Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wednesday, May 8 l'Isle Jourdain to Gimont

Apologizes for all my typos and for all the auto-'mis'corrections that I am missing. I have a theory. By night time I have no working brain cells. I start out okay in the morning but throughout the day my blood and brain cells drain to my ever swelling feet and pool there. Then I tromp all over them all day turning them into cerebral mush and when it comes time to turn them into any critical thought, there's not much left to work with....ergo the dangling preposition.

Quickest time up and ready this morning, latest time to leave. We were ready to go at 7am but had to wait until 7:30am for someone to unlock the door to the room where we had our food stored in the fridge. That person never came as promised. We waited and waited and waited and finally after 8pm we realized that we had to forget about our food, our oh so handy mesh bag and our 'spork' and just get going. Very disappointing and I don't think my minimal and so quickly deteriorating French is the problem. Someone just forgot to get up when they said they would. Surprisingly about an hour later, as we were heading across a paved road and back onto a dirt track, a small white van pulled in and started honking its horn and waving our mesh food bag out the window. Our lunch was delivered. The sun was shining but the ground was wet and muddy, definitely a gaiter-worthy day.

We got our first impressive look at the Pyrenees today. The mountain peaks were covered in snow and it is hard to believe that we plan to cross over these Pyrenees soon, maybe ten days from now.

We arrived in Gimont around 1:30pm and fortunately found a patisserie just before it closed up shop. It is a good thing too because, little did we know - but should have guessed, there would be nothing else to be had for dinner later on that night. We are in a true gîte tonight, sharing a room for the first time and hopefully the last. Chambre d'hôtes and hotels from now on please. Continuing my princess rant - even when I ask and got a very clear indication that the neighbouring bar served food until 3pm, it didn't. You could beg off a baquette with jambon but nothing for a vegetarian. I am now officially never attempting to speak French again. Hopeless. And.......our gîte has one roll of toilet paper for nine guests. Surely to goodness 32€ should include paper products. I guess they expect, that with no where to eat, there is no need for toilet paper. Aargh. I know that "a tourist demands, and a pilgrim accepts" and I would be so happy to accept toilet paper.

To interject a couple of positive notes here, my feet didn't hurt today, yay new boots. We went out in the rain long enough to decide we were not going to hike all over town with the hope of finding one pizzeria or hotel restaurant open. Luckily for Miss About to be Cranky, we were able to buy a bottle of regional wine from the one bar that was open, no food but wine to take out. I made some pretty excellent grilled cheese sandwiches with our leftover baquette and grilled the other sandwich we had bought at the patisserie. With the wine it was pretty good. Bedtime at the gîte was 7:30pm...that's what happens when you run out of food and wine.

I have no idea why this church picture was inserted. One of the mysteries of the computer that I cannot compute. So moving on .......


The winds and the rains are picking up which does not bode well for tomorrow.



  1. It is surprising how many problems you are having trying to find food and places to eat. This route does not sound very pilgrim friendly. Glad your boots are working out. That photo of the Pyrenees does get you thinking.

    John and Robin

  2. Hi Karen, I am reading your blog about 5 years after you wrote it. My husband and I are thinking of walking this route beginning in April, about the same time you walked, so I am reading all with great interest. We had similar problems finidng food and places open while walking the Geneva to Le Puy route in 2012. Even on the rotue from Le Puy in 2010, I often had a hard time getting to villages when shops or restaurants were open. After awhile I learned to anticipate that we might be eating just what we had in our packs.
    I'm enjoying reading of your adventures, so many experiences are familiar to me from previous caminos and chemins. I may ask some questions later on. And say hi to Tom Friessen if you see him! He was one who trained us to be hospitaleros. We also attended his music workshop for hospitaleros in Zamora in November 2016. Pllgrims connect! Linnea