Friday, June 17, 2016

DAY 23: Fri 17/6; Manciet - Lanne-Soubiran; 17.6 kms

Dinner last night and breakfast this morning were spent in the company of just one fellow pilgrim, Flo from Marseilles, now living in Guadeloupe. Her French was the most rapid we've encountered thus far, but she had a tiny bit of English so, along with our host who had a little more and joined us, we managed to have a great conversation. 

We started off in light rain to our habitual strains of: The Lord is My Shepherd (move right over Vicar of Dibley - she couldn't be further from our minds). The rain cleared for most of the morning but took off again at midday. The Way was comparatively easy, terrain-wise - mostly flat again with very few muddy stretches. It's also our shortest distance of the whole pilgrimage. We loved walking through vineyards on one side and huge fields of small sunflower plants on the other. 

Nogaro, a largish town, is where we stopped for picnic supplies. I love walking into towns a little behind Geoff (I know my place) and observing people's reactions to his socks pinned onto the back of his pack to air - they range from utter horror to amusement & delight. Occasionally, people stop us in the street and ask if we're pilgrims walking the Way of St Jacques and when we reply in the affirmative they give us such admiring smiles so much as to confer instant beatification upon us. We just give our halos a brisk shine and glide on by in a deservedly saintly way. 

Our gite tonight is a converted presbytery - a stunningly beautiful old home, tastefully decorated by the owner who has spent many years in former French colonies, like Senegal. We are sharing our room with a young French woman who worked in WA for 2 years and a French couple. 

The wonderful smells of dinner in the making wafting through the whole house are making us hungry - what do you reckon? Sausages? Flo, from our last gite and also our mud-loving Kentucky friend are also staying here tonight, plus an Austrian woman we met today, so there will be a few languages floating around the table. 

C'est la Vie

Geoff & Lyn

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