There was supposed to be a randonnée pédestre this morning, we thought. I'm not sure how to translate randonnée. A hike? A walk? The Robert dictionary defines the term as a « Promenade longue et ininterrompue. » I guess. It's an organized event. People participate by going out and hiking or walking around on the local dirt roads and paths through vineyards and woods, at their own pace.
Of course we do that every day with the dog. Once in the morning, once in the afternoon.
Two or three times a year, crews (or maybe just individuals) come through and paint arrows on the ground and pavement at different strategic points, showing people which way to turn or not turn if they want to stay on the hiking path. They did that over the past few days. They also put up little signs at critical junctures, with little arrows on them. They'll come and take all those down tomorrow, probably.
This time, the path comes down the gravel road through the vineyard toward La Renaudière, our hamlet. Right behind our house, beside the communal pond, it turns downhill past our back gate and into the woods where we usually walk with Callie in the afternoon. In the morning, these days, we walk out into the vineyard. That pattern changes with the seasons.
This morning I took the dog out into the vineyard, fully expecting to run into groups of hikers along the road. But there were none at all. I just looked out the window and there still is no sign of anybody hiking. Maybe it's just too cold for people. There are also no hunters — I suppose the Sunday hunt was called off because hikers were supposed to be out among the vines. It would be dangerous.
Callie of course didn't know there were supposed to be hikers, so she wasn't disappointed. If she had seen hikers, she would have run up to them to greet them excitedly. She probably would have tried to jump up on some of the people and kiss them. It depends on the person, though. Some she won't approach, and some she treats like long-lost friends, or saviors. I don't know how she decides.
I'll keep an eye out. Maybe the hike starts at noon, or at 2:00 p.m. it could be an afternoon event. Or maybe the cold weather has kept anybody from participating. People don't all walk together in a big herd, but in smaller groups, at their own speed. Usually, at the end of the hike there will be refreshments, offered up by the mayor or one of the associations in the village. I hope they get some participants today.
The pictures here are just some recent photos of the local trees in wintertime.
P.S. At 11:00 a.m. we have seen maybe as many as 25 hikers come through the vineyard, in little groups. So the event is not a washout. Actually, it's a beautiful day outside, though chilly.