The pilgrims of the twelfth century were principally interested in getting to Compostela, the resting place of Saint James, but there were many other holy places to visit in passing. One of the most important was Rocamadour, on the cliffs above the Alzou river, where the holy hermit Amadour passed his days.
It was therefore common for pilgrims from le Puy to deviate at Figeac to take in Rocamadour, and to rejoin the standard path further on, often at la Romieu.
In our case, we only pursued this variant as far as Tournon-d’Agenais and then marched cross-country to Lauzerte and on to Moissac. This was because we had only got as far as Moissac the year before, and wanted to continue from that point without leaving a gap.
Our description of the variant Way of Le Puy is made up of two parts, separated in time by eleven years. In 2003 we walked from Rocamadour to Moissac (and on to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port), and in 2014 we closed the loop by going from Figeac to Rocamadour.
Starting at Figeac, we crossed the northern part of the old province of Quercy, specifically the Causse de Gramat, between the Lot and the Dordogne rivers. There were plenty of smaller rivers along the way, and the countryside was gentle and orderly, a coverlet of meadows, crops and woods laid tenderly over the land, as over a sleeping saint.
From Gramat we followed the river Alzou to Rocamadour, at first on an old walled road and then on a track in the depths of the gorge, arriving at Rocamadour from below.
We had spent two previous nights camping at l’Hospitalet, at the top of the cliffs, and were happy to do it again.
Our route for this section
Day 1: Figeac to Lacapelle-Marival
Day 2: Lacapelle-Marival to Gramat
Day 3: Gramat to Rocamadour