Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day 4: Villaret d'Apcher to St. Alban de Limagnole (20.5 kms)

Leaving Villaret this morning
Day began calm, temps in the mid 40's with a few scattered cumulus. Our stay at the Auberge de 2 Pellerins was quite enjoyable. Our hosts are both truly committed to pilgrim hospitality. There was much singing, guitar playing, and general good cheer being shared. The owner was kind enough to print an English version of his after dinner talk about what it means to be a pilgrim. He offered all gathered at the table a very dramatic reading. He might have been an actor in a previous life. Back to today. Robin and I finally slid out the door at 8:30 and set out for St. Alban. There was a nice little hill awaiting us that burned up at least a part of our breakfast. We soldiered on enjoying the fine weather. We have been slowly climbing since Le Puy to get atop the Aubrac Plateau, and today we were done with it. Once past the gîte at Sauvage we started bumping along with a few ups and downs but mostly we are at plateau elevation (on average around 1100 meters). The vegetation has also changed with the appearance of more pines and a general sense of increasing openness. The weather remained dry and pleasant throughout the day. We walked in our usual t shirts and long sleeve outer shirts adding rain jackets when the cloud cover sent a colder wind in our direction. We stopped at the chapel of St.Roche (right on the Chemin path) whose intercession is prayed for to assuage pilgrim infirmities. We added our prayers as well. The balance of the day was spent negotiating a slow descent into St. Alban. We had time to spare so we pretty much just ambled along arriving at 3:30 this afternoon. We have checked into the Auberge St. Jacques, enjoyed a cold beer (this pilgrim business is thirsty work), a plate of cheese and charcuterie, and headed for the shower. Dinner at 7:00 and another day on the Chemin St. Jacques will be done. We have a short day tomorrow. We are walking to Aumont-Aubrac about 14 kms from here. A couple of side notes? We have met many French people, and have enjoyed their company. We are working around the language barrier and seem to be getting by with my high school French. We spotted a lady this morning taking a wrong turn out of Villaret, and went after her. She had already turned back when we caught up to her. She waved her thanks and we all carried on. As we were enjoying a coffee at the Gîte Sauvage this same lady, obviously Asian, walked in. It turns out she is Korean and is walking her very first Camino (by herself). She started in Le Puy and is bound for Santiago via the Camino Norte. She is walking very slowly and plans to use all of the 90 days she has, if necessary. She and Robin (also Korean by birth) had a nice chat, and then we were off once again. Always on the move...the pilgrim way.
Villaret in the rear view mirror
Pilgrim Robin

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