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Learning to Walk Day 3, August 30, I think

August 30, 2022

I am starting to lose track of time, but my trusty Apple Watch has just confirmed that it is indeed August 30. Or 30 August if you are in Europe.

Interesting conversation last night with three younger people who knew just enough English for us to talk a bit. First we talked about New York City, which one of them had been to. We agreed that the food is too expensive but it is a crazy, amazing city. Then they asked if I had ever been to France before, and I told them twice, to Paris, but this was my first time outside of Paris. They said, “Paris is not France.” And I replied “just like NYC is not the United States!” They agreed. I am so glad that I am seeing a good portion of the “real France” at a walker’s pace.

I thought the climb out of Le Puy was a workout, and it was, but it was just a warm up for today’s climb out of Monistrol d’Allier. Oh my word. It took me 2 and a quarter hours of intense climbing. And lots of pauses. Looking at the elevation chart, it goes from just over 600 meters to over 1100 meters in 5 k. The line going up on that chart is pretty steep! I’m really glad I didn’t have to go down it. I had enough of that yesterday! Once it finally leveled off, the walk was across a relatively flat (gently undulating) plain. It continues to be spectacularly beautiful.

The climb this morning was only one of today’s challenges, the other was of a completely different sort: the two-week motorcycle race followed me from Le Puy to Saugues. The cross country part of the race was set up adjacent to the Chemin path. And they shared the same path for a short distance as the path broadened to meet and cross the main road. I almost got hit by one as it turned off the main road onto the path, and once I got into the town itself, you had to be very careful crossing the roads as they roared by. I sure hope I get out of this tournament’s path soon!

Our host tonight, Jesus (I think originally he is from Spain) asked if I was a sister when I arrived. Another woman, my roommate tonight who was at the same Gites I was the first night, had arrived shortly before I did, and she said, “no, she is not a sister, she is a Protestnat minister. There will be no flying under the radar on this walk. So Jesus immediately said that I would give the benediction (blessing) at dinner. So I did. In English, very slowly (at their request) to an all French-speaking group. Jesus prepared a feast, as most hosts here do: a lovely carrot and veg soup, followed by a heaping plate of noodles and beef bourguignon, followed by salad and cheese, followed by pudding, and bread and wine. Too much food! Delicious, but too much. It feels like it would be very rude to refuse it and not finish what’s on your plate. Everybody eats it all. I guess I am fueled up for my 20 k day tomorrow. My longest yet, but no significant ascents or descents so it should be okay. They say after about three days you get your Camino legs. That makes it sound like they are delivered to you by an angel, or Santa Claus. I’ll let you know if mine arrive tomorrow. I have a feeling mine might be delayed by a day or two.

I was going to try and share some photos from the end of the day yesterday, but once again it is taking too long for them to upload, so I’ll try to share just a few from today.

Looking up from Monistrol d”Allier this morning, before starting to climb.
Along the climb. Again, the camera doesn’t adequately capture steep, whether it’s up or down.
Looking down on Monistrol d’Alliers, but the climb is far from over!
Finally! Gorgeous, flat land.
Landmark sculpture before Saugues.
No, the cyclist isn’t photoshopped.
Church in Saugues. Portions of it are from the 13th Century, maybe 12th.
Very old pieta. Very real anguish on Mary’s face.
Even older Madonna and child-sized, adult-faced Jesus. Probably
from 13th cent.

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  1. Interesting comments about New York and Paris. Sounds like quite the workout! You must be developing into a Camino Walker as you go! Apparently more and more people are doing the Camino by motorbike but it’s not officially recognised. The pieta is beautiful.

  2. dianner212 permalink

    oooh I could dive right into those photos . .so beautiful ! you’re amazing that you are walking through this !

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