Monday September 14 – Day 11
Today started with rain. Not a storm, just gray, steady rain. I geared up and put my rain stuff on. It was much better today because I didn’t get soaked. My motorcycle boot covers, which are not made for walking in, are pretty shredded on the bottom. They serve their purpose, though.
It was only a 10k walk into town, so about 6 miles.
Conques is billed as one of the most beautiful cities in France. I got in about noon, and it rained off and on all afternoon. I saw Anick, and Monique and the two Francoises, and Megan, and Pru and Bronnie, and Etienne’s group. Anick and I were starving, so we got some food. Megan only got a cheese plate because she was down to her last 10 E. Apparently the only ATM machine in town was stolen. Like , ripped out of the wall, stolen. She paid for my room with her credit card and I gave her cash.
Megan had a private room in the Abbey with two beds, and I was in the dormitory with 10 bunk beds. I did not like the feeling of it at all. It made me not even want to take a shower. I know that a lot of places in Spain will be like that, but I just didn’t like the feeling. Megan offered me to stay with her, and I gladly accepted. She is my Camino Angel today.
Unfortunately, most of the afternoon in this wonderful little town was spent in the office of tourisme, trying to book accommodation for the next two nights. I finally found one place for tomorrow. They said they would have room if I took a mattress on the floor. I said yes. The next night is booked in a real hotel in Figeac, in my own room, no food, for 46 E. I also spent an hour with the wifi uploading pictures for two days. I only had time to post one day, but at least I got something done! I don’t know when I’ll have wifi next.
My feet and ankles are still very swollen. My cute little feet are little pudge balls, and not nearly so cute. And my cankles are definitely not cute. Oh! Funny story. This morning I tried to cut my toenails, and my big toenail broke the clippers.
The church / Cathedral is huge and gorgeous. The windows are very plain.
Dinner was fun. There was a wonderful carrot salad, and then lasagna for the main course, and cheese, and then a caramel flan, which looked exactly like pumpkin pie.
Megan discovered a huge spider in the stairwell. I had her put her finger in the picture for scale, then I returned the favor for her. I decided it’s an Abbey Spider. Megan decided he’s the guardian of the abbey. He (or she) is definitely big enough to eat an imposter.
Monique said she likes American accents over English and Australian, she said it sounds like singing when we speak French. I think that’s odd.
They had a whole program for us tonight after dinner. At 8:30 there was another prayer service, very similar to Vespers, which was before dinner. Then at 9 a guy stood out in front of the church (cathedral?) and explained the thing over the door. I guess it’s called a tympanum. I thought it had something to do with drums. Too bad it was all in French, because I bet it’s an interesting story. I only caught a few words here and there, and I did hear him say “poor horse”. Then right at 9:30 the organ concert started, and that was truly awesome. We saw some people heading up the stairs, and Megan and I didn’t realize you had to pay until we got up there. I told Megan I would pay for her, it was 6 E. She said it was ok, but I said, “when are you ever going to get a chance like this?” It was kind of awesome. We got to walk all around the second level balcony, and the organ music was very cool. Odd choice of music, but it was still cool. At one point I thought, “Is that really ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale?'” and then he started playing “House of the Rising Sun” for the finale.
It’s super late, but it was totally worth it.
I have a pretty long day tomorrow, and I want to try to take a few more pictures in town, or find something to eat for lunch.