Monday, 14 May 2012


Our penultimate day's walking has also been my shortest - a mere 8kms. Having been walking often well to the South of the Lot for three days, we crossed the river soon after starting out this morning - at the strangely-named Livinhac-le-Haut. Even the old centre of what is quite a large town lacks much charm.

The path up to Montredon, which overlooks the Célé valley, was easy. Peter and I enjoyed our talks without interruption from many others - we had left late.

At the entrance to Montredon, we visited the little chapelle Notre-Dame du Carrefour. Though rebuilt only half a century ago, it contains an excellent 16th Century Pieta and an interesting 20th Century side altar retable, dedicated to St Peter: on the left is the apostle kneeling at Mary's feet to ask forgiveness, a cock in the top corner of the panel. On the right, Peter is seen crucified upside down; while the central image is Christ crucified, but in a posture more of triumph than agony. The main parish church likewise has a fine modern wooden sculpture, of Christ crowned with thorns. Behind the parish church was yet another welcoming room, with tea, coffee, biscuits etc., where we ate our picnic, glad of the shade on another very hot day.

Despite dallying, we arrived too early at La Mariotte, where we are staying tonight, on the edge of Montredon. Welcomed by the owners' dog, we sat on a garden bench in the sunshine, admiring the view till they arrived. Fréderic and Véronique Philip, who only accommodate walkers and cyclists, call their house a chambre d'hôte, rather than gîte: it certainly has a more up-market feel to it, being included in the list of places grouped together as "Les haltes vers Compostelle." Though the dormitory feels a little claustrophobic, with its low eaves, and the shower is hardly large enough to let you reach the soap when it falls on the floor, Fred and Vero are good hosts: we ate well, and Fred gave us an excellent background talk on all the things we should look out for tomorrow. After supper, I walked up to the village while the sun was setting, passing this pastoral scene.

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