Over the Horizon

In France, March on Brussels on 30 August 2011 at 21:00
Angoulême, August 30

Day 36 of the March on Brussels. From Berbezieux, 40 km

Dear people,

 We did a third consecutive day of hard marching. Even some of the dedicated walkers had to give forfeit. I liked it though. We had to walk many more kilometres for it, but we saw some of the best French countryside so far.

'The Long and Winding Road'

On our exit from Berbezieux we are escorted by two local girls on their bikes. They didn’t know anything about the march until it stopped in their village. And they couldn’t resist to go along when our colourful parade marched on, if only for a bit.

After the girls on the bikes came a car from a French tv station. They shot some panoramic views of people walking the country roads through the vineyards and interviewed a few of us, then they went.

Interview in the vineyards

If in these days the march is working out fine and giving a well organised image to the outside world, part of the merit goes to comrade Waldo. He is from Paris, he has been with us for over a week and he knows how to organise things without having to raise his voice. Many of the Spanish people have a strong ego and they are not very good at listening. But comrade Waldo can be reasoned with. Tomorrow he is going ahead, he will be our man in Paris.

Comrade Waldo

The two comrades from logistic support have done another great job today. They received us for brunch on a hill top in a vineyard, they have been accompanying us with love and dedication wherever we went. And that, together with the quiet and panoramic route, is what makes these long walks not just bearable, but memorable.

'Déjeuner sur l´herbe'

The traveller, and with that I mean the true traveller, has but one direct desire. To see what is over the horizon. Thus, he walks. And when he finally arrives on the top of the slope that has been in front of him all that time, he discovers that there’s a valley on the other side, and yet another horizon. So he walks on. Hour after hour, the traveller swirls through the land, down and up, and everytime he discovers new valleys with corn fields, vineyards, and dead sunflowers.

Then once in a while it happens that he arrives on a hilltop to see that the new horizon has taken the capricious form of a city. A city on a hill.

Arrival at Angoulême, with German comrades

The traveller arrives at Angoulême. He sees the domes and the towers rising up above him and he is eager to enter the city gates to satisfy his more earthly desires.

We are on a lawn just outside the city, people have been dropping in for some time, fighting the pain in their legs. They are received with juice and cookies. It’s over six o’ clock. The logistics team proposes to drive everybody up into the center in time for the assembly.

Some people go, but I think it’s ridiculous. After walking fourty kilometres I’m not going to hitchhike the last few meters up to the old town. Together with comrade Getafe, one of the Famous Forty who camped in Sol the first night, and two comrades from Germany, we walk up.


Angoulême is a wonderful little city. We have occupied a central square with view of the country below and we are surrounded by curious locals who greet us with a smile. We feed on this positive energy. It’s what makes us go on. And tonight’s ravioli of course. Mamma mia the ravioli!

Comrade Bernie, yours truly and comrade Waldo

  1. Why is this blog written only in english? There is a lot of people who cannot read, understand or speak it. It’s a classe language: language for the wealthiest.

    • Don’t be ridiculous. Language is hardly a matter of class in the 21st century, like French in the 18th and 19th centuries or Latin all through the middle ages and early modern times. Whether you like it or not, English is the lengua franca of today. It is spoken in the board rooms of big business just like it is spoken in the slums of Calcutta, the jungles of dark Africa and the working class neighbourhoods of Liverpool or Detroit.
      Still, I would like it to be in more languages though. So if you are willing to translate it into French, you are most welcome to do so.
      Kind regards,

  2. I don’t agree…
    “in the slums of Calcutta”? !!! That’s not true. Only 3% of people in India can speak english. And certainly a very very few proportion of people in the slums. If you read the book wich was the source of “Slumdog millionnaire”, you can understand that precisely, the hero had a double luck: he was adopted by a churchman who taught him english.. But a lot of his friends or companions couldn’t speak english.

    But let’s forget this debate for a while…

    Even if ( till now) you didn’t realise the language problem according to social level, you probably will some day. When I wrote the comment, I didn’t know you are Dutch. Now I understand better. 😉
    The translation to french is made. As Mediapart is in maintenance, I send it in Ipernity.

    See you tomorrow!!!!!

  3. If you’ve got 2 or 3 minutes, watch (and hear) this:

  4. Voici la traduction sur Mediapart
    Here is the translation to french in Mediapart
    Jen la traduko al la franca en Mediapart
    Aquí está la traducción en francès

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