I spent a week hiking thrrough the countryside of Central France. One warm day I was out of out of water and stopped by one of the small inns where pilgrims have lodged for hundreds of years. They didnít speak English, but were glad to fill my water bottles.
Since it was lunch time I decided to order something because they were so nice. I ordered an omelet (by far the best omelet Iíve ever had) and Ĺ bottle of wine. As I finished my meal a tour group arrived accompanied by a bilingual guide. The restaurant owner was concerned as to how I enjoyed my meal and had the guide translate.
Greeting the owner, I stood first the first time in over an hour and realized the impact of wine coursing through the body and mind of a dehydrated hiker. A little wobbly I assured the chef the meal was delicious. After paying my bill I staggered out of the courtyard and back to the trail. I made it about 200 meters before collapsing into a farmerís field where I proceeded to stuff myself with cookies followed by a nice nap while bathed by the soft sunlight of a country French fall afternoon.
From that day on I always left villages with a couple of bottles of French wine to accompany my lunches and dinners and any other occasion else for that matter.
If you go hiking with friends, there are many plans to coordinate; if you go hiking alone, you can leave right now.
Were you on one of the trails that led to Santiago de Compostela? I'm reading "Pillars of the Earth" and the heroine is on a trail in Central France looking for her husband who is on that pilgrimage. They were 'ultralight' backpacking way back in the year 1145!
Sounds like you had some wonderful hikes. My question is, are the trails to Santiago de Compstela roadside? Or do they travel over private (and public) lands with some sort of easement? Can you just set up a tent, or do you find lodging every night?
Geeze Kevonia, of all the folks I could think that would'nt have been left outta' da' loop on that trip of Donna's....you were the one <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> She kept saying,"Now who have'nt I told about my trip?" <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> And the pictures, well, you'll just have to beg for those.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Well I don't know if this qualifies as "winehiking" but a Sicilian (please note not Italian but Sicilian, apparently there is a difference) bushwalking companion carries a small bottle of wine with him.
Come lunch he sits down with a plastic glass and has his little bottle of wine with his lunch. According to some other friends who have known him for more years than I have he's been doing this for years.
Maybe that is winehiking. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
Hmmm...Let me see...If I hike north through either Yengo or Dharug NPs I will end up in the Hunter Valley Wine region...Now that's got me thinking. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
France has over 50,000 miles of trail thru the country. In the old days everyone lived in small villages (6 Ė 30 homes) for protection from bandits, armies, etc. Each day they would travel to their fields, which might be a mile or so away. As a result every property line has a public right-of-way 2 wagons wide. These have been marked as modern day trails.
Pilgrims on their way to Santiago Compostela would start near their home which might be anywhere in France. Even today you can walk from just about any place in France to another. The trail is well marked, but the marks for the turns are poor! The shops have maps for their areas.
The trails can be roadside for short distances, but these are local roads Ė paved, but no lines and about 1 Ĺ cars wide with almost no traffic. Sometimes you hike alongside a farmerís field, then thru a wooded area for an hour etc. Itís not a wilderness experience. I camped out on alternating nights and stayed in small hostels or lodges. Depending on the area you might pass thru 2-3 villages a day. They have lodging/meals depending on your budget. I passed thru larger towns (1K-5K) every 2-3 days.