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Lost in La Grève (Mont St. Michel via Pontorson)

Getting Lost in La Greve - Getting Lost in La Grève - Mont St. Michel -

I possess the peculiar talent of doing everything wrong. Case in point: Getting lost in La Greve, a Norman town just outside Mont St. Michel.

To be fair, I also possess an admirable ability to course correct. Let me explain.

I arrived in Paris yesterday, and, sleepless, wandered Charles de Gaulle for what felt like hours in search of a train of most any kind. In short, I’ve been in France for 40 hours, and I’ve already been lost at the airport, at the bus station, at the train station, in Pontorson (a town in Normandy), and in a cornfield outside a Norman town called La Grève (or La Greve if you can’t figure out how to type the accent).

I wish I were making up the part about the cornfield.

Back to the part about the train. My seat didn’t exist. For real. Five people eyeballed my ticket, agreed my seat didn’t exist (cette assiette n’existe pas!), agreed they’d never before seen such a thing (mon dieu!), and invited me to sit with them (partagez notre voiture, s’il vous plait).

Other countries aren’t as well-marked as the U.S. Try to get lost in the U.S. It’s hard with so many signposts. If you doubt me, go to most any other country and just try not to get lost.

The good news? When you get lost, I’ll look for you. No need to thank me. That’s just the kind of person I am. And chances are excellent that I won’t be successful, so, really, there’s no need to thank me. At all.

Today I walked 10 km from the town of Pontorson to Mont Saint Michel, a historic monastery on a tidal island. There’s a shady walking path alongside the Couesnon that leads the way. At the 4 km mark, the trail was shut down for maintenance, and I was led on a 4 km diversion through the aforementioned cornfields of La Grève. That should be the name of a movie — The Cornfields of La Grève. Dramatique, non? In truth, the La Grève cornfields are dead. Somebody forgot to plow them or pick them or run them over or whatever one does with cornfields.

All of which amounts to 14 km of walking. It’s nice to walk to Mont Saint Michel. If you take one of the eight million tourist buses, you miss out on the cornfields. And the getting lost. And the course correcting. Finding the stamina and strength to course correct — it’s critical. Tired and cranky, you let the frustration infuse you. Then you put the frustration on an internal shelf and keep on keeping on. Onward. Cause nothing good comes of standing still too long.

2 Responses

  1. Oh fabulous fortune to be in France, wherever, however. Wish I were there to get lost, too. Have been there many times, but not for a long while. I look forward to more updates! Thank your for this, made my day. Chin up, have un cafe or un petit coup de vin and tell yourself, “Quel chemin parcouru, Baby!)

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