25 Aug 2012

Day 13: Rest Day

Monday 30 April
I loved the company in the gîte last night, but found the radiators were far too hot. The two men wanted them up full bore and even then they weren't as warm as they wanted- while I was stifling hot!

By 8.10am the two men were ready to leave for the day's walk. It seemed a little strange to be staying behind.

I only had blisters once on my first Camino and I had learned then that the best thing I did for them was to take a rest day, and I was hoping that a repeat dose this time would serve the same purpose. Jacques gave me some betadine, and told me about the French cream he used, Nok, that helped avoid blisters. It immediately went on my shopping list for the next time I passed a pharmacy...

Apart from lunch at the restaurant, and a quick wander around the small village and into the church, I stayed inside the gîte, mostly with my feet up resting on the bed. It was very chilly outside, and began to rain. I was telling myself 'Kia Kaha' -it's only three days to Le Puy.

part of the view from the gîte

Inspired by the Dutchman (not Belgian!) I even used my iPod to write a post. I figured that it couldn't really be too much longer before I found some wifi!
So here's the post from my blog at the time:


Today I am nearly on top of Montarcher and am at over 1000m altitude. I'm having a rest day here after 12 days of walking, for the sake of my feet. I walked fine for 10 days, mostly on nice soft (sometimes muddy) forest or farm tracks. But two days of walking on hard roads have brought me to my knees!- or at least have my feet calling out for a day of mercy. So I am resting on my bed in a very cosy gite right near the mountaintop of Montarcher that is my last little climb tomorrow. Then it should just be three more days of walking before I reach Le Puy en Velay. And there is more downhill than uphill to come now!

Yesterday involved an 800m climb in altitude but compared to the climb on Day 3 which was a little less, this felt quite ok. My walking rhythm is going well now. Just this blister to recover from.

Yesterday involved climbing to a few villages and also through a few sections of forests. In the middle of nowhere I came across a group of five horsewomen who are staying in an adjoining part of the gite. Pelerins and horsewomen keep different hours it seems. We pelerins are the early to bed early to rise kind - though not too early when the days are chilly.

One of the hardest things on this Chemin- which is a lovely one, full of spectacular views, is that there are not many pilgrims. But last night there were three of us in the gite, Jacques who is walking from Lyon to Lourdes, and Nic from Belgium. And I used my earplugs for the first time!

My French friends began walking their last third of the Cluny-Le Puy Chemin yesterday, and they are just a day behind me. I am really looking forward to seeing them in Le Puy before I carry on walking.

I know you are only getting little snippets here. Full blog accounts when I get home. Promise."

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