Walking west from Figeac we go deeper into the region of the Causses, limestone plateaus which have a very different complexion to all that has come before. The track is hard, the hills grey. Stunted oaks, some vines, some sheep, pale rock…and dolmens!
I walked for some time with a group of French ladies. The retired lady on the right was in pain with every step. Her arthritis was so severe she could barely open and close one fist. When I asked her companions how far she would get in that condition, they told me: Compostèle! When I expressed disbelief, one of them looked at me hard and said: C’est une dure: “She’s a tough one.” Lessons of the Camino!
Here we are before the descent to Cajarc. The lady on the left was born in Clochemerle, which I had always believed to be a fictional town, subject of Gabriel Chevalier’s wonderful novel of small town politics centred on the erection of a public urinal. It seems that Clochemerle is real…and the urinal is still there! More lessons of the Camino.
Cajarc is one of many pretty towns to come, with its own look and interesting circular design at its centre.
But no more soft green hills for some time!
Our group assembled next morning to hear singing in the church. Word had gone out on the trail about a young Swiss pilgrim who sang gospel in churches along the way. There she was, at 8am. She simply took a seat away from the group, and began to sing.
You know the type of sledging Aussie who makes fun of people who sing Kumbaya? I’m that type…or I was.
The singing was otherworldly. The French ladies, les dures, blubbered in the back of the church.
I didn’t blubber. But I’ll never make a Kumbaya joke again.
Ultreia, little Swiss singer!