I checked the weather forecaste and a high wind warning was posted, but this is quite usual for the area, so of no real concern. We surfaced from our small room and after breakfast and farewells we hit the road. We were sorry to say goodbye to Jean Phillip, but exchanged contact information hoping to reconnect after Toulouse. One last look back at Anglés and we were off.
And going in the right direction too!
The wind was coming up strongly from behind us and the clouds were just flying past. We headed into the shelter of the trees and were spared for a while.
Stopping to make take our jackets off we were treated to the sunrise. Kind of nice through a gap in the forest I thought!
Gee we were glad to not be walking into the wind. Perhaps Paul’s parents in Ireland, Joe and Geraldine, were saying this Irish Blessing for us...May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun always be warm upon your face... Always one of my favourites and it was in my mind today as we walked.
We had heard that there was a woman from Quebec walking ahead of us and when we caught her there was a nice connection as we walked along together for several kilometres. Eventually we said goodbye and moved onwards. We figure that there are about 7 pelerins on the trail in our area, but after tomorrow there will just be 4 of us including Kathy with several departures scheduled from Castres.
We took a while to descend the 550 m (1800’) to the bottom and it was pretty nice to have the freedom of a long downhill after all the climbing this past week. It really hasn’t been that bad, certainly not like the first couple of weeks out of Le Puy or the climbs in Japan, but it was a good test. At the top the wind peaked and we had three hat frisbee moments! Yup, first Annemarie had to scramble and then I did and then I had to again a few minutes later even with the straps of my super dangerous looking, almost Indiana Jones hat pulled fairly tight! I also at lost one of my Aussie feathers that I’d picked up when visiting with Neil and Sarah, but I was able to reclaim it from a bush. All the flowers from my heather sprig were blown off the small branch too! Even the chestnuts and tree branches were falling today. Much nicer chestnut shells than we have at home on the west coast, but a smaller nut inside.
Hey, we even saw a deer today! Ya, I know we have millions of them at home right in our small city, but this is only the second one I’ve seen in Europe on all my walks. We laughed after our initial excitement. It was after all, only a deer. I often see 3 or 4 on our front lawn:)
Some 40 minutes later than we thought we would arrive, we saw the town.
And on the way in a nice welcome.
Then we were in.
Lunch and a drive into Castres where we have rooms and now it must be time for a beer!
A special shout out to our mate Neil who enjoyed his PhD convocation in Canberra! Congrats!!