Day 17: La Souterraine to Benevant Abbaye

Had a wonerful day in La Souterraine. Lots of cafes and shops were open…yay! My Dutch colleague and I had a few pils before heading to our pelerin hostel at 1630 (430 pm). The lady at the hostel would not let us in early. Na pas problem.

Great evening sitting outside with another French family having dinner. This was fantastic as dinner and breakfast were included in our 35 euro tariff. But it did take a long time to be served. The place was run by an English couple from England! Duncan was the husband and he talked a great deal to us. Given the hard slog we had I asked him how tough the terrain was between La Souterraine and Benevant Abbaye. He said that it would be a breeze, flat all the way…..na pas problem!

Good dinner and good wine. My friend Berry was leaving for home in the morning. I would now be by myself for the first time in about 5 days. Na pas problem. That is Duncan the owner standing.

I left at 730 am the next morning. Today, the 17 th of aout. I said farewell to Berry and  was off. Bon chance.

It was a gloomy overcast day that threatened rain. About 21 C but the humidity was through the roof. It was not long before I was soaked from sweat.  It did drizzle a little bit but not much. The moisture in the air was reflected into the landscape which was lush. It almost seemed as if I was walking in a rain forest and not central France. It was another brutal climb.  It became so bad that I had a fantasy to return to La Souterraine and strangle Duncan. But I didn,t want to walk back 20 kilometers. “Duncan, you are a lucky man today” I thought to myself.

To put things into perspective for my Victorian friends, the brutality of the hills yesterday can be described like this. Put yourself on Dallas Road and then walk all the way to the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay and do that walk going uphill all the way. That is what we are dealing with here.

As I was walking  beside a field of cows I started humming out loud the theme from the Great Escape movie. It was loud. Well, all of those cows came running in my direction and then followed me to the end of the field. That was cool and funny. I seem to have a way with cows. Don,t know for sure though!

I am now sitting in the gite etage in Benevant Abbaye refreshed, writing this  blog. There is a ”fete” going on here this weekend so I am going to go and check it out. For the uninitiated a ”fete” is a fair.

Oh and I met three more pilgrims today. Michel from Belgium, Sara and Sophile from Paris. They are finishing in Limoges.

Love this photo . It says it all to my non French friends:

The price of pain. Pour moi? Ne pas problem!

Another good hiking tune:

3 thoughts on “Day 17: La Souterraine to Benevant Abbaye”

  1. Amazing stories John!!!!! We are so glad to hear that you are meeting such amazing people and eating and drinking so well!!!! Titus and I are home now and are heading to Marilyn’s tomorrow for a BBQ, looking forward to updating everyone on your adventures! Continuez avec un bon vif, tu y arriveras! Nous sommes tellement fière de toi! Jeannie and Titus.

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