September 10: We were up and out of our gite (B&B) in Estaing this morning at 8 AM, but didn’t leave town until 10:30 AM when the Compostel’ bus came along. Twenty minutes later we were in Golinac. It would have taken us at least four hours to walk there.
Already the day was heating up so it was time for a cold drink (beer with lemon) before beginning a short six kilometre walk to Le Soulie. Pilgrims were arriving in Golinac after walking the 14 kilometres we skipped. Many faces are familiar now, so there was often a smile and a wave. Josie and Richard, the Canadian couple we got lost with on Day 4, came along and stopped for a beer and a chat. Hooray! We are now Facebook friends. 😊
There was more road walking today. Probably the most that we’ve done on this Camino, but vehicles were few and far between. There are always cows to chat with along the way, and they are very attentive to passers-by like us.
Accueil au Soulié de Saint Jacques where we are staying in Le Soulie is unique, very rustic with small buildings scattered throughout a wooded garden. Our bedroom was all by itself in a little hut. There is even a small chapel on the property. All of us (22) gathered for dinner at one long table under an outdoor shelter.
Afterwards we were invited to share our reason for walking the Camino. All but four of us spoke French so we didn’t understand much of what was said. When it was our turn to share, someone who was fluent in both English and French translated. We told them that exactly eight years ago today (September 10th) we began walking our first Camino from St. Jean Pied de Port to celebrate my birthday. This October 7th when we arrive back at St. Jean Pied de Port, we’ll be celebrating Dave’s 85th birthday. Everyone was pretty amazed!
In hindsite we realized we didn’t really share our reasons for walking this Camino, just our goal. In a nutshell, we’re doing it because we can. We realize how fortunate we are to be able to do it. Meeting people from different cultures and seeing beautiful places got us hooked in the first place. Almost everyone we have met on this Camino is either French or French Canadian. The exceptions are two German ladies, one Canadian woman from Comox, a man from Latvia, and a couple from Virginia.
My birthday ended with cake, candles, and 🎵 🎼 🎶 🎂 😃 What a pleasant surprise!!!