Forest of Fontainebleau

Two day hike in winter through the forest of Fontainebleau · January 2019

Story time. 2019 episode 1. Visit a friend from the pct in Fontainebleau. Nice castle. Go for a short 72 km walk in the forest. It's like Oregon. You think it is flat. It's not. It almost didn't rain. Did see a family of six wild boar plodding along the trail. I can now say with the utmost confidence that I am no longer in prime shape. Goodbye athletic hiker body. It was nice to know you.
While everybody else is on the verge of giving up on their new year's resolution, I will make one. Back to Paris for a touristic walk from the Arc de Triomphe. A big street starts here. Once a year you can only ride your bike there. The person who can cycle closest to the kerbstones wins a yellow shirt. Passed Tiffany's. Already had breakfast. Roundabout with tall pointy stone from Egypt. They named the square after their most famous airplane. Garden with too many green chairs and some art. Large museum. They have a painting of a smiling girl. Too big to visit now. Last stop is a very nice church. Disney made a movie about it. 131.278 steps counted. Time to go home.

#hiking #fontainebleau #forest #pct2018 #paris #arcdetriomphe #champselysees #placedelaconcorde #jardindestuileries #louvre #notredame

Mid January I went to visit a friend from the PCT in Fontainebleau. I met Loic at Scout & Frodo even before hitting the trail. We leapfrogged a lot throughout the SoCal desert, hiking the L.A. aquaduct together. Fast forward to Washington where we find out we have a plane from Vancouver home on the same date, a few mere hours apart. We decide to hike the last couple 100 miles towards Canada together. And given Fontainebleau isn't too far from Ghent and seems great for hiking, I was keen on visiting. So mid January I boarded a Flixbus towards Paris.

The original plan was to go for a 100km loop through the forest, but given it's January and days are short - and cold - we shorten it to a decent 72km. We're also rather unsure just how out-of-shape we are compared to our last weeks on the PCT.

The loop Loic came up with was great. Lots of small trails, elevation and beautiful scenery. The first day we did close to a marathon, feelig quite sore when we finally put our tents up at dusk. But it felt great to be outside again, with all the gear I became so accustomed to.

On the second day, we saw a family of 6 wild boar sprinting across the trail right in front of us. Unfortunately too fast to take out my phone to snap a picture. We made it back to the village mid afternoon, in time for a few hours of resting before indulging in a good French raclette. Next morning I took the train back to Paris where I still wandered around for a few hours - past all the typical tourist things, Arc de Triomphe to Notre Dame and everything in between - before finally taking the bus back to Ghent.