La Via Tolosana (France) & Camino Aragones (Spain): "The Arles Route" GR653

La Via Tolosana (France) & Camino Aragones (Spain): "The Arles Route" GR653
La Via Tolosana (France) & Camino Aragones (Spain): "The Arles Route" GR653


PLEASE READ: Our Camino For Alzheimer's Awareness will begin on World Azheimer's Day, September 21, 2018 in Lodève, France about 130 kms west of Arles (underlined on the map above and circled on the route profile at the bottom of the page). We plan to walk together just over 800 kms to Puente la Reina, Spain where Annemarie will determine her next steps. It is, however, Geoff's intention to continue onwards a further 700 kms towards Santiago de Compostela. To put this into perspective, the total distance is about the same as from Victoria to Santa Barbara, California. As usual, we will accept the journey as it unfolds and we are appreciative of any and all support. If you feel moved to contribute to the Alzheimer Society please click on either of the really obvious RED BUTTONS to the right or at the bottom of this page and you will be transferred to the Society's fund raising site. We are paying our own expenses and all money raised will go directly to the Alzheimer Society.

If you wish to receive email notifications when we blog, just enter your email address where indicated on the right side of this page.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Ètape 7: Noialhat - Castres: 15 kms, sunny and softly warm, 24

Le Trois Pelerins! 

And then there were three
To share the Chemin journey
Pelerins of course!

After a shaky start with the gps we finally found ourselves where we’d left off the previous day. We pulled over and said goodbye to Bob and headed off down the road in search of the Chemin. Of course the day started as almost every day seems to with an uphill climb! Doesn’t it always? 

We made pretty good time and as we walked we explained the method to the madness for Kathy so that she would have some idea of when to go straight ahead or turn. We seemed to pick up the rhythm that we’d developed together while walking in the Greek Islands last September. Of course there were new discoveries in another country, and that was half the fun. Old farm houses with chickens running on the road, and lots of dogs today.

We really did have a grand time laughing and reminiscing about walking on Crete. Must have been a sign??

At some point we came across a lovely country church with loads of history right back until the 12th C. A peak inside was a nice surprise.

Just down the road was a very old building and a great place for a sister, brother photo:)

Arriving in Castres we found this fellow pelerin who looked like we did yesterday...a bit wind swept! My amigo Ken said it all in an email, and I hope it’s ok to share.  “My Cree teacher says that you only need to know one expression for the weather in Saskatchewan: yôtin (it is windy). Or even misi-yôtin (it is very windy). But never mîsî-yôtin (it is shit windy)”.  It seemed appropriate to repeat this and I’m really impressed to know someone bright enough to learn this difficult language! 

A very old long standing pelerin centric church on the way in.

After reconnecting with Bob and having a nice baguette lunch we headed off to find me some new boots. Long story short, the boots I used in Sicily this past spring and had planned to use for this crossing were defective. While at least the left boot was, resulting in some very sore toes. So we drove around to the sports stores and I found another, lighter pair of Salomons. I sprayed them with water proofing stuff and now my hands are waterproof too!

We then drove north to Albi which our friend Dominic had told us was a really special medieval town. He was right. A few photos before it gets too late here. We have a longer stage tomorrow and there are things to be done. This is the largest brick cathedral in the world and was constructed from about 1400 to 1530. Impressive.

Inside was really quite good, and I’ve seen more than a few European churches. 

Then we wandered the old town.

Annemarie’s Alzheimer thoughts...

Conversations with Kathy

Before we left, on our training walk around Burnaby Lake, I asked Kathy if she would mind if I asked her a series of questions while on our Chemin, and I would then post this on our blog as our Alzheimer’s segment for the days she is walking with us. She agreed, and this is the first of those conversations. I asked Kathy what she would like people to know about Alzheimer’s from the perspective of someone who has the disease. She took some time to ponder the question as we walked. We talked about earlier conversations, once when she said she’d like to be treated how she is now, not how she will be in the future, and another time when she said she wanted to attend a family event to show people she’s “still here”. Today’s wisdom from Kathy...”get up, get out, and just do it”. I have many interpretations of what she meant, but I think I’ll let her words stand on their own. I may ask her more about it tomorrow, we’ll see what the walk brings.


  1. Another great day on the road. Glad you got those boots sorted, Geoff!! More umbrella lined streets - reminds us of the Portuguese. Don't 'just do it' too fast, Kathy, they need to keep up with you!!

  2. We were so glad that you had another good walking day and good experiences along the way. Certainly a very worthwhile day. Reminds me of our old weatherman in Vancouver who used to give a summary of the weather forecast after highlighting all the ups and downs of the possible rain showers, clouds, sunny periods, etc and would summarize by saying "looks like the possibility of a worthwhile day" and since he had covered all the possibilities , he was never fully wrong in his forecast!! We were very impressed with the huge cathedral - particularly the interior - and wondered how such a structure had survived World War 11 (or maybe it has been rebuilt) What ever - very impressive. The wind blown gentleman in the parking lot reminded Mom of living in Lethbridge in Southern Alberta!!

    Also very impressive Kathy was the 15 kms you walked today! Pretty good. Also liked the .... get up, get out, and just do it" conversation you had with Annemarie.

    Our love. Mom and Dad

  3. Lovely photographs, again. The largest brick cathedral? Who would’ve thought.

    Have a great walk today.

    And remember, it’s never mîsî-yôtin! Except metaphorically, perhaps.