This whole section was part of the famous pilgrim Way of Vézelay and we had done bits of it before, in the opposite direction (we were now going in the anti-pilgrim direction). The most remarkable thing about it was how few pilgrims we met – only a handful in a week on the track.
Also at Sancoins we entered canal territory for the first time this year. First we walked on the disused Canal de Berry, then cut across a forest to the Canal d’Alimentation at Apremont, which was where we rejoined the Allier for the last few kilometres of its existence. Then we briefly joined the lateral Canal of the Loire, and crossed the dying Allier on a pont-canal, which brought us to the big town of Nevers, on the Loire.
We were now in Burgundy. We took two leisurely days to get to La Charité-sur-Loire, and two more to cross the rich agricultural plains to Varzy, where we met two other walkers and discovered how the modern pilgrim operates – entirely by phone.
Day 1: Sancoins to Nevers
Day 2: Nevers to Pougues-les-Eaux