2017 E5 walk, day 56: Tacoignières to Perdreauville
I woke too early, but I had to be gone by an hour after sunrise. I started walking before 7:30 AM, a rare occurrence.
Not long after I started walking, I got a phone call about my upcoming package.1 It turned out that FedEx wouldn’t deliver to a competitor’s location, so they were calling me to ask where they wanted me to pick it up. Of course I still didn’t speak French well, and the person who called me didn’t speak English, so we had an inconclusive exchange, until we finally both gave up; I figured I’d email or call again later in the day, when I was better able to figure something out. A short time later, though, they called back; the first person had gone above and beyond to find an English speaker, and we quickly agreed that I would pick up the package from a specific FedEx location in Paris; they would hold the package for up to a week.
Shortly afterwards, around 9 AM, I reached a trail crossroads: The GR 22 that I was following joined the GR 11 and turned south. I had very little distance to cover this day, and my eventual AirBnB hosts wouldn’t be ready for me until later in the afternoon, so I had some time to kill. I decided to leave the trail and head north on the GR 11 to the nearby town of Septeuil.
Septeuil was a quiet town. I stopped in Au P’tit Café for a rare caffeinated coffee, then got a takeout lunch and ate outside Pains d’Ailleurs. I loafed around town a bit, and then headed back down to the GR 22 and continued on my way.
As I approached the town of Orgerus, I heard thunder, and saw a few distant flashes of lightning. I considered leaving the trail again to get a snack at a boulangerie, but as I reached the crossroads that would have taken me into town, the storm hit, and I started getting drenched. I took shelter in a nearby grocery store, until the rain lessened somewhat, at which point I headed back out and continued on my way. (A drizzle continued on and off for the rest of the day.) The trail jogged through a quiet neighborhood before entering the Forêt des Quatre Piliers. The forest was hilly — I’m guessing the “four pillars” were hills or outcroppings or something.
I crossed a bridge over a highway, and walked perhaps a block off the trail to the AirBnB I stayed at for the night; I had arrived wet, but not too early. I slept in a family’s spare room, and amused the young children with my terrible French.
Meghan was sending me a care package. We had eventually decided three things: (1) The best international shipping value was going to be via FedEx. (2) We didn’t know how long it would take the package to arrive, so the only thing that really made sense would be to send it to meet me in Paris, ideally arriving before me, but only by a couple of days. (3) Since I knew the location, and their web site indicated they would hold packages for pickup, she would send it to a specific post office branch near Montparnasse train station. ↩︎