Yesterday morning as I began walking out of Saugues, I had the lovely fortune of again bumping into my pilgrim friend Anja; who had hitched half of the distance the day before and so had also managed to stay overnight in Saugues. Yesterday was a bright blue clear sky day and we spent the entire day walking together, talking, and enjoying each other’s company:
I learned a lot from Anja yesterday and it was one of those days which are bliss.
The path was also lovely; running along smooth chalk and surrounded either by pine trees or succulent meadows interrupted only with the clear flow of mountain streams:
Along the way there were few opportunities for water refills, but we did find one farm which allowed picnics and we had our siesta in the warmth of the midday sun and surrounded by the stone houses so common to this area:
One point worth mentioning here is that although most people are hospitable in this area, I have found that there seem to be a few jaded characters around who seem to go out of their way to make you feel unwelcome. I hadn’t really experienced this so far from my route from Prague until beginning on the Le Puy route and naturally it must be because a few people are sick of the sight of pilgrims, or that they have come to accept the business from pilgrims as second nature that they treat pilgrims only as walking dollar signs. Not everyone, but more than before. Reminds me of the Camino Frances in Spain. However, the stop at the siesta point was wonderful and in this case the owner was very friendly and although I didn’t buy anything other pilgrims said his food offered was excellent.
As the day continued our conversations became more open and varied and a lovely topic we spoke about was of the “Donkey Bridge”. In Austrian German they have this phrase for when you want to remember somebody’s name and when you use a word association to remember it (it is a way of remembering words and names). Donkey Bridge 🙂
We rolled into the town of St-Alban sur Limagnole at around 7:30pm, ordered a pizza – which we shared, and Anja then showed me some card tricks and other mental puzzles. We said our goodbye’s because Anja was sleeping in her small tent and I wanted to find somewhere warm. I have a feeling I will bump into Anja again. The Camino is transient and everyone is walking the same path; only at different speeds. The same direction though.
After futile attempts at finding a place to sleep in a building, I settled down under a section of roofing and actually had the best sleep of the past 2 or 3 weeks on that cold, stone floor:
In the morning I woke up early and began the walk which would bring me to the town of Aumont-Aubrac, where I am now working online at the very friendly Tourist Information office. On the way I saw a couple of places which might have been a more comfortable sleeping place last night:
I’m going to stop for a short siesta now and then head off again on the path this afternoon.