Pamplona to Puente La Reina

Day Forty Six. 13.7 Miles, 22.1 Kilometers.

Written on June 4, 2012.

We are leaving Pamplona to begin our walk through Cizur Menor, pass Alto del Perdon and into Puente La Reina. There are many Pilgrims walking this morning. Almost right away I see something that I have never seen before:

A Pilgrim smoking a pipe.

Not far from Pamplona we saw Pierre as he stopped at the bakery to buy his breakfast. We took a quick break and started the long climb to Alto del Perdon.

Vern and Nancy at the Medieval Pilgrim sculptures.

Just after Alto del Perdon it is possible to look out over the valley and see four villages in a row.

We keep moving today. It is tempting to stop for coffee in a village but it is important for us to get to our room. I knew that after climbing the Pyrenees I would be sending home any cold weather clothing that I had left with me from France. I will get my package ready to mail.

 

Arthez-de-Bearn to Navarrenx

Day Thirty Eight. 18.7 Miles, 30.1 Kilometers.

Written on May 27, 2012.

We stayed at a Chambre d’hôtes, (bed and breakfast), 2 kilometers from Arthez-de-Bearn. Irene and Edward have created a wonderful atmosphere for Pilgrims. The food is nutritious and the room is restful. They both were up at 6:30 a.m. Our breakfast was ready and we left before 7:30 a.m.

Pictured: A cow peeking at me.

Today I saw a young boy driving a tractor while his father was in the bucket throwing tires on a large piece of plastic. The boy seemed like a great driver.

Pictured: Boy in tractor.

We stopped at the church in La Sauvelade today on our way through. Just as I was ready to leave two young men walked in and started singing a song in French. It was wonderful and I stayed until they sang the last note.

Pictured: A statue of St. James with many notes, prayers, and blessings.

 

Marsolan to Condom

Day Thirty. 16.2 Miles, 26.0 Kilometers.

Written on May, 19, 2012.

Breakfast In most Gites consists of bread, sometimes toasted, bowls of coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and sometimes yogurt. The jams are usually homemade. Breakfast is usually served between 7: a.m. And 7:30 a.m. The best situation for us is when it is self-serve.

Pictured: An interesting rock structure on the way to Condom.

After breakfast we headed out. Yesterday the Madame told us about a variant route that was actually the original Chemin. It seemed that the Chemin was re-routed a year ago. We saved at least three miles by bypassing the new route. We were half way to Condom by our first break. I am having an easier time with hills now…they are not as difficult for me as they were two weeks ago.

Pictured: Jacques ready to walk the Chemin.

 

Auvillar to Miradoux

Day Twenty Eight. 10.9 Miles, 17.5 Kilometers. Total Miles walked to date: 283.5. Total Kilometers: 455.2.

Written on May 17, 2012.

We walked under a clock tower as we left Auvillar. It was an appropriate way to begin our new day of adventure. Two miles later we were passing the village of Bardigues and recognized a pilgrim walking just behind us. We had seen her a few days ago. We walked and talked for awhile with her. Dominique walks one week a year. We enjoyed our time with her and know that we we will meet again before she leaves to return home.

After walking a few miles more we entered the village of Saint-Antoine. As we headed for a picnic table to take off our packs we began to see more and more people: Marie and her friends, Margo, her sister-in -law and brother, two ladies from Paris,etc etc.

Pictured: A picnic table and benches in Saint-Antoine.

Pictured: A Pilgrim stand just before Flamarens.

Today is an interesting walk with a lot to look at. Just before Flamarens there was a stand set up for Pilgrims. There was a donation box, water, eggs, and other snacks set out. I took an egg, took a picture, and left an euro. Further up the hill I thanked the Monsieur sitting in front of his home.

We arrived in Miradoux and found the Gite that we had reserved a few days ago. It is a new Gite that just opened last month. It has a large yard and many comfortable places to sit, including a hammock, and a large open pit for summer cooking, There are ten places to sleep. Coffee, tea, and other refreshments are available. We had a wonderful meal with the owners, Stephane and Nathalie. Nathalie and her sister walked the Chemin four years ago and have now devoted themselves to providing a much needed service to pilgrims. The Gite is Bonte Divine in Miradoux.

Gite d’etape Bonte Divine in Miradoux.

A comfortable yard and garden at the Gite Bonte Divine.

Limogne-en-Quercy to Bach

Day Twenty One.

7.5 Miles, 12 Kilometers. Total Miles to date: 194.8. Total Kilometers to date: 312.2.

Written on May 10, 2012.

It was so warm this morning that when we left at 7:30 a.m. I did not wear my windbreaker, just a tank top. It was so awesome to not be climbing up and up when leaving a village. Still lots of rocks but it keeps me alert. After four miles of walking we stopped in a village to get something at the market and saw Carmen and Louis. Before entering the village we had seen the four Canadians that we had met at the Chapelle Sain’t-Roch. We called from the village and spoke to a young woman to make a reservation at a Gite in Bach, Gite d’etape Relais Arc-en-Ciel. When we arrived we were the first ones. It is a beautiful Gite. We love our room . Cleaned up, washed clothes, and took a nap. Chloe was preparing our evening meal. She had her laptop in the kitchen and was listening to American metal music. Soon we had a roommate…George from Paris. He speaks English and is helping me pronounce names of towns and villages on the Chemin. Our dinner was wonderful..a lot of fun.

Thanks to Chloe and Michelle for a Gite that is more like a home!

Pictured: Michelle and Cici.

Pictured: A small Chapel in the rock wall in front of Gite Relias Arc-en-Ciel.

Cajarc to Limogne-en-Quercy

Day Twenty. 11.2 Miles, 18 Kilometers.

Written on May 9, 2012.

This morning we are only a short way from the Chemin. The paths today were very rocky. There were definitely some inclines but very manageable. We met our first couple from Spain today: Luis and Carmen. We saw them several times today. At about halfway to Limogne-en-Quercy there was a “Pause Station”. A former pilgrim was serving coffee for a donation. It was a great place to rest and get water. The books warn to carry the water that we need today so it was good to have a place to refill water if necessary.

Pictured: The Pilgrim “Pause Station”.

One day while walking about two weeks ago I decided to have my hair cut. Ok, I’ve made the decision! The next several towns that had hair stylists were closed for Holiday. One town that had a hair stylist was closed between 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., it was 1:00 p.m. as we were walking through. Today in Limogne-en-Quercy I found a hair stylist, Alain De Saegher of Siz-O. He told me to come back in an hour. He spoke English, in fact he speaks many languages! When he was done cutting may hair he said that I looked like Marilyn Monroe……. from the back! We had a good laugh about that.

Pictured: Me and Alain de Saegher of Siz-O.

He told me about his Chambre d’Hote, (bed and breakfast), La Pi’ternelle in Salvagnac-Cajarc. I’m sure that it is lovely. If I lived in France I would drive to Alain’s shop in Limogne-en-Quercy!

Today while taking a break and sitting on a rock wall we saw two men walking toward us. One of the men we had just passed not long ago, the other one was Michel! We haven ‘t seen him in many days and was hoping that he was feeling better. It was good to see him and walk with him for awhile.