Friday, September 29, 2017

Walking to Pimbo, France, 17 hot miles.

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.

Easy walk to Aire -sur l'Adour, 15 fairly flat miles

It would be fun to walk this pilgrim path again and stay here. But it is too early in the day to stop this time. So lovely walking through the vineyards.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Walking to Arbloise Gite, 15 miles in France.

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.
I just love walking in France!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Walking from Lectoure to Condom, France. 20 miles.

Funny how walking 20 miles today seems like a normal thing to do! Beautiful countryside, La Romieu is a historical old town. Eating croissants, apple turnovers and sweets seldom in my diet at home!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Walk to Lectoure, France, 15 miles

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.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

My art kit for a sketchbook diary.

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.

Walk to Antione-sur-l'Arrats, 17 miles

Started off along a lovely, shaded canal. Loved a bit of flat ground! Also love meeting now familiar faces and making new friends along the way. 

Walking to Moissac, 17 miles. On the Way of St. James.

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.

Lauzerte, 15 miles through rolling countryside.

This is the view from my window. Lauzerte is a medieval hilltop town with many artists. Just charming main square with sidewalk cafes. I could spend a few months here! 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Walking to Lascabanes, 14 miles.

The chicken was a regional dish and was the only time I have had it. Really good grub and we sat looking out over the meadow in front of the home.

Walking into Cahors, France, 18 miles.

It was too hot and I wished I had stopped at a small town at 15 miles. But the welcoming little children, finding a couch on Emma's apartment and lovely city made for a good day.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Walking to Varaire, France, 17 miles

This was lovely walking through forests on shaded paths. There was a large collection of painted shells, small ponds, and a herd of black eyed and black eared sheep.

Walking to Carjac, France, 18 miles.

Walking to Figac, France, 17 miles.

Walking from Conques to Livinhac, 15 miles.

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. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

And then we came to Conques, France.

Most villages appear on the horizon, on  far away hill or way off in the valley. But not Conques.

Massif, France. On the pilgrim path through France.

This lovely gite had a collection of chickens.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

 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.

Chicken collection in Massif, France.

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.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Saint chely d-Aubrac, France

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. 

Lovely French countryside and great food.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Walking to St. Albon sur Limagnole , 15 miles

This is a beautiful way to experience France.