We were now well established on the generally south-westerly course that had begun near Dijon and would continue until we reached the Loire.
The first day from Bligny involved crossing from the valley of the Ouche to that of the Arroux, after which we more or less followed the Arroux all the way to its confluence with the Loire.
We first met the Arroux at Arnay-le-Duc, a picturesque hilltop village in which we had a wonderful communal dinner, and got very lost while trying to leave in the morning.
The next night and the one after that, we were beside the same river.
We had flirted with the idea of diverging from Autun to Bibracte, the pre-Roman Gaullish stronghold on Mt Beuvray, to look at the excavations, but had then remembered our golden rule about not trying to combine walking with tourism.
At L’Étang-sur-Arroux, the camping ground suffered from an ill-tempered, domineering manageress, but was otherwise very agreeable. We ate well at a quiet little restaurant on the main road.
At both Autun and L’Étang we considered having a rest day, but decided not to.
Our route for this section
Day 18: Bligny-sur-Ouche to Arnay-le-Duc
Day 19: Arnay-le-Duc to Autun
Day 20: Autun to Étang-sur-Arroux