vuiteboeuf (and there is a lot of heaving in Switzerland, let me tell you)I looked over my shoulder and cried "Ho, Pilgrim!" as Raul Santiago Goni, a journalist from Pamplona rounded the corner; he is writing the Spanish book of the journey. Funny how two people can go on the same pilgrimage and have such different yet such parallel experiences; for three hours we talked animatedly like long lost friends and parted with great reluctance when the road forced us to separate, he for Yverdon and I for Orbe.

And so, here I am, sitting by the swimming pool, glass of champagne in hand, quite embowered by flowers and the scent of the garden all around me, dipping into normality once again... Or am I?

Pics: descent from
Ste Croix, steamer that will take me across Lake Geneva, lunch under a walnut tree, the chateau of Champvent near Orbe and the Grizzly Adams look that has now gone!

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