Tuesday, 18 June 2002
Distance 27 km
Map 58 of the
Topo-Guide (Ref 651) Sentier de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle Le Puy/Aubrac/Conques/Figeac
I was worried that we would spend another day at the Marie Celeste camping area, but Keith rallied with the help of the medicines and we set off, rejoining the GR65 by a short cut. Although it was sunny, there was a fresh breeze which made it completely different from yesterday.
We crossed the autoroute and skipped along through abundant farmland, until we arrived at the Quatre Chemins, whose attractions had been much advertised in hand-written signs along the track.
An incredibly old, gnarled peasant made coffee for us and we drank it out of doors with several other walkers.
We had lunch a little further on, in a farmer’s field, under the shade of one of the few trees in the landscape. The farmer had considerately left the gate open.
Passing through Rieutort, we admired the communal oven and the stone drinking trough.
At Montgros we stopped for more coffee, surrounded by sun umbrellas and roses in bloom. As the owner had driven off while we were drinking, we had great trouble finding someone to take our money, but finally located a teenage son.
The road down to Nasbinals was lined with foxgloves and the village was dominated by a grand pilgrimage church with an octagonal tower, cool and lofty within. The camping was a kilometre away to the north, but compared to yesterday’s horrors it was nothing, and there was a gregarious mixture of other campers.
When we came back to town in the evening we were clean and fresh. The only place to eat was the old travellers’ inn, where many of our fellow pilgrims were staying. Upstairs in the dining room we had the plat du jour – boeuf en daube with a large salad and plenty of wine, water and bread.