Friday, August 3, 2007

Not working? Go for a hike

July 31st was the last day on the job. August 1st, I went for a hike.

If you are looking for hikes in the Paris area, then ask to be put onto the recipient list at iledefrancewalks@yahoo.fr. It's just an e-mail list, no website to see. Volunteers scout out a walk they'd like to do, get in touch with the list coordinator who sends out the invitation to the group and everyone meets a the announced departure point. It seems to be mostly anglophone residents, some long-time residents, some short-term expats, and a few French hikers, too.

For a first hike, it was, perhaps, a bit ambitious. It was a 16-km. walk from Villenes-sur-Seine to Mareil-sur-Mauldre. On this map, Villenes-sur-Seine is in the upper right hand corner and Mareil-sur-Mauldre is in the lower left. Our route was the GR1, which formed a rough half circle, along the the limits between Orgeval and Bures, then Morainvilliers.

On the way, we picked a few plums, stopped to find apples on the ground in an orchard, and ate a few blackberries, too. If we'd known we were going to find so much fruit, we might not have bothered loading ourselves down with lunch. We had a great little picnic near a pond on the edge of Orgeval. It was a hot and sunny day, but we were well protected in the woods most of the time.

It was a great day out, a perfect way to celebrate not working. There was always someone interesting to talk to. As we all kept changing pace, we kept moving from one conversation partner to another. The only thing missing was sites to see. Walking for walking's sake has its limits. I need some point of interest as an objective to keep my feet moving.

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