I’m a day behind, so apologies to those who read the post with their Wheaties.
It was a nice cool and misty morning for leaving Besançon, which was good, as the first order of the day was to climb up and beyond the Citadel. Not long after achieving altitude I executed one of my more ambitious short cuts. The official route veers left, but my mapping app showed a track that would link to a road offering a more direct route. What the app didn’t show was the condition of said track. One I latched on to it, it was a fair bit of bush whacking – a hybrid walking pole/machete would have been useful. I preserved, and fortunately there was a gate to save me clambering over the deer fence, and after a brief dog leg using a busy road to use the overpass over the freeway, I was on the direct route through the countryside.i eventually met up with the official route a few kms before Ornans, saving about 10km of walking.
Pleasant countryside today, with farmland not unlike the North Island, except for the obvious things – including the guy wandering along with a fresh baguette strapped to his backpack. The last few km into Ornans was on a repurposed railway track. I have seen many disused railways, but this is the first one I have seen repurposed. I think they are missing an opportunity here in the North of France.
Ornans was a real surprise. A very old village spread out along the banks of the Loue river, with the waterfront houses actually leaning out over the river. The nicest part of the town was off the marked trail, but that seems to be standard practice for the way the route has been signed.
My evening stay was at the rustic Fume Au Sanglier Qui, with everything off the grid, but a very hospitable family. First activity was a refreshing dip in the stream – the emphasis on refreshing! There were lots of people coming and going as they got organized to do a kayaking trip with 22 people the next day. I ate dinner and breakfast with the family, and enjoyed a face to face conversation in English for the first time since Max left from Paris! There was a lot of rugby discussion as my host is a big fan. He even started a rugby team when he first moved to the area 25 years ago, but it has since folded. One of my favourite evening stops on the whole journey so far.
Daily km: 26.6