Bizzare as it may appear to all you English speakers out there, I have now reached a place called Condom - and it raises no smirks here as the French have an entirely different word for the same product! There is a magnificent Cathedral just up the hill a bit, but for the time being I am ensconced in an internet cafe, out of the rain which is lightly falling. There has been hardly any rain recently, so it makes a change, and I am sure will be very much welcomed by all the local farmers who have seedlings of melons all planted.
I am well into the south of France now, and ever since Moissac have been seeing lots of cultivation. There are huge fields of wheat with their ears developing well, and fields of all kinds of vegetables; as well as orchards and a few vineyards. It has been warm some days, but not too bad.
I have had quite a few short (16-20 km) days lately. Where the choice is between a long haul of 30+km, or two shorter sections, I opt for the shorter sections - so I guess my progress has slowed a little. But many of the places I have stayed have been towns/ villages with signs of their medieval past still evident, including of course their hill-top positions, which require a climb! Last night I stayed in La Romieu, where there is a huge old Collegiale Church that was tied up with a Cardinal and lots of intrigue many centuries ago. The gite was in an old convent, and the dormitory was superb, high ceilings, lots of big windows and hence light, and beautiful gardens with roses - which were quite a feature of the whole town.
The night before I was in Lectoure, right across the street from a thermal complex where they had massaging spa pools - trouble was of course I had no swimsuit! The woman running that gite has walked the Camino herself, and reminded me a lot of Diane S from NP for those who know her. The night before I was in Miradoux, in the home of an elderly woman called Therese who has cared for pilgrims very generously for a long time now.
OK time to get out of here and go exploring! It is always easy to walk in sandles, without the big pack on!