Today started misty and grey with a distinct chill and, at times, a disagreeable wind. Breakfast was en famille again, but as the younger members of the famille were on their way to the college and the ecole, we were really just in the company of Magali and her pyjamas.
As the walk today was a short 16k, we spent some time wandering round the village and taking in the sights. After that, we headed out in good heart and strode off. After about 20 minutes it became clear that the red and white markers we were following were not those of Le Chemin Stevenson and we were required to return to the town and have another shot, which proved more successful.
There were a number of small hamlets en route, including Fouzillic and Fouzillac, merely a few hundred metres apart, and between which RLS became hopelessly lost. As the guidebook suggested, this is the only claim to fame of the two indistinguishable clumps of houses, though they were both attractive enough in the daylight: RLS was refused help and laughed at in his parlous state one misty night in 1878. An information board suggested RLS had been misled not just by the mist but also by some quirk in the area’s magnetic field. Laurie and I were unconvinced by this pseudo-scientific claptrap. But who are we to mock: after all we’d got lost in broad daylight leaving Langogne!
As the day progressed, the weather improved, though the disagreeable wind continued on and off. At least it didn’t rain and at times the sun broke through. The path itself was easy, predominantly flat and the views were nice.
We arrived at our destination, Cheylard l’Eveque about 2pm, with an hour and a half until the Gite opened: we climbed a wee hill to look at a small church, admired the various stations of the cross on the way down and generally killed time until the Gite opened its doors. It seems a super place: we have a room to ourselves: Laurie took the double bed (the triumph of optimism over reality) and I settled for the bottom half of the bunk bed. We have our own shower and sink en suite, to coin an English phrase, with the loo – complete with digitally-controlled self-replacing plastic loo seat sheath. Sorry I can’t explain that better. The patron here is a jolly rotund man who serves aan excellent local artisanal beer, which we are currently supping outside the front door. The food is described as “gourmand” – a claim still to be tested. However, we both have a good feeling about the place, possibly supported by the offer of a free Bertie 15 minutes before the evening meal.
Tomorrow night we’ll be staying in a Trappist monastery. Honestly! There may be shortage of wi-fi. After that we will be spending a couple of days with Odile and Gilles in Mende, where I’m sure we’ll be in touch again. Bye for now