Running in France II - I’m not a REAL man.
When Von SmallHaussen came to visit a few weeks ago, she commented as we were leaving the gym that she thought I was a bit of a metrosexual.
Now, I live in the North East of England, where the culture is distinctly butch and hard drinking. So I was a little worried about this label. Sounds a bit too much like the kind of word that if you use in the pub, pretty soon you’ll have someone accusing you of “Calling ma pint a puff”, or asking “Did you spill my girlfriend?”. The end of this type of discussion is usually resolved by the said girlfriend kicking the living snot out of you.
Anyway . . . yesterday, I set of for a 9 - 10km circuit from Gabian to Fouzilhan to Pouzolles. I’d checked the map before I left . . . and off I went. The first 1-2km climbs quite steeply, but after that, it’s pretty much a long, gentle downward slope all the way home.
In Fouzilhan, I had to follow the road through the village, taking an overall left hand turn. The trouble was, that there seemed to be several possible roads all going left.
After about a half a mile, I came round the top of a hill, to be greeted by wide, gently sloping vineyards, with the road going through the centre of them apparently all the way to the Mediterranean sea just on the edge of sight at the horizon. Half a mile further on . . . still no sight of Pouzolles. Bearing in mind that I was sure it wasn’t more than about 3km from Fouzilhan to Pouzolles when I checked the map, I had the uneasy feeling that I was lost.
Now that’s not the kind of thing that would bother a REAL man. Real men never admit to being lost, and just carry on, using their primative homing instinct to find their way back to the cave with a sanglier on slung over their backs for the family to feast on.
I on the other hand, had more sensible feelings about being lost. If I really were on the wrong road, then potentially it could be another 10, or even 15 km until I came to a village that definitley hadn’t been on the planned route. By that time, I’d be completely knackered, and be faced with the humiliation of walking / hitching / phoning home for a ride. I might not be a real man, but I do have some pride.
So I took a walk a hundred yards through one of the vineyards to where three vignerons were chatting away as they pruned the vines. (Great countryside this - finding people who’re talking is really easy in the absolute silence.) And there I swallowed my pride and ASKED for directions.
Turns out I was in fact on the right road after all - Pouzolles was just over the next ridge in the road, about 2 km further on. If only I’d had the courage of my convictions. . . .
From Pouzolles to Gabian, it’s about 4-5 km along a road which seems far longer - you can see Gabian’s church tower right from Pouzolles, and it never seems to get any closer at all until you actually arrive back in the village.
Anyway that’s all for now - I’m off to put some moisturiser on my face, which is a bit dry after all the stress of yesterday’s drama!