I’m actually at a pilgrim hostal about 2 kms. beyond Loye, a farm called Foret-Vieille. Our hosts are a retired couple who made a bit of their place into this refuge. Accomodations are spartan but clean and most welcome after a very long day on the road. I’m here with 2 Dutchmen, a father and teen son team who started in Vezelay and have 3 weeks available to see how far they get. I’m the first other pilgrim they’ve met; there aren’t many of us out here, I guess.
I left Charenton at 7.30 under very heavy clouds, but no rain. The early morning breeze was cold. Almost the whole 10 kms. to Saint-Amand was along a grassy path next to a canal; my boots and eventually my socks got quite wet again, but not sloshy. I got lost enough in St. Amand to add another km. to my day’s walk, but eventually got to the church, (always the end-point and point of departure in my guide). I spent some quiet time within its dark and warm Romanesque interior (not much Gothic in these parts), said my prayers, then stopped in a bar across the street for a coffee (as ever, all the “regulars” stared at me like I was really strange). Then I headed out of town for another 18 kms.
Blessedly, the heavy clouds broke up into bundles of cumulousities (I think I just made up a word), letting the sun shine intermittently enough to warm me up after a cold and damp morning; the last hour of walking was actually quite warm. There are still lots of dark clouds about, so I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
I really pushed my limits today, walking just shy of 30 kms., too far really, but in the end I made it, and though tired, seem no worse for the wear. Tomorrow will be less: about 24 km.
It has taken three tries and nine years, but as of July 2012, I have finally walked the entire Way of Compostela from my former home in Leuven/Louvain, Belgium, to Santiago de Composela!
My contact e-mail remains the same: email@example.com; I am always happy to receive mail!
Grace and peace to you all!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007