Me- nearly at the end of the walk

Day 10: The Way of St James from Golinhac to Conques (13.4 miles)

September 27, 2012 · 18 comments

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.

Salut.

Charles Hawes at the outskirts of Conques on the last day of walking The Way of St James in France.

Detail of tympanum above entrance to Conques Catherdal, France, on The Way of St James, photographed by Charles Hawes

Detail of stained glass window inside Coinques catherdral, France, photographed by Charles Hawes

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.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

John September 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Well it’s been enjoyable for us to have had the privilege of walking “electronically” with you from the relative comfort of our armchairs and to share the occasional “happy evening”. Thank you for sharing.

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Anne Wareham September 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm

All that walking and I think your tummy is bigger! How could that be????

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Charles September 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Three course meals. Picnics with bread. Lots of wine, beer and pastries. Simples.

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Anne Wareham September 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Thought it might be – but bet Bob is still bigger!

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Charles September 27, 2012 at 7:37 pm

May it ever remain so.

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Sacha September 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Congratulations and well done and every other kind of compliment. The pics have been gorgeous and that stained glass photo is wonderful. If you haven’t done so already, you must see the modern window in Buckfast Abbey one day. I know just what you mean about the travel thing. I can get jetlag between Jersey and Guernsey. It doesn’t feel ‘natural’ to swap environments so swiftly!

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Charles September 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Thanks! Feel ever so slightly relieved not to be posting daily now but I really have enjoyed the company here and on Twitter. Cx

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Paul Steer September 27, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Thank you Charles for sharing this journey.

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Charles September 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Thanks for coming along!

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Anne Wareham September 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm

And – yes – bravo for your Tech Triumph. Been great seeing your trip and your photos are amazing. You should be a professional photographer – you have the eye….

XXXXXXX

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Charles September 27, 2012 at 7:38 pm

ha ha. You’re so funny.

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John September 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Well it’s been enjoyable for us to have had the privilege of walking “electronically” with you from the relative comfort of our armchairs and to share the occasional “happy evening”. Thank you for sharing.

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Charles September 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Thanks John !!! What can I say? You’ve been a Sherpa. I just hope I have openedcyourcmind to the pleasures of Aubrac.

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John September 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm

You have. They are coming to take me away ha ha, he he, ho ho. To the funny farm …….

They are waiting for you by the blue gate ……

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Julia September 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

To be a pilgrim! Felicitations! Don’t know how you did blogging on i phone- holy intervention ?

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Charles September 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I think Aubracs are Holy Cows. Night night.

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Clare Palmer September 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm

The church photos are just fabulous. The central figure looks like he’s waving farewell. And you’ve acquired a faintly medieval look yourself, I think – very fetching!

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Charles September 28, 2012 at 2:40 am

Thanks Clare. Nice of you to have joined me.xx

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