Saterday. January 24th 2015 Cervenon, Hamlet near Prémery, which is very small too (2200 inh.), 32 km

This morning my landlord-widower mr. Henri had put my coffee, baguette, some butter and jam on the table early morning. I complimented him on the neat care of everything: bed, beautifully pleated sheets, a decorative pillow. I do all by myself, he said. Children live far away: in Lille and Paris. Hardly any jobs. Everyone goes away. I hear this same story already from the south of Spain. If that trend continues in Europe then Europe will become a vacation continent for Asians: Chinese and so, because apart from visiting ancient villages and towns here there isn’t any economic activity anymore. I hope I’m wrong. But beautiful it is. I had just left, when it started to snow. Because I did not want to go wrong at the Santiago Route through the wet woods, I took again the shortest paved road. Even more because it was shorter than the Compostella Route. The disadvantage is again, that I should keep my young dog at a leash all day. Yesterday I complained about how enervating that is. Across a rabbit! And monsieur suddenly dashes across the road chasing it. In the meadow horses racing along the barbed wire. Extremely exciting for Tosca. Sheep running away, a truck, scaring Leon , a bird flying low. Then she bites a hole in my glove, grabs my route notes from my hand, wants to play with the leash. All o.k., if that doesn’t happen in the road, or worse, in the city, with a nervous horse, or in this frantic traffic. Some honk as encouragement, others because I’m in their way. Meanwhile, looking at my GPS or in the route book. Phew!
Extremely exciting. No romantic trip in Burgundy. En route, in Nevers, I see beautiful advertising posters for holidays: taste the freedom! Sporty, athletic youth in the mountains or on the water. And I? One might call this sport, certainly with these companions. But now I have freedom, for a year? My dad stated that freedom only exists in bondage. These well-built athletes on the poster flee their busy life for a week or so and then feel free. But what I do is much truer freedom. Is it really? Tied to my animals, tied to my schedule? Don’t I want to reach Nordkapp before winter? It depends on what you call freedom. Since some philosophizing. Many dream of being free from all their obligations, instead of dealing with their bondage and obligations in a positive way. I’m trying to do and also to end this excursion. It’s too easy, to feel free and simply stop. That’s not how I am.
Sms from Sonja, Bri and Jos: delays, traffic jams, due to snow. They’ll arrive hours later. I ask the boss here, whether there will be anything left for them to eat. He laughs, he ‘ll organize something. He has a very high ladylike laugh. But he is nice and he has a well cared auberge. We have a suite the four of us. To reach the bathroom toilet one couple must pass through the room of the other couple. Cozy tonight. But with a lot of Burgundy wine, we are hardly aware of it.
Leon in a meadow, which is not perfectly fenced. Just hope he will not be away tomorrow. Tosca in the garage. Sonja, Brigitte and Jos arrive. Happy together. Tomorrow more.

Har ponyanddogtrip 2014-2015 555 - copy - copy Har ponyanddogtrip 2014-2015 556 - copy - copy Har ponyanddogtrip 2014-2015 557 food in our hotel, along with two other couples food in our hotel, along with two other couples [/ caption]

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