We felt like mountain goats this morning climbing up and out of Conques. The elevation gain was almost 400 metres in less than five kilometres. Taxi drivers knew about the difficulty and were strategically placed on the way out of Conques to catch the eye of those willing to forego the challenge. We heard it was treacherous and slippery if wet, but it was dry. Dry, that is, except for the sweat that was dripping off our elbows and running into our eyes and ears. The temperature was only 18C and we shuddered to think how much harder it would’ve been on a hot afternoon.
We knew there would be a huge sense of achievement when and if we reached the top. Our mantra was “one step at a time!” In less than an hour we reached the top where there was a picnic table and a biffy – good timing. The rest of the route to Decazeville was pleasant with gentle, undulating hills, patches of green and gold farmland, open views and more cows to visit. The route was either alongside or on quiet, paved country “D” roads. We are so glad we didn’t take one of those taxis. We would have missed that fantastic sense of achievement and the scenery.
I had a comical communication problem come up yesterday, or at least I found it funny. I asked in carefully pronounced French “Puis-Je louer un drap?” (May I rent a sheet?) The woman’s response was to say she doesn’t speak English. Before I could say “But I was speaking French,” she got her English-speaking co-worker to deal with me. I need to work on my pronunciation as well as to learn the French alphabet because if I spell out J-U-D-Y they can’t make sense of it.
Why did I need to rent a sheet, you ask? Our best guess is that I threw my sleep sheet into the laundry basket along with the bottom sheet and pillow case that was supplied at Le Sauvage on Day 4. Drats! 🙁