Rest day: Angoulême

Sunday, 19 June 2005

Walking in France: A morning coffee
A morning coffee

The horrors of yesterday had robbed us of all desire to continue on the Pilgrimage. Our one wish was to leave Charente as soon as we could, having lost all faith in their ability to give advice to the needy walker. Almost everything we had been told in this department had been comprehensively wrong.

We thought the Dordogne would be more to our liking. But first we needed to recover from our ordeal and anyway, there was no bus going that way until Monday.

On Sunday morning, the café quarter was unrecognisable. Most of the bars were closed at 10 am, although we found one that gave us coffee to accompany our bag of brioches.

Walking in France: Cathedral of Angoulême
Cathedral of Angoulême
Walking in France: Dining quarter, Angoulême
Dining quarter, Angoulême

We strolled about the empty lanes and admired the Cathedral, which almost topples over the ramparts. It was adorned with scaly domes in the same regional style as at Poitiers, and which we would see again in Périgueux.

The western wall was remarkable for its mass of protruberant carvings – it looked like a holy climbing wall.

The afternoon was spent comatose in our room, with the curtain drawn over the open window and a line of washing overhead. It was roasting outside but quite pleasant within.

At dusk we went up to the cobbled lanes again and dined splendidly on salad, chicken escalope and oven-baked penne.

Before retiring we had another shower each, just because we could.

Previous day: Aigre to Angoulême

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