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reveries of an amateur long-distance hiker

May 24

May 25th, 2016

May 24

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Porrentruy to St. Ursanne, 16
Not an ambitious first day– getting our legs back and learning to navigate in a new country. Did climb up an over a ridge or two, but nothing difficult. It was fun to watch Bennett note the little differences in the world– the steep pastures, the heavy cow-bells, the design of the houses. For me, what was most noticeable compared to Spain was the move from stone to wood building. The classic Swiss masonry first story with large wood overhanging second and third stories. Beautiful, but so different from the world I walked the last six weeks. One other difference, perhaps related to the weather, but also likely a cultural difference is how quiet the towns are. In Spain, when you walk into a town, the cafes are open and people sit out with coffee, beer, tapas, and conversation, a certain liveliness. So far (and we have only seen a little corner) the towns feel almost empty — deserted–on arrival. It is early in the tourist season, and these are small towns, but at times it feels eerie. Still Bennett and I kept each other company and had a great walk.

T. Hugh Crawford

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