Gite l’Escole, Montbonnet

Shown is: Yannick, Evelyne, Aloin, and Jean-Michel of Gite l’Escole

Written on April 21, 2012.

After we settled into the Gite, (hostel), we took care of necessities. A routine of: hand wash clothes that I wore, hang out the clothes, and take a shower. A nap is something that I usually try to avoid, but on the Camino it is an essential part of my day. Soon three more Pilgrims, (Pelerins in France), arrived at the Gite. We soon met and spoke with each other the best that we could. Yannick, Evelyne, and Aloin settled in and soon it was time for dinner. Jean-Michel and his wife prepared a wonderful meal of roasted chicken, noodles, salad, bread, cheese, etc. we enjoyed ourselves and the meal was just what we needed! When Jean-Michel came back to retrieve the leftovers, the fun began! There were conversations going on in French and English. We all did the best we could to understand what was being said….hand gestures helped a lot. Jean-Michel sang the Pelerin song, (Ulteria). When I took out my iPad to show everyone my blog Jean-Michel put his arm around me and waved bye bye to Vern. We all laughed and knew that it was not the only time that Yannick, Evelyne, Aloin, Vern and I would be together. It was a wonderful first evening on the Camino (Chemin). For me, there is a richness to an experience where words are not free-flowing.

Le Puy: Beauty and Laughter!

For months I have been looking at pictures of Le Puy-en-Velay, France. I have read about the beautiful structures built on top of volcanic chimneys and the statues that rise up far above the “skyline” of Le Puy. The ancient Pilgrimages and the Saints revered here are just a small part of the history of this unique and beautiful place. As we drove toward Le Puy there was a turnout on the road to enjoy the magnificence of the view. This is the moment that I have planned, visualized, and contemplated for at least a year…wow, cool:)!When we arrived into town the first thing I needed to do was go to the restroom. In France it is questioned why anyone would want to go to the toilet to rest or why you would want to go to the toilet to take a bath as in “bathroom”. I can fully understand these questions. We had found a public toilet. Vern went in first. As soon as he came out I immediately went in. As soon as I started to get near the toilet the lid raised straight up and massive amounts of cleaner and water sprayed onto the toilet and the surrounding areas. I tried to get out while Vern was yelling at me to open the door. The door would not open as it was locked down while the cleaning was taking place. As I was getting sprayed with water and an assortment of unknowns I tried desperately to get the seat down. More, now than ever I needed to get the seat down because I was laughing and could not stop. It was one of the funniest situations I have ever been in. After the cleaning cycle had ended the door could be opened. That would have been wonderful to have a video of, but I will always have the memory of how much fun I had in that “bathroom”. As I left the area I noticed that there was a message in French on front of the toilet. It is quite possible that it said “do not enter before the cleaning cycle has taken place.” While in Germany last year I also had an experience while going to the “restroom”.