What a lovely village, with this view from my window. There was also a small bull fighting ring. The sport is more like dodging cows that are tethered. The animals don't die and the man gets to show off his athleticism. Sorry to miss this! Really, I must make another trip here.
There are vast vineyards of Aramagnac grapes and I passed two huge processing plants for these. Our most gracious host served Aramagnac after dinner, with a little speech about it. As it was on French I only understood the immense pride in his voice.
Aramagnac grape juice is distilled into 40 percent alcohol. We all, six of us pilgrims, went right to bed after that wallop of a stiff drink.
Lectoure is a medieval hilltop town, built for defense.
Charming and beautiful and well preserved. The trail rolls through the cornfields, vineyards, sunflower fields. It was good and hot and humid today. The gite is for pilgrims only and opened at three pm, so I took it easy on the steep uphill into town. My dormitory room had big windows with great views. A former nursing home, Now a wonderful welcome to hot, tired pilgrims.
Watercolor crayons cut to fit a small tin box. A watercolor 3 x 5 sketchbook. This one is from Penitalic. The brush has a water well in the handle. One black micron pen. I carry it on a plastic baggie.
Just about everyone took a photo of this pigeon house. It was one of larger ones and well preserved. Pigeons were Housed away from the water supply to the house and animals, to avoid contamination from guano. Their guano was prized for fertilizing the white wine vineyards, young pigeon meat was sold at a premium price and these were messenger pigeons, used for communication. So valuable were these that they could be used as a dowry in the 1500's, or thereabouts.
At first I thought it was for food storage, but the church gift shop had a book, in English, about them.
After 18 days of walking it seems normal to walk up and down silly hills in sweltering heat, stopping to buy a sandwich or perhaps as on this day, a salad with duck meat. There was a picnic area and several pilgrims stopped and enjoyed each other's company. We discussed whether to go to the next town or stay. The deciding factor was how far to the town after that. We space the towns. I am comfortable with 15 miles day, sometimes 18 miles if it is not so hilly and hot.
Yes, this church spire is a spiral in Saint Come-d-Olt, France. Had a nice picnic lunch sitting on a brightly painted old tractor seat. It was one of many under a shade tree along a lovely lane. I usually stop by the local church as the pilgrim path will go to it. It will be cool on a hot day and have a welcoming atmosphere. Nice for a nice quick sit down and time to admire the beautiful art or stained glass windows.
This huge building was an run down old barn a few years ago. The family reconstructed it into a lovely gite, or inn, for pilgrims. They are great cooks, have a lovely garden for us to sit in, and so hospitable.
One great thing the pilgrims do is bring opportunities for restoration of old farm buildings and new income for farm families. It is a privilege to be a part of it.
Often I do not make a reservation and that was a mistake today. This charming village had a festival and city folks flocked to it. By the time I arrived every bed was taken. A very nice woman at a hotel reception desk called several places. Finally she found a bed and breakfast about three miles away. They graciously came and got me and returned me to the trail the next morning.
Yes, this was our bread for dinner. Tonight I am staying at a gite, or hostel, just for pilgrims. We always have a home cooked dinner of a regional dish and bread. The bread will be the main part of breakfast, too. Usually served with homemade jams, perhaps a yogurt. Tea or coffee, then out the door for the day's adventure. Tomorrow it is 18 miles to the next gite, so will eat hearty tonight!
A couple owned a little bar, tabac shop and closed at 7 pm, but had a room for a pilgrim upstairs in their home. Judging from the photos and toys, it was once their son' room. But he married and now the grandson comes to visit. They shared dinner with me and I appreciated the hospitality. Unfortunately i walked right past the spectacular Roman mosaic floor well preserved in the middle of the little village without seeing it.
The Romans built the trails we use. Pilgrims have walked this same path to Santiago Spain for 1,000 years. Flavious was the Roman conquered here and the first thing the romans did was build roads for trade and moving their army.
My first day on the pilgrim path to Spain. This trip connects my walk from Munich Germany to Le Grand Lemps, France and where I started another trip in St. Jean pied a pont, France and walked over the Pyrenees to Santiago Spain and on to the coast.