25 June, 2012
Some work of noble note may yet be done.
All day long I walked through vineyards. At times, they stretched in every direction as far as the eye could see. I saw vines of every age and size, from fresh, young shoots to the old and gnarled.
As I walked beside the old vines, I was struck by the contrast between the twisted, withered old stumps and the flourish of green above, with grapes already forming on the stems. Young heads on old shoulders! A few of the veterans stood forlorn, bereft of foliage. Others had fallen, to be replaced by new recruits, reaching up to the supporting wires, there to join their venerable elders. All to produce our daily plonk!
At Les Leves I passed a winery, more like a refinery really, with 40 or 50 cylindrical tanks for processing and storing the wine. I recalled the time, 25 years ago in France, when we took our empty containers to be filled with wine by a petrol bowser.
A party of sIx arrived at the gite last night, straight from the train. They could pose a problem for individuals like me, for they fill up the gites, and they've booked ahead all the way. But they are very pleasant company.
Consequently, the gite tonight, with six beds, was full, but the Dutchmen and I had been promised mattresses on the floor. However, they decided to stay at Pellegrue, five kilometres before Saint-Ferme. I pressed on to find that I'm sleeping on a camp stretcher in a storage room, a private room, in fact. This is a gite run by the pilgrims' association, the third I've stayed in: the food is good, and at 20 euros, the price is very reasonable. I didn't want to miss it.
In the picture below, you can see the abbey church of Saint-Ferme in the background.