Home' The Australian Senior Traveller : November 2010 Contents 6 THE SENIOR TRAVELLER November, 2010
by PHILLIP RICHARDS
BRUCE Le Favour, who wrote the defini-
tive book, France on Foot, says walking
through the French countryside is like lin-
gering over a leisurely feast.
With more than 180,000km of well-main-
tained walking trails, France does in fact
provide a banquet of choice, from seaside
paths along the Atlantic or Mediterranean,
to mountain trails in the Pyrenees or Alps,
or in and out of limestone gorges in the
There is no need to lock into an itiner-
ary. My wife Lou and I were not involved
with a tour company; we planned for our-
selves and therefore could do as we pleased,
when we pleased. Everything we had we
carried on our back
journey from one beautiful town or village
to the next with a picnic lunch of fresh
bread and cheese or pate of the region.
A day's walk was usually 20 or so kilo-
metres -- sometimes much less.
We were not hiking to beat a record and
we liked to get into town fairly early to look
around, organise the next day and, of
course, to "rinse out the smalls".
Although we had a rough idea where we
would walk, we did not book ahead except
for the first and last nights. We chose to be
footloose and fancy-free, with the flexibility
to vary the route or timing or even to opt
out, catch a train and begin again else-
This meant that if we particularly liked
an area, we could stay longer and do some
local circular walks.
The beauty of the well-maintained paths
and tracks is in the signposting. The way
markers on the GR routes (Grande
Randonnee) are marked with a white bar
above a red bar. Any variation is clearly
shown with an L-shaped bar indicating the
direction of change.
Smaller paths are marked red and yel-
low, and some local paths have their own
Just in case you get it wrong, a large X in
the red and white tells you "Whoops, was-
n't paying attention, I should have taken
the other path!".
It's that easy.
Almost all the tracks we took were well
away from traffic roads and cut through
fields and farms on right-of-ways that have
been preserved for centuries. Few farm-
lands are fenced, making access easy.
Sometimes the tracks can be very nar-
row single file paths along a river bank, a
farm track for tractors, or a minor road --
but we met very few cars on these dirt or
gravel roads and the walking was easy.
You should begin your planning with a
map, the Carte Touristique IGN 1:1,000,000
Itineraires de Grande Randonnee en
France Carte Touristique, otherwise
known as the 903.
This huge map, which you can spread
over the dining room table, shows all the
main walking tracks in France on a scale
of one centimetre to 10 kilometres.
Using this, we picked out two areas we
could travel to and from by train.
The next step is to buy the yellow series
map, or the newer TOP 100 where one cen-
timetre equals one kilometre for the area to
which you are travelling. This will give a
clear picture of towns and villages, dis-
tances and facilities as well as an indica-
tion of the actual track routes.
These maps are Michelin Yellow series
Hurry! Book now.
Call your travel agent or
1300 309 117
Hanoi 1000 Anniversary
• Return economy airfares from Sydney/Melbourne
to Hanoi with taxes
• 4 nights accommodation (tourist class)
• Half day Hanoi highlight tour and water puppet show
• Cyclo tour of Hoan Kiem Lake and Old Quarter
• Half day cooking class
• Return airport transfers and daily breakfast
Departs: 24 December 2010
Best of Vietnam Tour
14 days/13 nights from $3052*p.p
Departs: 5 January 2011
Best of Indochina Tour
21 days/20 nights from $4878*p.p
* Conditions apply. All tours are based on minimum of 6 passengers travelling together,
twin share. Ex: Adelaide/Brisbane/Canberra add on additional $240 per person.
Preferred wholesaler since 1996
ESCORTED COACH TOURS
WORLD DISCOVERY TOURS
FREECALL 1800 645 055
GRAND CIRCLE YELLOWSTONE to ALASKA Free Home Pick up
Dep: 12 June 2011 From $10,995. 39 Days
Las Vegas, Zion & Bryce Canyons, Salt Lake City, Jackson,
Grand Teton N.P. Yellowstone N.P. Rockies, Alaska Hwy, Fair-
banks, Denali N.P. Anchorage, Prince William Sound,Valdez,
Haines, Skagway, Inside Passage Cruise, Vancouver Island,
Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle,San Francisco, Yosemite N.P.
Inc: Return Air, Taxes,Accom, Sightseeing, Breakfasts.
60 DAYS GRAND AMERICA & CANADA Free Home Pick up
Dep: 31st August 2011 From $14,495
Visiting LA, USA Westcoast, Yosemite, SFO, Victoria
Vancouver, Canadian Rockies, Mt. Rushmore, Niagara Falls,
Autumn Leaves, Boston, New York, Orlando, Nashville,
Memphis, New Orleans, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.
Includes Return Airfares, 56 B'fasts, 2 Lunches & 8 Dinners.
12 DAY TASMANIA TOUR
Dep: 1st March 2011 & 6th March 2012
From: $2795 Bris, $2595 Syd, $2495 Melb, $3995 Perth
Concessions Apply. Dinner, Bed & B'fast & Sightseeing.
Also 11 Day AIR Tour Available, similar dates & price
31 DAY -- ENGLAND -- SCOTLAND -- WALES & IRELAND
Dep: April 2011 -- Return air fares -- 4 nts London stop over
each way -- 21 day tour -- 23 b'fasts & 10 dinners. Add: 15
day European Cruise From $6000 & 5 extra nights in London
$995 with sightseeing. Fares from: $6995 for Early Booking
Links Archive October 2010 December 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page