We set off early to the Boulangerie to get provisions for tonight as we are staying in my first Gîte etape( like a Refugio/ Albergue) at La Chamba. There is no town and the Gîte is on the way of the Randonnée ( hiking route) and also the Chemin Saint Jacque(Camino). The walk is really pretty through lovely farms and forests, but it is all uphill. On the roadside I was delighted to see a puddle full of tadpoles! Frogs are very present in France and the area we are walking in is very environmentally conscious. The constant up hill started to take its toll on Peter and after a while he was falling behind and we were getting anxious about him. Eventually with about 7 kms to go Karen was able to flag a car down and ask for help. The wonderful young woman turned around and drove about five minutes back picked him up and then stopped again to ask where he needed to be dropped off, and would we like to give us our packs? We told her La Chamba at the church and then we were too proud to give up our packs. Silly girls. It turned into a steady going up hill and then the last three kilometres seemed endless though Peter came out to meet us and had paid for the Gîte etc.
This is the Gîte near the church and the kitchen.
We were so glad to get there and then discovered that the showers were basic and really there was no room to put your clothes and every part of the floor got wet as well. I didn’t want to wash my clothes so I had nothing to stand on! But being clean is wonderful and the water is hot! So really no complaints.
We ate our gourmet meal of instant soup and Uncle Bens microwave rice with Champignons, to which we added peanuts! It was pretty tasty and the peanuts made the dish and lightened my load for the next day.
This town La Chamba is an Etoilé town. They turn off all public lighting at 11 pm so the stars can be seen. Unfortunately the skies were cloudy so no stargazing for us. Instead we played cards.
I was extremely successful at losing! It was good fun. The next morning as we were having breakfast I went to get something from the bedroom and met an extremely tired walker who was staggering down the stairs to the kitchen. She was very distressed and it turned out she had got lost in the forest on the way from Chabreloche and had not arrived till nearly 9.00 pm. She was very sore and burst into tears telling us. We gave her a hug and then rushed to find medication and strapping for her leg. It transpires she is walking the Chemin St Jacque and had started in Paris. It seemed to settle her to be able to tell of her ordeal. I think she is very courageous to do this walk on her own. What we have done is very strenuous and the last few days quite challenging so doing it on her own is very brave.