I started later this morning from Eauze after cleaning the feet to prevent any blister infection. I reflected on how even though I still had some small blisters, the feet were generally behaving themselves. As long as the feet were clean they were no problems. The discomfort soon disappeared after a few kilometres. Many had the same experience and could go for days with no problems when suddenly a new blister would develop on top of an old one. It was part of the Way. Part of the experience I suppose. Something to live with.
Tramping up a small hill I was overtaken by a rapidly moving Swiss man. He had a schedule and only a short time to get to his destination for the bus back to Toulouse and his flight home. He rushed on cheerily waving goodbye. Thirty minutes later he appeared again. He was walking so quickly that he had missed the way markers and taken a wrong turn. I also met Peter from the Netherlands again this time without his dog. His walk was to end soon and he was ready to stop.
Hubert and Francoise had left before me in the morning. I caught up with them again and we had lunch in Manciet. Hubert and I treated ourselves to a cold beer from the small shop in the village. It was now very hot and the last several days had been cool and cloudy. The beer washed down the pate, cheese and fresh bread very well.
We left Manciet again after seeing the church interior from the viewing room. The room was designed for people to pray even when the church was locked up.
The big lunch and beer made us tired. We reached the Eglise de l’Hopital, the site of an ancient pilgrim hospital. Only the church remained. For an hour and a half we snoozed in the shade of a huge tree before continuing. I was walking faster so I went on ahead: we would catch up later that evening. I arrived in Nogaro in the late afternoon sun. The Gite d’Etape Associatif was modern, friendly and clean and next to a small airport. A few local flying school planes were doing circuits in the late afternoon’s calm conditions. A symbol of freedom and the power of air.
When we met at the Gite later I found out that Hubert had been attacked by an angry swarm of bees and sustained five stings. I had passed the same bee nest earlier and had been lucky. He had taken three types of plant from nearby and applied them to the stings. This had solved the problem giving relief to the stinging pain – more of his country knowledge being put into practice!