Our hosts, Corinne and Philippe, looked sad when they were saying their goodbyes to everyone when we were leaving Au Plaisir d’Etape – Gîte in Condom this morning. We were sad, too. Their hospitality is incomparable! In 2019 they discovered a pretty stone building “to shelter the aromas of generous and shared cuisine, the clinking of glasses filled with friendship, stories from everywhere to tell the beauty of the world ….where it is good to smile at each other, to talk to each other, to share, where human relationships take on their full meaning.” Corinne and Philippe are making their dreams come true and anyone who stays at their gite will be glad they did. Our memories of last night’s dinner will last a lifetime! 🥰
We said goodbye to Philippe three times this morning: at the gite when we left; five minutes later when he caught up with us by bike to give us something we’d left behind; and fifteen minutes later when he told us to get some cake from Colleen who was ahead of us. Colleen had the cake that was left over from last night’s dinner. When we heard a cyclist approaching from behind ten minutes later, we half expected it to be Philippe again! 🤣
The full moon was low in the sky reminding us that we’ve been walking for a month. There was a full moon on the day we started our journey from Le Puy-en-Velay on September 1st, too.
One highlight today was Larressingle. It is one of the most beautiful and smallest fortified castles in France with crenelated towers, moat, 13th century château, 12th century church, and medieval houses. It is a world heritage site and we are glad we made the detour to see it. Soon afterwards we walked across the Pont de Lartigue, one of the last Romanesque bridges built especially for pilgrims between the 12th and 13th centuries. There were more farms with fields of corn and sunflowers that were past their “best before date,” but also there was an increasing number of vineyards. There were no grapes left on the vines for us to sample, unfortunately. 😞
No, we didn’t fly home to Canada but we did go to Montreal today. We had lunch and a beer in Montreal and headed to la Chambre d’hôtes Le Couloumé which is almost a kilometre beyond Montreal. We’ll be missing out on Colleen’s cake since she is staying in Montreal and we don’t want to backtrack …not even for cake! 😢