I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Rochegude

At the rocky outcrop of Rochegude (967 m) all that remains of a 13th-century castle is one round tower...


... and a tiny chapel dedicated to Saint James...


The prospect from here across the Allier valley is simply breathtaking, one of the finest viewpoints of the whole Chemin...



12 comments:

Ruth said...

I imagine you sat there a while, Robert, maybe eating a hunk of bread and cheese. Perhaps I missed it in your first post about this chemin, the significance of St James in this part of France. I believe he is the patron saint of Spain. Is this the way of St. James? Sorry to be ignorant of these camino routes.

Gardener in the Distance said...

I would like to live there...

Dominic Rivron said...

Rochegude? If ever a place was crying out for a limerick.

Goat said...

Looks amazing. What sort of daily averages were you walking on this trip? I imagine one's pace could be quite leisurely.

The Solitary Walker said...

Ruth — yes, indeed, Saint James is the patron saint of Spain, and the guiding presence behind all the caminos. Apart from Rome, Santiago in Spain is the geographical and physical focus of Christian pilgrimage within Europe, and the destination of all the camino routes I've followed. The GR 65 route (The Way of Saint James, or Le Chemin de Saint-Jacques) from Geneva via Le Puy to the Spanish border links to the Camino Francés (also the Way of Saint James) in Roncevalles, which continues westwards across northern Spain to Santiago. The entire route from Geneva to Santiago takes about 10 weeks to complete (a lot longer if you take it easy, for it's not a race!), and I've walked the whole length — now including some parts twice (Le Puy to Limogne).

The Solitary Walker said...

Gardener — I'd like to live there too, but not actually in that tower, as the other side you can't see is open to the elements!

The Solitary Walker said...

Goat — I walked an average of 22 km a day for two weeks. I didn't rush, and allowed myself lots of time for taking photos, stopping at bars and cafés, enjoying leisurely picnic lunches, and soaking in the sun and the atmosphere and the sheer beauty of it all. Bliss!

The Solitary Walker said...

Ok, Dominic — this from the top of my head...

A lonely old man from Rochegude
Took to walking around in the nude
He spent hour after hour
Quite alone in his tower
Thinking thoughts unbelievably crude

I'm sure you (or anyone else) could do better?

The Solitary Walker said...

Ruth, rereading my comment to you, I meant "geographical and spiritual focus" not "geographical and physical focus".

Ruth said...

Got it, thanks. I appreciate the extra information about the routes, and knowing you have done the whole thing, and some of it more than once.

Besides my interest in your treks and those of others, I am interested in all things James, for my grandson's sake.

Goat said...

Yes, if you were to ask me the definition of satisfaction - liberally spiked with bliss - that kind of living sounds pretty close. If only someone would pay us to do it year-round...

The Solitary Walker said...

Well, I agree, Goat, my friend. Luckily someone paid me long enough for me to be able now to indulge my peregrinatory fantasies from time to time. But not for as long as i would like!