The first bit of the walk this morning I had lots of company..... from a huge group of day-pack pilgrims. It was hard not to feel malice towards them when I felt so anxious about finding a bed!!! But before long we were walking beside a lake, quite a novelty really on this whole walk. It was hard to retain malice in such a peaceful setting.
Again, there were newly sowed fields to pass on very flat ground,and L&D walked not too far away from me, though their walking pace was faster than mine. I was still slow and steady.... a true tortoise still after all these weeks....
Several times this morning I ended up talking to a young Swiss woman who had slept in the same room in the gite. It seemed that 12km passed quickly, and we had reached Latrille, a village that provided a shed with tables and chairs and a coffee machine. This was next to a church, where I heard a man singing joyfully, the same man who I had heard singing the previous day in the Cathedral.
I wasn't expecting anything very special for this night's accommodation, in the gite communal, but I was very wrong. It turned out that the Landes region Jacquaire group take responsibility for hosting this gite as hospitaliers. I was given a very warm welcome by the elderly woman who greeted me. (And L&D had saved me a bottom bunk in the same room as them...) And later the hospitalier's brother arrived, and he was a fount of knowledge. The regional group have made a DVD about the routes through this region, and it included detail about the churches we would pass the next day. And we were provided with a shared evening meal, donativo.
I loved this sign in the village with its very Kiwi connection. I thought that there was an error, and that the sign should read "Eden Park". But a Frenchman explained to me that Pack was used deliberately as a French play on words, to reflect the rugby scrum.
Later in the afternoon L & I took some time to sing in the village church. (She loved doing it... I was always a little shy in case a stranger should walk in! 'Next' time I walk the Chemin, I hope I will be much more brazen!!)
An Embarrassment of Pilgrims - jolly winter pilgrims There didn´t used to be any pilgrims on the road in December or January or February. Only the hardiest souls venture out onto the Mes...
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