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.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Étape 13: Jourdain - Lamothe Gîte (basically nowhere) 33 kms, Sunny, 24

Where Are All The Pelerins?

The simple answer is that we haven’t seen one in 8 days. We understand from the gîte operators and the tourist info folks that there have been about 6 through in the last few days, but as I say we haven’t a sole walking. Apparently two are to join us in our remote gîte tonight, but it’s past 17:30 and still no one else. This walk is a treasure and everyone seems to want to keep it a secret, so don’t tell anyone!

Amazing early morning light on the lake out front our place where we stayed last night as we left just after 7. 

I slept poorly in a too soft bed last night so wasn’t exactly in a get up and go mood as we walked along the first 10kms to Monferran-Saves, but this sometimes happens. However, the early morning golden light didn’t disappoint.

And then the sunrise happened though I had to walk up a steep bank to the National highway to catch it.

We walked into the old town, 

and were fortunate enough to find a small store open where we loaded up on lunch supplies. I also purchased some cold ice tea and after sitting in the sun for 15 minutes sipping I started to feel my old self and the energy returned and stayed with me the rest of the day. One for the tea!

Some kind sole left us a place to sit outside their farm. Nice boots huh!?

We continued our steady climb today. Lots of hills, but the general feeling was a slow increase much of the day. Really beautiful country side to walk through!

As I told you Bob, it’s not unusual to find discarded boots on the caminos, and in this case a gîte owner found something useful to do with a few.

At some point we passed through Giscaro and enjoyed a look at the outside of this little church which has been part of the Camino for a long time.

On the way out of town we were interrupted by these two who had many, many questions for us. We stopped to chat, but they asked too many questions, so we moved on. This fence was about 3 metres above us! A small fluffy terrier mind a big old basset hound.

It was a long haul to our lunch stop, but you can see that we were equipped for lunch today. Annemarie had the baguette and I carried the heavy glass jar of pate and a small chocolate bar. However, it was a long way and there was much beautiful scenery to enjoy!

After tomorrow we will slowly work our way SW towards the Pyrenees.

Ah, as I write this, two ladies have arrived at 18:15! Very late, but we will have company for dinner. That will be great!

Finally we arrived at the small church at Cahuzac where we’d planned to stop for lunch. A tobacco shop was still opened so we were able to get some cold refreshments to go with our lunch which we ate in the foyer of the church. The doors are beautifully carved with images of the apostles and that’s Saint Jacques on the top right.

The inside was a real delight.

The roof was very unusual.

The outside of the church was pretty much non-descriptive, so no need to post a photo. Goes to show you that the outside doesn’t always betray the inside. Usually it’s much the same with people.

The walk in over the last 8 kms was more of the same...hard to get tired of this!

And now we’re here and all our laundry is done, and I’m wondering what’s for dinner as I enjoy a well earned cold beer:) Mom, for your reference ‘here’ is 8 kms to the west of where we had lunch if you’re looking for us in the French guide I left with you. 

Best laid plans: before we left, Geoff spent some time going through our guide in order to identify stages that would be reasonable lengths and would allow us to see and do the things we hoped to do. This includes finding food, places for breaks, places to stay, highlights we may want to visit, and understanding the terrain we will be traversing. There’s a lot to consider! As we have been walking each day we have encountered things that weren’t in the guide...distances that were longer or shorter, stores or restaurants that should have been open but weren’t, or visa versa, missing route markers, etc. For people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers I expect there may be similar experiences...the individual may be having a particularly good or bad day. Some key item may be misplaced and a long time is spent searching for it. An activity they used to do is no longer available to them. Whatever the plan might have been, it is subject to alteration to meet the needs of the day.


  1. A soulful stroll, soothing on the eyes and the soles.

  2. Good morning!

    What was dinner like? Who were your companions?

    What a great day—the church was clearly a highlight. And that light in the morning. You’ll be climbing again today, I would imagine, as you get into the foothills of the Pyrenees. Do you know what the crossing is like? Will you go through a pass or over the top, like the Route d’Napoleon?

    I don’t know how to say “nowhere” in French. The closest I can get is “n’importe ou,” which means it doesn’t matter where. This is a question for M. Google. Okay, it’s “nulle part.” In case you find yourself in another rural gite!

    Have another great day!