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345 mile walk

Since moving to France we have visited our friends every year around the end of July. They live in the Haute Vienne region - a journey of 620 kilometers by road taking about seven hours including refreshment and rest stops. Last autumn we decided that our next trip would be a little different. We are keen walkers and thought it would be a good idea to walk all the way this time! Dave looked at a map of France and drew a straight line between our house and theirs - a distance of 400 kilometers as the crow flies. Our aim was to try to stick to the line as much as possible by walking footpaths, bridleways, cycle routes and country lanes, avoiding main roads and heavy traffic as much as possible. We guessed that it would take around six weeks in all. Our neighbour told us that there was a long distance pathway along the Nantes Brest Canal so we decided that we would probably make for the canal first, follow it as far as Nort sur Edre, head for Ancenis (exactly on our line) and then decide which way to go from there. Our chosen accommodation was to be a lightweight tent we bought from Blacks in Gloucester earlier this year (thanks to them for help and advice). We had lightweight sleeping bags and basic cooking equipment to enable us to be as independent as possible on the way. Our only mistake was starting our journey too late in the year - by the time we had been walking for four weeks, the temperature was becoming too high and we were getting up very early in the morning to get our walking done before it got too hot at 10 a.m. It just got too hot to continue so we called it a day at Chauvigny. We telephoned our friend and he arranged to pick us up the next day. We were about 100 kilometers or one weeks walk from our destination - it took one hour in the car! We had managed to walk 555 kilometers (345 miles) in five weeks. Follow the links on the left for the story of our walk :

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map of walk

Map of route from our home to Chauvigny