July 17, 2008

Day 19: 2 May- Cajarc to Limogne-en-Quercy

It was to be a short day- 18km seemed like a short stretch by now. A few kilometres from Cajarc was a short climb up to where the village of Gaillac sat above another cliff.I had become used to noticing 'little things', like snails and spider webs, as I passed by. Snails had indeed become my friends along the Chemin!
The landscape was flatter, with limestone outcrops along the way,
and trees abounded, clothed in spring leaves, providing welcome shade in what became a warmer day.
I met the couple I had shared the room with in Cajarc, when they stopped for lunch.
Then I continued on along the flat path, under the shade of more trees....
The only thing spoiling my calm was the fact this was a holiday weekend, and I wasn't sure whether I had a reservation in the gite communal or not.... I arrived to see a note on the door that it was 'complet' (full) but then found my name on a bedroom door. Ahhhh.... and I got to share with three lovely ladies, two of whom I had met before.

I managed to find a good internet connection in a stationery shop down the street. Then when I thought I would have a siesta, I was dragged out by one of my room-mates, despite the heat and my tired feet, to find the local lavoir, where laundry used to be done outdoors by the washerwomen. French women are always keen to point out lavoirs: they seem to identify keenly with the harsh conditions these poor laundry women worked under, washing clothes for the wealthy even when the water was icy....

We laughed a lot in that bedroom, that special French joie-de-vivre that walking Frenchwomen seem to have-
though later there was fear of top bunks mixed in with the laughter. The good thing about only four women in the room - no snoring. The bad thing about only four women in the room - no avoiding the top bunks! But in the end we 'cheated', and we installed the woman who had ended up with the scariest bunk climb onto a mattress on the floor....

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