A cold start today and we went up the street for a coffee in a creperie run by a lovely woman, a pink bar, beautifully turned out, warm as toast and full of men. No crepes today but good coffee and an epinard plus a pain au raisin from the boulangerie and I was off. Joe had a second coffee and said he would catch me up. He did, with 1km to go when I stopped and waited. He had taken a wrong turn.
It was cold in the wind this morning but a beautiful short walk (14km) through the countryside of the Nievre valley and little villages. Vivier was very pretty with a modern house by the weir.
The way out of Guérigny was past another 19th century foundry in Urzy and now right on the edge of the countryside, beside the river.
We stayed in what must be a convent and now a religious retreat and hostel accommodation. Bernadette of Lourdes is there in her little chapel, a place of pilgrimage in its own right. She’s tiny but looks very peaceful.
Nevers is a lively town with a University and a lot of history. The beautiful cathedral is having its masonry restored, the stained glass windows having all been replaced courtesy of the RAF in 1944. The upside was that the bombs uncovered a 6th century baptismal area (which wasn’t open today).
Last night was my first time of real self doubt, with very sore thighs. But this morning – Voila! It’s been a good day.
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and I expect that we will do intermittent starves during Holy Week as everything will be shut. However, apart from one day of rain, the weather is looking good. And people here are mostly very friendly, courteous and helpful. 25km tomorrow, off the pilgrim trail and onto a Grande Randonnée to Charenton-du-Cher (3 days, 2 nights).