Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Day 7 June 1st: Espalion to Senergues - 37+ kms

Starting at the beautiful town of Espalion, it was wonderful to see the old bridge and astonishing to see the volume of water that was passing underneath.

It was raining as we started and it kept raining all day. It has rained steadily for the last four days. Someone mentioned to us on the third day that the area had already had the monthly quota of water for the month in only two or three days.

After walking alongside the river Lot we went uphill and it was not only very steep but also slippery and deeply muddy and there were streams of water coming down to meet us. This was by far the most challenging stage yet and we were only able to do 8km in the first three hours. Every step was an effort. When we got up past bushland and were going through farmland, the tracks were absolutely flooded and it was impossible to find any dry areas to place your feet. Geoff's Me Tarzan routine from yesterday was put on hold for the time being, I noticed. Et moi? I was virtually crouching at the entrance of the nearest French hospital trying to figure out how to convey my medical history in French. 

 We went to the exquisitely beautiful town of Estaing. It even looked amazing in the rain.

Walking is a most wonderful way to see French farmland because you walk straight through paddocks and past cowsheds. You greet the farmers and see them at work cropping or calling in the cows to the milking shed.

If one is interested in homes and gardens in France this is the walk to take because you walk through or alongside people's properties and can see what they have in their gardens and in their backyards!

This afternoon we did quite a lot of walking on tar sealed roads, following for much of the time the river Lot. 

In the mid to late afternoons we often need a distraction to take our minds off our  bodies and we have enjoyed listening to music. On our playlist today we listen to Yo-yo Ma and Jane Rutter, the wonderful Australian flautist.

After that we made up our own music and took it in turns to start singing a song. We sang at the top of our voices with the rain pouring down on our faces and most of the cows looked up great amazement. This was the first time that they had ever heard someone singing in English. 

We reached our gite a little after 7 pm. We had been walking for almost 12 hours with just a couple of breaks because we found very few shelters. We did enjoy a lovely lunch in the rain at a picnic table overlooking the river Lot.

Our gite at Senergues used to be an old convent and it is called 'Domaine de Senos'. After a very quick shower we got to the dinner table and met about 10 other people who have been on the Pilgrim walk today.

They would all be senior citizens but are active in travelling their country and other parts of the world. All of them were from France.

The first course for dinner tonight was salad plus a prune loaf. This was wonderful for Lyn but by the time I got back from the bathroom we were ready for the main course.

For the main course they were great big plates of mashed potatoes with parsley on the top. Then there emerged another plate . . . of sausages! They were a little bit more upmarket in the sense that they came with sprigs of rosemary. We have been served sausages every night in the gites so we are really getting the message that they are a local specialty! It was certainly delicious!
We will sleep well tonight!

C'est la Vie

Geoff and Lyn. 

No comments:

Post a Comment