Our itinerary and all our accommodation was arranged by Sherpa Walking Holidays.
It was tipping it down when I looked out of the window at 7, this morning. And it was still raining by the time we left the hotel at 8.45. Well, that’s why we carry waterproofs.
A lot of people are walking the GR 65 with us and by now each day involves many cheery “bonjours” to familiar faces as we congregate in bars, dining rooms and on the route.
The path climbed steadily out of our valley along a minor road and then a farm track through beechwoods.
We were nowhere near as high as yesterday and the clouds that were racing in front of us and delivering lashings of rain obscured most of the view anyway.
Having reached a plateau where we walked briefly along a quiet Tarmac road we began a long slow descent through more beechwoods into the valley of the St Chaly d’Aubrac river.
At the little hamlet of L’Estrade I lost the track but my mistake was quickly obvious and it gave me a chance to see some more decrepit houses that comprises half the buildings in these isolated places.
And just past here we came across one of the informal places of refreshment and rest that pepper the route. It was doing a good trade today. Just a self-serve hot drink, but that’s all that was needed. I discovered that my very expensive Montane Jacket was simply not keeping me dry, but my OR over-trousers were doing a great job.
The rain was easing and the walkers were quite spread out by now, and I was really enjoying the quiet trek. Bob was going more slowly than me but that was fine for both of us.
Just past La Roziere we had a wonderful informal lunch “Chez Muriel”. Situated almost at the top of the valley, Muriel provides food and drink from her back garden to grateful walkers. She was chatty and friendly and we had a superb cross between a crepe and an omelette followed by coffee and fabulous cake- mine with figs, Bobs with plums.
I look glum I think but I was perfectly OK!
We only had a few more miles to go and it was nearly all downhill. The geology was now limestone rather than granite.
Beech gave way to Chestnut and as we dropped further, I saw several walnuts.
I saw very few of my beloved Aubracs.
Everywhere, though, throughout these last 6 days, we have seen pollarded ash.
We began to get some sunny breaks in the clouds as we neared St Come d’Olt.
We are staying in this massive convent on the edge of the town. It felt a bit intimidating as we approached. Our rooms are without decoration. I hope the food is good.
The town is said by some British Guides to be one of the prettiest in France. So we are off to have a look. And a beer. And to play some crib.
The food was not goo. It was horrible canteen food and I left most of mine. Yuk. So here’s our lovely lunch to end this post on a nicer tone.