As I climbed off my bunk this morning my feet felt tender on the rungs but I had had a solid sleep and felt good otherwise. We were the early risers and only met another French couple and the young German who had said the photo of me had gone viral. We were soon underway and climbing out of the valley up to the ridge. We were delighted to find a village 7 kms along for second breakfast and meet up with John and Wayne and meet Wayne’s son who has come across to walk with his dad for a couple of weeks. He jokingly told us his second name and his birthdate on the basis we knew so much about him already. It is pretty true. You do often talk about your family so that when you meet them it is as if you have known them for some time! We motored on and the track was undulating through both road and forest so it was delightful walking. We happened across a shepherd’s hut which was open for pilgrims to rest. We took the time to sit in the field and just enjoy the day, the birdsong and the rest. wild mint
The flowers are beautiful along the track, even the dandelions are huge. Irises are big in French gardens and I have seen many different colours. We even stumbled on an orchid in the middle of know where
We arrived early to our Gîte Volet Bleu and were waiting by the Church when our hostess drove up with the shopping. Karen asked if we could come in anyway and our hostess was very happy for us to do so. She bought homemade lemon drink for refreshments and was so kind and natural it felt like we were old friends!
Esther is a warm, Swiss woman who painted many of the pictures in the Gîte but now has no time and plays music instead. We have been listening to her practising on her accordion this afternoon which gives her great pleasure and is very entertaining. She has been running the Gîte for 17 years and told me she loves to meet new people all the time, to love them for a day and then send them on their way.
Esther told us over the most delicious vegetarian dinner ( and it wasn’t pizza or omelette), that she bought the house with the help of her parents and was going to run Art workshops but while she was renovating all the people kept knocking on the door asking for water, food, or a bed. So she decided that she would help pilgrims instead. She didn’t know what they needed but had to imagine what it felt like to walk all day. She has created the most delightful, warm, comfortable and quirky Gite with her artistic flair. Her cooking is fantastic too.