July 17, 2008

Day 5: 18 April- Chanaleilles to Les Faux

Chanaleilles at 1170m was already at quite a high altitude
and a slight climb followed towards Le Sauvage at 1292m,
so it was not surprising that bits of snow and frost lay around.
This shepherd's cottage seemed to speak of a harsh isolation.
There was the joy of daffodils and crocuses poking through the still icy ground.
At the Domaine du Sauvage, many stay in the gite,

with large and solid buildings
made of the mountain stone
that seek to protect from winter cold.
This horse was a personal favourite:-) And I had fun taking my shoe-print photo:-)

In this bleak terrain there was an evocative reminder
that this was an old pilgrimage route

with this statue of St Roch, at 1280m.
I stopped and thought of the many
who had passed by over the centuries.

I was surprised to see a group of Germans, in a hurry to cover the distance, go rushing by without a pause. Many seem to pass too quickly by along the Camino. I did it myself later on: you get in a walking groove that is somehow hard to break. (But *next* time, I intend to slow down even more, and *look*.)There was a sign that I was moving along the Chemin: I passed into Lozere...

Soon I met two Norwegian women walking
on this cold day in this bleak terrain

then discovered them having lunch
in the hotel restaurant at Les Faux
a proper hotel in such a remote place
where they did not turn a hair
at the muddy appearance of walking pilgrims,

and service was tops and the meal delicious.

I had lunch there with the Norwegian women
then retired to the comfortable gite.
Later the French family arrived
and we shared dinner at the restaurant. (Yes, food is always important to walking pilgrims...)

More excitement in the evening was provided for me in the form of heavy snow
that soon blanketed outside.
Excuse me if snow bores you,
but for me it is a novelty
and I woke during the night to look at it some more!
But it rained also, so this time the snow had mostly gone by morning.

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