Le Chemin de St. Jacques – people come and disappear

Le Chemin de St. Jacques -Garrone


Every  French school child learns that France has four major rivers. The Seine, of course, in Paris. The Loire which I have only seen from a train but if you know wines, you’ve heard about the Loire valley, around Lyon. The Rhone in Provence and the Garonne in SW France.

The Chemin crosses the Garonne a couple of times (see the photo above) and follows a canal which parallels the river. Very flat, but the trail in general goes up and down quite a bit.

Le Chemin de St. Jacques - GargoyleThe days are getting shorter, as they are every place in the Northern hemisphere. But in addition, I’m walking west, yes SW, but mainly west. So it really gets light a lot later. I can no longer start hiking at 7 am or even 7:30. I certainly don’t want to miss a blaze. I wear a compass around my neck. When I get confused and can’t find a blaze, I choose the SW direction. So far, so good.

After walking alone for several days, I met Dieter, a 70plus year old man from South Africa. He doesn’t speak a word of French and was so happy to find an English speaker.

Le Chemin de St. Jacques - DieterWe ended up in same gite and he asked me to leaf through a book he had written about his experiences on the Spanish El Camino. He was actually carrying his 300-page book. I read bits of it and we talked about on the trail this morning. After all, I published three books: I must be an expert  🙂 🙂 Not!! He’s long gone his own way.

Who will I meet tomorrow?


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