Day 10: Bapaume

Number of kilometres today: 26

Total kilometres walked from Canterbury: 239.64

Total steps since Canterbury:  340,521

Number of dog attacks: 0

Number of times lost: 0

After the rain comes sun...for a while then dark clouds and cold wind and a few drops of rain.  Then repeat and repeat and repeat.

I left Arras at 9.30am this morning in crisp air drowned in sunshine and a bounce in my step.  My body has recovered surprisingly well after yesterday's painful marathon.  My blisters didn't flare up at all today and it was only at the 24 kilometre mark that my heels really started to throb and my hips cramp. My feet are throbbing now but I think my body is starting to adapt to this long distance walking. At one point, I was sure I must have left something behind because The Devil felt too light. 

Today I walked through First World War battlefields.  This golden, fertile, peaceful land once filled with horror and bloodshed.  The names of so many young men etched on simple crosses. As I left the Sunken Road Cemetery behind, I marveled at a fleet of sparrows, their darting movement perfectly synchronised as they dipped low, skimming the furrowed soil and then suddenly skyward in perfect formation. I know the stories and have seen movies about the war but still, it is so hard to visualise that this, here where the sparrows fly freely, is where it happened, and to comprehend the the scale of destruction and loss of life.

There is still so much violence and conflict in the world.  We have not all learned history's lesson.  So as I walked upon this land that bears visible and invisible scars of war, I did the only thing I knew to do.  Feel the peace wtihin my own heart and breathe it out into the world.

Place des Heroes, Arras, early morning.

Place des Heroes, Arras, early morning

Farmland somewhere between Arras and Bapaume.

Sunken Road War Cemetery

Memorial and chruch in Hamelincourt.  The bells were ringing and ringing and ringing.

Farmland somewhere between Arras and Bapaume and the weather chasing me.

Deutsch War Cemetery in Sapignies.

This is what all cows do every afternoon.  In the morning, they stand.  In the afternoon, they sit.

Only the French would put a beautiful concrete stand of flowers in the middle of a borig path.

Building in Bapaume