For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Monistrol-d'Allier

A final farewell to the sublime view from Rochegude.

A lunch spot to die for by the Allier river in Monistrol.

Monistrol-d'Allier.

Monistrol-d'Allier.

A bizarre and intriguing volcanic rock formation above Monistrol.

From Rochegude you descend a challenging, natural pathway of rocks and tree roots to Monistrol.  But of course — pilgrim routes being what they are — you have to climb up again on the other side of the valley. This is the view back to Monistrol from the other side.

Climbing up.

Half-way up a steep and stony track you reach the Chapelle de la Madeleine, built under the rock.

A metal cross punctuates the Way.

Approaching Sauges, you pass this tall tree sculpture. Here's a part of the lower section featuring Saint James.

13 comments:

George said...

Simply magnificent! I so hope that I will have the opportunity in the near future to walk this route.

The Solitary Walker said...

Me too, George, me too. You would love it, of that I'm sure. Perhaps I could join you for part of the route. I sure wouldn't mind walking it for the third time, believe me!

Ruth said...

Yes, George's "simply magnificent" is the only way to describe these location and views. The geologic formation is fascinating.

And there is Madeleine! I am also interested in her (as well as James), for the history, and for the sake of my first dog, a sweet beagle named for a character in Herman Wouk's "The Winds of War."

ksam said...

Love the picture of the volcanic rock! Looks almost like fur. Perhaps some legendary creature asleep on the hillside? And that tiny chapel is intriguing! Was it open?

George said...

Robert, are there any guides for this part of the camino? Information on the route, mileages, accommodations, etc.? Is there a good map?

Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

Susan Scheid said...

So, so beautiful, this route. I join with others in being captivated by the volcanic rock formation, though I must quickly add that every view you show here is exquisite. Thank you for taking us on your walk.

Goat said...

Yes, it all looks terrific. As do your header shot and the tagline I just noticed. You might have noticed I had some fun with my own recently.

Friko said...

Have you thought of adding a map? I know we could all follow you on one anyway, but if you posted one for the whole trip and showed each time how far you got, would that work?

I often wonder what motivates you? Is it the walking, the scenery, or the destination and its spiritual meaning? I can believe that one could become very passionate about both the route and everything else involved.

Ruth said...

I add my vote to Friko's for a map. It would be quite helpful.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for your valued comment, Ruth . . . That tiny chapel was locked, Karin, and looked pretty damp and neglected inside . . . George, will email you later about this . . . Susan, thanks . . .

And Friko - A map? Afraid not - as I didn't follow a map myself and relied on others, and an inadequate sketch in my inadequate walking guide, and the coquille signs, and intuition . . .

My capabilities - or rather my spiritual instincts - didn't encompass detailed planning! I know some walkers were relying on GPS, and cool maps, and satellite-beamed meteos, and suchlike, but I hadn't the desire, the finance or the motivation to be guided thus . . .

Yes, Friko - passionate, indeed! My motivation is all you describe . . .

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Goat, too - sorry I missed you out just now . .

Ruth said...

I like your response, Robert, that you follow a guide within you for your walks. I guess I wasn't hoping for anything detailed, but just a sense of the place overall in France where you were. But I can easily look up the locales myself. I think that now I would see it as compromise if you put a map on your blog! :-)

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Ruth, for your added comment. I think I may post a general kind of map soon, but a detailed one, day by day, would probably (as you recognise) compromise in some way the purpose of my personal odyssey. The caminos are always journeys of the heart. And who can map the heart?