Left the small mountain community of Aubrac around eight. Since there was rain in the forecast, we wanted to drop down from the mountaintop as soon as possible. Aubrac is at about 4000 ft and our new destination Saint-Come-d’Olt is at around 1000 ft. We knew that we would be seeing some dramatic ecosystem changes during the day. We did not want to see them wearing our ponchos.
It was a quick 8 km to Saint-Chely d’Aubrac where we stopped for a snack and a public WC break and to refill our water. We then had to climb 500 ft before we could start dropping again. Walked through a wonderful beech forest. Still very few actual leaves.
We reached the village of L’Estrade around 12:30 and stopped for lunch at a pilgrim’s rest stop provided by the villagers. There was coffee and orange juice and nice benches and a table under a shelter with a fireplace and firewood in case we needed it. Saw no one other than a dog who has learned that if you don’t bite a pilgrim that he may feed you. This dog had the system down to perfection. We shared all but our chocolate. I picked up a real Pilgrim shell for my pack in the village where they just ask for a donation. Seemed better that getting it at a souvenir shop.
Marie and Richard, the Quebec folks have joined us for serveral days or perhaps it is the other way around. They seem to walk at our pace or we at theirs. Crocus have been replaced by dandelions. Leaves are starting to appear. The cows are friendlier.
Reached the Couvent de Malet, run by Ursuline Nuns, in Saint-Come-d’Olt a little after three. The clouds were with us the last three hours but the rain did not happen. We covered 24 km and are tired but well.
The Convent is heaven for us. Since we are married, they checked, we have a private room and bath. It is wonderful to do this sitting at a desk. The Nuns are very friendly but I don’t think Peggy is ready for a permanent check-in.
We have reached the Lot River Valley and the buildings are now made of yellow limestone instead the granite and volcanic materials of the Aubrac.
The pictures are jumbled since the Nuns are not overly techie and their wifi system is not great. I will be happy with our luxurious room and load the pictures and let you figure them out. The big building is the convent.