July 17, 2008

Day 23: 6 May- Domaine des Mathieux to Montcuq

One advantage of a good gite can be local knowledge about tracks, and we were told of an old hunting track that would avoid a climb in the muddy conditions....

There were some beautiful spiderwebs along the way that told a story of overnight rain
but today rain only threatened and the low cloud just remained grey. There was a small amount of mud in the morning, nothing major, and the 17km stretch to Lascabanes passed quickly. There I joined Lyne and Denis on a seat for lunch, the first of what were to be many shared meals along the way.
One of the special things about walking in France was the little Romanesque chapels you would meet along the way, nearly always open, so you could pop in for some quiet thoughts.

The afternoon walk was about 9km to Montcuq, and after the quick progress I had made in the morning, I was expecting it to be a hop, skip and a jump away...

but mud intervened,
thick, sticky claggy mud
that clung to your boots
and weighed down each step.
I slipped and slid along the farm tracks. Doesn't this one just look so innocuous and simple to walk along? Not! But the "Dds", a French couple I was to see a lot of over coming weeks until Viana, were also negotiating this terrain, and there was someone to laugh with as we cursed at the way we had to 'ski' along in the thick mud.
La Soleillou was another welcoming gite... and soon the mud was gone from me and my shoes....

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