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

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Lot

In Livinhac I crossed the river Lot, where I spent a happy time watching some huge frogs and listening to their loud, unearthly, grunting noises. Shortly after Livinhac I passed from the department of Aveyron into the department of Lot itself. This lovely scene is somewhere between Livinhac and Figeac...

On the way to Figeac.

The village of Faycelles, which lies just beyond Figeac, is a perfect gem. Most of its houses seem to have been renovated or restored. However, the lady who owned its bar-restaurant, La Forge, told me that the village was not what it used to be: it was harder and harder to make a living, and many shops and little businesses — such as the butcher's and other bars — had ceased trading.

It was lunchtime, and the sun was beating down, so I had a beer, and relaxed, and enjoyed the medley of 60s pop music pulsating from the bar. Unfortunately I became so relaxed that it was quite hard to start walking again...  

Faycelles.

But I had to carry on, as I'd booked a place in a chambre d'hôte called L'Atelier des Volets Bleus in Gréalou — which was still twelve and a half kilometres away. I stopped briefly to admire this superb view over the Lot valley...  

View over the valley of the Lot.

Two pilgrims with headscarves enjoy a picnic lunch. (You can see my walking poles resting against the base of the stone cross.)

A barn typical of the Lot.

Soon the trees closed in, and I walked for many kilometres through dense, deciduous woodland, along paths bordered by mossed, tumble-down stone walls...

Dense, deciduous woodland...

Mossed, tumble-down stone walls...

More of the same...

You come across a number of these small, round, drystone huts in the area. They are former shelters for shepherds, known as caselles...

A caselle or shepherd's hut.

7 comments:

Rubye Jack said...

When you first mentioned the beer, I was thinking ugh, and he's going walking again. Beer makes me listless you see. This area seems particularly beautiful!

am said...

I especially like the photo of the two pilgrims with headscarves and your walking poles leaning on the stone cross. I'm following along quietly. Was quite moved by your evocation of the Sisters of Mercy in the last post. Moved to tears. This Camino has me in an unusually contemplative state of mind. I did finally see "The Way" with Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. In my dreams sometimes, I can see the ocean in the distance. Have you been to Muxia? I can't recall it.

Suman said...

The mossy, stone walls are beautiful, and the huts look darn intriguing. Lucky you!

The Solitary Walker said...

A very bad idea to drink alcohol at lunchtime, Rubye... It made me listless too!

am — So nice to hear from you. I like that photo too, the way they are both astride the wall, and looking at each other, and both wearing headscarves. I like the symmetry of the companionship. And then my two walking poles there as well, plus the stone cross, seem to add something that's somehow just beyond the grasp of reason. And that view over the wall was sensational!

I still haven't seen that Camino film — I think I've been put off by reading a few lukewarm reviews, and I didn't want to be disappointed. I didn't continue the Camino to Finisterre and Muxia, though I will one day.

Thanks for your visit, Suman! I agree, I think I'm very lucky to have been able to do this walk (twice now — in both autumn and springtime).

Ruth said...

Charm oozing in the form of moss!

I'm intrigued by the plant/tree that wraps around the inn at Faycelles, like a belt or ribbon. Maybe it had a magic spell that attempted to lure you to sleep!

Gorgeous photos!

The Solitary Walker said...

Actually that house wasn't the inn, Ruth — I'm afraid I didn't make that clear.

Am absolutely definite the sleepiness came from luchtime beer drinking — deadly, particularly in the noonday sun.

Goat said...

Catching up on the last stages of your journey after a busy weekend of my own walking. Don't think the scenery I enjoyed here, as good as it was, could match yours, especially those stone walls.

A beer on a hike like that can be a mixed blessing. The solution on the Appalachian Trail was often to buy a case, distribute it among a squad of walkers, and transport it to the next shelter in the woods and a cold stream for a refrigerator!