2017 E5 walk, day 47: Aillières-Beauvoir to la Bruyère

Section 11, Day 47
La Bruyère
low 51 °F
high 72 °F
43,622 steps
16.6 miles

I had breakfast in the ground floor res­tau­rant, and then hit the trail.

A wide drive, paved or packed dirt, leads straight southeast to a three-story stone mansion.  Most windows appear to be covered.  Above the entry, a bell tower rises above the peaked roof.  The drive widens out to a parking lot, which has two small cars; to either side of the drive is a green lawn.  Beyond the mansion, the ground descends to misty treetops.  The sky is uniformly overcast.
Before leaving the village, I walked down a nice tree-lined path to the Château d’Aillières.

Through the early afternoon, the trail wandered through farmland.

To the east-southeast, we are looking at a field of wheat or other grassy crop, at eye level with the top of the plants.  With the awns (fibers) growing out of the seed heads, the overall effect is surprisingly soft.  Two red poppy-like flowers are growing among the crop in the foreground.  In the distance to the right is a row of trees; the sky is mostly cloudy.
This lovely field was a little less than an hour after I started walking.

Shortly before noon, the trail turned and followed a road up a steep bluff, to the ridiculously-charming village of Montgaudry, about 80 people perched on top of a rocky outcropping above the surrounding farms.

A little after noon, I reached the town of la Perrière, and stopped at le Relais d’Horbé for lunch on their patio. It was a lovely hour or so, and I enjoyed looking at their collection of coffee percolators, but when it came time to pay, I realized that I had lost my debit card. When I left the hotel in the morning, I had lazily put it in my regular pants pocket, rather than in my wallet in a zippered pocket. And somewhere between Aillières-Beauvoir and la Perrière, it had fallen out.

I had some cash, so I was able to pay my bill, but then had to decide what to do next. I dithered for a little bit, but eventually decided to give up on the card and continue onwards: I was very unlikely to find it, and it could have been a five or six hour delay to the walk, depending on where it was.1 I still wonder whether or not I made the right decision.

Across a narrow field to the northeast is a three-story stone mansion, smaller than the one earlier in the day.  This too has its windows covered; a low hedge grows across this side of the building.  At the near right corner, a stout tower stands taller than the rest of the building.  The domed roof looks as if it might have been added to the tower after its original construction.  The field is bounded on the left by some bushes and on the right a large tree.  The sky is partly cloudy.
The Château de Monthimer was just outside of la Perrière to the northeast.

After la Perrière, the trail entered the day’s forest, the Forêt Domaniale de Bellême. I have no clear recollection of this forest, except that I left the trail and the forest near the village of la Bruyère to head down into the town of Bellême.

I camped at Camping du Perche Bellêmois, down past a residential neighborhood; I needed to wait a bit before the front desk opened. After setting up my tent, it was late enough in the morning on the West Coast to call my bank, cancel my card, and figure out what to do next. (In the end, I went without my card for the rest of the walk.) I headed into town to scout for the next day’s groceries and pastries; I suppose I ate dinner, but I can’t for the life of me recall where.

Map of the day’s route.

  1. My best guess is that it was at a crossroads not far from the picture of the field, an hour or so outside of Aillières-Beauvoir — I had been rooting around in my pockets there for some reason or other. But of course it could have been basically anywhere. ↩︎