Day 23: Flavignac to La Coquille

Well we are back in the heat again. 32 C today. Did 29.8 kilometers. Had to stop a few times in the afternoon due to the heat, little shade and no breeze to speak of. Drank a petite etang in water and had 2 Oranginas. Damn, oops sorry. Pilgrims are not supposed to swear. Darn it all anyway but it was hot and those oranginas are the sweet nectar of the gods.

Landscape is changing. Still going upwards, many hills but the vegetation is not as lush as it was. They need rain here badly. Everything has that parched look about it. Dry! Supposed to rain Saturday. Not good for Pilgrims. I hate rain when I am walking. Everything gets wet and it takes days to dry out. I may take a rest day Saturday.

Big screw-up, er sorry, big cock-up, er sorry again, big problem with accommodation here in La Coquille. I made a reservation, confirmed but when I arrived there was no room at the inn. I was really pissed-er, sorry again. Damn. Pilgrims are not supposed to swear. I found alternate accommodations in what I would call a bread foundry or forge. It was hotter than hades. I got a room for the night – 25 euros with a dinner. Wow, I wonder if it is bread dinner with bread pudding for dessert. It is going to be hard to sleep in 40C heat in that foundry. Maybe I,ll make bread in my dreams. And the room was a dump.  Then again, according to the Pilgrims’s Guide 101 ( I read it so you don’t have to ) Pilgrims are not supposed to complain – just suffer. Okay, it was a clean dump – an oxymoronic Pilgrim’s room. Soon, self flagellation classes will be held for all Pilgrims.

I have to tell you about Flavignac. I stayed there last night. They had a fete (fair) that started about 1900. It was great. There was a band too that played awesome music. Sitting there having a few beers, eating great BBQ, by a petite etang, watching the sun go down in wonderful temperatures was like heaven on earth. I have some pictures. They speak for themselves:

Beautiful, magical evening after a hard day’s walk. Love it.

Well Gill, my walking companion, finished today. He left for Limoge, then Paris when we arrived in La Coquille. Hitch-hiking back. Gill is a model now for art schools and artists themselves. At 64, quite a switch of gears in life, especially given he is a mathematician. Wow. Gill is a tad idiosyncratic, has some weird quirks but is a great guy nonetheless. He spoke pretty good English so we had some interesting conversations about music, books and life in general. It is amazing some of the characters you meet on this walk. The other interesting fact is that there are very few women here. I wonder if that is a reflection on us males, as in, are we screwed up or what? I mean think about it:

” Honey?”

” Yes dear.”

”I think I would like to go to France and walk 900 kilometers in 30 plus C heat. What do you think?”

” Fine dear, now go and take out the trash!”

It has been a week now since Berry the Dutchman finished, 10 days since the Von Trappiste family left. Man oh man time goes by. I miss their company as well.

By the way, if the heat doesn’t get ya here the wasps (bees) will. It is unbelievable here. Can’t eat or drink on the terrace without these wasps annoying you.

I was thinking about Delores O’Riordan while walking today. She was the lead singer for the Cranberries, who died suddenly in London at the age of 47. Here is her most famous tune:

And I felt like a Zombie after my walk today!










12 thoughts on “Day 23: Flavignac to La Coquille”

  1. The Walking Dead – French Edition, there might be a TV series in there somewhere, submit a screen play to Hollywood! The French Zombie, craves red wine instead of blood or maybe only the blood of winos.

  2. Well John, i read all about the suffering you were in today, and i must say, of course you are allowed to think what you write (or in reverse); my motto always was (and is) you are a pelgrim nog a martyr!
    Yesterday i went to ‘s Hertogenbosch to the museum and after that i ate a real -Bossche bol- , was delicious (erg lekker). Like to read you’re stories. And about the females on the road, you will see them more and more after St. Jean Pied de Port, but hélas for you, you intend to stop there. Perhaps next year?

  3. The fete sounds amazing! Interesting that you haven’t seen many women….you might have to walk faster! Lol!
    So excited for you on this journey ! Love the stories and photos😊

  4. John, I don’t recall hearing on my Camino that pilgrims are not supposed to swear…because believe me I did a whole lot of swearing on my journey. I think I’d take the heat you are experiencing over having to wear my pancho every day. Like you said, when it rains everything gets wet and it takes forever to dry as driers are non existent. So, I don’t hear you talking about doing your laundry…please tell me your clothes have been washed at some point in time. Even though pilgrims you have met and become familiar with have departed, I’m sure you will meet many more along the way. Keep up the great work John.

  5. Hey John,
    Just caught up on your adventure and I am honestly living vicariously through you and reliving my own travel days. A bit too busy with copious amounts of children here for travel currently. Ha-Ha.
    I’ll keep it short but I am so glad you are having such a great adventure, and it sounds like you are more than glad you decided to go through with this. Good for you, you should feel proud buddy!
    Can’t wait to have a beer with you and hear all about it in Mill Bay when you’re back
    “A la prochaine”
    Brad (Your good son)

  6. Hey John: Sounds like you had a good day today except for accommodations. Makes you appreciate the house on the hill.

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