Conques (pronounced Conk) you climb/fall about 900 feet down this cliff face to arrive in this small medieval village, it’s centerpiece is a large church run by the Cisterion Monks. I have to say the Monks made it the most religious experience so far. But, the village is a Pilgrimage resort Disneyish village, there are no services in the village, only tourist amenities, souvenir shops, restaurants, and lodgings. Other than on a tour (or a true hiking Pilgrim) or born there you can’t get there by any mode of transportation. A interesting point for reflection, the Monks have 5 prayer periods a day, and Islam religion stops five times a day for prayer – both to the same God.
Leaving is as challenging as arriving, you leave the village and descend to the bottom of the Csnyon, cross over and then climb the other vertical side of the canyon. Then it gets to be a somewhat monotonous trek, more on nice but deserted farm roads than trails.
Once out of the canyon there are a choice of two routes, typically we took one and everybody else took the other. Down the line the two trail came back together. Now with all Pilgrims on one trail, Monica’s afterburner kicked-in and she took off passing everyone. I just get caught up in her vortex, so lo & behold I’m passing people. With all the aches, pains, bruises, medical issues, Monica is amazing. She finishes the day dusty, disheveled, drenched in sweat, give her a shower and she is out the door to dinner looking like a San Francisco socialite. she’s amazing. Today was about 16.5 miles for the lady, and finishing on a 2km steady climb. did I say she is amazing.
Two day ago we met a German couple, the wife was ver outgoing and spent some time talking to Monica. We were sharing a table that night with a number of other people. I arrived before Monica and the host seated me next to the German couple. An aside, while earlier Monica was talking to the woman, I was sitting across the table having a beer and the women’s husband was reading, so we had no conversation. Now, as I take my seat at the dinner table the German man announces in a perfectly English voice that he will not speak English tonite. His wife try’s to quiet him, but he rests his refusal to speak English, again he says it in perfect English, obviously for my benefit. “As Snoopy, flying his WW one Sopwith Camel would say,”curse you Red Baron.”