Friday, May 9, 2014

Day 14: Figeac to St. Eulalie (22.5 kms)

Figeac fading in the distance

Robin and I set off this morning around 8:30 to walk to St. Eulalie in the Célé River valley. We had arranged to meet our two friends from Iceland, Gardar, and Klara and walk together. They were staying very close to our hotel so we walked over, met them stepping out their front door, and set off for another day on the Chemin. As always we had a morning climb to accomplish before we could think of anything else. We chugged uphill, bon jouring our way through a gaggle of French pilgrims, eventually topping the hill with still something left in the gas tank. The next couple of hours were spent walking along quiet country roads with distant views of rich farmland. We stopped in the village of Faycelles for coffee and ran into our friend Pierre. He had discovered that his knee pain was garden variety arthritis, and not some esoteric affliction that would see him in rehab for years. This seemed to please him. Today, armed with a new diagnosis, and having shed some weight from his pack, he was bounding along much like a new man. We eventually pulled over for lunch (picnic style) on the bank of the Célé River just outside of Béduer. It was typical Chemin fare with bread, cheese, and cured meat at the head of the menu. I had purchased some dried sausage yesterday in Rocamadour, based solely on taste. Today, at lunch, Pierre translated the tag that was still attached. It was wild boar, and it was great. The weather was doing great. The skies were mostly cloudy with temperatures near 70 F. The wind was calm and we all were walking in t shirts. It was very pleasant. The section we walked after lunch was along low farmland with wheat starting to show some heads. The path stayed under the cover of trees for a good part, which would be a true blessing in hot sunny weather. So our little queue of pilgrims continued trodding the trail, counting down the kilometers to our destination. Along the way we ran into a French guy we had met in Monistrol who had severe leg pains. Today he told me his pain was gone, and he was routinely walking 24-28 kms per day without any problems. Go figure. Anyhow Robin is encouraged. Pierre, and the cured pilgrim, Marc, were continuing onto a gîte in Espagnac, a town just down the road. Robin and I, Gartar and Klara have pulled over in St. Eulalie. We are staying at B and B called Les Anons de Célés. It is very nice and the owners have been very kind. An additional bonus is a beautiful church, which the owner has the key to, which is just behind her property. I hiked up and took a look. A placard on the wall said in part that the foundation was laid in 924 (could be off a few years), and that it housed a monestary that offered care for pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela. Another nice touch was that the church bells would be rung, after sunset, to guide pilgrims through the failing light to a safe refuge for the night. You gotta love these guys. We got in before dark so no bells for us. Now awaiting dinner, laundry is out on the line, and beer has been served. Things are just getting better here in the Célé valley. More tomorrow from Marcilhac-sur-Célé. Plus tard.

Pierre and Robin
Lots of churches
Path along the Célé
Our home for the night
Pilgrim church


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