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Letters from the GR 11 – A night in the woods

Letters from the GR 11 – A night in the woods

I wouldn’t feel worse if I had been through a full washing machine cycle. I feel every part of my body aching. What I need is a hot bath followed by a full massage, what I’ll get is a short night on a skinny foam mattress laid bare on hard dirt.

The right way to go would have required me to look for the perfect campsite. Set it up for maximum comfort, stretch, relax with a nice diner, before filling the pages of my journal. The way I went about it; found a flat surface a bit off the trail, laid down my stuff and crashed, hoping to pass out quickly !

Unfortunately, a French forest isn’t as quiet as an Arabian desert at night. All those creatures hiding during the day are now roaming all around me. Every sound is catching my attention, sending my imagination into a frenzy. The wind in the canopy, the strange “voices” in the distance, the cracking branches near me, not to mention the sudden “screams” reminding me that not everyone here forgoes diner like I did.

Instead of sleeping I am staring at the sky through a small hole between the trees. There is a star shining there as it passes through the night. There is no better time to reflect on the day, your life, the world we live in, or whatever else you care about at that moment. Nothing is ever perfect; I miss my wife and my body will be very stiff tomorrow. But somehow, being able to spend a night out in the “wild”, makes me extremely happy !

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