Monday, May 12, 2014

Day 17: Cabreret to Saint Cirq Lapopie (11kms)

Climbing out of Cabrerets

We awoke at 6:30, and literally swung open the shutters to check the weather. Dry and mostly cloudy with temps in the mid 50's. Perfect walking weather. Today we would walk up to the caves at Peche-Merle. These remarkable caves and their well preserved art work (from 250,000 BC) are a must stop if your are walking this route. The Chemin passes right through the site. It is 10 euros per person for about an hour long tour. No photos are allowed, sorry. You wind up about 40 meters below ground for those who like to know those sorts of things. I must admit it felt good to be back on the surface. I have never felt that I was claustrophobic, but something was definitely going on while I was down there. Anyhow, we popped out with some people from San Francisco who are on their way to SJPP and perhaps further. We all were headed to Saint Cirq so we gathered up our gear and pushed off up the Chemin. Today was meant to be a short day to allow for the cave tour and some casting about in Saint Cirq, but we managed to add a few extra kms by taking a wrong turn Bouziès, despite a sign pointing in the opposite direction for Saint Cirq Lapopie. Somehow conversations along the Chemin and the comfort of seeing those white and red markers, overrides logic, and voilà you have some extra kms on your plate. It was a pleasant afternoon and the terrain was flat so we hauled around without too much discussion and simply enjoyed the walk. Coming out of Bouziès you turn left, as the guide books and road signs tell you. You then follow the road (D40) either all the way to Saint Cirq or you can follow a path (single yellow stripe) that dives off to the left about half way. It saved a bit of time and kept us off the road for a bit longer. You just trudge along enjoying the incredible views from the initial climb up the road, and then once you arrive above the village the views are even more spectacular. Robin and I stopped for lunch in the village, wandered the streets, visited the church (more pilgrim prayers), and then found out our hotel was not .6 kms from the village, but 3 kms, on the other side of the river. Fortified with a good lunch we dispatched the final 3 kms in good form. We picked up a nice bottle of Cahors red wine (100% Malbec). This with some Rocamadour goat cheese, and with un peu du pain will be our dinner. I am in the dining room of the Hotel Le Saint Cirq (finally got the wifi to work) doing this post. A few rain drops fell as we entered the hotel, but that shower, if you could call it that, has moved on and the late afternoon sun is shinning once again. This hotel is situated so that from where I am sitting the church in Saint Cirq is directly abeam to my left, on the other side of the river Lot. Quite a view. Tomorrow Robin gets a final day off, and will ride to Cahors with her back pack. I will walk there and meet her at our hotel. Robin leg is doing much better. The swelling is down considerably. Our hope is that we will be able to walk together out of Cahors and continue down the Chemin, as originally planned, together with our backpacks. More from Cahors. Bon Chemin.

Robin getting in another stretch
Approaching Bouziès
Wheat fields


View from road to Lapopie
Saint Cirq Lapopie
Offering a pilgrim prayer in Saint Cirq
View walking to our hotel
From hotel room patio



  1. Wow John and Robin. Quite spectacular. We stayed on the GR65 from Figeac to Cahours but I'm tempted to return just to walk the Célé Valley variant. Glad Robin's quickly on the mend. Dayton and Karen

  2. Once again, breathtakingly beautiful! I anxious to walk Le Chemin from Le Puy, thanks for the encouragement!