Last night the day's rain had stopped in time for my last Mariale procession. As I was waiting for it to start I spotted a banner arriving that said "Christchurch New Zealand" so I gate-crashed their party: they were quite happy to have me join them.
It was a chilly night outside, but this morning the mountains were very clear and I watched the sunlight on them from my bedroom window. After I left the hotel I had a spare 15 minutes before I needed to go to the Gare as well so I sat on a bench and looked at the mountain view. Lourdes certainly has a beautiful setting.
This morning I travelled onto the Dordogne region, to the town of Bergerac. The train passed by the sanctuary of Lourdes first so I saw places I knew. Then we kept close to the River Gave for quite some time. The mountains were clear in the distance. Gradually we left them and came to the flat areas closer to Bordeaux.
I had two hours between trains so headed across from the station to a restaurant where I had their menu du jour. I think I could quite get used to this French "sit down and relax- it's lunchtime"- lark. Maybe I can try to introduce it to New Zealand schools, still finishing at 3 of course!
I arrived at Bergerac mid-afternoon and took a room in a hotel over the road from the station: less carrying of the pack that way!
I then failed completely to head into the old town area. I had more mundane things on my mind: it has been 13 days since my two changes of clothes last encountered a laundromat! By the time I threw in a little "getting quite lost" episode it was too late for anything but a brief walk to the old town. Proper exploration awaits tomorrow.