This morning we took the car to Souveny with the intention of walking a circuit around the district. It is a training walk for Peter with his pack and a test to see how I would fare.
The town is one that sprang up around another wealthy Cluniac/Benedictine Abbey. Because of the wealth there are many lovely and somewhat larger residences.
Before we set off we needed breakfast of course and we walked around for 20 odd minutes till we found a boulangerie and then a bar for coffee. The bar was quite interesting as it was very clean and modern, run by an immaculately dressed woman wearing her pearls no less! The cafe housed all the sporting trophies from the local football club around the walls.
There is no problem with eating our pastries in the bar and it was nice and warm inside. It must be about 5 degrees and a stiff breeze blowing. Great for Karen!
Fully fuelled with especially delicious pastries we wandered first into the church. It was the first place for ages where there were candles to buy. I made good my promise to light a candle for our good samaritans who gave us lifts and also thanks for all the gifts in my life. All the while the impressive church organ played beautiful music. It wasn’t recorded music either as several other churches have had. The organist played with sensitivity and the acoustics were great. It made a beautiful atmosphere.
Of course it was another place on the pilgrimage route and there was the shell outside a gorgeous house that had been a Refugio.
It was a delightful gentle walk which culminated in a forest where a pretty little dog followed us for ages. We got to a farm gate and were concerned he/she was getting too far from home so we held it back while we all went through the gate. It was so disappointed it yelped and yapped and then found its way under the gate. It came racing up with such joy. The next gate we tried again and succeeded. It looked so disappointed but turned and raced off.
We finished our walk back in the forest and eventually ended in Saint Menoux. The village has a church (7th century unusual Romanesque construction), where an Irish priest stopped on the way back from Rome. He stayed and eventually died here. He was a gentle soul with an apparent gift for healing headaches, migraines or depression. His relics are in a coffin in the church and there is a space like a bread oven beside them where you can put your head and pray for healing!
Peter and I have elected to stay here rather than complete the next 8 kms back to Souveny. My leg was no worse for the 11 km walk but I didn’t want to push it and Peter was feeling the strain. He was unwell with a sore back only a fortnight ago so we are giving him time to adjust.
We enjoyed a lovely lunch of duck in raspberry vinegar, champignons and potatoes followed by apple crumble. Karen and Peter had salad followed by the vegetables. I am missing my greens!
Karen and I were planning a massage at the spa but we are too late. Maybe tomorrow.
By the way I have loved all your comments just to let you know I am reading them.