What to say? We have arrived at Conques. This has to be one of the most pretty towns I have ever visited. And our hotel- Auberge St Jacques- a stones toss away from the beautiful cathedral that sits in its centre. The hotel is as full of character as the rest of the town.
I have to say I feel rather overwhelmed. It’s a combination of things.
Relief in part that we have completed our 10 day journey without serious mishap, though not without a little trauma. Relief and great pleasure that I was able to finish the walk with having suffered nothing worse than tired limbs at the end of each day. Not a single blister.
Somewhat overwhelmed, too, by the thoughtful generosity of my Uncle Nigel(Buxton). What a welcome to be told that a bottle of wine and a glass of champagne has been donated. Well we will toast his health and I would wish we had the resources to fly him in and have a wander round the town. As it is I expect I will be walking in his well-travelled footsteps.
And slightly overwhelmed by our journey home, which we will have to start at 5.30am with a taxi to Rodez. It is a strange idea that I should be home tomorrow night. I know from previous experience that it feels very strange at how quickly one can be back home after travelling hundreds or even thousands of miles in one day.
But this is the peculiar and perhaps unnatural reality of modern transport.
It was not so for the latter-day pilgrims. For them the journey we have just made from Le Puy would have been unimaginably more difficult and uncomfortable. Not for them the luxury of way marked routes, baggage transfers, comfortable beds and three course nightly meals.
Let alone paths with good surfaces and the best walking equipment. And all we have done is the beginning and one of the easiest parts of the journey to Santiago Di Compostella.
So I feel humbled, too. It’s been such a pleasure and a privilege to have had the resources to make this journey. And I feel deeply grateful to Bob for sharing it with me.
So I hope that you will forgive me not finishing it off for you by taking you through our day. I doubt that I’ll return here and time is short.
PS by tradition (by which I mean once on each walk Bob and I have done), we did lose our way today, adding three miles to the above.
Our itinerary for the walk and all accommodation was made by Sherpa Walking Holidays.