2 Peter 3:18
We have reached one of the major pilgrim destinations, Moissac. We have walked some 420 km in France with 320 to go. It all is seeming more possible although mud issues continue to plague us. Slip and slide is one problem. Twisting ankles during slides is another. Hopefully we are through the worst. The weather forecast calls for improvement although it is showers in Moissac at the present time. Tomorrow we walk along a canal almost all day. Those tend to be pretty flat. We will see.
We continue to run into many acquaintances. Most we only recognize as fellow pilgrims. They always have a hearty Bonjour for us when we meet on the Chemin or in the towns. We frequently end up at the same Gites. Most know that we are the Americans from California. They seem to have the same issues as us which is not surprising since the hills and the mud are the same for all of us.
What has helped a lot is the picture collection on the iPad. Folks at our almost two hour dinners are curious about America and California in particular. Pictures of the Columbia Stage and the Wells Fargo office are winners. So are pictures of the Douglas and Charlie Saloons. The rattlesnake skins also work to elicit comments. I am sure to show the wine cellar so they understand my enthusiasm for the nightly vintage. Most of the time their cameras and phones come out and show us their pictures. So much for French reserve.
We have gotten the eating routine down pretty well. Monkey see, monkey do works. The French do have their idiosyncrasies about many things. Apples are carved before eating and not eaten like a horse or an American would. Bread, which is pretty constant, is always good mouth exercise and crumbs go everywhere. At the end of the meal you consolidate them by sweeping them into your hand and then on a plate. Coffee in bowls is OK. How much rind on the cheese to be cut remains a mystery. You always drink water with your soup and wait for the wine until the main course. Once the wine is poured there seems to be no limit other than the realization that you have less than 12 hours to start walking again.
Most of the pilgrims we are currently with are the hard core Compostelle folks. The few days crowd doesn’t seem to go this far. We are running into walking clubs who use day packs and baggage services. Not real pilgrims. I guess I am getting some attitude. Will need to reflect.
Highlights today include a early morning picture of Lauzerte with the morning mist and a cool pigeon coop. Rang a bell in a restored chapel. Found monster French worms. I need to find out the French word for worm so I don’t order some at a restaurant. Peggy felt that she and Heather would not be able to use these worms in Kindergarten as they might strangle the kids. Mud was nasty but there was a fair amount of road walking to de-mud boots.
Did our 24 km by around 2:30. We are staying in another medieval establishment founded by the Hospitalers a long time ago. They are the good crusaders with the white crosses on black tunics. The accommodations are warm and the showers hot. And we have a room for two.
I explored the Moissac Abbey cloisters and the church with its famous trumeau. The sculptures are considered rightfully to be the epitome of Romanesque art. Included a few but they need to be viewed in detail with a goodly amount of pixels that aren’t going to happen over the internets.