I know, I know, the Vexin area, again! But I love it there.
Old orchards, corn fields, winding paths, makeshift wooden fences, little hills, atmospheric villages... What is there not to love?
And it is so close to my home in the North-West of Paris (between 20 minutes and 1 hour drive depending on which part of the Vexin I go to). It is an obvious choice when I want to go on a hike without having to drive for too long.
Ambleville where my hike started yesterday is about 40 minutes away from home.
I had done half of this hike several years ago but never the full one (which is 16K) as, at the time, I was too heavy to walk comfortably for more than 3 hours. Well, I enjoyed the full 16K hike yesterday!
But I did two stupid things! First I forgot to bring a container for the countless blackberries along the way...
(But luckily there were also many hazelnuts which are easier to put directly in my bag and I picked quite a few as you can see.)
The most stupid thing I did though was that I didn’t bring enough water. I got ready too quickly and didn’t think enough about how sunny and hot it was yesterday (30C/86F). So I can’t tell you how grateful I was when I saw a fountain on the main square in Omerville, the 2nd village I crossed!
By then I had already emptied one of my 2 bottles so I could fill it again and drink as much as I safely could. Of course I had carefully checked before there was no sign anywhere saying the water couldn’t be drunk (which is sometimes the case!). And I was fully reassured when some children from the neighbourhood approached on their bikes to have a drink as well.
Omerville was a delightful village, and really it isn’t surprising so many French historical films take place in the Vexin. I sometimes feel like I am back in time there!
But these shirts looked a bit too modern and colourful for medieval times! :)
I remember that one of you left a comment one day on one of my blogs explaining that there aren’t villages in National Parks in the US. I think I would miss that... those villages are such a bonus as they are all protected as well.
Yet, of course, what I prefer still are the paths up and down the hills, through the fields, through the woods... all of them!
There was one occasion when I didn’t like the path so much yesterday though. As I entered some woods on a steep path going up, it got very wet and muddy... I had the choice between the slippery stones with water cascading on them on the right or the mud on the left. Hmmm what to choose? :)
I chose the mud, thinking of my dear Sparkfriend HOLLYM48 who was doing a mud run at roughly the same time in MN, haha!!! And I managed to stay on my feet, phew.
There were a couple of other times when there was a brook cascading in the middle of the path, but it wasn’t too surprising as it had been raining quite a lot at times during the week.
I didn’t mind as that meant more wild flowers to look at!
(Love wild sweet peas! I could almost put some in my garden if they weren’t such a pest in places!)
(And wild phloxes aren’t so common here so they always excite me!)
So that was my hike yesterday - I think you can tell I loved it!... I hope you are also having a great weekend?
Thank you so much for reading!