Lots of new firsts today. The terrain might look the same, if you’re just cruising but I’m looking.
I’ve been eating a lot of great blackberries on the trail but today I scored my first ripe fig off a tree. The fig tree looked like a volunteer and I picked off a few. Ditto with small prune plums.
The trail was full of wild boxwoods. Those are the low shrubs that you see all over the Smokies around home sites. Well, they’re not natural to the Southern Appalachians. They came from Europe.
And I met my first trail maintainer. As I came down the trail, there he was clipping bushes off he side of the trail. I asked if he was a volunteer and he was.
There’s been a lot of consolidation of land and farms in this area of southwest France. As a result, I passed many abandoned buildings and several huge farms called Mas. It could be compared to a station in Australia or a ranch in Texas with cows, sheep and corn, probably for animal feed.
It’s been so quiet today as I plod along. The walking is not difficult or aerobic, even though I’m doing 15 miles with a 20 pound pack. Tonight we’re staying in a gite run by a Dutch couple. You can believe that the Internet works. Vive Le European Union.