After yesterday’s torrential rain, today was a dull grey day with a constant drizzle that required waterproofs. Despite best efforts with newspapers overnight, everything was still damp in the morning. To be honest, my boots didn’t have their hearts in today’s 29Km slog. After a valiant effort yesterday they surrendered tamely to today’s treacherous conditions and allowed free passage of water as if I had been wearing a pair of fine Church’s slippers. But it wasn’t only water. Because of the fine silty soils in this region, the paths had turned into squelchy, slippery mud flows which rose almost to the tops of my boots. And the rain continued to fall.
Last night’s dinner was an unusual affair. After a fine bowl of soup the 15 hungry faces around the table looked in polite silence as Madame served each of us with about 3 chicken chunks in a thin gravy with 2 spoons of rice. I wonder whether 30 Euros for dinner, bed and breakfast is enough. However she was a lovely lady and the bread basket was full, the wine flowed and by the end I felt like I’d witnessed the miracle of the fishes and the loaves.
Madame asked me to complete a questionnaire which was part of a project about the Camino being run by the English teacher in the local school in Lauzerte. It was only for English speaking pilgrims and I was happy to oblige. I sent the teacher a copy of my credentials and a link to this blog and received a nice reply this morning. This could be my big break; if I can get my daily hits into double figures I can start streaming Google ads and make my fortune.
Despite the day’s gloomy weather I enjoyed a couple of rest spots which we take for granted in Spain but are quite rare in France. The first place was a hefty construction with concrete floor on a farm. I ordered my sandwich and a coffee. After about 18 Km I came to a sign in the woods which said Drinks 100m and this was soon followed by another one that said Oops, 400m. It made me smile. In a small clearing some young former pilgrims had set up a pretty rest space serving drinks and snacks. I ordered a coffee and sat down in a sedan chair hoping to be carried the rest of the way to Moissac. Most pilgrims walked through without stopping, probably due to the rain but I flagged C who is another Swiss pilgrim heading for Irun and pursuaded him to take a rest day with me in Moissac tomorrow.
We set off, the sun came out and we checked into a cheap hotel in the centre of town for 2 nights. But I miss the gite.