Conques 15 May
The contrasts with my last walk never cease to amaze me. Last time I made the descent into Conques in 30+ degrees heat and was a sweaty mess when I reached the gite. This time it has started to rain on my arrival, and all those "wintry" layers in my pack that have just been a weight on my back in the last five days of sunshine have suddenly been pressed into service!
Last time I arrived here the monastery was "complet"- full- and I stayed in the gite communale. But the shared meal etc here is supposed to be something very special so I am glad there is room for me today. I am sitting in the courtyard with a few others, sheltering from the rain, waiting for the welcome to start at 1400 hours. I have donned my jacket and polyprops over my shorts for now, so I am not really fit to be seen in tourist land outside this little enclave of pilgrims!
It was a good days walk. I started in Le Soulie, about 17km away, quite early, to help my chances of getting a bed here. It was just 2km downhill to the first village. The shop had opened by the time I reached the second village, and since it was a bit colder I bought some chocolate for the first time for five days. Chocolate always makes the march easier! Just as well, as there was a hefty climb out of Senergues. I remembered it instantly as soon as I saw it.
There was some beautiful countryside to see on the way here and now I am in the gem of a village that is Conques- one of France's very special treasures.
After donning some warmer clothes I visited the Tourist Office to get some info about whether I could get to Moissac from Conques in a day....I can...
Hospitaleros in the Monastery are just lovely. Quite a few people here that I have seen along the way, as well as many I haven't. Many limping a bit. One poor man in my dorm has realized he has been walking too far too fast and he plans to slow down. In Beth's famous words about the sevens..."it's a marathon, not a sprint."
Spent the afternoon wandering, looking at all the medieval buildings and marveling at the Abbey. Conques is one of the most magnificent places in France.
Sent from my iPod