Lascabanes – Lauzerte

Verdant country after the storm

Verdant country after the storm

It must have been some storm. I awoke several times during the night as more storm cells passed. In the morning everything was cool and wet. The heat had gone from the atmosphere and I began walking again.

Within a few yards the evidence of the storm was apparent. A huge tree lay across the road and it took a bit of scrambling to get round it. Eventually I came to the small chapel of Saint-Jean-le-Froid. There was a small fountain nearby. It was quiet and peaceful amongst the trees. I heated some coffee on the gas stove for breakfast.

Before leaving I took a brief look inside and found the names of other walkers in the chapel book. Deirdré had stopped there the day before to pray.

Two pilgrims make their way through the woods near Lauzerte

Two pilgrims make their way through the woods near Lauzerte

The Way left the sealed road and climbed slowly to cross a plateau. Walking was difficult as the ground was a mix of clay and sand that had been drenched by the night’s rain. The clay stuck to my boots and at times it felt like I was walking with lead boots.

I stopped at Montcuq at a small cafe. I chatted with other pilgrims and after two coffees continued on. The weather brightened and the warmth of the sun was felt for the first time that day.

When I said there were over 900km to go he just laughed!

When I said there were over 900km to go he just laughed!

Ahead lay Montlauzun perched on a mound. Many of the villages in the area were placed on old volcanic mounds for reasons of defence and security. It would be a steep climb to the village where I planned to have lunch. In a field before the climb I amused myself by watching two donkeys yawning. It was hilarious or maybe it was just that the Way had given me the insight to be contented with simple things.

On the way to the hill top a Dutch woman was sitting in a deck chair reading a book. She was waiting on her husband who had started his walk weeks ago in the Netherlands. She was joining him for a few weeks: while he walked, she drove the camper van from place to place.

I had my favourite sardines in olive oil and fresh bread while the tent and other things lay out in the sun to dry.

Seven kilometres later after lunch I arrived in Lauzerte. I met Pascal and his wife at the Café du Commerce and after a few beers found the Gite d’Etape Communal. According to André, the cafe owner, it would be the cheapest beer on the Way! After dinner I wandered around visiting the Pilgrims Garden; a collection of stones and statues with some interesting inscriptions. This one I liked very much …

Here is the road to the end of land, make ready, restless farer
This morning nebulous sunlight penetrates my heart
They tell me I must find the key to the other shore
In my heart at rest, I hope to find the entrance

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