May 292011

I love that Guylène, Beate and I are here together, it also changes the experience and makes things a little more complicated. Take this morning for example. Yesterday Guylène made the comment that she like me would rather walk a little before eating breakfast.. When we arrived at the gite it did not have breakfast. Guylène talked about getting coffee in the morning at the patisserie across the street. Beate did not want sweets for breakfast so we bought some yogurt and cucumbers and bread For the next day. Beate and Guylène left before me, and I headed to the patisserie. They weren’t there so I decided they must have decided to walk and have breakfast at the firest coffee stop. It was a beautiful cool, almost cold morning. The walking was fairly flat. My ankle was not bothering me and the pack some how a little better fitting. I’ve had problems with it shifting and putting presure somehow on my right hip that sends pain down my leg. But when I started out walking out everything felt great, it was wonderful to be walking, the pace very comfortable. The first several kilometers were entirely through fields and farms. About an hour later it occurred to me that Guylène and Beate were probably having breakfast in the kitchen of the gite. Maybe. I haven’t seen them yet. A couple of hours into the walk I passed a farm with a sign saying they sold’cheese and had drinks. It was a besutiful farm. A young man came out. I asked if he had orange juice, yes. Cheese, yes. He took me into a back room where wooden chests line the wall. He opened them to reveal small round cheeses lying on straw in various stages of aging. Passing back through the small kitchen he talked me into a gateau de la maison avec raisins seche et les pruneaux. Which was not really a cake, but a cross beteen a flan and a tarte with dried raisins and prunes, and a delicious as he’d promised. Before he would let me eat them he took me through another door into what I thought was a barn but proved to be a cheese factory. A woman was putting fromage noisettes into tubs. It looks like crumbly cottage cheese. He then opened a door to show shelf upon shelf of aging cheese of various different shapes and types. Even though the sun was out and the yard for eating beautiful, it was very cold sitting. I ate and was just getting ready to leave when Dan and Aniac arrived. Saugues is famous for some wolf that ate lots of people. Going in and out of town are monuments of the wolf and through town painted wolf prints take you to a museum of the events. Aniac and Dan were with me as we descended into Saugues and tried to explain the story as we passed the first monument. Aniac had found a copy of the story and brought it with her so she could give it to me if she saw me again, which I thought was tres gentil. Continuing on I got to the turn off to Chanaleilles. Guylène mentioned lunch there, and I read somewhere they had good salads, so just in case G & B were ahead of me I took the 1k detour to the Bar de Pont. It was 11:15 when I arrived. I ordered hot tea and a salade composé and found a sheltered spot in the sun on the front porch. The salad was delicious, what looked like baby water cress, tomatos and onions in a vinagrette dressing with a couple pieces of bread. I asked what the greens were and the answer was salad sauvage des sources. I settled in to write up the morning when Yves arrived. We chatted until 1:00 then I returned to walking. The path now ascended through a shaded forest of what I think of as tortured pine trees and some unknown deciduous trees. As the wind was dying down the shade kept the way cool. There were little meadows here and there and periodic carpets of violets. I thought of how much grandmother would have loved the wild flowers in the fields. Today there were huge patches of peasants eye narcissis blanketing several fields. I remember in Spain having the sensation of walkin on a path people had walked for a thousand years, today I had the sensation of being on just one path of many leading to the same place and a sense of the other people on those paths. The walk through the forest was very satisfying. Suddenly the path was winding through huge fields, surounded by forested hills. A herd of cows visible in the distance. There was one small building in the shade of a tree and nothing else till a turn in the road revealed a huge solitary stone U shaped building, the Domain du Sauvage and our destination for the evening. The acceuil was through the center court yard where a flock of black and white ducks with red faces and beaks played in water from the fountain or slept under a tree. Three cats followed me. The building had been added onto over time, and the dates of the newer additions were visible, 1738, 1795. The woman in charge of the gite welcomed me, sitting on one side of a long table with benches, stamped my credential, sold me a soap tablet for the washing machine, told me at 5:00 I could return and she would have things to sell for dinner – vegetables, eggs, every thing we would need to cook dinner. It had been very cold the night before and Beate and I had searched unsuccessfully for a bowl of soup, so thought veggie soup would make an easy dinner here. The gite was in another building added onto the back, also stone, very clean, with a lovely huge kitchen and dinning room. Our room for six was tucked up under the eaves, with a window overlookinf the fields. No bunk beds! The three other people in the room, Inbrit, Patricia and Martine were a Swede, Frenchwoman and Swiss woman who had also met on previous caminos and were walking this section together!
I presented myself back in the office shortly after 5:00 for the little market for dinner; passing several people heading back to the gite carrying small flat baskets with eggs, tomatos, half a bagette, and small bottles of beer. Our side of the table was full of people in conversation with the hospitela. A basket at one end was full of an assortment of small bags of pasta, tomato sauce, tea, cookies chocolate. I gradually realised the the sitting people were actally in a line. As each person competed there purchase we all shifted over one. In addition the the items on display there was a locked store room and the woman would go in to get items not on display. I was able to buy a can of vegetables, some tomato sauce, 3 potatos, an onion, a melon. We added our remaining carrots, and bread, and the cheese I had purchased and Beate put together a very nice soup, and sliced the melon for a beautiful meal

 Posted by at 4:09 am

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