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Learning to Walk, September 6, Day 10, Estaing to Espeyrac

September 6, 2022

This was supposed to be a 22 km day. I took a variant that I didn’t realize would make it a 29 km day, at least according to my phone. No wonder I’m spent! My stamina for going uphill has really improved over these ten days. I started noticing the difference a few days ago. I think at this point I would prefer uphill to down—at least my feet and knees would—and my heart and lungs are doing really well going uphill now. I still seem to walk slower than everyone else, but I think it is in part because of my feet, which have had issues for years. They will deserve medals and lots of pampering after I finish. And as much pampering as I can give them while walking!

I opted for the variant because it involved slightly less pavement, had an initial climb out of Estaing rather than a really big climb near the end, and better views. The climb out of Estaing was intense, but I handled it well, and the views back at the village and chateau were worth it. However, the rest of the variant path, G 6, for those of you planning your walk, involves some intense ups and downs through heavy, remote woods. I only saw one other couple all day walking this path. I think everyone else stayed with the GR 65 which ran along the Lot River for a while. I dodged thunderstorms, thank goodness. I could see them looming, rather close at times, and heard lots of rumbles, but they always went around me, and I didn’t feel one drop of rain. They did bring some nice breezes in the hot sun this afternoon.

Pavement is my absolute least favorite surface to walk on. It just pounds the feet, and when there is no shade in the afternoon it is so hot on the pavement.

I’m staying tonight in Espeyrac, a tiny little hamlet, again right out of a fairy tale. I really do have a lighter day tomorrow, under 15k to Conques, which is the second most significant location, after Le Puy, on this pilgrimage route. A lot of people who only have ten days or so to walk end their pilgrimage in Conques. The Church there is beautiful. There is a light show, illuminating the tympanum, in the evening, and one of the priests gives an organ concert every evening. I’m staying in the Abbey, and I think I have my own room again. Fingers crossed. I imagine it was a monk’s cell, and that is all I need! Really hope I’m right—I could use my own room again for a night!

Church in the village where I stopped and ate my lunch. 19th century, but the art and furnishings and windows were more modern.

And good night!! Or bonne nuit!

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  1. Barb permalink

    That last room view is gorgeous-enjoy! Admire your strength and courage glad I can experience vicariously through you

  2. I’m SO appreciating these photos !!..I just keep saying . . .wow.. I would never have imagined such places as these…so beautiful.
    and I send you my respect and admiration for your amazing pilgrimage.

  3. Nan permalink

    GREAT that you are both challenging yourself and savoring the changes from NYC; keep it up, Beverly–and pls keep posting the photos too!! They bring back memories of walks I have done and other places I have been lucky enough to visit, pre-children.

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