2017 E5 walk, day 54: Muzy to Boncourt

Section 12, Day 54
low 48 °F
high 73 °F
39,220 steps
14.4 miles

I walked over to Bou­lan­ge­rie J. Feuillet, a few minutes from the hotel, in what I would call a French strip mall; it felt kind of like a Starbucks. Back at the hotel, when I checked out, I asked the person at the front desk to call a cab — I was not the slightest bit excited to walk back through the industrial park to the trail. The cab dropped me off right at the trailhead.

I climbed through a small woods, and then back down past the village of Montreuil, near where the Avre flowed into the Eure River. Crossing the Eure, I climbed a steep bluff up into the Forêt Domaniale de Dreux, where I would spend much of my day.

Below to the southwest is a small village, with green fields beyond.  In the center of the photo is a church; perhaps a score of houses and other buildings are also visible, mostly to the right.  The left side of the photo, and much of the foreground, is full of trees, and trees run along the ridge at the horizon.  In the foreground below is the hint of a road running left to right, with cars parked on it; in the close foreground is a bush or hedge.  The sky has wispy clouds.
Looking back on Montreuil from partway up the bluff.

The trail more or less skirted the top of the bluff that formed the western border of the forest. About an hour along, it passed by the 400-year-old ruins of the Château de la Robertière, barely discernible through the trees and brush.

A row of thin evergreen trees screens most of our view of a plain below to the west.  Between the trees, a large structure of some sort is barely visible, as is the hint of a partly-cloudy sky.
A half hour beyond the ruined château, I caught a glimpse of the not-so-ruined (but still defunct) Abbaye du Breuil-Benoît below, barely visible in the center of the photo through the trees.

Near the northern edge of the forest, the trail zigzagged to the east-south­east, until it reached a grand crossroads in the middle of the forest. From there, the trail went mind-numbingly straight to the north­east, until it wound down to the town of Anet.

Anet was cute; the streets looked like a 1950s ideal of a small town. I had plenty of time until I reached my day’s destination, so I detoured to stock up on groceries, then stopped at a bou­lan­ge­rie to get a sandwich and pastries for dinner.

Looking to the east-northeast, a low stone wall separates us from a series of centuries-old stone homes, or perhaps one single colossal one.  They are various combinations of tan, ochre, and pale grey, with statues and carvings adorning them.  In front of the wall is a sidewalk and a lawn, past which cars drive on a two-lane road.
The Chateau d’Anet was probably a little more peaceful when it was built for Diane de Poitiers in the mid-1500s.

The trail then headed out of town to the east and wound its way to the south­east before reaching the village of Boncourt. A small road below the main road led back to the village’s gîte, basically a series of rooms above a fairly modern rec hall. It felt like the opposite of the previous night in Dreux: small, modern, and quiet, looking out over fields. I pulled a chair out onto the deck to eat dinner in the pleasant evening, and slept soundly that night.

Map of the day’s route.