postvirtual

Singing in the Rain

In France, March on Brussels on 11 September 2011 at 21:24
Beaugency, September 11
Day 48 of the March on Brussels. From Blois, 35 km.

 

Dear people,

After the storm, the rain has come. Finally. We’ve had rain before, but it was never continuous like today. I have been waiting for this, not because I like it, but because once you’ve experienced it you know it isn’t as bad as you might have thought, and you don’t fear it any more.

Our group is very small, almost all of us are veterans. I know many of the people from before we crossed the border. With rare exceptions, we have been walking every single day, every single kilometer of France up until now. ‘176 kilometres to Paris’, says one of the signs.

At the first village, the group splits. Some go straight on along the national road, blindly focussed on arriving as quickly as possible to get some shelter from the rain. The others, me included, take the parallel paths along the Loire.Even in the rain, it’s a delightful panorama. Most of the road I walk alone, crossing camps and woods where there’s no other option. In a bar in one of the villages, the bartender looks at me curiously as I quickly flip through a newspaper. “Are you with the indignados?” he asks. I confirm. He says that other indignados have come by a couple of days ago. I deduce that it must be the march from Toulouse. They left a good impression here, because when I prepare myself to face the wet weather again I‘m not allowed to pay. “The coffee is on the house.” Late in the afternoon in another sleepy village I come across a small group of walkers which to my surprise is predominantly French. The rain has finally stopped. Someone from the village has just brought them coffee as well.

After all the people we have lost lately, we have received some precious reinforcements. From Spain and from France. Two girls who got to walk in the pouring rain on their very first day, well over thirty kilometres. They resisted, and they arrived with a smile, even though one of them fell to her knees and kissed the ground after we had entered the village limits of Beaugency.

The Loire Valley

Beaugency is another pretty little village, but it doesn’t enchant me like the phantom villages of the south. The Loire valley is a very rich region, and you notice it. Beauty is cultivated here, it doesn’t grow in the wild.

Acampada Beaugency

Kitchen

Tent

The relief within the group is still very much tangible after the Pretorians left yesterday morning. Now that the tension has loosened we can laugh about ourselves again. People are bringing us food, and they are received with open arms, even though we have little possibility to transport everything. Comrade Alexis is confident. “We are a bunch of disorganised anarchists, but things will work out, thanks to some mysterious divine providence.”

“It isn’t divine providence”, says Jesus Christ, “it’s the providence of people that don’t know who we really are.”

Beaugency at Night

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