Monday, 26 August 2013

Around and about.

Armed with a map of Figeac I set off in search of the Gite. I crossed the bridge and wandered down the street as it threatened to rain. There was a man in a bus stop and I asked him whether I was in the right street. He said no, but had no idea where I should go,! I retraced my steps and realised that I should not have crossed the bridge. I found the street and, at a double gate found the name of the Gite. Beyond looked like an allotment and I passed chickens, vegetables, an outside loo and arrive in front of a slightly dilapidated house. Since there was no bell I went up the stairs and tried the door. As it opened I realised that there was a dog inside! I closed the door quickly and soon a young man appeared who said that he would put his shoes on and show me my room. At first he showed me a sort of studio flat, but then the owner told him that I was in the other room. He led me back down the garden to a squat bunkhouse which had four beds in it. When he had gone I unpacked my things and went for a shower where I proceeded to flood the room!  I dried things off and set off to write my blog. As the rain had come to nothing I decided to visit the town. It has a wonderful medieval heart but I soon realised that being a pilgrim and a tourist don't mix! It was only when I entered the magnificent church of St Saviours which had been a benedictine Abbey that I found any peace. After a happy visit I wandered up to the covered market in the vain hope that I would meet my Dutch friends.  After half an hour I bought some vegetables and fruit and headed back to the Gite. By now it was clear that I was the only person staying there. Supper was served in the garden with an over friendly dog and a delightful little boy who got very excited when I was served pasta. I was told that breakfast was left for me to organise for myself. I had a good night with the impression that I was sleeping in the open air. In the morning I was on the road before 7.00am. The lady had assured me that it would not rain nevertheless it was a threatening day. At my first stop where I munched my tomatoes and greengages I was passed by two French people who said that they had met various foreigners but I was the first English person. Another opinion over here is that a priest from England must be Anglican!
It was a long and hard day and as I approached Cajarc the rain began.I found the Gite easily and optimistically did my washing. (I managed to lose my detergent in the process! ) At this point Daniel appeared. I wandered off in the drizzle to view the town and then returned to rest. Daniel suggested that we went out for supper but was not too happy with the recommendation of the Gite. I was amused that when we did go out he proceeded to have an argument with the waitress because the cheapest dish was not on the menu. By now it was raining steadily.
Between Cajarc and Cajors there is an area called the Causse. Even the modern guidebook warns that it is a dangerous place. How must it have been to the early pilgrim? It is scrubland with knarled trees. It seems most appropriate for the second phase of the pilgrimage. The mood is one of quiet waiting. 

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