Saturday, May 10, 2014

Day 15: Sainte-Eulalie to Marcilhac-sur-Célé (18 kms)

Dinner last night
Our dinner last night included two French couples who were touring on motorcycles. We all sat down at 7:30 for a delicious meal. It started with a glass of a French version of limoncello (homemade and quite good), then it was quiche followed by shepherd's pie, again with a French twist, duck confit instead of ground beef, then goat cheese, and coffee. Red wine, from Cahors, was served with dinner. Everything was terrific. Our hostess is a great cook. The duck confit shepherd's pie was a big hit (no leftovers). The following morning we breakfasted at 8:00 and hit the Chemin just before 9:00. It was a warm morning with low hanging mists filling the valley. But, you just knew it wasn't going to last long. So, we started our walk wearing t shirts and that proved to be sufficient. The temperatures went from about 55 F to 70 F over the course of the day. The cloud cover stayed with us most of the day and made walking that much easier. The initial part of the walk from St. Eulalie to Espagnac was along the river under a canopy of trees. At Espagnac Garda and Klara, our Icelandic friends, stayed on the GR651, while Robin and I walked the road (D41) into Brengues. At Bregues we eased past a funeral at the church, stopped for a coffee and a sandwich to go, and rejoined the GR651 to Saint Sulpice and then on into Marcilhac. The most stunning scenery by far was found as we descended into Saint Sulpice. Here we found distant views of another village clinging to a cliff face, with a more recent village clustered in the valley below. It was quite a sight. We stopped for a roadside sandwich, and the set off once again through lush green wheat fields with waist high plants swaying to the vagueries of the valley winds. It was soon out of Eden as we climbed steep rocky trails to reach the ridge above the valley floor. Once on the ridge we set course for Marcilhac along the GR651. We plodded along this section, as it offered little in the way interesting views. The trail was flat for a good portion, but then we had a rocky descent, to match the equally rocky ascent, down onto the road. We followed this road beyond where the GR 651 split off as we were searching for our lodging for the night, the Chambre d'Hòte (B&B) Le Mas del Cap. Finally, after checking with a neighbor we got ourselves sorted out and ambled, hot and thirsty, into the Mas del Cap around 3:00. As is our routine, we have now done the wash, hung it out, and are now enjoying a cold beer as this blog post comes together. Robin is doing something similar for her Facebook group. Our hostess has dinner set for 7:00, so Robin and I will just unwind a bit and watch the chickens, reminding ourselves to be thankful for these peaceful moments in the French countryside as we walk this memorable pilgrim road.
The 10th century pilgrim church in the morning mists
Down the rabbit hole and onto the GR651
Church at Espagnac
Santiago us just through here
Saint Sulpice
Another rocky trail


  1. Your photos are breathtaking. So glad Robin is walking again.

  2. I have been trying to figure out where the GR 651 was as opposed to the GR 65 and took out my old 2008 Miam-Miam dodo. Next time, if I manage to go back, I will go by la vallée du Célé. Looks beautiful! In reading your blog and how hard you are finding the Chemin, now I know why, when we got to Spain, we found it so easy!
    Thank you again for this wonderful blog. Brings back so many wonderful memories. So glad Robin is walking again.

    1. Me too Michele. You guys are providing lots of inspiration for walking the Cele Valley. Love your photos.

  3. Hi, let me introduce myself - I am Arlène, the coordinator for the Old Pueblo Chapter of APOC in Tucson. I have just returned from walking the Camino Portugués and will be again returning to Spain in August this year to walk the Caminos Inglés, Finisterre and Muxia. I found your blog while searching for info on the Inglés, read it and enjoyed it much. I feel like I know you and Robin, but isn't that the way with us peregrinos?
    You can imagine my surprise when I continued reading to find your next destination! The Le Puy route to Santiago de Compostela is already in the planning stages for me for 2015.
    I am enjoying your Chemin de Saint Jacques and have followed you all the way up to this, your last blog post.
    I have become a "follower" and will be with you and Robin for the remainder of your pilgrimage.
    Bon Chemin et bonne marche sur le Le-Puy!

  4. I just found your blog (can't remember how) and see that my internet pilgrim friend Arlene is just ahead of me. I will be following along as well.
    - Clare