Day 4 Therouanne to Peronne 70m (111km)
The Somme. This was a day for re-visiting some of the sights and scenes I encountered on my cycle-tour of the WW1 battlefields and cemeteries. The countryside littered with cemeteries reminding us of the great sacrifice made by so many.
My route took me through Amettes, connected with the mendicant St Benoit, who walked himself to death doing pilgrimages,finally dying of malnutrition (had my pasta tonight, I’m pleased to say!). Arras, which has been devastated by world wars, but has reconstructed its Grand Place to perfection. I noticed that the sculpture of St Jean Batiste in the church was holding a ‘coquille’ for pouring water over Jesus’ head. An obvious link with the Route St Jacques. Bapaume, another town destroyed in WW1, but elegantly reconstructed, especially its Hotel de Ville.
At my journey’s end, I sought the possible offer of a free bed for the night at the Vicarage. I was given a mattress in an old annexe, without any bedding, and got to experience something of what medieval pilgrims might have expected. They would probably have seen having a mattress as sheer luxury!