Friday, September 21, 2012
Rest day in Yenne
We have been so very tired at the end of each day that after a lot of agonizing last night, we decided to spend an extra night here in Yenne where we have our own room and bath in a modern hotel built out of an old monastery Le Clos Des Capucins. We said goodbye to Michael, Bernie, and Gabi at a pleasant dinner here at the hotel last night, joined by another German pilgrim, a very fast walker we are unlikely to see again.
We washed clothes this morning and hung them on a line out back. Then we walked around the town, got the rubber separating from my (new!) boots glued back at a shoemaker (un cordonnier). We visited the 12th c church, sat on a bench by the Rhone, walked across a suspension bridge to the hamlet of St. Didier on the other side. We thought we saw a church steeple, but up close it was a tower on a very large, elegant old house. No shops in this sleepy little village on a hillside overlooking the river.
Yesterday's walking was extremely beautiful with a lot of uphills first through woods and fields, through some beautiful old stone hamlets, and then through vineyards of the Haut Savoie. We passed "caves" for "degustation," but did not stop or we would probably have never reached Yenne. We finally topped out at a Chapelle St. Romain with stained glass windows depicting the various seasons of the vineyards that made lovely patterns below us and in the surrounding hills. Some large mountains were in the distance, including one called Le Chat and the tooth of the cat. On the other side of the hill we looked down on the Rhone and its flood plain. We then descended sharply on switchbacks through the woods for a very long time.
After winding through some pretty stone houses and gardens, through a cornfield, past a house with a gorgeous blue swimming pool at which we looked longingly, we had nearly an hour's fast walk through a woods path along the Rhone to Yenne. Tired though we were we walked lickety-split and for once matched the speed projected by the signs. In most cases the projected 50 min of walking takes us closer to 2 hours, which is not good for morale or self esteem.
Tomorrow we climb straight up almost 2000 feet and then start back down. We are planning to stay up high on the other side of the peak and continue on down the next day. This big climb is one reason we thought we would rest today.
It is clouding over though. Yesterday, although sometimes warm, was mainly crisp and clear with wonderful refreshing breezes in the high places.
I also still have 2 blisters on heel and big toe of left foot -- something I did not get on my other caminos. I think they will be fine though. I added a second layer of socks yesterday afternoon, which helped. I've now sewn them through with thread, and with moleskin they were painless when I was walking.
We are hoping this rest day will help with the creaky and complaining old joints.
I thought I had lost my bottle, and then found it under the bed this afternoon. Yesterday our little group of pilgrims was joined by a large group (maybe 50 to 75) of French tourists, but tonight we are the only guests in the huge place with over 80 beds, so no dinner and they say everything in the village will be closed, too, so the staff is leaving us something to microwave in the staff lunch room. Our second microwaved dinner in France!
Linnea and Kent
Pilgrims on the road of life