*for our futures to remain local and for new road to be totally destroyed.
Edward - The League of Gentlemen
Usually, our walk along the road up through the ‘high’ bit of the hamlet (and also in another commune…) is without incident – hence why we have been doing this route a lot. It’s car-accessible, but in all my walks, about four men have passed in cars, and the only people I’ve ever seen were a rather odd looking non-local couple who I suspect were on holiday, and a man entirely in camouflage who said he was out shooting foxes.
It’s a very frequent trot up from my hamlet to the high bit and then along deserted roads. If I’m feeling lazy, I can cut the route from just before D and end up just before G, but it’s my basic, go-to dog walk. It cuts along a little ridge and it’s either spectacular or bleak, depending.
Sometimes, I walk another route through the high bit of the hamlet, past my friend Lise’s house and down the hill. It’s not a bad route, but it’s a little short, at only 2.5 km. A few times, I’ve done a wider loop, that takes you through the village of the barking dogs, a small village where every single house has a barky dog, from the first old Bassett hound who bays at you, to the big mastiff who bays at you, to the tiny Papillons who yip at you. A few times, I’d done this walk with Steve and it takes you eventually to a dead-end path where I had an unfortunate falling incident and sprained my ankle. Unless you were prepared to hack through brambles and trees, it was quite impassible.
From time to time, I’d tried to navigate the bit from G up to the top road but it wasn’t happening and as the years have gone by, it’s got less and less accessible. You could walk from the crossroads just after F, take a right and walk down here, but you end up with a 5km walk home and it’s already a good 5km walk as it is.
Anyway, last week, I noticed a stile kind of thing in a field that used to home cows. I wondered at the marvel of this new path and where it had come from, where it went to and who had put it there. As far as I could tell, it just went into a load of bushes. But no! It leads to the G spot (sorry – but that’s the way it fell) and you can continue to walk down and round. The best thing is that it is a quick route over to the Quatre Vaux forest and that has always been a bit too far (unless you are Heston, as this is where I lost him and he ran home from – a good 7km) and now it’s made it a lot easier to get to. Hoorah!
So to celebrate the arrival of new road, I took the beasts out for a walk along it. It is indeed a marvel of a path, just where you’d want a path to be.
Now I just need a path from the G spot on this map (you probably think I planned it and I didn’t at all!) to the E spot to cut out the big dog leg up into the village and it’ll be a perfectly acceptable alternative walk. The new path, incidentally, goes from just before the D, where the other tractor trail comes in to make a T with the road, to the K spot.
And the mystery was solved down through the stile. There’s a massive great big electricity box been put in and ERDF have been so kind as to put a path in. Doesn’t really make up for the mushroom-like wind turbines that are now everywhere round these parts, but hey ho.
Anyway, Edward had cause to be concerned. The first thing I saw when I walked down this new path was a plague of strangers (two) and they were definitely not local…