Which Way? ~ Day 4 ~ April 11, 2014

Day 4, April 10
9 miles, 19 miles total
Altitude: 1,969 feet
Weather: warm and sunny
Monistrol-d’Allier

So, how does one cross 500 miles of rural France without a GPS or the language? No bread crumbs to follow here; rather, follow the red and white stripes found on trees, pipes, rocks, houses…well just about anything that doesn’t move. Parallel lines mean to continue straight while lines forming an “X” means deviates, do not go. White lines at a “right” right angle mean take the next right; where as, white lines at a “left” right angle mean take a left. Every time a turn is presented all other option are marked with a red and white “X.” When I come to a junction I find myself saying, “This, not that.”

Have I gotten off course? Yes. Yelling does not help. Back-track and all you need to know is there.

Camino magic. Today I passed trail markers, the Hansel and Gretel of the Camino.

 

 

20140516-142841.jpg

20140516-142949.jpg

Accordion ~ Day 4 ~ April 10, 2014

Day 4, April 10
9 miles, 19 miles total
Altitude: 4,134 feet
Weather: warm and sunny
Monistrol-d’Allier

Sitting outside at my second gite I hear an accordion in the distance; hence, I must still be in France. The gite sits at the bottom of a gorge from which I spent hours descending. Perched on the rim of the gorge sits a tiny 13th century chapel , Chapelle Saint Jaques,Rochgude,, dedicated to St James. Though no larger them my dining room, the humble chapel with stain glass window of a pilgrim was well worth the climb.

 

 

20140516-142305.jpg

20140516-142402.jpg

In the Beginning ~ Day 3 ~ April 9, 2014

Day 3, April 9
10 miles, 10 miles total
Altitude: 3,698 feet
Weather: warm and sunny
Montbonnet

In the beginning, a pilgrim (that’s me) began a thousand mile walk from the Romanesque Cathedral of Notre-Dame having been blessed by the bishop. By good fortune, I had met a Parisian ironman devotee who became my walking partner for the most critical day, the first day of walking. I was told by a fellow in Le Puy the path was well marked and maps not required. Day 3 confirms this; however, I’m not tossing my maps. A splendid day with much country landscape, villages, churches, clear blue skies, steady up-hill climbing, rustic gite (hostel), and not one wrong turn.

 

 

20140516-141555.jpg

20140516-141754.jpg

20140623-195615-71775763.jpg

Stairway to Heaven ~ Day 2 ~ April 8, 2014

Day 2, April 8
O miles, 0 miles total
Altitude: 2,066 feet
Weather: warm and sunny
Le Puy

Rocher St Michel is built on a volcanic plug in central Le Puy. In 961AD Bishop Godescalc, the most famous Santiago Compostela pilgrim, built a small square oratory on the top of the rock. The steps are carved out of rock. Beautiful fresco adorn the church ceiling.

The volcanic deposits account for the world famous Le Puy lentils, the caviar of the poor.

20140516-141043.jpg