So, an easy stroll along the Lot River for an hour or so…
…soon a built-up area that had a distinct feel of suburbia: newer homes, businesses, light industry, playing fields. A Parisian encountered later complained about this violation of heritage. I loved it. A little brash development was a nice change, and Espalion’s development is pretty clean and modest. Also, I also like to avoid an increasingly common syndrome called Global Ingratitude. It’s healthy to remember that one’s late model backpack, aluminium trekking poles and Goretex Windstopper jacket were not fashioned by pixies scattering magic dust in a happy valley. To all who toiled in factories and laboratories that day to make my next randonnée even lighter and safer…my thanks!
On reaching the old town I found a sports and clothing store called Hé’mon (Jamaican meets Occitan?) which had a surprisingly complete range of camping gear. I was able to buy a Lafuma poncho/jacket for much less than the price of the poncho that failed me so miserably…and which I was happy to ditch. The Lafuma was fine for the rest of the way, and, like the excellent Spanish Altus jacket, will keep body and pack dry. Those who prefer more cover might like the Altus, those who like more ventilation will go for the Lafuma. I later saw both these selling for as low as 35 euros in larger towns.
Next, a look about…
Espalion was an attractive town.
A very attractive town.
REST DAY DECLARED!