June 6th, 10th Day of Will on the Way:
I slept well and awakened with the first light and bird song at my usual 5:30 hour. Though a bit tired I felt rested. I packed up and then wrote until 6:30 when I awoke Barb. We were having breakfast at 7:00 hoping to be on our way by 7:30. Barb was in a deep sleep and was challenged in getting started. However, being the trooper she is she rallied and by 7:00 we were ready and headed downstairs for our petite dejouner. Hot black coffee, toasted baguette, and homemade jams. We ate our fill and made our snacks and said goodbye to Denise. She gave us directions on how to meet up with the chamin. Shortly before leaving it began to rain and we donned our ponchos, it was going to be a rainy walk today.
Since our day in the rain on Sunday I have learned to be much more vigilant in spotting the markers. Though I will say since Yenne they seem to be more frequent. I can now spot one a hundred yards away even being that I am somewhat near sighted. I believe when I am on my own, after Barb leaves me in Le Puy, I will be able stay on the Way without getting lost.
We picked up the chamin in Le Pin where we found a boulangerie that was open and bought two ham and butter sandwiches as well as two pain au chocolate. The proprietress wasn’t the most friendly, but it was early and we were soaking wet and dripping in her shop having just come out of the the rain. On our way out of town we stopped to put on our rain pants. It was now raining steadily and was getting colder.
We had a long day ahead of us and needed to keep a steady pace to make our destination of Cote de St. Andre by 5:00. Our pace was brisk and my aches of the previous day were gone! It seemed a miracle. By 10:00 we were ready for a snack break. While sitting there we saw our friend Mikeala approaching. She stopped briefly for a hello and was soon on her way. We shortly followed behind her. The walk was pleasant and quite pretty in some parts. Only one very long ascent which led us to some spectacular views of misty mountains in the distance. The descent from the hill was rather trecherous and I was glad to be down on level ground again.
The bottom of the hill led us to Grand Lemps where we stopped by a steam in a field on the outskirts of town to eat our ham and butter sandwiches. We laughed when we looked inside and saw the butter was layered on in quarter-inch thick slabs. And though we both like butter, this was more than we wanted, throwing most of it out. As we were finishing our repast Mikaela walked by and waved from the road. We guessed she had eaten lunch in town which explained why she was now behind us.
Looking at the map we saw we are a little over half way to Cote de St. Andre. Rallying our energy we began the afternoon walk. Our feet were tired but nothing was seriously bothering us physically. Half an hour later we ran into Mikaela yet again, three times is a charm as my grandmother used to say, and she asked to walk with us.
The rest of the afternoon we walked together. Sometimes talking sometimes not. Her being with us seemed to give Barb and I an extra boost of energy and by 4:45 we had made our way to our B&B called the Villa Janette. Mikaela happened to be staying at a nearby place too, so we parted with goodbyes of see you tomorrow on the chamin.
The Villa Janette was a lovely old house with a spacious garden. Our hostess greeted us and showed us our suite, which included a bathroom with a big tub. We both took long hot baths, a rare and special treat on the Way. After a rest we went to the garden to do yoga stretching, something we were committed to doing no matter how tired we were for it made such a difference the next day.
Our hostess called us into dinner as we finished our stretching. A lovely table was set for four and soon we met her husband and inn keeper, whose full time job was running the chambre d’hote as a B&B is called in France. We were served yet another gourmet dinner of fish, a meddly of vegetables and individual servings of cheese soufflees. This was followed by a beautifully presented strawberry tart made by our hostess with strawberries from her garden. She was in charge of the desserts.
Conversion over dinner ranged far and wide. The gentleman was in commercial sales before starting this business and his wife a nurse at a local home for the aged. They told us of the history of the house, it having been a maternity home, a factory for making kid gloves, and other incarnations prior to their taking it over They had many visitors from the Way, but few American had been guests. The house did have a nice energy and I felt it was happy in its new role.
At the end of the evening we got around to talking about how to make it to Le Puy within the eight days we had left. We all brainstormed for a a while before coming up with a plan to skip one of the days by driving the route rather walking it. Though this meant breaking the walk’s continuity we couldn’t see any other way, primarily due to lack of accomodations on the way if we were to do longer walks to make up for the time needed to get to Le Puy by the 15th. Then we talked about which day to skip and how to manage it. While it is common for people to hire taxis for this very reason we weren’t sure what town would have taxis to do so. Because we knew that our current location would have a taxi we decided on leaving from Cote de St. Andre. Then Barb had the brilliant idea of asking if our hosts knew of anyone who might wish to earn a little money and drive us instead. Our host agreed he could do it and offered us a reasonable fee for the trip. We then made reservations for the next evening’s stop at Chavanay and left a message for Mikaela at her host’s home that we would not meet in her on the chamin tomorrow.
To bed we went happy to have resolved this dilemma.
Day Ten Photos
“Barb meets a friend and we see beauty in a field of grass. Buildings in Loire have a different structure. We view a chapel over Chavanay.”
“Leaving Chavanay with the Rhone below and it’s a long way to Santiago. We have a lunch break. I’ve never seen such wild flowers. “
“Reminder of our Way. Here is our shelter for pilgrims. St Joseph greets us on the Way.”
“Shades of green and we arrive at our chateau in the village of Bessey.”