Day 5. Sunday 1 June. Ezy-sur-Eure to Chateaudun. 79 miles
Today turned out longer than my calculations, but never mind.
Setting off from the campsite, I took the quiet road up the Eure valley, through villages and on an old railway track. I passed a huge aqueduct crossing the valley, I guess taking water to Paris.
Dreux was passed without stopping, but I did notice the Chapel Royal on a hill above the town.
Midday stop at Chartres whit hits famous cathedral. And in the cathedral, the famous labyrinth. My friend Mike told me recently that the labyrinth is only available to walk on Fridays, which seems a pity as it would be a fine resource for meditation an prayer by pilgrims up and visitors. On the otherdays it is mainly covered by chairs. A few years ago, one of my Edinburgh friend, Fidge, bought a labyrinth canvas, which I sometimes helped with at times when it was in use. I thought about Fidge as she is getting married to Lin today. But lack of wifi prevented me sending a message on Facebook and I didn't have her mobile number.
Chartres is one of the main stops on the pilgrim route from Paris to Compostela, so they are set up to expect pilgrims. However, the man on the cathedral desk seemed a bit grumpy. Well, it must be a bit dull spending all day giving out headphone audio guides to tourists.
Both of us had slight navigational problems finding our way out of Chartres onto a minor road, but we succeeded, and Brendan overtook me a few miles out.
Chateaudun was our stop tonight. A delightful campsite by the river. The manager had just last week received a new stamp with St James's cockle shell on it. I think I was the first pilgrim to get use of the stamp.
Every food shop and supermarket was shut toady, it seemed, so we had a meal made up of odds and ends. But very delicious. No wine, though we walked into town and had a beer.
Chateaudun is a smallish place, maybe 15000 people, and looks a bit down on its luck, despite having a magnificent castle perched on a rocky cliff. It features in Dorothy Dunnett's novel Queen's Play, but I can tell you no more about the plot line. Below the cliff were some troglodyte cave dwellings, now used as storage by the look of it.