For this relief much thanks
Marie at Saint-Bertrand gave us a new itinerary for pilgrims to follow from Montserie to Lourdes. It follows the GR where practicable, but most of the time it takes the little country roads from village to village. It is shorter and easier than the GR in its entirety.
I left the gite early and stopped for a chunk of cheese at Lortet. A group of randonneurs were assembling by the river and set off soon after my arrival, a couple of dozen females from eight to eighty, and one man, who of course was their leader. I hope he doesn't lead them astray.
As so often happens, a fellow who had walked the Camino came to chat and we shared experiences. It is always a pleasant interlude during the day.
It is interesting country, forever changing. I can remember walking for days on end beside the Loire, or across the plains, or over the moors with little change of scenery, but here, one minute it is flat with corn fields on either side, and then it's lush pasture with ruminating cows, and then I'm up on a ridge or down in a valley. And the high Pyrenees are never very far away.
After a long descent into a valley, always to be regretted, because it means a greater climb tomorrow, I arrived at the campground at Moulin des Baronnies, where we are staying tonight in a gite.
This is a very peaceful spot beside a stream which runs under the old mill, which in its present form has become our gite. When I arrived, a couple were sitting in their chairs outside their caravan. Three hours later, after my second Leffe, they were still there. Several elderlies were playing pétanques. And all the while the stream gurgled by.
I have another experience to add to my collection of bizarre bathrooms.This time a trickle issued forth from both the hot and cold taps in the shower. Miserable buggers, I thought to myself. They are really trying the save their water. This despite the fact that the old mill stream flows right underneath us. I was soaping myself up when the trickle threatened to dry up altogether. Bloody hell, I thought, I'm covered in soap. I'm buggered. Then there was a trembling, a pulsation, and a sound like a steam train pulling out of the station, and the water started gushing out of the shower in a veritable torrent. Apparently, some pump had started operating and was making up for its earlier deficiency.