Distance: 9 km
Weather: Clear and sunny; warm at 9:00 and hot by 9:30, but very pleasant in any shade. Steady gentle and very welcome breeze beginning in late morning.
Route: The French do love their conversations, and with four of us at breakfast (two of Madame’s friends had stayed over), it was 9:00 before I was underway. The route descends over farm roads, past a colony of rabbits, to the town of Frangy. There is a potable water fountain at the entry to town, by the church (which has no stamp). There is a Carrefours grocery about 50m off the route. And there is a restaurant, also a bakery.
Warning: Amis Guide incorrect! Contrary to indications, there is no transport in Frangy. Also, despite having two ATM’s, neither was inclined to dispense cash. And the hotel is out of business.
Departing Frangy, the route ascends along a secondary road, which I elected to continue at the point where the marked CSJ route turned to an uphill footpath. I will take a vehicle-grade over a steep hill scramble in this heat any time!
Stopped at Champagne at the lavoir for a shade break. One sees these in small villages sometimes- the village women would gather here to wash the laundry (and socialize!). This one is being renovated. And a pilgrim pair overtook me: he from NZ (South Island), she from Geneva and on her first pilgrim walk. Young, strong, and ambitious- I wished them a good journey.
The route continues upwards, sometimes by farm road and other times by shady footpath at a decent grade. This is hard-working farming country, and the first hay crop is just in. The blackberries are turning, and vegetable gardens are in their glory. Most houses have flourishing hanging baskets of petunias, or boxes of geraniums guarding the windows.
Desingy has a WC, water point and stamp at the Mairie (city hall, where the mayor works), right across from a very pretty church with a shady north portico, perfect for an afternoon break. The marked route turns left just after the church, but I continued straight ahead and downhill for a kilometer to reach tonight’s lodging.
The shorter day was definitely the right approach for today’s heat. Tomorrow will be very hot again, and then the heat breaks. So they forecast!
Lodging: Château de Pelly, 761 Rue de Chatel, Designy
I have never stayed in a castle before! Although I’ve visited quite a few, none were overnights. So this is a new experience, driven by the need for shorter days in this heat. The original building dates from the early 13th century, according to the current owner, who has been working on the renovations for eleven years, during the winter months.
There are accommodations for families on holiday, as well as separate arrangements for pilgrims.
This nicely balances out the much more basic lodgings I had in Charly a few nights ago. And I do enjoy the variety!