A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Monday, 10 November 2008

Art But No Artists

The next 3 days (18, 19 and 20 September) were quite different from the previous 3 days in the mountains. The countryside became flatter. I sauntered through rolling, agricultural fields and endless woods of beech, oak and pine. It was all very pleasant. From time to time I picked up the kind of ideal country path that all walkers dream about (well, this walker does anyway):

I kept running into 2 retired couples (Alain and Josie, Yvon and Yvonne) from Lyon who were walking the Way in weekly stages year on year. They used a complicated system which involved leaving a car at a particular location somewhere along the day's route, sometimes walking as couples and sometimes as a group, and, bizarrely, sometimes backtracking over a section of the same route twice. I never did quite understand the logistics. But they seemed perfectly happy with it. They showed great kindness to me, the Solitary Walker - several times insisting I shared a meal with them. On this occasion it's lunch, and we're eating their home-grown salad and home-made vinaigrette, apples from their own apple tree, and raw mushrooms (cèpes, girolles and chanterelles) they'd gathered that day in the woods and had splashed with the vinaigrette:

I stayed in medieval La-Salvetat-sur-Agoût the 1st night, the next night in a rather squalid little gîte beneath the post office in Anglès, and finally in the picturesque artists' village of Boissezon. This was my 1st sight of Boissezon, village d'artistes:

Climbing the hill through the old part of the village up to the church, I passed tiny galleries and art exhibitions. All were open but of artists there was no sign. Perhaps they were all at the café-bar drinking absinthe? Some of the brightly painted doors to their bohemian homes stood ajar and little hand-written notices invited free entry. I stepped into one of these colourful houses. Artworks covered the walls from floor to ceiling, but there was only a cat and some seductive New Age music to greet me...

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