Sunday, October 10, 2010

Conques to Livenhac - Day 10, October 6, 2010

Boy were we misled. Everyone told us that after Conques the chemin is so much flatter and easier. Those must have been the pilgrims who ended their walk in Conques. This was a truly brutal day. Up and down and up and up. We took some time in the morning to take some pictures of Conques and then wound our way out of town through the curvy narrow streets. We started with a 45 minute steep steep climb and that just set the pace for the rest of the day. It took us three hours to do the first 10km and with the heat and sun we were exhausted and dehydrated. There was one place where the markings of the GR65 were very ambiguous. The GR65 markings directed us back towards a village called Nolinhac but then we saw a faded wooden marking directed us towards Decazville - the correct way. Later in the morning Julia missed that wooden sign - but more of that later.

Of course there was a steep, rocky descent into the village of Decazville - beyond brutal. We were so hot and so thirsty and then, lo and blessedly behold, there at the bottom of the hill was a grungy snack bar and it was open! We thought it was a slice of heaven. Dayton ordered a couple of cokes and Perrier and a microwaved cheeseburger and I had fries (frozen not fresh cut but now was not the time to be picky) and we were ecstatic. Then on again in the heat to Livenhac.

We couldn't find the Chambre d'hotes where we had planned to stay but it turned out that the communal gite was perfect. It was big, clean with lots of rooms so we didn't have to share and there was an epicerie and patisserie right beside it. We loaded up on cheese, tomatoes and wine. Julia showed up exhausted about two hours after us. We had thought she was in front of us but, hours earlier, she had missed an obscure sign and had taken a loop back towards Conques. Imagine how depressing to walk for hours and find yourself back near the start. There is a wonderfully experienced pelerin, Ann Marie, on the route and when she met up with Julia she set her straight. Julia has been putting her faith in Dayton's path finding skills and walking with us ever since.

We shared a good meal of bread, tomatoes, cheese and some meat and ended up sharing the room. Then headed out the next morning as the church bells rang and rang, heading out for Figeac. Another hot brutal day.

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