Day 4 Therouanne to Peronne 70m (111km)

To wake up with the sun shining, gladdens the heart and makes the saddle sores a little more bearable. Slipped out of the gite unobserved (did pay the night before, in case you were wondering!)

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!

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on September 1, 2010, in Canterbury-Rome 2000kms: a cyclist's tale and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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