I will let the photos speak for themselves with the exception of a few details. We left home on 20 September 2017, around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Home is at an altitude of 750 metres and during our 4 day, 3 night trip we climbed to 950 metres and then back home again. The first day was 8 1/2 KM before stopping for the night. The second day was 15 KM (with a long lunch break) and the same for the third day. The return to home was again 8 1/2 KM for a total of 47 KM in 4 days. We had chosen small paved roads winding through beautiful forests. However, we overlooked the fact that the weather was perfect for finding mushrooms and the forest was filled with mushroom hunters and of course their cars. Most people were patient and it was good training for Vanille and me to make way for cars and trucks coming from all directions. The first night was very special as neighbors and friends came to meet us and have dinner with us to celebrate our first trip.
So here are lots of photos…….
Vanille was amazing. We never force her. We stop for lunch and a good rest. She is unharnessed and a grassy paddock is prepared with plastic posts and ribbon. When she has a hill to climb, she just finds her best rhythm and goes to work. At the top she slows down and recuperates in her own way or sometimes we stop and pour cold water over her neck and withers. When I turned her loose at home after 4 days of work, she kicked up and took off at a gallop.
Thank you to Mark and Jean François for all of their hard work and their climbing hills on foot to lighten the load for Vanille. They were fantastic!
Thank you to friends and neighbors who came and celebrated with us on our first night.
Thank you to André who invited us to stop at his house the second night and prepared a delicious dinner while Vanille found lots of apples in her paddock.
For me this was simply bliss. I realized what life is like when we adopt a pace that fits with our heart. I cannot explain it, I can only feel it. On the way home we found lots of delicious mushrooms alongside the road. Because we were moving so slowly, we saw them. Many cars had passed with avid mushroom hunters heading to the forest to look for mushrooms but they were moving too fast to see what was just in front of their eyes.
Now I must focus on entering hospital and having a knee replacement. I will be rolled into surgery with visions of all the beauty I experienced on this trip dancing behind my closed lids, and I will dream of next year and a much longer trip.
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