Monthly Archives: September 2016

Dreamland 

It was foggy and cloudy this morning. Air was thick with moisture, and as we walked we could feel our hair full of moisture and droplets. There was no wind to speak off, but the cool air felt good on our bodies as we moved through the fog and forest. Birds were chirping away as usual. One could hear the crowing of the roosters in the background. Thick fog and clouds had enveloped the environment and created a dream-like world around us.  The forest was enchanted.

 

I was fortunate to load one picture. After 16 km of walking we are in a gîte in the middle of all the fields. There is no wifi and the signal is weak. My description will have to suffice for today. Tomorrow we are in a bigger city.  

Harvest time

As we walk through this region, we see harvesting being done and open fields being prepared for the next crop. It was a short 12 km walk today. The weather stayed nice and cool with rolling farms all along the way. 

Festival 

We arrived in Condom just in time to watch the Spanish festival. ​

There are enough Spanish folks living in and around the town, so they have the fall festival which the town’s people join in. 

The festival happens to be today and tomorrow. We are planning to take a few days of rest here, so we hope to see more of this tomorrow.  The church in the center of town is gorgeous. 


We started early in the morning for our 16 km walk. 


The next town was still sleeping when we stopped for our breakfast. 

A simple, peaceful church along the way. 


Harvesting of grapes by the giant machines. 


Beautiful cool morning with a breeze made the sun’s heat mild. 


Looking forward to few days of rest!

Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Juliet:O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

Deny thy father and refuse thy name;

Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love

And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.


Romeo:

[Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?


Juliet:

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy:

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

What’s Montague? It is nor hand nor foot,

Nor arm nor face, nor any other part

Belonging to a man. O be some other name!

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other word would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,

and for thy name, which is no part of thee,

Take all myself.

Today’s destination was “Le Romieu”, a XIVth century UNESCO World Heritage Site, located 19 km away! 

A rose by any other name is still a rose.  Every morning, regardless of where we are in the world, the magic of the sunrise happens. Some days with more splendor and color than others, but the magic is there for us to witness! Today we enjoyed it an hour into our walk as we looked back to the city we had just left behind!


We enjoyed our breakfast after the sunrise show, at a quite table in the middle of nowhere. 


For the first time on this camino trip, we were able to find fresh, fried eggs. So we had to have a second breakfast of:


We walked through undulating hills most of the day. Crops of corn and sunflowers were being harvested all along.  Here is a glimpse at plum collection.  These plums were some of the best and sweetest we have ever eaten!


Crops of kidney beans (my guess) at different stages of growth along the way. 

Finally the view of our destination for today!


A month on the Camino

Hard to imagine, but we have been walking the Chemin Le Puy now for a whole month. We did take about 5 days of rest along the way. We are about 60 % done (approximately 465 km). The path that started out being very grueling is becoming a bit gentler these days. Mornings are still the best time to walk, while afternoons are almost always hot! 
We saw this church from 1520 whose wall collapsed down the hill in 2004 (the church had been closed since 1956 due to large cracks). They have plans to restore this church at a cost of 315,000 (according to my limited French reading ability).



We passed by a few small towns to our destination this afternoon. 

A quick lunch in the shaded woods before heading out in the hot sun. 


We were happy to reach Lectoure in the early afternoon. As we reached the town center, guess who we ran into?  Our favorite 6!!  They were getting ready to move on to continue their trek for the day. It was again nice to spend little time with them before they headed on their way and we went to look for our accommodaion. 

Unexpected reunion 

We left the beautiful canal behind us as we left this morning among the cool mist and clouds. 


About 2 hours into our walk, right near the entrance of a town, we saw a few pilgrims. They recognized us before we could make out who they were!

Neve and her five children were breaking down their camp and getting ready for the walk. What a pleasant and happy surprise!!!


We walked the rest of the way together with them and enjoyed our breakfast, snacks, and lunch together. 


We are staying in a tiny town with one bar/restaurant tonight. We said goodbye to Neve and the kids.  We hope we may see them again along the way!

A walk in the park

If you have to walk 14 km with a backpack, that does not merit the title of a walk in the park!  But if you have been walking for almost a month on the GR 65, with climbs of 100 floors a day, in general, and you walk 14 km with a climb of only 2 floors for the day, then one may be justified in calling today “a walk in the park!!!”

I am getting ahead of myself though!  Last night we visited the beautiful 11th century church to listen to the nuns sing. Here is a brief snippet. 



Last night at the Chambre d’hôte we had a huge room that was bigger than our bedroom at home.   Today we had a shorter distance to cover, so we decided to start late and enjoy the comfort of an extra hour of sleep. 

Our path, it turns out, was along the canal the whole way.  We were treated to a beautiful and heavenly walk, with the canal to our right and the river Tam to our left. 


At about 3 km, we had the choice to follow a variant route of the GR 65 (which was 3 km longer and through a couple of mountains) or to continue along the canal! After yesterday’s mishap of when we missed a sign 3 km from town and took a variant that took us through tough mountains instead of along flat industrial streets, I guess we had an easy choice to make!  We chose the canal.

At 5km, the river Tam merged with a larger river, the Garonne. 


The canal had at least three locks that we passed, allowing the river boats and a yacht to traverse along the canal in both directions. 


Here you can see the boat going through a lock (note the levels of the boat and the water). 


Today we met our third Hungarian pilgrim. Doren started from Hungry on June 1st and plans to go all the way to Santiago. 


I saw this at our hotel last night and thought it was simple and sweet.