Camino de Madrid

Camino de Madrid
Camino de Madrid

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Day 5. Montarnaud to Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert (21 km)

5 April 2011

It was a wise decision to stay at Montarnaud last night, not that it was an interesting town. Today it has taken me six hours to arrive here at Saint-Guilhem. Had I continued yesterday I wouldn't have arrived before 8:30 pm. Not a good idea to be benighted in the middle of nowhere.

I am now sitting in a square drinking a beer, with the abbey church in front, a row of arched religious buildings to one side, and medieval houses and shops completing the square. In the middle is one of the most enormous plane trees I've ever seen, six metres in circumference, planted in 1855 and called Le Roi Platane.

The abbey with its cloister is beautiful in its simplicity, so different from the garish churches in parts of Spain.

This a medieval village that reminds me of le Mont Michel, but is squeezed in a narrow valley rather than confined to an island. And there's hardly anyone here.

This is one of the reasons I walk the Camino: to pass through beautiful places like this where the best way to arrive is on foot as pilgrims did in the past.

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