Home and the Tour du Mont Blanc

I am on the last of three trains to get to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc where I’ll start hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc early tomorrow morning. I’ve managed to fall asleep on all the trains which makes my time at Zaza’s and Uzès seem farther away than it actually was. Just 8 hours ago I was still sitting at the dinner table, wiping sugar off the table, washing Loulou’s food bowl after she refused to eat leftover mi fun, drinking red wine, and getting all my stuff together to leave on this 7 hour journey to hike the TMB. I loved being at Zaza’s. It’s funny how the human body and mind takes time to get used to a place. The first week went by slowly, as I counted everyday how many days and weeks I had left in the hot, fly-ridden countryside, but by the end of it I had stripped my bed off the heavy duvet, was more than comfortable walking downstairs in the middle of the night in my underwear on a bathroom run in the dark, and woke up to the sound of Zaza coughing and my own wondering if I had slept in too long (most of the time the answer was yes, but Zaza was kind and didn’t wake me up except that one occasion with tea).I’m on the train looking out at the mountains peeking out of the fog, and rather than fields of hay and horses there are small villages on hills of dark green forests and white fog in the sky. There are two men on the train with hiking gear and smaller packs than the one on my back which I hope is just evidence that I have spent time elsewhere and that packing light when leaving a place you have loved is hard. We had a wonderful dinner party last time, with food Magalie cooked from the island of the Reunion. We had sausage stew, spicy tomatoes, red kidney beans, and rice!!! It had been a while since I ate rice and I realized that’s probably why I felt bloated eating bread. The body will also always be used to home. We had Tito play the accordion, we drank good wine, we ate my “healtht” banana-chocolate muffins no one liked because the French like their desserts to be real with real sugar and sweetness, and we had discussions about Trump, and Duchamp’s Urinal art piece, and Aix-en-Provence, and my life plans, and South Africa, and Le Pen, and the amazing meal we had.

I still can’t quite believe I’m hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc on my own tomorrow, though it’s obvious there are others doing it. It just proves that as long as you buy a ticket to go somewhere, and you go through with it, it will happen. That’s all it takes for things to happen; just show up. In the next six or seven days I’m not sure if I will be blogging, since I will be walking about and even with internet I may not want to type long posts on my phone, but I will be around and with my map and guidebook in hand making my way from France to Switzerland to Italy! I miss the home I made in Uzès in the past month, but it’s the kind of home I am excited to go back to soon. I hope Mont Blanc brings people of adventure to my life, but even if not, I hope I am enough for the next week. I have been finding that I am enough for myself more and more. It is a wonderful feeling.

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