In the morning I reluctantly said my goodbye’s to Anja at the Gite in Saint-Privat-d’Allier, also wishing her a very Happy Birthday for the week to come, and then began the hard walk upwards. The walk began in mist and then slowly developed into a cold and cloudy sunny day.
The route takes you through beautiful countryside and I took a couple of photos on the way:
The path then descends quite dramatically to the village of Monistrol d’Allier, where it then again climbs and I took a photo of the view of the village from the top:
My way was temporarily upset by a herd of cows, nonchalantly meandering down the path:
Since Le Puy, there have always been at least a couple of other pilgrims along the way:
The signs for Le Puy Way are good so far and follow the GR 65 walking route.
The sign to let you know to continue walking ahead:
The sign to let you know that the path takes a turn to the right ahead:
The sign to let you know that the path takes a turn to the left ahead:
The sign to let you know that you took the wrong path option:
As you come over the top of the mountain you reach the little village of Rognac and it is here that you will find a little oasis, with an extremely warm and helpful owner, and an option to eat some of the best from the region and at a fraction of the price which you would pay in any of the local towns or cities:
All the food is grown/raised on the property.
I stayed for a while and gorged on the mushroom omelette:
Then, on the cheese and pate:
Then, on the blueberry tart:
While I was wiping off traces of pastry and fruit from my cheeks, along came Gabriel and I had a really productive chat with him for the half hour which he also spent wiping culinary goodness off his cheeks:
Gabriel is carrying a total weight on his shouldres of about 30 kilograms, but because of time restrictions can only walk 500km of the route from Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela. He told me some of his experiences working as a French Royal Commander abroad in such places as Somalia, and I could not help but respect this man’s achievements.
Before I left I had a photo taken of myself and the owner:
The way then gradually winds itself down to the town of Saugues, where I have now booked a night’s stay in a Gite to try and sleep without snore-interruption. The name of the Gite is Le Chalet Du Pelerin; I would recommend this as a sleeping option. The view of Saugues as you walk down within a kilometre of the town centre:
The owner of this place is very helpful:
The address of this Gite is:
Le Chalet Du Pelerin
Rue des Cimes a Saugues
(06 09 60 09 65 / 04 71 74 77 39)
Important to note is that there is also a Donativo sleeping option in this town and if seeking this out then you should ask at one of the town bars and they will direct you to the pay-by-donation Gite.