2017 E5 walk, day 57: Perdreauville to Neauphle-le-Château

Section 13, Day 57
low 51 °F
0.08″ rain
high 67 °F
40,264 steps
15.1 miles

Before the kids were up, I had a quiet breakfast, and then headed out.

The trail soon entered the Forêt Domaniale de Rambouillet, and roughly followed the route of a stream. After the village of Gambaiseuil, the stream and trail entered a valley.

At 11 AM, I reached a T junction. The GR 22 continued to the east, while the E5 turned to follow the GR 1 to the south. I left the E5, which I had been following for 56 days, and headed east to end my walk in Paris.

To the north, a sturdy tree trunk is in the foreground, its branches out of sight overhead.  Painted on it is the white-over-red GR mark; immediately below is a white T, under which is a 22 on the left and a 1 on the right.  Tacked on the tree is a marker with “04” and “10” printed on it.  Behind the tree is a forest; a muddy trail heads away, from the bottom right to the center of the photo.
This trail marker was unnecessarily oblique, but it’s the point where I officially left the E5. (The trail in the picture was a side-trail heading north. I came from the left/west, and continued to the right/east.)

About an hour later, the trail turned north, and soon crossed a stream, the Ruisseau des Brûlins. The trail near the stream had thousands of tiny frogs, perhaps an inch long, hopping in every direction. I did my best to avoid stepping on them.

Another half hour had me exiting the woods for the day, after which I passed through a pair of towns. First was Montfort l’Amaury, a cute little town that wasn’t as fully-preserved as Dinan, but still had a touch of quaintness to it.

A one-lane paved road curves up and to the left, with a sidewalk on the right and two parked cars on the left.  Stone houses open directly onto the street, well-kept but with little decoration.  Beyond the houses to the northeast, a church stands tall, its steeple and roof rising into the air.  The sky is overcast.
Entering Montfort-l’Amaury, with its Église Saint-Pierre ahead.

There was a castle built by Anne of Brittany on top of the hill overlooking the town, but I didn’t feel energetic enough to climb up to see it. Instead, I got some macarons from a bou­lan­ge­rie as I headed out of town.

From Montfort, the trail passed through the town of Méré, and then across fields and over a highway to the village of Neauphle-le-Vieux1, with the GR 11 re-joining the GR 22 along the way. From there, the trail took me through the adjacent town of Villiers-Saint-Frédéric (the GR 1 splitting off again2), and into Neauphle-le-Château, my destination for the evening.

I left the trail at the town square, and made my way to the AirBnB. After first knocking at the wrong house, I found the correct one, and met the very gracious owners.

For dinner, I made my way back up to the town square, and ate at Le Valinco, an Italian restaurant. After dinner, I wandered the nearby streets.

To the northwest stands a white, two-story commercial building, its windows and glass door dark and empty.  Flowerboxes in the windows are also empty.  A dark brown sign stretches the building’s width, reading “Grand Marnier Liqvor” in tarnished logotype.  The building opens onto a cobblestone sidewalk next to a cobblestone road, both damp.
The Grand Marnier distillery had been in Neauphle-le-Château from 1880 to 2012. Five years later, this building was just an empty shell.
Map of the day’s route.
The blue pin is where I left the E5.

  1. I don’t know what the right term for this place is — on the map, it’s the size of other places I’ve called villages, but it’s also a continuous part of the developed area that includes Neauphle-le-Château↩︎

  2. Many trails go near or into Paris, and there is only a limited number of viable routes for them to take, so by this point they were merging and branching frequently. ↩︎