Day Three: 7.5 miles (12.1 Kilometers)
Written on April 22, 2012.
Shown is: Chapelle de la Madeleine
We packed up, had our coffee and began walking. Almost immediately we saw Evelyne, Yannick, and two other Pilgrims. Just after we crossed a bridge we saw Aloin. We were glad to see each other and soon began walking at our own pace. We began walking uphill and continued walking up and up and up for at least three hours. Just as I was ready to take a break Vern told me that I should come and see what he found. There on the ground in big letters:”Vern and Nancy are our friends”. It was so wonderful to think that they had taken the time to write those words in the dirt with a stick. We are so grateful to have spent time in the Gite on our first night on the Camino with our three friends. As the day progressed we again saw more messages from our friends.
At one of the steepest parts of the trail a young man came by with two horses that almost looked like Shetland ponies. Soon after we saw the man and the ponies we came upon Chapelle de la Madeleine, once thought to be a grotto originally but faced with stone and made into a chapel in the 17th century. After several hours of walking we stopped at Le Vernet de Saugues. There we found Buvette La Coquille, a cafe in a garage serving coffee, refreshments, etc. as we were ordering our coffees the owner placed 2 mars bars candy on the tray. He had a water fountain and a toilette. After several hours of walking, what felt like straight up, his services and hospitality were priceless. Today our goal was to arrive at Saugues. While I was daydreaming and walking suddenly there was a view that took my breath away: the town of Sauges, pop. 2000. Many services and beautiful structures. We were just discussing where to stay when a Pilgrim, Michel came along. He told us about a Gite that he is staying at. We followed him to the Gite and was told that there was space for us. We are now at the Gite a’ la ferme. We had a great meal, conversation and a “French lesson”. Earlier today I hung my clothes out to dry after washing them in the bathroom sink. Some time later a pilgrim knocked on our door to let us know that it was raining hard…she handed my clothes to me. After dinner the Madame of the Gite offered to let us hang our clothes above her wood burning cook stove. A few of us accepted her offer. The extreme hills and difficult terrain were well worth the effort to be rewarded with the meal and companionship of this evening.