I know you are not being at all well informed but I am alive and well and have now been walking for ten days. Still have 11 kms to go today so this is just a quickie en route.
Arrived in Le Puy on April 12th. Very beautiful set in a volcanic basin, and I guess I got to see it at its best in the sunshine. Got to climb the volcanic plugs to a stature of Notre Dame of France and a chapel. On the Monday morning I went to the pilgrim Mass and received the blessing from the bishop of Le Puy, who also spoke to me in English. I was the only English speaker there that morning though I have since caught up with a couple from Wellington.
Lovely days, very varied, walking from Le Puy. Sometimes the views were just superb, sometimes the countryside was quite desolate and isolated. Second morning there was snow on the ground at Montbonnet and it was magic walking up into the forest, so quiet and beautiful. After my first six days the real pilgrimage began when I crossed the Aubrac Plateau and it was very very cold and wet. Magic moment was arriving at Aubrac itself and seeing the domes of the old monastery/church looming out of the mist, much as they must have for medieval pilgrims. However, I have come down the other side, along with quite a deluge on the track!!!! and this morning am using the internet in Espalion, before carrying on 11 more km for the night in Estaing. It is sunny today and I am even in shorts and sunhat! It is very green and verdant here and the flowers are out all along the route, whereas on the Aubrac it was very much winter. Have one big blister on a toe after the rain. Socks drying out beautifully on the outside of my pack today!
Gites I am staying in are mostly used overnight just by other walkers and are very friendly. Often have demi-pension with superb home cooked meals. Last night was in historic building and dormitory looked straight out over twisted steeple of church od Come d'Olt.
Ok gotta get going. Just letting you all know I am alive and well, writing this in Espalion!