Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 26 St. Antoine to Lectour

The rain that was promised yesterday was threatening again but all the clouds burned off by mid-morning and we had another hot sunny day. The first several kms were along country farm roads with the only stop a roadside stand where a farmer had left out some water, juice and hardboiled eggs. Dayton threw a Euro in the bucket and an egg in his pocket and he had his lunch. The 30kms were just long hot and sweaty. I,m still sticking with my plan not to whine but my left foot has not bought into the plan - it is crabby.
You meet such interesting characters on the camino. One of the most colourful was Desiree from Norway. Desiree is that person who has never met a stranger. She is as colourful in her outfit as her welcome/ lime-green and cream patterned leggings and shirt with a matching mini-skirt and thick hiking socks over Croc sandals a vision. Just before noon today we came across her in the Centre Ville of Castet-Arroux. Desiree immediately spotted us and asked us to join her as she had just ordered a snack. We wanted to go into the catedral first but she said she'd come in with us and sing for us in her 'quite ordinary voice'. Her voice was not quite ordinary but was surprisingly extraordinary and her song echoed beautifully throughout the church. After that we sat with her while she had her 'snack' - massive platter of salads, tabouleh, couscous, pat├ęs, cold meats, brie and roquefort cheeses and a baquette. Dayton was positively salivating in envy.

The other interesting pilgrim we came across was dressed in full ancient pilgrim regalia; leggings, a tunic, a staff and a flowing large black cape. he cut quite a figure. From Geneva, he was walking with his family of wife and three young children and this was their fourth year on the camino walking in etapes to Santiago. I did get a sense of the pilgrim purist in this guy and a bit of a condescending attitude towards those who made reservations in comfortable chambre d'hotes with demi-pensionne, of those who competively tracked the number of kilometres a day or who noted their blisters, shin splints and aches and pains. Oops, scored a hat trick with us on that one. This a good time to remember that the pilgrimage is individualistic; one does what one can and how one can. This is not the place to be judgemental.
One of the benefits of using a chambre d'hote is that often you stay with a family and you get to spend more time talking to them - in French or English or Spanish or any combo thereof - and that's always a good experience;


No comments:

Post a Comment