Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 21 Lauzerte to Moissac (24 kms)

Robin and Margaret Brown, our host

Robin was looking pretty chipper as we got ready to leave the home of Margaret and John Brown our hosts last night at Le Tuc de Saint Paul. We had a great stay, a wonderful dinner, and John even managed a to locate a wicker jug of Eau de Vie (a close cousin to Italian grappa) to send us off to bed. Now morning, with coffee, yogurt, bread and jam stoking the fire we all said our goodbyes and set out for Moissac. Two couples, Americans and Swedes headed around the base of Lauzerte to rejoin the GR 65, while the Welsh couple climbed up to see the village. The two couples not huffing and puffing up the hill had wisely taken John's offer of a lift up in the car yesterday to see the village. So we dodged a few cars on the D953 and the D81, and then mercifully disappeared into the shadowy recesses of the awaiting Chemin. We were not expecting to find any place open for lunch so Robin and I had stopped at a bakery first thing and emerged with sacks of pastries, quiche, and a small baguette just for good measure. All this was swallowed up in our outside mesh pockets, simply awaiting our beck and call. Walking the Chemin seems to evolve into a kind of impromptu convoy system. People don't typically say let's all meet here and walk together, unless that is what you set out to do. Mostly, people just seem to get going about the same time, and they just gather up as the day goes on. The lead changes throughout the day, as someone (like me) stops to take more photos, some take more frequent and longer breaks, but surprisingly at day's end you could stand on a corner and within an hour the whole lot would pass by. I guess this is by way of saying, don't hurry everyone is going to get there about the same time anyway. Today's group had about 30 pilgrims all giving it their best to get to Moissac. We have been walking through carbon copy countryside for a few days now. It is all beautiful, pastoral farm land, and with simply perfect weather thrown in to boot, one gets the feeling of living in an altered universe, where nothing unpleasant or adverse is allowed to occur. Not complaining, just a note to self to see if my hand might pass through a wall at our next stop.

We walked and talked and at 11:30 we walked into a very small village called Dufort-Lacapellette. As we topped the hill (there is always a hill...did I say that before?) I saw this building that looked abandoned. As we drew up alongside, to my surprise, it was a small hotel that appeared to be serving at least coffee. It did give off a kind of Bate's Motel vibe, but in we went, sack lunch and all, for coffee and a rest. Predictably, others caught up, and soon the abandoned building was not looking so abandoned.

And now the weather. Today we had temperatures up to 80 F, with only a few clouds. This would have been a hot one had it not been for the cool breeze that joined us mid morning and stayed with us all the way into Moissac. It really did help us a lot. We arrived in the outskirts of Moissac about 3:30 and started a seemingly long an uninspiring walk through a light industrial area. It reminded me of walking into Burgos. You just seemed to go and on and nothing changes. Well that is until you drop into the city center (which we did at 4:00) and see it's beauiful cathedral. All was immediately forgiven, as we threw off our packs and sat down at an outside table and enjoyed the view (along with a nice cold beer). Day was done.

Departure this morning
Lauzerte from afar
Top of our first hill of the day
Part of today's path
Still climbing
Robin heading uphill
The Bate's Motel
Looks much better from this side
Another section of the Chemin
Always look for the red and white x's
The way to Moissac
Trail markings can be hard to see
Cathedral in Moissac
Robin in the cloisters



  1. Glad Robin's leg seems to be holding up so well. Love that photo of her in the cloisters. Yes, I remember that interminable walk through Moissac- seems longer as you are not expecting it I think. But once you reach the Cathedral, you are in fact, nearly out the other side!

  2. "I want to go, I need to go, when can I make this happen" says Arlène as she read your blog posts. Oh John and Robin, you are making Le Chemin de Compostelle - Le Puy so inviting for me. Thank you!

    Yes, I do believe there will be a Chemin Le Puy to Santiago in late spring 2015 for me. I'm buying guidebooks and maps and planning to brush up on my French.

    As I always say "Once Bitten", I don't know how else to explain this obsession I have with the Camino.