From :

Wagon. A cranky contary female / an ugly female. She\'s some wagon eh?

wagon. wagon - an awful woman. than one is such a wagon!

wagon. a woman thats a bitch. dat ones a right wagon.

Wagon. A cantankerous old woman.. Yer wan's some wagon, I asked her could I feed the seagulls and she lifted me out of it!

wagon. car or other mode of transport. i'll drive my waggon.

Wanderly Wagon. A much loved Irish children's TV program which ran from 1968 to 1982

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

What we learned from the Dress Rehearsal

Our dress rehearsal was... interesting.  Weather conditions were as bad as we could have expected and we got lost, but we still managed to arrive at our destination.  We learned a lot, though, we now know that we must :

1.  Carry full wet gear at all times if the forecast is any way bad.  Unfortunately the forecast is bad for the next ten days.... sigh
2. Wear gloves - otherwise we have no grip on reins when it's wet.  Martine must get rid of splint if necessary, as the gloves will not fit over the splint, or else get a smaller wrist support.
3. We must learn to trust our gut with respect to routes - we're usually right, even if the map appears to disagree
4. Bring something to cover the saddles with when we dismount during bad weather.
5. Remember to bring headache tablets
6. Martine has to bring reading glasses to look at the map (old age is a terrible thing!)

One thing that almost worked really well was photographing the relevant bits of the large-scale walking map and saving them on the iPhone.

The only problem with this was that when I tried to look down at the maps on the iPhone, the rain was spilling down off my helmet and onto the screen of the iPhone.  I'm really not sure what we can do about this - rain will fall, helmets will be waterproof and will spill water onto whatever is beneath them.  Any suggestions, anyone?

Our goal of 25km per day is quite achievable once we are fully fit.  At the moment, Martine's back is a bit sore and both of the horses seemed tired and stiff today when we rode them out.  Anne is remarkably well, despite her 24 hours starvation, and is ready for anything!
When we officially start Le Big Trek tomorrow, we intend to pace ourselves quite sensibly for the first three - six days.  After that, we will hopefully be capable of upping the pace and keeping a steady 20 - 25km per day.
Tomorrow, the plan is to ride from Céreste to St Amas, a small hamlet approx 7km North of St Martin de Castillon.  The next day, Friday, we will continue from St Amas, through Colorado Provencal, to Rustrel - a fairly short day.  The following day, Saturday, we have a long trek through mountains and forests as far as LaGarde d'Apt.  Sunday is a planned day of rest (ie packing and tidying up the house), and on Monday we will finally leave Céreste and relocate to Sault, 50km North of Céreste.

The horses did some serious rolling after yesterdays hack and rain - Flurry was a disgrace
GiGi wasn't much better
and Ugoline even joined in the fun
We did as much as was necessary to get the saddle and bridle on, but there was no doubt in anyone's mind that they were all going to roll again once they were let out.

Today was our last day riding out with S and Ugoline... we'll miss them xx!


  1. Holy muddy ponies!!

    Good Luck with Le Big Trek!!! So excited for all of you!

  2. Good luck with it all! Forecast not good though, is it? I don't bother with the phone in the rain, easier to photocopy the map and use a map case, the Decathlon ones are excellent and don't leak....

  3. Squeee, I'm so excited for you!

    Dunno if it's too late to send the men out looking, but here in the States we can get waterproof tear-resistant map paper. One brand is called Adventure Paper by National Geographic. It goes in inkjet or laser printers and it's pretty durable.

    Gloves are crucial, yes. Maybe carry an emergency poncho to drape over the saddle - I don't know how windy is it so that might not work.

    Be careful you don't kill your iPhones in the rain :(

  4. Thanks Allison, Thanks Helen! The forecast is pretty rubbish, today worked out fine but tomorrow looks fairly foul and it's "mixed" from then on.
    Off to blog about today now...

  5. @Funder, that waterproof paper sounds great, but its a bit late for us... we'll just have to do a combination of maps and iphone and hope I don't kill my beloved iphone!