71,7km – 10H03′
On the road to Madison… and Georgia
After crossing the town named Lee, we head due west and arrive in Madison. We thought we saw Ray Charles’s childhood home but no, it is in Greenville, to the west of here. We turn north toward Quitman and Georgia.
Madison is a lovely little old-fashioned town, with a few old houses built in the 19th century. Yes, the USA is a young country that some may turn up their nose at, saying that there is nothing to see; however, in this region there are buildings that are beginning to be old because they date from the time of the Civil War (see photos). As we leave Madison it begins to rain and we can hear thunder in the distance. It’s a gloomy day, the temperature has dropped to 22°C and we can breathe easily, which is nice. We are almost like our little duck, happy to be in the refreshing rain. So, it’s in the rain that we cross the state line between Florida and Georgia. Since there are lots of children who are following us, I will let them tell me how many States there are in the USA.
At km 61 of the stage, we cross Quitman for 2 km and all of a sudden we are back in the country. Since yesterday there are lots of cultivated fields, which is a comparative change from the southern part of Florida. This evening Serge stopped near a farm, which smelled very strongly of manure. The smell is overpowering and there is no doubt about it, it’s rural. Serge admires the pink flowers that grow in front of many of the homes. I don’t know if you have noticed on the photos, but it is not unusual for towns to have a crest or a motto. Quitman’s is “City of Camellias,” which explains these bushes that add color to the scene and make a change from the predominantly green road between today’s two towns.
Serge is tired and tells me so at the end of the stage, when he walks a lot but enjoys it. In Georgia the mosquitoes have arrived. Where have they been? We wonder if in Florida they don’t spray insecticide on a wide scale because it was humid but there wasn’t the shadow of a mosquito. At km2 in Georgia they appeared. Is it a coincidence? I will probably never get an answer to this question.
Serge is in bed after having eaten well. He went to bed without looking at his e-mails or tomorrow’s route; too tired!