September 1

St Antoine to Lectoure 25km

September. This morning was the first day that had that sharp autumn edge to it and there was a heavy dew. I am going to miss the hot weather. I hope I have not seen the end of it because I am now quite happy living in the heat. 

I am walking through Gascony, a land of rolling fields of wheat and sunflowers says my guidebook. I am now 278 km from the Pyrenees and as I crested a ridge this morning in the crystal clear air I am sure I could see a very, very faint line of hills in the distance. I am excited to be reaching the Pyrenees. The town at the base of them is called St Jean Pied a Porte. It is the classic start of the Camino, the pilgrimage to Santiago. When I reach this town in 11 days time the number of pilgrims will increase from perhaps 30 a day to 200 a day. I have been told that there will be more English spoken which is good – but the hostels don’t provide breakfast which is bad!!

The path is now becoming very distinct

In this part of France they have gone to great trouble to provide a path alongside the road:the black crop on the left are sunflowers

Trees have been planted along the path to provide shade
Sunflowers and a chateau ruins

I passed a lovely chateau:

And a lovely village:

And a lovely church:

I am staying with an elderly couple (that means my age). The husband has walked to Santiago four times. He said that the thought of everyone when they reach Santiago is “How can I do this again?”