Going for a Hike

journal reflection

Location: La Roche-en-Ardenne

After yesterday’s complete rest day, I found a “challenging” hike in the area using komoot.

Either their algorithm for calculting difficulty is off (probable) or I’ve gotten in a lot better shape (less likely). The 10-ish km I hiked were not challenging; I hardly broke a sweat. It was all in the forest, which was nice, but absent more than the occasional hilly view, not much was going on. I didn’t have to shower after the hike.

a hilly view
The hike was nice but not spectacular.

I biked into town and posted at a cafe to drink a few beers and read Hemingway (“Men without women”). A group of students sat a few tables away from me speaking english. A few americans, one english person, and a smattering of other accents. I didn’t say anything to them.

I grabbed a late-day baguette from the bakery and some jambon d’Ardenne and tartine d’Ardenne from the butcher across the street. They were fantastic. The tartine was very similar to leberwurst. The ham was easily the better of the two.

the butcher shop
I bought meat here several times.

I had a relaxed evening. I spoke with my parents and watched a couple old episodes of No Reservations.

It was good to talk with my folks. Quality human contact is at a minimum on this trip. Bars are not open thanks to covid-19. I also don’t really speak french.

Anthony Bourdain

I could write a lot about him. I’ll try to keep this manageable.

I loved him in No Reservations. When I first watched them, I was a lot younger (not the years, the mileage, but for those wondering, it was probably 10-15 years ago).

Watching him now as a slightly more mature human I find him and his show captivating.

In the Vienna episode he re-shoots several famous scenes from “The Third Man”. He quotes the most famous line from Orson Welles while riding the same ferris wheel as in the movie:

“Victims? Don’t be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever?”

The music for the episode, if not taken from the soundtrack, is in the exact same style.

The opening of the Provence episode shows him running his hand through a field of wheat, exactly like Maximus in Gladiator.

His love for books, film, music, food, and culture screams through each episode. And it’s not some shallow reference – he knows and loves this stuff. In his modern way, a late discovered and even more tragically early lost renaissance man. An autodidact in writing, directing, and editing.

Of the famous people who have died during my lifetime, his death is the only one that continues to register as sad multiple years later.