Well it has been a couple of difficult days. From Saint privat d’allier to Sauges … It was a complete nightmare. Definitely the hardest day I have ever put in walking anywhere. It was either straight down or straight up for 19 km. Anyway, I survived. I spoke to a fellow this afternoon who was renovating a house … I was a bit lost … As it turned out he had been brought up in oz. He said he reckoned that that leg was harder than up over the Pyrenees … I agree.
I arrived, had a shower and climbed into bed for a couple of hours. Couldnt sleep though. I find that I can’t move at the end of the day. I usually lie there wishing I had taken panadol or something, but am just too exhausted to move.
In Sauge I stayed at a vey nice bed and breakfast. There were 11 of us. 4 Australians and 7 French. All very nice people and the host was a young man who owned a farm with his father and partner. He did the cooking for the 4 course meal. All very sophisticated. One group of five were only walking about 10 km per day and had their bags transported … Most people do. The ladies wore pearls etc … I was in the same pants that I had trekked in all day … Not much I can do about that … I did have a shower!
I bought a bag that afternoon and now I too get most of my gear transported. I would not survive otherwise.
I haven’t come across too many people who are completing this French Camino … They usually do 10 days … Some use their 4 weeks holidays. Everyone is lovely … So friendly … A lot nicer than the Spanish Camino … I think anyway. The gites that you stay in are fantastic and the food has been great.
Yesterday I walked 23 km … The route wasn’t that tough but I was so sore from the day before I could hardly move. Last night there were the same 3 Aussie men plus another Australian couple that I had spent a night with previously. Plus a lovely German fellow called Gunter. The other two groups had previously spent a night with him somewhere. Small world on the Camino … Or chemin in French. We had a great night and the hostess .. Rachel .. Had dinner with us. She served up 5 fabulous courses plus copious amounts of wine. Nobody gets sloshed though and everyone goes to bed early.
… Before I forget … Had a break at about 11 am and shared my strawberries with another German called Gunter. He was pretty impressed that I shared my strawberries with him so took a photo of me. Then later In the day I was walking through tiny village and heard “Lyn are you going the right way … It was Gunter, he was hiding in a little cave having afternoon tea away from the rain and saw me. Thank god, I was going the wrong way!
We started with a homemade terrine and a homemade sausage with bread. Followed by a great quiche and salad. Then roast veal in mushroom sauce with green beans. Then cheese … A choice of 6 … Finally desert … A great blueberry pie. Then of course tea and coffee if you want.
Then for breakfast we had bread … Of course and some fabulous homemade yoghurt. All of that and a room to myself for 39 euro …. Pretty amazing … If the walk wasn’t so horrible it would be a fabulous holiday! No it is … Just need to recover.
So today I headed off with Kate and Harry as we were several km away from the route. Rachel picked us up last night but goes to work at 8 and couldn’t drive us out. We walked out into 4 degrees and heavy rain and wind. It soon turned into 2 degrees and sleet which continued for three hours. All up I walked 20 km … Cried three times. The third time it had stopped raining and I had just come down a horrible steep slope and was praying I was at a town starting with l’e. which meant I only had 30 minutes to go. I was trying to hold it together and along came Philipe …. Heading down the hill with no shoes on calling out “hello Lyn”. I had to quickly pull it together . He came up and kissed me on each cheek and I was really pleased to see him. We chatted in our broken languages for 15 minutes. He told me that a young guy had dropped his 15 kg bag on his foot and I think that he stayed in a shed last night. He is always lovely to me … Even if he is crazy!
I am the only pelerine this evening in my gite. It is a long weekend and there are families staying her.
Before I forget I have to tell you about two other Australians I have met. I knew two Aussies started the same day as me. I saw their note in the cathedral book before I left. Anyway, I was walking late yesterday and figured I was the only person still walking so had a quick pee without hiding. All good … Then two people came bounding along going the wrong way and I picked up some English but didn’t pick the nationality. I said … ” are you doing the camino backwards?” He said hi and they were Aussies … Then they said “oh you are Lyn, we have heard about you … Knew you had blond hair. Then they said they had gone 3.5 km too far and had to go back to their gite! i would have slit my wrists! These are the sort of things that cheer you up and help you get to the end of the day.
The funny thing was they came along this afternoon when I was talking to Philipe and I had to correct them as to where we were … They were meant to stay there and were going to keep going. The thing is they have done the whole Spanish Camino so they aren’t new at it. They are very vibrant and happy. Have just done the Portuguese walk.
The other thing that happened when I was talking to Philipe was another tough looking French woman who is walking alone and I have seem often … Came up and also gave me a kiss … Which was lovely … We haven’t really met. I took it as a salute.
As you can guess I am pecking these blogs … So sorry about no capitals and the fact they are disjointed. Brain isn’t functioning too well. Just trying to get it all down.
Tomorrow I am only doing 6 km … Straight up hill though. I have decided that i need a break to recover. I will probably stay two nights … The renovator this afternoon said it was the best place to stay for ages. So it will be my recovery place … Same as Pamplona the first time.
Thank you to all of the people who have sent comments … Much appreciated.
The bottom line is . I am sure I am getting stronger … Physically maybe not mentally! But I’ll get there, I always do.