Number of kilometres today: 22.17
Number of steps today: 31,398
Total kilometres from Canterbury: 56.14
Total steps since Canterbury: 82,207
Number of times lost today: 0
For most of today, I have walked along the beach between Calais and Wissant. I didn't want to go to Wissant which is west of Calais as it takes me further away from Rome, not closer. I am conscious of needing to complete the journey from Calais to Rome within 90 days, my Schengen visa limit, and I am also conscius that my body, especially my knee, is already feeling the strain of long distance walking carrying my heavy backpack. But Wissant is considered to be part of the main route of the Via Francigena as documented by Archbishop Sigeric the Serious and I didn't come on this pilgrimage because I wanted to do something easy. So I walked to Wissant and I am so glad I did.
The tide was going out so I walked on the hard, damp sand, surprised that it seemed easier on my body than walking on bitumen or rocky road. I also wore my knee brace which seemed to give my knee the extra support it needed so it didn't hurt as much. Still, The Devil is heavy and I had frequent visions of a glorius bonfire using my tent and sleeping bag as fuel. Instead, I sang I am Woman which seemed to summon the strength and invincibilty I needed to keep going.
I stopped and rested frequently to enjoy the gorgeousness of the day and this place that I may never pass again. I ate my ham and cheese sandwich on the boardwalk from where I could see the White Cliffs of Dover. I walked at the bottom of France's own white cliffs which I think are called Cap Blanc Nez and deserve as much kudos if not more than Dover's. I arrived into Wissant which is a very sweet and quaint town and walked into the first hotel I found and secured a room with half pension. I have eaten a three course delicious French dinner and drunk red wine. I watched the last of the sun set over the English Channel.
I am full, clean, sleepy and content and ready to walk again tomorrow.
Learnings of the day:
Lesson #5: When you are looking for ways to cut back on luggage weight, unless it is the middle of winter, never throw out the sunscreen!
Lesson # 6: You are so worried about getting lost but can you afford not to?