Puy to Condom - Day  9
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Conques to Livinhac - 23k

After breakfast I went to my room and collected my ‘sac before handing my key in. I was met by one of the monks who very perceptibly said ‘Have a good journey in your heart’ Yesterday had made me really reconsider how I wanted to do this journey and I decided it might not be at 30k per day, it needed to be slower with time to sit. I then had coffee with the two girls in the local bar.

I never remember going somewhere and being treated so kindly. I suspect they treat everyone who passes through their doors with equal kindness.

Three quarters up the hill was a chapel to St Roch (who else?... on the other hand, if the plague is blowing through your village it pays to have the man devoted to the subject focussed on the job)

After climbing the hill (a quick jaunt of 1000feet) you have a choice, the longer hilly, non tarmac way. Or the shorter variant with village on the road, I had forgotten to buy some bread before leaving, so I needed the village for lunch. So yet again I was on the tarmac (man shall not live by a sweaty four day old camembert alone.)

I walked into the village of Noailhac and its bar, negotiating a 10Euro plate of the day. It turned out to be two or even 3 if I had got it right.

The reason for this feast I was unsure about my eating arrangements for the evening and had been advised by a previous traveller that this was one way around the problem.

So I then suffered with indigestion for the next two hours. It is all very well to have a light lunch and a short stroll, another to have the full French job, put 14kg on your back then walk 10 miles. After staggering up the hill out of the village I came to another Chapel of St Roch (The plague must have been bad in these parts… or not bad if he did his job?) Standard chapel, but what fantastic windows.

You can  work out a statue of St Roch rather than St James (both might have scallops to fool you) St Roch usually has his cloak open, flashing a well formed leg. Apparently this was to tell all and sundry that he had the plague or whatever. He can also sometimes be seen accompanied by a dog which  licked his wounds

 

 

 

Eventually we joined a track, but then the whole route was on tarmac after this short spell on a sandy track.  Its fair to say from this point on my ankles caused me discomfort most of the time. I crawled into Livinhac at 18:00 and went to the chemist to find something to kill off the smell of my socks, boots and trainers. It worked up to a point.