Post image for Day 4: The Way of St James from Les Faux to Aumont Aubrac (13.1 miles)

Day 4: The Way of St James from Les Faux to Aumont Aubrac (13.1 miles)

September 21, 2012 · 9 comments

Our itinerary and all our accommodation was arranged by Sherpa Walking Holidays.

Ear plugs and a sleeping pill ensured a good nights sleep and protected me from Bob’s snoring. The breakfast was disappointing. No pastries and the bread wasn’t fresh and the small plate of cheese available was clearly last nights leftovers.

Early morning light in the fields near Aumont Abrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

But it was a beautiful morning and we agreed that being on the road at 8 was A Good Thing.

We stopped at Saint Alban Sur Limagnole for a cup of coffee on the steps above the Romanesque church and to buy supplies for lunch.

Romanesque Church at Saint Alban Sur Limagnole on The Way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

It was a charming building, outside and in.

Stained glass in the Romanesque church at Saint Alban Sur Limagnole on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

I’m not sure of the function of the little glass box above the altar.

Glass in the Romanesque church at Saint Alban Sur Limagnole on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

As yesterday the path took us through pine woods, climbing up short stretches on granite bedrock, the roots of the trees acting as steps.

Sorbus by the path between Les Faux and Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

But the climbs were easy and most of the time we were walking on wide flat gritty surfaces which meant we could enjoy the views rather than keep our eyes on the ground.

Pine woods between Les Faux and Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

We were mostly at around 3500 feet and the views were far more impressive than I can do justice to here.

View from the path between Les Faux and Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

We lunched early just below Les Estrets and after crossing the busy N106. Our first proper picnic, though, as I said to Bob, my Uncle Nigel (Buxton) , who wrote Walking in Wine Country, would have considered this a poor lunch indeed as no wine was consumed.

picnic lunch between Les Faux and Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

From here we climbed onto the plateau again, past the hamlet of Bigose.

Shuttered window in Bigose between Les Faux and Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

We climbed again gently up a little valley.

Bob walking ahead of me between Les Faux and Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

Throughout the day we had brief
encounters with fellow walkers , but not so frequently as to disturb the peacefulness of the walk. But we only passed this one man and his donkey coming in the opposite direction. He was on his way home from Santiago Di Compostella.

pilgrim with donkey heading home between Les Faux and Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

As we climbed towards the highest point of the days walk some of the surrounding fields had beautiful fine grasses that had turned an autumnal gold.

golden grass between Les Faux and Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

And on either side of the path, the ground was littered with pine cones and the hedgerows full of the hips of wild roses.

A study of pine cones and pine needles in a wood between Les Faux and Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

Hips on a wild rose between Les Faux and Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

By the time we began to drop down to Aumont we were tiring and slowing down so this marker in the square of the Beast of Gevauden was a welcome sight as it was just a few yards from out hotel.

The Beast of Gevauden in Aumont Aubrac on The way of St James, France, Photographed by Charles Hawes, Route St Jacques, GR65.

I am 4 nil up in our cribbage tournament for the taxi from Conques to Rodez.

At the restaurant I had a salad paysanne, saucisson aux chouz and the cheeseboard. We drank

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Wareham September 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

You’re at Gevauden? Love it – one letter change and you’d be at home! Not eating so well, I bet.

This whole walk looks like a doddle to me. Great pics though! XXXXX

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Charles September 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm

ha ha – a doddle- well it’s not climbing Everest, but then come to think of it, they have Sherpas, too. Maybe have to tackle north face of Eiger.

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Julia Fogg September 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Just visited Abbaye de Fontcaude on Via Domitia. Halfway point for St Jacques pilgrims between Arles and Narbonne. Some carvings of St Jacques, all scrumpled up and sweet with huge beret but sure that was artsitic licence. Lots of shells. It’s the norm not to meet anyone – very different to UK – and the views look excellent. Breakfasts sound grim – hope they improve – can you phone ahead.

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Charles September 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Fab idea to phone ahead for breakfast . “allo. Je suis anglais. Je veux deuce pain chocolate demain, trois croissants et jam (pardon Je be said pas Le mot en Francis) myrtilles.

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Nigel Buxton September 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Pity about the breakfast. Very evocative pictures again; am much enjoying and continuing to admire achievement of posting while on the move. Was dinner better than lunch?

PS. its ‘Walking in Wine Country’ (no ‘the’)

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Charles September 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Why no “the”. Were publishers trying to save money?

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Paul Steer September 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Charles, great pics, really give a sense of journey….love the one of pine cones.

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Charles September 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I have to do an art pic or two to keep you interested. Visiting churches is easy as there are lots.

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Sandy September 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

So enjoying this Charles and pics as usual great, also loved the bottle of wine, I am drooling. I can almost experience the peace and deathly quiet of parts of your journey. Hope the breakfasts improve.

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Copyright Charles Hawes (2012)