Km 3975 km 4041, Valence (France) to Le Cheylard (France).
18/08/2022 – 28km
I had two choices of train back to Valence, one a bit too early and one a bit too late. Naturally I opted for the earlier one. Combined with a late night chatting, I really didn’t get much sleep (just over 5 hours maybe).
On my way out of Valence I passed a boulangerie I realised that I’ve been on France for a few hundred kilometres now and haven’t had a proper croissant yet, so I rectified the mistake presently.
I started seeing waymarking for the Camino (I presume the Camino Frances), and the way was very nice. I’m looking forward to this next section (I guess I look forward to every section…) as rural France has such charm.
19/08/2022 – 39km
I’m on the GR420 and it’s very quiet. I don’t think I’ve seen any other hikers (either long distance or otherwise). As a result some parts are a little overgrown. I was a little scared crossing an old rotting wooden bridge I came to but it was probably more solid than it looked.
There were a lot of blackberries and grapes along the way which I enjoyed.
At the end of the day I was following a cycle trail, so it was flat, easy and fast.
20/08/2022 – 2km
When I woke up this morning something felt off. But I packed, had breakfast and started anyway, thinking whatever it was might pass. After a kilometre or two i felt incredibly tired, just like the symptoms I had before. So I decided to turn around, head back to the campsite and sleep some more.
Upon waking the second time, still no improvement. I called some friends and family and they convinced me that since this is the second time this has happened, I should go and see a doctor.
I asked around at the campsite and they called an ambulance for me and in a short time I was at the local hospital (luckily this small town has a hospital) and they were running tests.
It was all a good test of my French, as no one at either the campsite or the hospital spoke more than a few words of English. But between my broken French and Google translate, we muddled through. Everyone was very nice, friendly and patient.
They got the blood test results back quickly and everything looked good. Their best guess is that my body is just worn out, but there are no specific deficiencies. So good that there’s nothing major that’s wrong, but frustrating, that I don’t have a clear remedy, other than just trying to take it easier.
I don’t yet know what this means for my hike. I can try and be more careful, but perhaps my body has just had enough. I didn’t get any warning of this happening, yesterday I felt great, and I’ve just recently had a rest in Marseille, followed by two easy days. Time will tell.
21/08/2022 – 0km
I’m feeling better today, but still taking the day off just give my body more of a break. So there aren’t so many photos. I spent all day just hanging around the campsite, which has good WiFi so I watched a few episodes of Taskmaster (thanks Rachel & Jacob for the recommendation).
There’s a nice little river here, so I took a dip to escape the heat of the day.
I’m feeling optimistic that tomorrow I can get back to it.