September 5: Walking in the cool mornings is so much easier than in the heat of the afternoon, so we prefer arriving at our destination as early in the afternoon as possible. The temperature goes up to 31C by mid-afternoon and sometimes shade is nowhere to be found.🥵
The descent from Domaine du Sauvage to Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole this morning was gradual (900 metres down in 13 kilometres) and the farmland was beautiful and so were all the cheese-producing cows. By the time we reached Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole, however, it was getting hot and we still had eight kilometres to go.
It would have been interesting to explore Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole, especially the château. It was the center from which the raids were organized to hunt the Beast of Gévaudan, the terrible wolf that killed over 100 people between 1764 and 1767. (I told about the beast/wolf when we arrived in Saugues.) The Beast’s notoriety is still alive and well today here, and there are many representations of the Beast throughout this area.
We didn’t expect those final eight kilometres to Les Estret to be the challenge that it was. One significant rocky, steep climb up was followed by another one coming down into Les Estrets. It took us a few minutes to work out our best strategy for tackling the slippery slope into Les Estret, but we made it!
What a relief it was to get to Les Estret and check into Gite Le Saint-Pas. From the outside it doesn’t look remarkable but it is clean, comfortable, cool, and the hospitaleros are friendly and welcoming. We had the best home cooked meal here: a huge green salad, a potato/cheese/ham dish, and the best crème brûlée ever!
Communication skills are put to the test at communal meals but Google Translate comes in handy and we are getting better at using it. It’s not the only way to communicate, though. For example, at last night’s dinner three kinds of cheese were served. One of our table mates pointed to one cheese and bleated like a sheep and pointed to the other two cheeses and mooed. French and Canadian animals speak the same language obviously! 🤪