Day 2 – Sunday, 28 July – Monastier-sur-Gazielle to Saint Front – 22 km
I slept ok, but I’m still waking up a lot because I’m having trouble regulating my body temperature. I wake up in a sweat, and then I’m too cold because I’m wet. It’s pretty nasty, but it’s not a problem I haven’t had before on the Camino. Hopefully my body figures it out soon. I’m used to sleeping with a fan.
I slept until 7:30. I couldn’t arrive at my next Gîte until 4 pm, and I only had 20k to go, which means about 6 hours of walking. Starting too early would be pointless. Another reason for starting a little later is that the rain was going to stop. Breakfast was excellent. I had my hot chocolate, along with lots of bread and butter and apricot, raspberry, and quince preserves.
I got started right around 9, and stopped in town to buy some croissants avec beurre. Yum. I also got a picture of the Stevenson statue. It was a very steep climb out of town, which is not unusual for this part of France. I’m still getting used to my gps trackers. Apparently I didn’t turn it off yesterday, which means when I went to turn it on this morning I actually turned it off. It took at least 1 kilometer for me to figure it out and turn it on.
It was cold and very windy, but I didn’t put my jacket on because of the climb. I felt pretty good this morning. My feet felt like they had recovered during the night. My hip flexors were still sore, but I did really well. It’s really the road walking that kills my feet. I’ll take rocky paths over roads any day. I didn’t have much road walking at the beginning, so I think that helped a lot.
Today was one of the most beautiful days I’ve had on a Camino. The weather was wonderful and the landscape was absolutely gorgeous. I feel very blessed to be here and be doing this.
I found a very well placed outhouse by a recreational forest. Walking on pine needles is heavenly. Pine needles all the way to Rome would be great, please and thank you.
When the sun came out, I pinned my socks to my bag so they could dry. I lost a sock that way last Camino, so I kept checking to see if they were there. It was easy when the sun was out, because I could just check to see the shadows.
I didn’t think there would be so many flowers this late in the summer, but there are flowers everywhere.
I got led down a path that was barely a path, and had to open an electric fence gate to get through. The problem is, on the other side, there was no gate. I didn’t hear the fence humming or clicking like you sometimes can, so I tested it to see if it was on. It was. It was shocking, but not horrible. I had to take off my bag and crawl under it.
I discovered that the town, Moudeyres, has to be the most charming little village in France. It looks like it’s out of a fairytale! There are even some thatched roofs!
There was a lot of road walking after this, which definitely hurt my poor little feet. But it was still an absolutely gorgeous day. I finally ate my croissants around 3.
I got into Saint Front at 4 and found my Gîte. The problem is no one was here, and I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do. I didn’t see my name, so I didn’t know if they were expecting me. I called the first number and no one answered, so I called the second number and it ended up being the host’s sister. It was pretty much a nightmare, just like how I imagine phone calls going when the other person doesn’t know any English. My French isn’t good enough to understand those kinds of conversations, especially when they use words I don’t know. At least she was very good humored about the whole thing. I just kept saying, “I don’t understand.” She was able to find someone near her who was a native English speaker and could translate.
I found my proper room and took a shower. I went outside to find the wash basin, and I found the lady sitting on the back patio! She was here the whole time and just didn’t answer her phone, but she doesn’t speak English either. At least it would have been easier in person. And it was a very long phone call at $.25 a minute.
I got my wash hung up. It’s very sunny and windy so they should be dry in no time. I should go check to make sure they didn’t blow off the line. I debated about going to check out the church, but it’s a bit of a walk and it’s still very sunny. I did get more burned today. I need to remember to put sunscreen on before I leave tomorrow. I will check out the church in the morning, hopefully. My feet do feel ok walking in my sandals. It does give me some hope that this time will be better than last time, but it’s also only day two.
It looks like I have a room to myself again. That’s one of the benefits of going on a less popular route.
My laundry isn’t dry yet, which isn’t that surprising, it hasn’t been very long, but at least it’s still hanging. I did discover, though, that my right hip flexor is not waning to work at all. I’m really having a hard time with the stairs. I will see if I can buy some arnica cream at the next pharmacy I find. I don’t think there’s one in this town.
My bag of pills is two pounds. The good news is I’ll use it up as I go, and will be two pounds lighter at the end. One of the things I brought is a magnesium malate tablet. This is a representation of how far I have to go. It sure seems like a long time. What an adventure is ahead of me!
I am the only one in the Gîte, so I ate dinner by myself. She brought dinner over and showed me how to get breakfast, and I paid up. So I guess I can leave any time I want tomorrow! I have 27k to go, and I’m staying at my first Accueil Jacquaire, which is basically a person who hosts you in their home. There is no set price, so technically a donation, but it is recommended that you pay them the same as you would somewhere else. I had the person at the tourism office call and book for me, because I’m not good at calling unless I know they speak some English. I don’t know where her house is, it just has her name and number, but I can call tomorrow when I get to town. That’s a little nerve wracking! She said not to get there until 6 because she works. Hopefully it all works out. But I have 27k to go and I can’t be there until 6. If I walk at 3k an hour, that’s 9 hours. That’s a very long day. The next day is 30k. I planned these days before I knew I was walking so much slower. I will have to keep that in mind going forward.
Dinner was excellent. It was a chicken thigh and leg with some garlic and onions, and herbed potatoes that were divine. The simple salad was excellent as well, and the cheese was mild and soft. I always want to ask what the names of the cheeses are, but I would never be able to understand or remember or repeat them anyway. The chocolate eclair was even better than it looked. Man, I love the food here. I also have high expectations for Italy. The food I got in Spain was pretty bad. I’m sure there is good food there that isn’t frozen or out of a can, but I didn’t find any of it, even in restaurants.