Well, I am getting in the groove here now, and can hardly believe I have been walking nearly three weeks! Someone told me that the walking got easier after Conques...... and they were right except for one thing...... it is the day after the day after Conques when it gets easier! Out of Conques is a big ascent that follows the rule of the Chemin from Le Puy: for every descent there is an equal and opposite ascent. I have had this rule in my mind for some time now, but almost cracked up laughing when a French person started saying much the same thing in the gite last night.
From Conques I had two long days of about 25km to reach Figeac. First of these days I enjoyed the climb out of Conques, and the view back over it, then it began to rain incessantly. Not so much fun, (especially as I had a little stomach problem and couldn't clean up. Enough said!) But the welcome at the gite in Livinhac en Haut was superb, and the lady there helped eveyone get their stuff dry and clean as needed after the rain. And the local parish had a welcome for pilgrims with drinks and nibbles that was very warm and friendly. And the camping place came and picked us up in a car to take us to dinner to avoid the rain. Such kindness, and I would have to say I have experienced a lot of it in the gites. Staying in them has been a wonderful experience in itself.
Next was Figeac, a lovely old city to wander around. En route this day I met some lovely people; and many of them I shared the evening with in the gite, but others have gone on ahead more quickly. You seem to build quick friendships with other walkers, and I sometimes feel sad when I know some are walking faster and I won't see them again.
From Figeac it was some 30km to Cajarc which I felt was too much for me, so I broke the journey at a camping ground where I had a chalet to myself, and a very comfortable bed to sit on and view the spring showers with my feet up. What luxury! Then I hit Cajarc yesterday after a day of peaceful walking in easy terrain with lots of trees and good weather. The gite Le Pelerin was very well run and friendly. Today was another lovely peaceful, warm day of walking and I am now in Limogne en-Quercy. So you Kiwis will all have to search for a good map!!!
My French is going ahead by leaps and bounds as I get to talk to so many other walkers in the gites.
OK until next time! I should hit Cahors on Sunday, three weeks after leaving Le Puy. It was Cahors where I met so many walkers two years ago that I got this idea!!!