Day 8: Aubrac to Saint-Come-d’Olt

Day 8: Aubrac to Saint-Come-d’Olt

Aubrac, the village where we stayed last night, has a population of only fifty people. Even though it is tiny, it has an interesting history that began in the 12th century. The Flemish Viscount Adelardo described this place as “horrible, very lonely, terrible, wild, dark and uninhabitable.” He suffered an attack by bandits and then promised to build a hospital if he survived, so that pilgrims would not have to suffer his fate. Pilgrims were offered security against the dangers that lurked, and also light, food and wine, and a bell which was rung to guide them on days of snow or fog. The bell still exists but most of the hospital buildings have disappeared. The tower was restored as a pilgrim hostel.

Dave and I were waiting in Aubrac for the Compostel’ bus to arrive and were beginning to worry it wouldn’t show up at all. Walking the entire 23 kilometres to Saint-Côme-d’Olt was unthinkable after yesterday’s long, hot climb. It was a huge relief when the bus finally showed up half an hour late. It was the best 24 euros spent to shorten today’s distance to an acceptable 16 kilometres. 

We were let off at the pretty fairytale village of Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac, nestled snug into the mountainside. We grabbed a cafe au lait and ice cream at the cafe, stocked up on snacks at the epicerie, then headed off to Saint-Côme-d’Olt, a descent of a total of 950 metres. Dense forests and tree lined paths provided welcome shade, there was a light breeze, and birdsong. Except for some long stretches of stony paths, the trails were quite good.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many kilometres we walk in a day, the last five kilometres are always tough. Even if we don’t say it, we are thinking, “Are we there yet?” 🤪 When we finally arrived at Hôtellerie du Couvent de Malet (Malet Convent) we received the warmest welcome yet. The hospitaleras are so kind and the facility and gardens are beautiful. We highly recommend it! ♥️ 👍 

The tower in Aubrac is a pilgrim hostel
Gaelle (middle) and Marie-France (right)
Hallowe’en tree?

4 thoughts on “Day 8: Aubrac to Saint-Come-d’Olt

  1. Hello Judy & Dave – you brave souls making that extra long trek yesterday to Aubrac! You must be feeling weary to admit to taking a bus for a portion of your walk today.
    The countryside does seem hot and dry as we are here back home. Love the photo of the
    donkey and the cows from yesterday and the ‘two feet’ latrine. Today’s Convent looks picturesque and I hope it offers you some comfort. Such an adventure.
    Stay well and enjoy each day – although your feet are probably screaming “let’s take a break”!

    1. Hi Maggie! Taking the bus for part of the walk was a lovely treat. At least we know now what our limit is now and that there are alternative ways to get to where we want to go other than walking. Let’s hope we don’t make it a habit. 😉

  2. Hi Judy and Dave,
    Wow, your pictures are stunning. You are really making me re-think our plans for next year. We will definitely have to talk when you get back. I know what you mean about those last 5 km – they are the hardest!!
    What a treat you are giving all of us as we follow you along!

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