Estaing - Fonteilles - Massip - Golinhac - Espetrac - Senergues - Conques
What a wonderful day's walk leading us to Conques, officially one of the most beautiful villages in France - our third in the past two days. Saint-Come-d'Olt, Estaing (where we stayed last night) and now Conques. I hope the photos give you an idea. I wonder if you have visited here?
A long walk but so much easier than yesterday, thanks to slightly cooler temperature, a little cloud cover and the steepest sections being in the morning when we are at our lost energetic rather than the afternoon.
This was my last day walking with Sive and a fitting end to a thoroughly enjoyable time together. By 7.30 we were ready to leave our Chambre d'Hote in Estaing along with Mary Rose and Brian from Melbourne. They had stayed in the same place and we all enjoyed breakfast together. A slight delay though.
The evening before I'd left my shoes downstairs as is usually the case for pilgrims who are understandably asked not to wear their dusty / muddy boots inside. On the way down to breakfast this morning in socks (2 pairs mind you) I'd felt something sharp in the heel of my left foot. Hmmm. I didn't think too much of it but as the time came to leave I soon found that I couldn't walk far without a sharp pain right into my heel. Quelle horreur!!
A full medical investigation followed and I discovered two splinters. Not good news. Ultimately, with minor surgery, assisted by Sive, I was able to remove the larger of the two splinters and we were on our way by 8 am. Crisis averted. The other splinter is still there and it bothered me a little today, but not enough to get in the way of our 30+ kms. A little paw paw ointment and compeed for cushioning and I'm hoping it won't cause any problems.
We four walked uphill through the forest for the first three hours before leaving Mary Rose and Brian at Golinhac. I won't see them again on this Camino as they stayed two towns back tonight and are finishing their walk in Conques tomorrow night. But this morning's walk gave us a chance to get to know each other a little better and uncovered a surprising coincidence. Brian asked me where I lived and when I replied Crows Nest he said 'I have a brother in Crows Nest'. Long story short, his brother, sister-in-law and family live in Ernest Steet, same as me. He is going to check the street number - he's pretty sure it's 90 something on the south side of the street. I'm at 106 across the road. I look forward to introducing myself when I get home!
A special treat tonight - we are staying in the the abbey in Conques - the Abbeye Sainte-Foy. It's wonderful. In the photos towards the end, the abbey is to the left of the church and has purple / maroon shutters. Our second treat, a delicious farewell dinner with Sive. She's been great company and I'm sure I will miss her in the coming days.
Getting late again! But want to say that I so much appreciate your comments, emails and texts. Thank you today to Cathy (love to you, Tony, Georgia, Adam and Leo), Helen C., Marian, Jill, Julie (your email just arrived as I'm writing this) and to Richard and Clare for your update on the Zoe and Zac - so pleased all going well. I really appreciate the wonderful care you are taking of my 'family'.
Best turn lights out and off to bed. Perhaps the monks and sisters have a curfew!