From :

Wagon. A cranky contary female / an ugly female. She\'s some wagon eh?

wagon. wagon - an awful woman. than one is such a wagon!

wagon. a woman thats a bitch. dat ones a right wagon.

Wagon. A cantankerous old woman.. Yer wan's some wagon, I asked her could I feed the seagulls and she lifted me out of it!

wagon. car or other mode of transport. i'll drive my waggon.

Wanderly Wagon. A much loved Irish children's TV program which ran from 1968 to 1982

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Day 19 - St Agnan to Saulieu

Today was our last day with the LSH, so it was our last chance to keep trekking Northwards and get collected at the end of the day.  From now on, we will have to do loops, either starting and finishing at St Agnan, or trailering the horses somewhere and doing a circuit which brings us back to the trailer.
To make full use of the LSH on his last day, we got him to fit all of our Renegade boots - LUXURY!  Then we headed off towards Saulieu, with the intention of keeping going as long as we can.  Thankfully it was dry (a nice change after yesterday), and even sunny at times.  The trail led directly from the Chateau through some woods.  It was wide, level and sandy, so after about fifteen minutes walking, we started trotting and alternated trotting, cantering and walking for as long as we had a good surface underneath us.  After all the rocky trails we've seen this trip, it was heavenly not to worry about where the horses were putting their feet.  Flurry in particular was enjoying the good ground, and was in "brisk" mode - until we came to this lot :

We know there is a local man who has some Connemara ponies, I can only assume that this is them - all greys and duns
This little one really caught my eye, she reminds me of my eldest daughter's pony Rocky...long, long ago!
It seems to be horse country here, we met this pair a little further on,
and even further on, we met two gorgeous chestnut draught types, with flaxen manes.  They were not stocky enough to be Comtois horses, but they were too big to be Haflingers.  They were very interested in us, and decided that they wanted to come trekking too and started pushing at the barbed wire fence between us!  At this point, I abandoned attempts to take a photo and got out of there as fast as possible - we didn't want two pretty chestnuts trotting through the main street of Saulieu with us!
With the Connemara ponies and all the greenery around us, I couldn't help thinking "We could be in Ireland" (on a good day!)
especially when I saw this tumbledown stone wall :
This is really the lake district of France - there are loads of artificial reservoirs all over the place.  Everything is really full at the moment, and all of the reservoirs have an overflow which are running at full spate right now.
They are due to open the flood gates on many of the reservoirs this weekend, and in a wonderfully logical marriage of local government and tourism, the local water management people have published this date in advance, so that white water rafters can plan on coming to the region for the weekend and enjoy the outcome!  So simple, so logical... but would it happen anywhere else?
I was caught by the beauty of this still lake, reflecting everything around it.
We were meeting the LSH for lunch shortly after this point - we ended up lunching in the driveway of this very posh house,
 while the horses trimmed the grass verges for them!
The first half of our day had been very pleasant, and we were in good spirits, if a little full, as we set off after lunch.  This was the first section of our trail :
Thick, gloopy, black bog-muck, with deep wheel ruts.  We made our way through the trees rather than risk losing a boot in the muck, and progress was very slow.
We eventually got off the black-muck trail, and found ourselves faced with swimming-pool-sized puddles once again.  We nearly lost Gigi in one of these yesterday - the danger is that you can't see the bottom and you risk falling in a hole or stumbling over a rock.  So once again, we had to detour repeatedly through the trees.

At last, we found ourselves out of the woods and on a surfaced road - for about two minutes, whereupon we were once again directed back into the woods again, to face more black gloop, puddles and a new problem - loads of fallen trees which were blocking the trail.
This all slowed us down hugely, and after making really good time earlier in the morning, it took us about two hours to cover the remaining 7km into Saulieu.  Once in Saulieu, we followed the horse balisage, until suddenly it disappeared completely just as we reached the busy main road.  I extracted the reading glasses from my saddle-bags (no, I'm not getting old, really!), peered at the maps I had photographed on my iPhone and figured out a way through the town which should (I hoped) bring us to the horse trail on the other side of town.  On the way, we were distracted by this lovely horse statue, and decided that we wanted a photo of our two horses beside him.  I was not prepared for their reaction - I thought that seeing as it did not smell like a horse, they wouldn't be interested - I was wrong!
Gigi stopped in her tracks, you could see her think, Hey! It's a horse! and then she wanted to figure out if it was a boy horse or a girl horse and she was sniffing around his tail area to try to work it out.  Flurry meanwhile was snoozing beside me, totally uninterested, so when Gigi had relaxed again, we moved him closer to the statue for the photo.
His head went up, his ears went forward, once again you could almost hear "Hey! It's a horse!" and he went straight for the head to try to make friends with his new buddy.
I was so pleased to capture these photos, they made our day!
There were two things I wanted to do today, one was to ride along the ancient Roman way which runs North East from Saulieu
and the other was to cross the TGV (high speed train) tracks
A few trains passed as we approached.  To the best of our knowledge, neither horse has ever seen a train before, but they could not have been less interested.  Even so, we played it safe and went through the tunnel in between trains, and fairly briskly.
We met up with the LSH shortly afterwards and returned to our temporary home at Camping du Lac at St Agnan.
I'm off to Dijon to see the LSH safely on his train to start his journey home tomorrow.  Here's today's Everytrail map.  We covered 29.1km in six hours, at least one third of it was in pretty lousy trail conditions, but we've broken the 400km mark - WOOHOO!
Saulieu at EveryTrail


  1. 406km is quite an achievement - very well done! :-)

  2. Love Flurry's baler-twined ear cosy :-)