This fifth day of walking has been the best yet. All day I've been rejoicing in the beauty of God's creation. And this despite failing to follow the signs towards this evening!
I reached today's destination, Nasbinals, this evening at five o'clock, about an hour later than necessary. My sense of direction deserted me after stopping to eat an ice cream - it was delicious - at La Maison de Rosalie at Montgros, just a few kms. away from the end; so I ended up walking two sides of a triangle - an extra three or four kms. in other words - say, 24 in all. Just because I was so enjoying the walk, the views, and the temporary company of Sophie - who subsequently (I discovered) became even more lost than me, and on her first day. Oh dear!
Roland, Dominique and I, on the top floor at Lasbros, were woken early by the four who had been sleeping below: they were out scraping the ice off the windscreens of their two cars before driving them to the end of their intended walk today: they then came back in one of them, which they left at Lasbros before starting out, carrying day packs only. Apparently, this is their procedure day after day: what a palaver!
By the time I left, at 8.30, it was still cool, but the sun was shining - perfect weather for walking. I found it easy going too: the cuckoo and lark were singing as always. After an hour there was coffee Chez Regine (at Les Quatre Chemins), and later elevenses at the rather more up-market Les Gentianes. These places apart, the path passes few signs of human habitation all day. Huge boulders lie in the fields amongst the daffodils either side of the track. Seeing a young German, Hauke (on his first day) leaning against one of them, eating his lunch, gave me the idea to do the same a bit further on. Hard boiled eggs and pain de campagne, followed by Regine's cake, can never have tasted so good. Later, my four Breton friends caught up with me as I inspected two long columns of caterpillars, marching alongside the road. They in turn pointed out fritillaries on the other side of the fence, violas and pansies too.
Conditions are not quite so comfortable (as last night) in our gîte La Grappière, owned by la belle Marjori: our dormitory sleeps 13, and there are only two loos amongst the total of 16 of us. In addition, there are somewhat ambiguous light switches for the two showers: as a consequence I plunged my poor Quebecoise neighbour into darkness. Dominique had very kindly reserved a bed for me next to the door. Roland is staying elsewhere in the town: he is struggling, and the pharmacist (next door to us) advises him not to walk more than 10kms. a day. We three ate at La Route d'Argent, slow service, but delicious steak. It came, however, accompanied by the local delicacy, aligot, made from cheese and potato: well, there is a first and last time for everything.