France: Oct. 2016

We took an extra day off from walking in the medieval centre of Cahors - a gorgeous little city in the Lot River valley. We've been following this spectacular river valley for the last 2 weeks.The only rainy day so far was during our first day off back in Conques. The weather is cooling down now - about 5 degrees at night and 20 during the day.

We've moved out of cow country into sheep country. The countryside is dotted with bories - a borie is "a dry-stone structure, generally a one-room cabin. The smallest can be a single, low room where a shepherd could weather out a storm or a cold night. More typically, the single room borie is big enough to stand upright in, with space for a fire and often a shelf or two built into the thick stone walls." We spent the night in a renovated borie with an added-on bathroom and sealed walls.

The owner of the borie we stayed in liked to make miniature replica bories that he stuck in all the recesses in the borie walls and all over his home.

Along the way, one of the villagers set up an exuberant little rest stop with hundreds of painted clam shells. The plain clam shell is the symbol of the Chemin de St. Jacques (Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain).

Tiny car - an Aixam.

Spectacular cave along the Lot River. The black part in the back is about 5 meters high and 20 meters deep - Roxanne's quite a ways in front of it. No one seemed to know anything about this cave or if it had ever been inhabited - the local tourist people saw it as just another natural phenomenon. It looked a lot like the caves we visited in Sri Lanka that had been filled with monks a couple of thousand years ago.

Old hand pump for a water well. The GR65 on the stone stands for Grande Route 65, another designation for the Via Podiense/Chemin de St. Jacques.

Choice of accommodations is always a bit unpredictable - one night we slept in a yurt. It was quite cozy, thanks to an electric heater.

Nuclear power is alive and well in France, 'though viewed with some suspicion...

Nuns singing in a chapel in Moissac.

Candles for Madge. We received word that John's mother passed away on Oct. 14 around 7:00 pm France time.

Heading back to Canada for the funeral. Our last stop on La Vía Podiense before flying out of Toulouse was in the unfortunately-named town of Condom.