The Camino provided! Our plans to walk the rest of the Cele Valley variant were questionable last night. The only form of payment generally accepted in these small villages is cash and we were running out. The closest bank machine is in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie and we wouldn’t get there for two days. We expressed our concerns to our lovely hosts, Fabienne et Patrick, at Celezen last night. This morning Patrick kindly offered to drive us to the nearest bank machine ten kilometres away. We were happy to say our problem seems to have been solved. We had sent an email to Gite de Galance in Marcelhac asking if they accept credit card payment and finally got a response. All our plans hinged upon their answer and their answer was a resounding “YES!” 🙏 😊
Today’s scenery in the Cele Valley was stunning and to think we might have missed it if we had to change our plans. It was one of the most peaceful and picturesque hikes we have ever done. The Cele River for most of the year is no more than a meandering stream but in spring it can turn into a torrent. The word “celer” evolved from the Latin word that means “to accelerate.” It runs at the foot of abrupt cliffs and traverses picturesque villages, some of which were built straight into the cliff face. We’ve never seen anything like it.
We climbed three steep hills today. The first two were not a problem because they took us up to those huge cliffs above the valley, but we would rather have avoided the third climb. It was the Marcilhac-sur-Cele circuit route that added four kilometres onto an otherwise perfect day. I must been hallucinating when we were approaching the top of that third steep climb. In my peripheral vision, I envisioned a parking lot with a fleet of white vehicles and did a double-take. They turned out to be piles of white rocks. Maybe in my subconscious I was hoping to hitch a ride? Then Dave said, “Doesn’t this section of trail looks familiar? Didn’t we come down this trail earlier? Are we going around in circles?” 🙈 We felt like old race horses in the home stretch, foaming at the mouth by the time we reached Marcilhac-sur-Cele and our home for the night: Gite de Galance.
With Google Maps being our guide, we might not always follow the red and white Camino markers but may choose country roads instead – the shorter ones. Our plan from now on is to be flexible with the route we take. 😊