September 9: Oh how we love France! Three hours ago Dave and I were at an outdoor patio drinking what I imagined to be mead but was actually beer. It must have gone straight to our heads since we hadn’t yet eaten. What a perfect state to be in for people watching. Believe it or not, the people passing by were knights in shining armour, their ladies, jesters, wenches, scoundrels, and pilgrims. Dave said he thinks he could live here! 🤣
We did finally put some food into our bellies. One of our goals was to eat French fries in France. Tonight at the market we had “pommes de terre frites” served in a newspaper that tells about the history of French fries. It seems that French-speaking Canada is worthy of mention when it comes to eating them. 😃 Good to know!
The timing of our arrival in Estaing couldn’t have been better, being that their annual medieval festival was going on. Even without a festival, Estaing is a great place to visit. It is one of the most beautiful towns on the Camino situated on a bend in the Lot River. A vaulted arch bridge built in the 16th century crosses the river and a castle sits in a prominent place within the village near the church.
We were able to make the most of our visit to Estaing today by arriving in mid-morning by bus. It is our first day “off the Camino” since we started walking. We needed a rest day, but now I can’t wait to get back on the trail tomorrow. I’m not sure Dave feels the same so soon after saying he’d like to live here.
The sad part about making friends on the Camino is that they come and go. You may see them for a day or two or more and then not see them again. Tonight we ran into Josie and Richard, the Canadians from Quebec who we got lost with on Day 4. We missed seeing Marie-France who was with us every day since Day 1, but we met Marie-Josie yesterday who is also staying at Gîte et Chambre d’hôtes Les Pieds here in Estaing. It seems like a full house here tonight judging by the number of boots and backpacks downstairs. We give this place and the hospitalera two thumbs up! 👍
Tomorrow was originally going to be a 20 kilometre day but the temperature is supposed to rise to 34C, two degrees hotter than today. It is tempting to use the Compostel’ bus for part of the way now that we know how well the bus service works.