Monday, April 21, 2014

Day 18 - Saint-Antoine - Lectoure (24 kms)

Saint-Antoine - Miradoux - Castet-Arrouy - Lectoure 

I had the idea that I would write tonight about the walking itself - prompted by something Helen (Mum) wrote in an email overnight - that someone had made the comment to her that the film 'The Way' hadn't done justice to the Camino because it made the walking look too easy. It got me thinking whether I agree with that and how hard is it really - but like the accommodation, the food, and a few other topics I haven't got around to yet, that will have to wait for another time. Perhaps tomorrow night. 

You see I had started this update earlier this afternoon with the ritual uploading of the photos - I always do that first because if the connection is not strong it can take a while. And I figure if you're only going to get words or pictures - the pictures win hands down. 

Anyhoo, photos were uploaded while I enjoyed a glass of wine in the sunny courtyard of a lovely hotel near where I'm staying. When I returned to the gite, intending to write the words, the hospitalero Veronique invited me to have a cup of tea. She is delightful and has been very kind to me. Her establishment (like many others on the Chemin) offers both Chambre d'Hote (private rooms) and the gite. There are two couples staying in the private rooms and I have the 6 bed gite room, with two bathrooms and huge kitchen and access to the garden, all to myself. 

Veronique is a delightful host and a great storyteller with tales of her own travels on The Way as well as the many pilgrims she has had stay with her over the last six years. Before I knew it, it was past 7 and time to find somewhere to eat. Veronique doesn't offer demi pensione, and it's Easter Monday, so there are not many choices in Lectoure tonight. On Veronique's advice I went to Le Rouge Gorge. It's a quirky little place and it was buzzing. 

Dinner was fabulous, probably the most delicious since my night with Evelyn and Roland and family in Cajarc. I wished I had my camera. But probably just as well I didn't have the opportunity to embarrass myself by photographing the decor, the food, the other guests and the enormous dog at the next table (under the table). It looked like a cross between a shibu and a malamute. But seemed to have very good manners.

So I'm back at the gite later than usual, with a few chores to do before bed time. I'm planning a 30+ day tomorrow so need to be well rested. Just a few things before I sign off - 

Great to hear from you via texts, comments and emails - David A (Brisbane), Jill, Rosanne, Ana (thank you for the photos!) and Marc. And Helen (Mum), Bev, Mike, and all other family members via the family update emails. I feel I'm now up to date with all the news and love the photos of baby Fred in Zurich. 

Hello also to Line in Norway and thank you for your kind comments on the blog. I'd be very happy to let you know about the gear I use etc as requested. As I don't have an email address for you, if you send me an email to I'll reply directly. 

Big thank you to Clare and Richard for your message and photo of Zoe and Zac enjoying the harbour view at George's Heights, Mosman on Easter Monday. The Zs have had a very social long weekend. Just to prove there are dogs more spoilt than mine but possibly not as spoilt as the one at Le Rouge Gorge tonight - I am including a photo I took from outside the vet surgery in Lauzerte. No lying on the floor for that pooch! 

The very last photo tonight is of one of Marc Heffner's Camino works. Marc is a German born artist now living in London. The Camino inspires some of his work. Jill and I first saw a print of one of his paintings in an albergue in Ventosa last year. On my return after that Camino, I managed to 'track him down' and now Jill and I both have some of his lovely prints as mementos of our Camino. Marc has been following the blog and sent me an email last night and attached a photo of one of his paintings. It reminds me of my time on the Camino Frances last year with Jill and also of home! Very special, thank you Marc. 

C'est tout pour le moment. A bientot. 

J x


  1. Hello there friend - I've been off air over Easter - at home at Leura where the big chill is about to settle in and the days are becoming shorter. Nevertheless, the colours of the leaves on the mountain trees are amazing and it's always such a pleasure to go home to the peace. Everything seems to settle once I drive off that highway and arrive at my little cottage. I saved each of your posts until this morning and enjoyed reading them all together. The photos are amazing and I think you're so brave. We will definitely need a catchup on your return as I'll be also picking your brains about your gear. In the meantime, stay safe and well and dry - I trust you had a happy Easter - Helen C x

  2. Hi Jen
    Easter has been more than hectic. Eric, Allan's dad, is coming over for Anzac Day this Friday. The three of us are going to the dawn service at South Arm, and having breakfast afterwards at the local RSL. Eric served in the 2nd WW so he'll feel right at home!
    You seem to be having a great time and the photos are just amazing. Enjoy the vino too and keep those stories coming!
    Jude xx

  3. Hi Jenny,
    Wow, these pics are sensational and the colours of the countryside are incredible.
    Easter back in Sydney was the most sensational weather we have had in years!! All four days were brilliant sunshine, 23-25 degree temps, no wind, and what a treat for Will, Kate and baby George to see Sydney at its finest. They've done the Easter show, the zoo, the 3 Sisters and off to Uluru today.
    I ventured to the Blue Mtns for 2 days of walking and of course golfing and the colours up there at this time of the year are beautiful. Just not quite a patch on the Chemin.
    Sounds like you are in great shape and having a wonderful adventure.
    Loving the blog. Jan x