The only thing better than a baquette and a croissant for breakfast is a warm baquette and a hot croissant. And if I had known that tomorrow there would no opportunity to buy food anywhere, I would not have worried about the calories and would have eaten more but that's another story for later.
We rocked the poncho look today - what a vision. The first five kilometres were along a paved road then seven kilometres through the woods. At one point the ground was a thick dense sandy loggers' road and so very wet. Right after Dayton said, "Well at least it's firm to walk on." .....slurp! There went my feet sinking into mud right up to the top of my no longer new boots. Perfect. The rain continued to increase in intensity so when, right after we left the woods and came across a pilgrims' shelter, we took the opportunity to have a break and a snack. After our little respite, we followed a small paved road another five kilometres into Angles. With the rain dripping down from the brim of my hat and from the hood of my poncho and my feet sloshing away in my boots, I 'brought my attention to' (yoga speak) some of the principles I try to incorporate in my yoga classes. Shtira sukham is the concept of steadfast and ease; finding the comfortable ease in one's practice. On this Camino we may have that steadfastness and resolute down pat but sukham? not so much. Hard to find sukham with your eyes blurring with rain. As for my dristi, Sanskrit for a point of focus, it is literally down about three feet in front of my boots all day long. Metaphorically....probably still there three feet in front of my boots.
We arrived waterlogged in Angles around 12:30pm. The only store open (after all, it is Monday, another day of rest in France) was the charcuterie where we got the girl there to call Mssr. Passeport, our host for the night, to give us directions to his house. We were to walk 'tout droite' along the road out of town and he would meet us. It was raining really hard by now. As we trudged along looking for our host, we heard a yell from a distant yard. It was Mssr. Passeport waving to us from his covered porch. He obviously knew enough not to go out in the rain.
Before long we were in out of the rain, our gear was drying in front of a wood stove and we were enjoying a hot tea by the fire as well. Conversation is work. Robert speaks no English and my French is nothing to speak about. We are managing. We have had difficulty booking for tomorrow night. It's either 18 kms to Bouisset where there is nothing to eat there or on the way (apparently Tuesday is also a day of rest for this area) or 36 kms to Castres. Due to the promise of another day of rain, we are going to start out with the intent of a short day. If the sun comes out, we might change our plans and bust out a long day to Castres. Too many of these short distances on rainy days and we'll be lucky to get to Toulouse let alone Puente la Reina in Spain. And may I remind you that tomorrow we will be on a forced fast. Seriously, next Chemin I'd like to go somewhere a little less remote than the south of France, to a place with a Seven Eleven convenience store at least or a chip wagon.
Mssr. Passeport defines himself as an 'immobile Pelerin'. He has never walked the Chemin but does his Chemin through his pelerins. He is a retired anesthesiologist, although he says he is not a doctor - some different level of qualifications and specialties here that I didn't get - just that he put people to sleep. Presently he is a bee keeper and makes his own honey.
Robert is also a pretty good cook. Dinner started with a few aperitifs served with almonds and chips,much appreciated by this 'junk' food eater. Then we had a salad with mushrooms and red peppers, a platter of vegetables, rice and a chicken casserole all cooked on the top of the wood burning stove. The chicken casserole was made with carrots and olives and was acclaimed to be delicious by the meat eaters. After the main course was the cheese course followed by plates of strawberries, oranges, mango/passion fruit sorbet and, made by Robert, meringues. This is ridiculous and wonderful the amount of food we are being served but one has to be polite so we do our best.