August 12

Saugues to Le Rouget     30 km   Ascent 480m

It was a cold crisp sunny day today. I left early as I had a longer walk. The host of the Gite was surprised when I told him I didn’t want breakfast. It’s too late I said. Of course I wasn’t too early for the patisserie for my fresh croissants. They normally open at 6.30am. 

It was one of those sharp mornings when you put your hands in your pocket to keep them warm. 

On the outskirts of town there was a different lavoir. This one actually had a woman in it doing her washing!

Though she does seem to be taking her time! And where are her friends? I wondered what was the purpose of the object by her right elbow. 

Just a bit further down the road her friend was pointing out that the route turns left. 

In fact the walking today was pretty easy. I wonder if it is all going to be like this? Though I doubt that my fellow walkers who set off today thought as much. Today is day three on the walk from Le Puy and day three is usually the hardest before your body starts getting used to the new routine. The sunrise was magic

The path was pretty magic too

When I went to the Pilgrim service in Le Puy the priest was giving rosaries to everyone. As I walk along the path I notice these white beads in some odd places. There is one draped over this wayside cross

An enterprising taxi firm put up this notice to tempt the weary traveller. They obviously know about the “day three” effect as well. 

This is a spring dedicated to Saint Roche. In centuries gone by there was a building here to shelter pilgrims. You can see that in his right hand he is carrying several sets of white rosary beads! The Saint is a patron of pilgrims. After a pilgrimage to Rome he devoted his life to caring for plague victims, but withdrew to live in a forest when he contracted a disease which left him with an unsightly sore on his left thigh. (For this reason St Roch is depicted with the front flap of his coat turned back, to warn people to keep away from him). 

The secret of walking a long way is not to stop. Just keep on plodding on. I always have a good long rest at lunchtime, whenever that might turn out to be. I take off my shoes and dry my feet and socks and look at the view. I don’t stop if there is no view. There were plenty of long views today

I was walking most of the day at 1,300m. The fields seem to have thin soils and the countryside has a windswept feel about it. There were patches of purple heather – it was that kind of terrain. I only came across one church – and it was locked. 

There were pilgrims on the road

A lovely vegetable patch

The view as I descended to my Gite:

Typical bedroom in a Gite:

The style of farmhouses in France are that one building is divided into accomodation and into farm use. This place has been built along the same lines. 
The farm building is full of hay on one side

And cows on the other

Apparently the plan is that someone comes and picks us up in a car and take us half a mile up the road to another building for dinner. It’s certainly different. 

I’m hungry and ready to eat:
There was too poor a signal to post this last night.