Dimanche, July 7th

Saint Chely d'Aubrac
Leaving. My stuff is actually dry, it's not raining, roosters are crowing, it looks like it'll be a sunny day, and I'm feeling good about this. All I need now is a coffee.

The birch forest was beautiful. Imagine the most perfect forêt, and this is where you are. The footpaths were perfect, the stone walls were perfect, the cows were on the right side of the fence this time, the GR stripes were exactly where they should have been, and the dogs just wanted to say hello.

And it just keeps on getting better. Descended through the mist. Bonjour Mr Tractorman.

Saint Côme d'Olt
This is a beautiful place. heard the bells ring for 10, on the way down, but it was half past when I finally walked in. Asked directions to the Office d'Tourisme, then got led to it by a woman who'd overheard the 'conversation'. Then a bar, the P Verdier, a coffee at last, and given directions to the Gite from the bar assistant, taking no end of trouble, then given a map from another customer, the Gite is in something called the Tour de Greff, with a "da rien" response to my thanks. Brilliant.





Found the Gite, although it won't be attended until 7:00pm, dumped my stuff anyway. Went walking around the town.

Sitting in the park, my socks drying on a stone table, and so far the park has been visited by: Ana, who's still here; Jean-Louis and some friend of his, a group of French walkers most of whom seem to have bandaged feet but who produce the most amazing variety of food; an old man with a little dog, then a couple of Swedish guys, and others. If these people are booked into the Gite I just may have to do them a damage.




Another coffee at P Verdiers, after farewelling Ana. She fills her water bottle from the town fountain - something I've not quite had the courage to do yet. But I suspect that if it wasn't drinkable, there'd be a sign saying so.

I think this will be my bed, although the rest of it seems to be taken up with older women.

After yesterday's rain, this apre-matin has been hot, and I'd like to learn the talent of just sitting outside a bar for hours and hours, not doing anything.
Everything, except one bar, is closed.

And the way to sit for a long time is to order a beer. Cheaper than a Cafe Grande anyway, and it lasts longer. Reading up on tomorrow's walk. Wishing I had a novel to read. The guidebook just isn't enough, nor is the soccer magazine I've been pretending to read, it's in French and I don't care about soccer anyway.
When I arrived in this town, a market was happening, shops were open, people were everywhere, things to do, things to see, food to buy, all the locals here for Sunday Mass in their best, crêpes were to be bought from a mobile crêperie, but since 12:15 nothing, one bar, and that's it. It's kind of boring in a medieval way.