The post photo was taken this morning at first light, after I had gathered my belongings together and just before I had made my way into the centre of Eauze to seek out coffee and a pastry of any description.
Yesterday morning, with wet socks and t-shirt strapped onto the rear of my rucksack, I began the walk towards the next town on the route: Eauze.
About a kilometre out of Condom I met a new pilgrim friend, the lovely Anna from Germany:
We ended up walking and chatting the whole day together, through the semi-inspiring countryside which would probably have been full-on inspiring had the sun been shining and had the rain not again made its introduction into the late afternoon. The conversation with Anna though more than made up for the unseasonable weather and there was also solace in sections of the scenery on display along this route:
Yesterday was also a day of meeting up again with pilgrims from days past.
The walk from Condom to Eauze is typically devoid of any shops or cafes, except for the village of Montreal which adds a certain element of civilisation to this stretch. There are a few restaurants and cafes here, plus a shop which closes from 12-3pm.
This is also Buzet country and although I haven’t tasted any on this trip, I can recommend from experience this semi-sophisticated wine which is produced in this generally over-producing wine region:
In the evening I said my goodbye’s to Anna as I continued on to Eauze (Anna stopped at a Gite on the way – about 8km from Eauze and run by a Mr Fritz who is from Germany). I stumbled upon a Donativo Gite at around 10pm and had to endure for about half an hour the moans from the owner about how it was so late and how I should have arrived much earlier. I apologised but couldn’t help complain within myself that OK, I get it and that he didn’t have to let me in and offer to me that I could sleep in the adjoining chapel for the night. Of course he was in the right and anyhow, I slept a not altogether deep sleep in the adjoining chapel (which turned out to be the garden shed with a few religious images inside) and then woke up at around 5am, went and had a shave and shower, and then left to take a look around Eauze in the very early morning. Surprisingly a market was being set up at this unearthly time:
I then found a cafe, where I have been sitting for the past hour – sipping black coffee and wiping shards of croissant pastry off my chin – and from where I will begin my walk onwards into a day which so far looks like it might be less seasonably challenged and more conducive to suntan lotion aroma and the feel of dry socks and boots clinking on the dry earth and rocks of the Camino path.