For the next seven days, we would be walking. Our path was the GR 65 - the spurting path of St Jacques coming from the north called the Le Puy route and which crosses several departments of France as it meanders south to Spain.
We had just left Poudenas, in the Lot-et-Garonne, where the land was verdant and rich, hilly and moist with the Gelise River. The Lot-et-Garonne Dept borders the Landes where we had had to gun the car through the sand furrowed road to (and from) a wonderful Chevre Farm Fromagerie.
Hello pilgrim legs! I'm bringing you out of Santiago, where I last left you in October 2012.
On this path we would see the Gers and then the Tarn. I wanted to drink, scoop, embrace and gulp the soil, the rocks, the sun and the rain over and under my tired feet and in my old bones. Would this be as compelling as the joyous exuberance we found, fortified by jambon, tortilla de patate, and cafe au lait? Followed by the exquisite collapse of legs at the end of the day?
Our direction was east and north, towards Cahors and the Lot. Most pilgrims walked west to St Jean Pied-de-Port, and crossed the Pyrennes to the Spanish side - Roncesvaux, making their way towards Santiago de Compostele.
What adventures awaited us in Castelnou sur Avignon, la Romieu, Marsolan, Lectoure, Castets-Arrouy, Miradoux, Flammarons, St. Antoine, Auvillar, St. Nicholas de la Grave, and perhaps if we dare to walk deeply, Moissac.
Our first stop was Castera-Verduzan, and for the life of me I can't remember why this should be our starting point, as our clear end was Bordeaux, and the train back to Paris. Only a few hundred kilometers in between.
Its always this way when we travel together. My husband is very logical. He asks why and it makes sense to ask. Often its the first time I consider it. Oh yes, why. Only thing is, I don't know.
One reason could have been we had been invited to lunch with a prospective 4 month house sitting assignment this winter in an antique shop in (or near?) Lectoure.
I had scanty directions, and so after our first and only night in Castera Verduzan we set out for Lectoure.