June 10th, 14th Day of Will on the Way: Misty Mountain Day.
I awoke at my usual 5:30 hour. I worked on the blog while Barb slept. By 7:00 we were up and doing our yoga excercises which we found helped us greatly. By 8:00 we were at breakfast and Barb was ecstatic that none of the other guests were up yet and we had the place to ourselves. Our host came in and greeted us wishing us a good journey.
The prediction was for rain but the morning was dry and cool. We had a pleasant walk to Bourg-Argental about 9 K from where we stayed. Here we found all that we needed for the day: a cash machine, a boulangerie, and a speciality grocery store that sold vegetables, fruits and cheeses. As it was Sunday we felt lucky to have found these shops open.
In the center of town we saw our first sign to Le Puy – 72 K, a trip of an hour by car but one that would take us four more days by the chamin. We headed out towards Les Setoux our next destination, another 16 K away.
The walk continued to gain in elevation and the weather began to change for the worse. I had hoped we would escape the front coming in but no such luck. Soon we were socked under a misty cloud which drizzeled on us the rest of the afternoon.
By 3:00 we had left civilization behind and were ascending and descending on rocky dirt roads in beautiful mountain forested lands. With our rain gear we kept dry though my feet hurt and they were feeling cold. We were able to follow our markers though they were less frequent and it was more challenging to find them than had been the case recently.
By 5:00 we found a sign telling us that Les Setoux was 4 K away. Encouraged by this we believed we would be there in an hour or so. Well that 4 K went on for what seemed like an eternity. I was practicing focussing on my breathing as this gave me something to concentrate on rather than my tired and fatigued body. It worked so well that at one point I was light-headed and in fear of passing out. I had to take a break and eat something to bring me back onto my body.
The ups and downs seemed interminable. There was a stretch where we couldn’t find any of our red and white markers and we despaired of having to retrace our steps to find the last one seen.
Finally the ground leveled out again and we located our marker. Oh Yea! Soon we saw a welcome sign showing 1 K to Les Setoux. Though it seemed we had been walking far more than 3 K’s since the sign, we were just happy to know that the next village was just ahead.
We reached it close to 7:00 and saw a notice at a house stating this was the place to get information about the Gite we were looking for. A friendly woman came out in response to her barking dog and told us where to find it and that the door was open. She also mentioned that there were three others staying the night and if we wanted breakfast it would be served here, at her house in the morning, not at the Gite.
We found the Gite without a problem. It was the last house on the chamin before exiting the village. This was a communal Gite with 38 beds. It was the first time we had stayed in this kind of accommodation. After taking off our boots and rain gear we found a dorm-like room upstairs with multiple bunk beds, a few with articles of clothing indicating someone had claimed them for the night.
We choose our own beds and were happy to discover a wall heater nearby as the room was chilly. After a nice hot shower we met two of the other pilgrims, a couple from Insbrook Austria, who were headed to Santiago where they left on May 3rd and had encountered all kinds of weather on the way, including snow.
Dinner that night was the remainder of our bread and cheese, a can of sardines, two nectarines and the last of our chocolate. Being that it was Sunday, and the village so small with only one inn which was closed, we had to make do with light fare.
I was more tired than I had been yet on this journey and went to bed at 8:30, even before Barb, a first. I was on the top bunk and snuggled into my sleeping bag with blankets from the Gite piled on top, I was soon fast asleep.
Day Fourteen Photos
“Our Gite in Sestoux. Barb and Will on the Way. Misty Mountain.”
“Barb on the way to Chavanay. Leaving this department and entering the Haired Loire. Saying goodbye to the Rhone as we enter Chavanay. St. Jacques watching over us. “
“Patrick and Claude two dear Pelerin. Patrick in rain rain gear and being funny.”
“The missing piece of the puzzle.”
“Will and Barb in rain. Barb and Patrick singing Utreia the pilgrim’s song.”