Péronne to Trefcon 18.58km
Walking around last evening while waiting for a restaurant to open, we came first upon the 17thC Porte de Bretagne in the old city wall (reconstructed after WWI) and then by a WWI memorial with a dramatic sculpture by Paul Auban, « Picardie maudissant la mort” (Picardy cursing death). Picardy, part of Hauts-de-France, is a historical region of northern France, stretching north from the suburbs of Paris and vineyards of Champagne to the beaches of the Bay of Somme on the English Channel.
The restaurant, Au Gars du Nord, served local fare, one of the dishes being variants of Welsh Rarebit (Les Welsches) said to have been introduced by the British during WWI. Paul’s meal was a Savoyard variation, with Reblochon cheese sauce on Rösti.
After a quick look at the Citadel this morning, we lined up at a boulangerie for bread for lunch and, as there are no restaurants in Trefcon, went to Carrefour to buy something for dinner. We chose a salmon casserole and two rice puddings (the latter after some discussion, as the glass jars would add further weight to carry!)
The first part of the route was along an old railway track, easy underfoot and pleasant, with the sun shining and plenty of birdsong accompanying us. At the top of a hill in Cartigny, we decided to stop for an early lunch to take advantage of a lone bench in the sun.
After Cartigny, we were back walking along minor roads and muddy tracks. In Vraignes-en-Vermandois we noticed a series of plaques commemorating local writers. The inscriptions were in both French and what we suspect might be Ch’ti, or the language of Picardy.
The rest of the walk, particularly the last few kilometres, were much less enjoyable, as it became windier and began to rain and the muddy tracks made it hard going. When we arrived at our gïte, we discovered that the only cooking facilities are in another apartment, so supper was unheated salmon casserole (and rice pudding :)).
Flora and fauna