We left the Gite yesterday morning,there had been a huge thunderstorm during the night, but it was now clear. As we walked into the village the church doors were open and there was beautiful flute music coming into the street. We bought some things for lunch, and headed out as always uphill. Halfway up the hill several women, who were behind us began calling to us. My camera had come loose from my belt, and one of the women had found it and returned it to me. Definitely a trail angel. The heat and humidity is a killer, hiking at home I drink very little water, but here there is never enough water. About halfway along yesterday after climbing a hill (another one) we came to a farmer, who had put out 2 chairs, a table w/a bottle of fruit juice, he filled our water bottle and was excited to speak English with us. He grows prunes,and belongs to an Assoc. That is also in the U.S. Filling our water made him another Angel.
Later I was feeling on the verge of dehydration, when we came to the worst hill of the trip. Monica’s back was spamming and I needed water, but up we went, up a very steep slippery rock wall, and this was a first, part way up there was a long rope to help pull yourself up. It flattened out at the top, ran along a ridge for a 1/2 mile and then it was down,down,down the backside. Again unbelievably steep for a hiking trail, they put in some steps but erosion put loose rocks on them and each step was at least 2 ft. High, further down they tried a wooden handrail, but erosion had taken the trail away from the railing. By now I was becoming demented for water, but Monica became the Drill Sgt. And we keep the act together until we came to a spring.
We stayed in a Gite and once again had a great dinner, there about 30 guests, and we got to know the Japanese couple that we had met earlier. This morning we were packed and ready to start the days trek, when another hiker asked what town we were going to, and when we told her, she said there was a big festival there and our host had offered to drive everybody. Well, how tough a decision is that? Hike for fifteen miles in the hot sun or go to a festival – the festival won. Moissac has a huge Abbey/Cloister, that was a Roman building in 500 AD, then the Abbey was built on the site by the Church, starting about 1050. We went to Mass there, then to the bazaar, dozens of food stands,it made for a very interesting day.
The funniest thing was our Gite host drives us to Moissac, but can’t find the address of our chambre. He stops and asks 3 or 4 different people walking, and none have a clue. Our host explains these old men have lived here all their lives, and haven’t gone more than two blocks. Then he drives into the middle of the bazaar area, then has to backup for several blocks. He finally got us here, chambre is iffy, but only a 100 yards from the Abbey.