Day 1: Start Me Up

Day 1
Date: Friday, May 26, 2017
Start: Royan, France
Stop: Hotel Le Marin, Montalivet-les-Bains
Distance (Official – Personal App): 31/31 –  41/41 km
High Temp: 31 C/88 F 
Royan, France
Royan, France

I arrive in Royan, France late Thursday night, which is the beginning of a long holiday weekend [Ascension Day] .  Phone stores are closed on Friday and hotels are booked solid.  So, no French SIM card for me.  DUH!  And can’t extend my stay in Royan.  DUH!  DUH!!  Having routinely advised others to double check holidays in France, especially in the summers, I really feel like a dummy.  Also, no one has a credenciale, which means I’ll have to get my stamps in my journal.  I wonder if this is an indication of how unpopular this walking path is going to be.  [Hint:  It is].

I catch the first ferry out of Royan to Ponte de Grave at around 8 am.  It’s already pretty hot.  I see my first blaze as soon as I get off the ferry.  Good sign.  Pretty quickly I’m in a pine forest and don’t see another blaze for a while or see really confusing ones, pointing me in opposite directions.  DUH!

It’s flat and I get to Soulac, which is 8 km from Ponte de Grave, pretty quickly.  It’s a tourist town and is packed.  Initially, I think about stopping for lunch here but it is just too crowded.  I check the church for a credenciale.  Nope.  So, I get water and move on.

Montalivet, my stop for the night is a nice little, working class, surfer town, right on the ocean.  I had just happened to book the hotel before I left Houston.  Am glad I did because of Ascension Day, all hotels (all 3 of them) are full.  I worry about lodging for the next day and the hotel owner calls around.  She finds a campground.  The camp sites are full but they also have rooms which are available.  No reservations required.

Montalivet-les-Bains, France

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