Post image for Day 3: The Way of St James from Sauges to Les Faux (17.2 miles)

Day 3: The Way of St James from Sauges to Les Faux (17.2 miles)

September 20, 2012 · 22 comments

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

I woke at 6 again. I hadn’t had the best of nights, and I honestly cannot blame Bob, though his snoring was epic. Basically I was nursing a hangover. No matter breakfast was excellent and the pain chocolat and pain raisins were as good as I have ever had.

We were on the road at 8. A beautiful morning but really cold and with a heavy ground frost.

Frosted fields on the outskirts of sauges photographed by Charles Hawes on the way of St James, France. Route St Jacques. GR65

This family of cats were warming themselves.

cats sunning themselves on the Way of St James, France, photographed by Charles Hawes. Route St Jacques. GR65

Within 10 minutes of leaving Saugues we were walking in a forest of pines with beautiful glades of frosted grasses.

Froisted grasses on the Way of St James, France, photographed by Charles Hawes. Route St jacques. GR65.

The woods were stunning with the sun streaming though and near silent.

Pine Forest near sauges on the way of St James, France, photographed by Charles hawes. Route St Jacques. GR65.

It is difficult to describe how peaceful it felt, but this was to be the thing we kept remarking on for much of the day.

Cattle off the way of St James near sauges, photographed by Charles Hawes. Route St jacques. GR65.

There were occasional hamlets but they were almost as quiet as the woods. Here at La Clauze we had a coffee from my flask near this remnant of a C14th castle, perched on a massive granite boulder.

Castle at La Clauze on The way of St James, France, photographed by Charles Hawes. GR65. Route St Jacques.

There were no steep climbs or sharp descents. Just miles of undulating open meadows and deeply shaded woods.

Meadows and woods nearing Domaine Du Sauvage on The way of St James, France, photographed by Charles hawes. Route St jacques. GR65

But overall we were climbing and near Domaine Du Sauvage where we lunched on the edge of a wood we had reached 4,200 feet.

This massive stone farm has accommodation and appeared to offer refreshment but we pressed on.

Stone barn near the Domaine Du Sauvage on the Way of St James, France, photographed by Charles Hawes. Route St Jacques. GR65

The day had become hot and our stops more frequent. At Chapelle Saint Roch I lit a candle and shed some tears for our friend Ray Billington who died a couple of weeks ago. I think he described himself as a heretic. I could picture him with a wry smile on his face at the context for my remembrance.

Candels inside the Chapelle Saint Roch on The way of St James, France, photographed by Charles hawes. Route St Jacques. GR65,

It was great to sit there in the cool for a while.

Stained glass window in the Chapelle Saint Roch on The way of St James, France, photographed by Charles Hawes. Route St Jacques. GR65

(just for John’s benefit, and I make no promises regarding further references, but there are toilets sited rather too prominently by the chapel)

We approached Les Faux, through another pine wood.

Pine Forest near Les faux on The way of St james, France,photographed by Charles Hawes. Route St jacques. GR65.

In a field a little later I saw something I had never seen before. These sheep were working together to make and share shade with their bodies, circulating as penguins huddle together for warmth in the deepest winter.

Sheep in the hot sun near Les Faux on the way of St james, photographed by Charles Hawes. Route St Jacques. GR65.

We arrived at our accommodation, L’Oustal de Parent, at 3. My GPS said we had walked 17.3 miles in the 7 hours since leaving Saugues. We were glad to stop and gladder still of the cold beer, but it had been a wonderful day. And so, so peaceful.

Supper was a veg soup, beef stew with pasta and a serve yourself cheeseboard. Some horrors here, but I am cheese conservative when it comes to stink.

This was a good accompaniment. Full and fruity.

Bottle of Chateau Flore

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Nigel Buxton September 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

A great day! 17+ miles is the same as the distance between LEWES and EASTBOURNE railway stations, over the Downs, which I used often to do on a Saturday as little as 15 years ago and think nothing of it. Now, 2 miles on Seaford promenade is possible only thanks to the many memorial benches there to rest on. Gather ye rosebuds……..
PS.
You say nothing of the infamous Beast of Gévaudan, so I presume you did not see it.

Nigel

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Charles September 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I thought all the “beast” thing a load of old tourist tosh and to be ignored. Was I wrong?

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Anne Wareham September 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm

If that was longest you’re going to find it a doddle. After all that practice…I thought it would be mountainous.

Think your blogging on an iphone is amazing!

XXXXXXX

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Charles September 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Thank you, my love. No pains of significant aches. Just the pleasures of tiredness through exertion.

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Julia September 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Looks and reads superbe. Very impressed with I phone skills – will you consider on line training for us cretins.

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Charles September 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm

*blushes*. Really glad you like it! No, am no expert. But consult as you need if you do the same.

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Lynds Jennings September 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Amazing blogging on iPhone-v impressive ! Woods with that kind of atmosphere are special.

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Charles September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Thanks Lynds. The woods were truly magical. And so many different types in one day. Some with cattle in them.

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Paul Steer September 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Charles, looks amazing, glad there are still parts of the world where peace can be found.

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Charles September 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Hello Paul. You’d love it. So quiet. A chugging tractor, a distant chainsaw, the tinkling bells on the cattle. A little crackle from overhead power lines. You could hear yourself think.

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John September 20, 2012 at 8:11 pm

That you mention a tribute to a friend adds so much to this walk and makes your blog more personal. So it has more impact.

That you like Malbec is, of course, another matter (something on which we agree). I save that info for future reference.

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Charles September 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Thanks. It’s nice to be sharing it with you. Will try to keep personal!

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Martin September 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm

oh, it all looks so wonderful, very envious! : )

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Charles September 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm

It is pretty wonderful.

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Lucy Corrander September 21, 2012 at 5:49 am

It seemed wonderful. Very gentle as well as a lot of walking. Then there was the cheese. My eyes are watering.

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Charles September 22, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Yes, France is one big cheese fest. Looking forward to tonight’s cheeseboard!

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Anne Wareham September 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

Did you have some of the scrambled egg from the cheese board?

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Charles September 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm

It was vile!!!!

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Anne Wareham September 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Looked it.

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John September 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm

To clarify! Your addition of a reference to a toilet will, no doubt, be appreciated by your dear wife. She is the one with a vested interest in the availability of loos; I merely seek to promote marital happiness for you both by reminding you of the need to cater for her fetish.

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Charles September 21, 2012 at 3:37 pm

You are getting into deep trouble here with Anne. No doubt she’ll sort you out on Twitter.

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Anne Wareham September 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm

He’s right Charles. We need to know…(bet there aren’t any)

Reply

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Copyright Charles Hawes (2012)