Moonset on the Meseta

Moonset on the Meseta

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

St. Jeures

Hello all, After our fairly long haul to Les Setoux, we have had two shorter days of about 18 and 19 km each day. The morning starting from Les Setoux was glorious with mist rising out of the valleys and sun breaking through onto green hills as we made some fairly steep descents and ascents through woods and farmland. By noon when we stopped on a grassy slope to picnic on bread and cheese, clouds were forming and we thought we would be caught in rain. We arrived in Montfaucon en Velay, cold and under clouds, but still dry, finding our way to a pretty, colorful giite with no one there. The door was open, so we left our packs and took off our boots, jotted down the phone number of the place, and found the friendly tourist office -- the first we've even seen -- who called for us, made some additional reservations, and let us check email. We had a room to ourselves, and beautiful modern bathroom down the hall.

Brilliant sun this morning, with moon setting. I snapped a lot of pictures, and would have taken more except that we stopped in a church to look at a fascinating series of 16th c Flemish paintings, each of a month of the year and referencing a gospel passage. It would have been nice to have had more time there. We had more ups and downs with marvelous views of distant villages and hamlets. A most amazing experience was entering a very dark fir forest from brilliant sunshine. It was like walking into a black hole or a dark theater. The canopy was so thick that nothing grew on the brown needle-covered floor. But at the edges of the circle of woods a halo of light surrounded the dark., with brilliant emerald green undergrowth edging. After awhile we came to a place where beams of light penetrated, creating a carpet of green moss on the ground and the tree trunks.

Wednesday morning. We are in a most delightful chambre d'hôte where we had our very own room with sheets on the bed and attached bath, and warm radiators. The dinner with 3 French non-pilgrims and two pilgrims with whom we have been for two and more nights, Corinne from Switzerland who is walking the entire way to St. Jacques from her home for a second time in 12 years, and Manfred, a rather heavily laden German, the only pilgrim we've met who is slower than we are, perhaps in his 30s or 40s.

We go up again today, over one big peak up to nearly 1300 metres We are in crisp clear mountain air, temps in 60s during the day, and much colder at night. Tonight with a family in St. Julienne-Chapteuil, and Thursday the last 19 km to Le Puy.

We are holding up well. Especially since their soaking my boots seem to have accommodated better to my feet, and the assorted pains in hips, thighs, and back I was experiencing in the first week have disappeared. Legs and feet still are very tired by the end of the day. It is amazing we stay so healthy given some of the primitive conditions we have faced and lack of sanitary amenities. It must be a healthy life to be outside walking for 8 hours a day. It is hard to believe we are almost done.

We we will be back in Paris at Hotel Esmeralda for nights of Oct 8-9-10. Meanwhile, more adventures on the track to Le Puy, and perhaps meetings with Gloria and some of our camino acquaintances there.

Linnea and Kent
Pilgrims on the road of life

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