Le Chemin des Dames or How the other half travel. 16km.

We leave the great little campsite on the farm at Azielles soon after 8am. We do not have a big day but we have an assignation planned for around midday. The route today is totally tarmac as we have to cross the autoroute and crossings are limited. But there is a nice little village with a café only 6km away just right for coffees. This is in Corbeny where the Chemin des Dames commences. This is a road along the east-west ridge between the Aisne and the Alliete rivers. This is an important military and strategic point and several battles have been fought in the area for control in several different wars from Napoleon to WW2. But before this in the 18thC two daughters of Louis XV travelled the route frequently between Paris and the home of LoiusXV ex mistress so the Count of the area had the road surfaced to make it more comfortable for the Daughters of France. How the other half travelled.
We soon enter our destination, Guigincourt and almost immediately are accosted by not two but four Ladies travelling in a Bentley convertible. This is our appointment with friends doing a rather different trip in the area, visiting various Champagne houses and averaging 2-3bottles a day as apposed to 20km. A café is nearby and they lower their standards to drink several glasses of local beer with us. It was good to see Sue, Lindsay,Jude and Iris as we had really not been sure whether this plan to meet would work out.
We stagger down to the campsite where Tony and Ray have enough Joi de Vivre to perform on the trampoline on the site to the delighted aplause from local children.
We shop for dinner and the day collapses in a heap and a cooling in the pool.
Appropriate to the area is one of the most moving war memorials of the trip, and there have been a few.

Link to where we are on Google Maps

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