29 th May Cahors

Today was a lazy start; our rest day before leaving for Toulouse tomorrow. The weather is wet still but supposed to clear as we went looking for the Valenté bridge, an iconic symbol of Cahors. It has three towers and crosses the Lot. It is the pilgrims exit for those heading onwards to Santiago.

check out the devil on the bridge! It was a symbol of overcoming the problems the devil created when building the bridge.

While observing the bridge we saw pilgrims crossing and climbing the cliff opposite. It is a funny feeling knowing we aren’t going to be joining them. One or two had red rain covers over their backpacks and stood out amongst the greenery. A group had reached the top and paused to look back ( and catch their breath if it is their first day?)

The area is famous for its red wines( which we have been enjoying over the past few days) and so the river bank has a grove of vines planted ornamentally. To get to the bridge we had walked through a garden of white roses that were bruised from the rain last night but exuded the most powerful fragrance.

We needed to buy our train tickets for Toulouse and check the drivers are not on strike. While waiting I saw a most impressive device. A phone / iPad charger powered by pedals!

All the stations have free charging stations.

Next it was the old city walls where I saw a monkey tree. What an odd plant. It has spiky, leathery leaves on long branches. We visited St Etiennes Cathedral which is unusual in design with two Cupolas. Once inside it feels more fortress than Church which apparently was the intention! Bishop power! It is said to have a religious relic, the cap from the crucifiction of Christ. Relics were big business in medieval times.

While we explored the church an organist was practising for a concert at the end of the week. It is wonderful listening to live music and the acoustics were excellent.

After a coffee break Peter and I went off to the pilgrims office for our final stamp and saw a Camino gear place nearby. I decided to see about a poncho and was delighted to find an excellent version that fitted and was not too big.

I wish I had seen one earlier but I may need it for the coast to coast in a couple of weeks. For the next hike anyway!

A secret garden in the old section of town.

We returned home for lunch and as it had fined up we were sitting on the balcony when the three Australians we met in Conques walked past. We haven’t seen them all week since we left Conques. Walking is funny like that. You see people for days then not for ages and then bam they are in the same place.

While the others went off in various directions I decided a quiet time would be more advantageous and enjoyed the chance to talk to cousin Tracy and husband John who have just completed their Camino to Santiago de Compostella. The full walk of close to 800 kms too.

Author: fleetfootkath

I am a keen walker and traveller. I love to explore and learn about new people, places and cultures with a sense of joy and gratitude for this fortunate life. I believe walking is a wonderful way to really connect with the present and the beauty of the world that surrounds us. It makes me happy.

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