Today should have been the 58th birthday of Diny, whose favorite walking boots were flipflops. She died two years ago. I don't know her but a friend of hers, who is a walker and a runner, asked me to walk with him. He wrote me about Diny and her flipflops. He gave me a half marathon in euros.
So I start the day on flipflops and walk 211 steps. It rains and it is cold. I consider walking all the way on flipflops but I'm afraid I won't get far. 211 steps. With every step I imagine I cover 100 meter. 211 steps covering a whole life. Impossible.
I leave Pradelles and only when I already walked at least a kilometer and look back I see how beautiful the village is situated in the fields. I entered from the other end, big ugly streets, a lovely historic centre though. And a closed campsite.
Like the days before, the GR 700 joins the Stevenson route now and then, the GR 70. Stevenson (famous for his book Treasure Island) travelled this area with a donkey and he wrote a book about it, Travels with a donkey through the Cevennes. Most people I encounter walk his route. I see a lot of donkeys although nobody is travelling with one. They stand in the fields. Looking at the passers by.
Langogne. And on. On my way to Luc. It is the nearest place on my route with a campsite. I look in my guide book. I count the kilometers. Pradelles - Langogne: 5,5. Langogne - carrefour du GR 70: 3,5. And from there to Luc: 12. I am walking 21 kilometers today. Maybe even 21.1. But it might just as well be 21.4 or 21.7. It doesn't matter really.
I arrive in Luc. It is getting dark. And windy. The campsite is open, but only because there is no way to close it. A big open field. A small concrete sanitary house. A note saying I have to register at the bar in the village.
I install myself in the washing room. My 1.80 meter mattress almost fits in diagonally when I only inflate it partially. There is warm water, a socket to charge my ipad, a lock on the door. 4 walls and a roof. Luxury.
I read the e-mail Gert sent me again. Somewhere he quotes Friedrich: das Notwendige nicht bloss ertragen sonders ES LIEBEN! and he wonders whether there is wisdom in it and whether there is wisdom. I think of a Bobin quote:
"Savoir qu'on est vivant est tout savoir.", "Knowing you are alive is knowing everything."