Stevenson’s path, France

Paul, Antoine, Maxime and Antonin went for an adventure through the Cévennes on the long hiking trail GR70, named after the author of Treasure Island.

It begins like many other stories: four boys stuck into their own everyday life and the wish to go out for some fresh air. “We need to go, to go on a trip.” Still between childhood and adulthood, we have the almost utopic desire to live an adventure. Every week end we meet around a beer and dream our trip : start, le Puy-en-Velay, then we will take the Stevenson’s (and his donkey) way, then we will walk through the Cévennes up to Antonin’s Uncle’s house in a small village called Dourbi.

Finally comes summer.

I slowly tame my rucksack during the train transfers, I walk inside the train stations, I try to get use to this new identity I will assume many times again: the traveler.

I meet my buddies in Le Puy, they seem to be as prepared as I am. On the next morning, we already are walking. We have fun with little nothings, find everything unbelievable. We feel terribly powerfull and free, as well as depending in this nature, this environment we have to adapt.

To eat around bonfires, to sleep in fields, to wash inside rivers, that was what we wanted.

We didn’t know what to expect and that is what we seeked.  We became conscious of a lot of things. We can say that we simply became conscious. The western lifestyle, the globalization, warps the notion of time and space. We became conscious that a day lasts not less than 24 hours because we walked from dusk until dawn. By feet we realized what really was a mile, then two or three. We were depending on time and space.

The one who walks into the wild awakes to the body, its capacities, its needs, its pleasure and its pain. This walk allowed us to see what we really needed, deep within ourselves, and to become aware of what it meant to be.

Paul Fleury, Antoine Bauchet, Maxime Lizere et Antonin Blanchard

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