Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Oct. 12 Expectations
I find a good way to stay happy and positive on a camino is to keep your expectations low and then you are rarely disappointed and often you find delight in the simplest amenities. - like having towels provided or even toilet paper. Ha. When you pay 5 Euros for petit dejeuner don't expect eggs benedict as the usual fare is the remnants of the baquette left over from dinner the night before and if they throw in the leftovers from the cheese tray or actually toast the bread it is a delightful bonus. Put your trust in the guidebooks but keep those expectations in check at the same time. Just because the route indicates that you are going through a couple of villages, don't expect to find an epicerie (small grocery store) and even if there is one, don't expect to find it open. The shop hours here are very erratic - at least to us. They seem to close from noon to 5pm, close Saturday afternoon and most are closed from Sunday noon to Monday noon. The other day we enjoyed our picnic lunch on the patio of a pizzaria without disturbing the owners. The pizzaria is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9:30 to 11:30pm. Seriously, six hours a week. How does anyone make a living? Restaurants have different hours too. You can rarely get any food served from 2pm until after 7pm. Then again, when you least expect it you come across an epicerie that is stocked with cold lemonade and fresh cheese and baguettes or you find that as you pass that restaurant which the book says is closed on Sunday is actually open and the proprietor is just falling all over you to serve you cold drinks and it's such a treat. Don't expect the listed mileages to be accurate either and then you'll never be disappointed to find that that 27 kms is really 37kms. Our lady friends from New Caledonia (South Pacific) took a variant route from Figeac to Rocomadour. They expected two, twenty-seven km days to get there and almost the same to continue to Cahors. It turned out each day was closer to if not more than 40kms and with their heavy packs and slow pace they were walking more than 11-12 hours a day. So... add a few kms to the amount posted and then if you see that beautiful village appear in the distant earlier than expected, you are so so so happy. The demi pensionne meals have been quite adequate, not haute cuisine but substantial. Then the night in the Gite Le Nid des Anges, we were treated to the best meal ever. Carrot leek soup, bulgar wheat and chicken fricasse and the best apple crumble with a raspberry coulis. The next night in Lauzerte we had an amazing six course meal; apperitif, soup, salad, entree with the best potatoes au gratin ever, cheese and fig course and then dessert. Now that exceeds any and all expectations. Marvellous!