Day 9 – Sunday, 4 August – Saint Antoine L’Abbaye to Roybon – 19km

I actually slept pretty well. I didn’t have super far to go, and I couldn’t arrive until 2 pm, so I didn’t want to leave too early, even though it was going to be a hot day.

After breakfast, Daniel dropped me back at St. Antoine L’Abbaye. He parked right by the market, so I could buy a toothbrush and toothpaste. I also thought about getting some sunscreen, but it was 15E and very heavy. I should have planned the sunscreen better. I didn’t need as much last time, but I also didn’t walk in August. The travel size is handy, but I should have brought two or three. I will keep looking for some smaller sizes. I’m thinking about squeezing out half of my huge toothpaste. My pack feels like it’s getting heavier. I have been filling up my bladder every day, so that really adds a lot. 3L is 6.6 lbs. Yeah, so I really am walking with a 25 lb pack instead of 19 lbs. But I honestly don’t regret it. Carrying bottles in my pockets worked for the Camino, but this part of France is harder to find water, and you need more of it with all the hills. I am glad I brought it. Very glad.

I trekked back up the hill to the abbey and took some morning light pictures. I used the public toilet to brush my teeth, then it was back down the hill and on the way around 9:30. It was a very long, uphill climb on a road out of the valley. It got very hot very fast.

I got passed by some horse riders on a Sunday morning ride. Horses walk a lot faster than pilgrims do. 

I hadn’t spent time mapping my route before I left, so I ended up having to back track a little. It was not the most direct route, but that’s ok, because the direct route usually means roads. Plus it was a short day, so I didn’t mind adding a little. Apparently it was supposed to be 14k, but it ended up being 19k. Some of that was from back tracking. 

My map said there was supposed to be a little chapel, but when I got there there was no chapel and 3 picnic tables. I decided to take advantage and rest my feet for 15 mins. I think it did help a bit. I really am very blessed. My feet do hurt pretty badly, but they also seem to be recovering some during the night.  My lets are doing better. I haven’t been having any trouble with my hip abductors the past few days, so think that’s a very good sign. But my poor feet. My costochondritis seems to be holding off as well. It just seems like it’s always on the edge of a flare, waiting for the wrong move to set it off. So far so good. I have been afraid of what carrying a pack during a flare would feel like. I think I made it through the first Camino without a bad one. Once again, these are all miracles. I have to go to the chiropractor if I sneeze wrong.

I walked a little out of the way to visit an abbey with nuns. It took me a few minutes to work up the courage to just walk onto the grounds, but I did. I didn’t see any nuns. I did see the church. I bet it had great acoustics for when they’re all singing.

I also took advantage of the public bathroom.

I went through some woods called Gargamelle. I didn’t see any smurfs. Smurfs are French, after all, right? My book said that the road through this woods was very muddy when it rained. Parts of it were very muddy even when dry. It got me in one spot, but luckily my shoe didn’t go too deep. It should all dry and fall off without too much trouble.

I walking into the camping place at 2:10, so my timing was pretty much perfect. I’m in a little cabanette with electricity for 28.44 E. Dinner is extra. And I might not get breakfast. She said if I leave before 9:30 I have to drop the key in a box. Luckily my cabanette is close to the office and bathrooms, so even though I had to walk back and forth a lot, I didn’t have to go very far.

They have pool here, and I was tempted for the first time to try my swimming clothes. But then, there’s all that extra effort after of having to wash and dry. Maybe I’ll have to take a day off in a place with a pool. 

I got pretty hungry this afternoon, so I finally ate the sandwich they made for me two days ago. It was delicious. I do think it had something like mayonnaise on it, but it hasn’t appeared to make me sick. I also ate the 6 apricots they gave me. Hopefully my pack will feel lighter tomorrow.

The cabin itself is pretty hot. There are no windows. But I am happy to be here after all the trouble I had booking the last few days. Luckily the hostess here is super, super nice and she speaks English well. She helped me book the next 4 days, so I don’t have to worry for a few days. I do need to remember to book the weekend early enough, because she thinks that’s why I couldn’t find anything. 

Unfortunately tomorrow is going to be 30k+, but the next few are shorter.

Ok, maybe I spoke too soon about the costochondritis. I should know better tomorrow.

Chicken with mushroom sauce and fries. The fries were good. First ones of this Camino. I got a gaufre for dessert. Hopefully I’ll get to have a crepe sometime before I leave France, but I’m not counting on it. I didn’t have any luck last time.



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  1. I read that as “I used the public toilet brush.” Ha.
    I like the archway photos. Hooray for having four days booked!


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