We crossed over streams and weirs as we went with the early morning light making for a very pleasant start.
I counted 6 cats lounging on the outside dinning set. I’m sure there were many more, but they all seemed content and well cared for. Perhaps you can see a few?
And then we climbed onwards into a pretty stiff wind, something the Arles route is known for.
As Ken warned us in his last email, the highway was busy with Sunday morning church goers, motorcycle crazies with throttles wide open and day trippers. We have a technique that we use for walking very windy roads and it served us well today.
the cafe at the local petrol station was open.
A tiny old white haired lady served us. Annemarie had asked for cokes, we received these...
Ice cold chocolate milk! I liked this much better and it took me back to the chocolate milk I sometimes found in the kombini shops while walking in Japan. Yet another example of the communication barrier, or maybe this was a hearing issue:) By chance the subject of our Alzheimer’s parallel at the end of this post!
Milk break over, we resumed our unscheduled climb. Lovely views almost back to the Med which is now some 110 kms in our rear view mirror.
We found a few annoying false summits and then the plateau at the top which is basically a series of recurring hills. Pretty farm land with cows to talk to and some beautiful horses. Also loads of cheerful dogs who all greeted us as we passed, thankfully all behind fences or in kennels. Hunting is big in these parts and we heard the dogs in the hills yesterday morning, and as usual on Saturday there were plenty of hunters around waiting for a boar to appear. But I carry my trustee Japanese Henro bell on my pack that warns the boars that we are around. Dogs seeming like it too!
And then we were there, um here.
Then the third surprise of the day. The village grocery was open. Miracles of miracles! No cliff bar and dried out sausage for us to lunch on today. We dined in fine style!
Then off we went to find our gîte through this pretty little town.
As we walked down the drive there was a nice group of French walkers around the table in front of the gîte and we were offered cookies and coffee as is the custom. There was some English spoken so we enjoyed the usual banter about the various walking routes each had experienced. It was nice to be welcomed in such a manner and we were able to explain our Alzheimer’s Awareness Camino, which was well received. A sharing of blogs and emails followed then the usual process of showers and laundry. This is a much better gîte than the previous one.
Nice kitchen where we will enjoy our demi-pension meals.
And this is where we sit presently, writing. Soon it will be time to stretch our legs before an early 19:30 dinner.
She says “quell pays?”
And 54 is what we proudly say
She looks confused and changes the subject
You see, our answer wasn’t even close to correct
She had asked what country we are from
We answered with the number of walking days, the total sum
We told the bus driver we wanted to go to Lo-de-vey
He gently corrected, Lo-Dave is the correct way to say
We engage in dinner conversation, getting lost in the flow
Even though we’ve asked each other to talk very slow
When we order food, we have an idea but are not totally sure what we will get
Secure in the knowledge that in France what arrives will be tasty - it’s a safe bet
When our ability to communicate is impacted or impaired
It can pose challenges, maybe even make us scared
We have to be brave, willing to look a little less intelligent
It does no good to raise our voices or become belligerent
We knew it would be like this, it was a conscious choice
But for some with Alzheimer’s, it’s what happens whenever they use their voice