Day 20: Pont de Dognon to St Leonard de Noblat.

Picture yourself sitting on a cafe terrace having a grand cafe au lait in the town’s square surrounded by buildings going back to 1200 with a church even older than that. Narrow cobblestone streets. Shops, bakeries abound. Women shopping, the men chatting, smoking and cursing, laughing as well. You would be in the centre of St Leonard de Noblat, a medieval town restored in all its medieval glory and patina. Only problem for a hiker like me is that the town centre is at the crest of a hill. Closer to god than thee – so the saying goes. And that is why I had to climb a 2.5 kilometer hill to arrive at this scene. If only I had me a donkee.

But before all that I have to play this son:

Did you know that this song was not written by Cat Stevens but by a religious brother sometime in the 1800s.

The house is similar in design to Canada House, Juno Beach,  Normandy.

There is a town to the northwest of here called Tours. Tours is also the beginning of a camino. But Tours is also famous for a world changing battle during the medieval times. You see, the Muslims had just conquered Spain and now had their eye on France. So a large Muslim army marched into France to kick some French butt. The French were forewarned and this French dude whose name was – I kid you not – Charles “ The Hammer” Martel gathered all of the French peasants, trained them and set off to meet the Muslim invaders. On October 10, 752, the armies met at Tours.  Charles was a medieval military genius who held the high ground at Tours. And like an arch angel he came down on the Moors from on high and kicked serious Moorish butt and won the day. The Moors fled back to Spain never to return that is until the 21st Century. But what a name: Charles “ The Hammer” Martel. Like something out of Wrestling, don,t you think. True story. I researched this so you don,t have to.

Milestone:  today, while walking, as I looked down, I could see my belt buckle for the first time in 17 years. Wow!

15 km today of which 12 were uphill,including the 2.5 km hill coming into St Leonard de Noblat. Tomorrow Limoges, a place of which I had some serious concerns about before I left Canada. Seems like yesterday but also a long time ago.

5th day on my own. I sure do miss the Von Trappe family and Berry the Dutchman. We had some good laughs with da banker and his famille. Good luck kids. Like good ole Charles the Hammer, kick some serious studies butts.

Thanks to Mike and Jean I had 150 views yesterday on this blog.

Cheers and have a great medieval day.

14 thoughts on “Day 20: Pont de Dognon to St Leonard de Noblat.”

  1. Your blogs keep getting better and better! The history today was interesting for me. And always love the humour. I feel your mood becoming more positive as time goes on. I wonder if that’s a shift within you Or a result of this part of France being more hospitable.

    1. I am always feeling positive. Just reporting what I observe. For example. I just went to a cafe to get a bite to eat. Their hours said they were open but when I got there they were closed. That is the way it,s been. Lack of services. I walked 16 km this morning without food and my morning cup of joe? Why? Nothing open. Nada. Also it has been extremely hot. Frustrated but i am really enjoying the experience…John

  2. Congrats on the belt buckle ha ha. Those pictures are some of my favorite yet! Proud of you pops…keep on truckin!

    1. Mark, I admire your Dad incredibly for taking on this journey. It’s one hell of a commitment. Your support I know means so much to him.

  3. Congratulations John! What a wonderful day of milestones!!!! We have been so excited to have followed your journey everyday! Looking for the next half of your journey! Bonne chance!!!! Titus and Jeannie.

  4. Hi John,
    I had Some difficulties to find out how to comment on your blog. You know computers and smartphones are nog my favourite things. I read and Liked the stories, i already noticed you know quite a lot about the history of the regions you’re crossing through.
    You are a good walker, i have noticed that. Much better than i was in those Days we walked together. But anyway iT was real fun to walk together.
    Keep up the good spirit, Huberta indeed remembered you and she was glad to learn you are still walking and walking so well. Look forward to your next blog.

  5. Hi John, i read your blog with a big smile round my mouth. I recognize your comments during the walk and here in writing. I had Some difficulties in finding out how to comment. This is my second try. You are a good walker, better than i was during the few days we walked together. But it was fun to do. Huberta was glad to here you are still walking, she remembered you well.
    My homecoming was nice, as was the yourney home. Hope to read / hear more from you very soon. Bon camino.

    1. Well, you got in. Currently in Limoges. It has been a brutal walk. Hills, hills, and more hills. Coul really use a frites met mayonnaise, croketje and a fringandale speciale…cheers.


  6. John, you may recall in my Camino blog that it seems all towns and villages require a climb…of course always at the end of the day…I gather they built them in those locations to keep an eye out for the enemy….not for tired pilgrims. There is nothing more satisfying after a day’s hike to sit and relax and enjoy the new town or village, and bask in your accomplishment of another day’s journey. You must be so proud of yourself…I’m certainly proud of you John….you have come a long long way since this idea crept into your head and now look at you…SO happy for you.

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