Wednesday, July 17th
Woke at 6:20 on the dot. having breakfast at the Gite. Half a baguette, an enormous bowl of coffee. They don't seem to have heard of mugs down here, so they drink coffee from cereal bowls, and an orange. No point in starting early, only get there early, and from what I can gather, today's destination is nowhere much. It's either 21kms to nowhere, or 39kms to Cahors. So, it's nowhere.
One last sit in the town 'square", and I'm off.
Reached the first cledo. And somewhere over there, the baying of dogs. They're waiting to take a piece of this pilgrim.
But no, didn't even see 'em. At the junction of the GR96B, the GR36, and my GR. I turn right here. But this is a very invited stone wall. The skies are grey again. Some sun would be nice.
Pleasant enough town, there's some old-age type life here, but nothing's open. In fact, there's no magasines to actually open. I wonder where the people of Bach go when they have the urge pour l'grande cafe ? Graffiti around Bach, 'Noone VPC', no, I don't have any idea what it means either.
This mornings walk has been easy. 11kms so far, and just about maintained a steady rhythm the entire way, songs going through my head, Hothouse Flowers 'Born' and Springsteen's 'Bye Bye Johnny'. Glad it wasn't the Bach waltz.
On the Roman road, 7 and a half kms of virtual flatness and straightness, now a shaded lane. Haven't seen a single other backpacker along the way. Not even the car pilgrims.
And if there's a feckin' Gite in Mas de Vers then I can't find it, maybe it burnt down years ago. Oh well, on to La Pech then, see what they've got.
a bit later
A guy running down the hill. I recognize him as one of the couple that were leading horses through Limogne yesterday. He's lost his map, apparently he stopped about 2kms back to take a photograph, and left it somewhere. No, I haven't seen it. I can tell he thinks I've found it and kept it. No. But if I had I might have. I meet his wife a little up the road, she's with the horsies, and tell her that her husband is still looking.
Take the turn to La Pech, then up the hill for a kilometer. I know it's not far, but that km was the most strenuous part of the day. Lordy, it's steep.
And despite the car pilgrims, whose not quite totally disguised glee in telling me the Gite was cômplet, making a great show of counting the beds, then counting themselves, yes, both counts come to six. Therefore cômplet. But the woman in charge here simply shows me another room, also full of beds.
She's wonderful, and I told her so. Amazingly, she discovered the ability to speak English after that.
The car pilgrims must be plum tuckered out after all that effort keeping the accelerator pedal pushed, as they're washing and showering with a vengeance. And Holy Bejaysus, they've brought enough pegs, so there's one for each sock.
This is the night in the middle of nowhere, no, this is on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by green. And a black labrador just came up to say hello. Bonjour Monsieur Chien. He's just left a rock on the chair. I'm not quite sure what to do with it. Throw it? Take it to O Ceibrero? What?
Slept. Just lay down and passed out. Been for wanders, just to satisfy a curiosity, and no, there is nothing else beyond the few houses over there. The dog went wanders too.
Reading a few magazines, but they're in French, so I can only guess. There is absolutely nothing to do here. Just sit, watch the clothes dry and the grass grow, contemplate how much I hate the car people, read the Raju book, plan tomorrow, work things out. Lascabanes seems to be a logical stop, Cahors doesn't seem to have much in the way of pilgrim accommodation.
And, in a search and destroy mission, found gratis coffee, and made another huge bowl, and a magazine in English, one taken from the Brittany to England ferries, but interesting stuff anyway. Anything is interesting. And my stuff is dry.
Apparently four other people are meant to be arriving.
That's another meal. I'm getting so damn good at noodles with other stuff. Had to sit with the car pilgrims, who are apparently going to Lascabanes tomorrow. Good, they'll be three days ahead of me. Food is brought in for them, it's cooked especially for them, and they "oh la la" over each course. I'm thinking it's a good thing I don't carry a gun.
Another coffee, huge. May even have another after this. Absolutely wire myself awake, but I don't care.
And from somewhere distant, church bells are ringing.