Second Day

After the 12 miles of the first day, I was exhausted but the only one with dry feet. We tried at night to dry out everything else. We will have to use ponchos next time. But the second day was magical, sunny and glorious. Good hearty breakfast and began the long 16 mile day. Not as tired as before, no problem with ankle or feet. But this really is a pilgrimage. Nice German trekker, Gordon, warned us of all up hill day with steep grades and water courses.
We all left after breakfast to walk down and down to the village of Monitsrol for lunch. Stopped at St. Privat d’Allier at a bar where the bartender had been a rugby player and the three old men jollied me along in my poor French until Claire arrived. We drank chocolate again, fabulous stuff made fresh. Walked off down again, very steep, rocky, Claire fell into the steam, George fell, I hung onto Tom. We got a bit ahead but as I was having trouble on the ups, we decided to forgo lunch and continue. Left a note on a branch for Claire and fled, down to village at bottom and up mountain STEEP. Crawled up, saw pitons at eye level for climbing, chapel in cave, kept going. When reached a town it was always more up until Tom had to take my pack. We went on, always thinking the next village was the top, never was. An old woman with chickens pointed up and I nearly skewered her with my hiking pole. Two farm vehicles passed and I thought of hitching a ride. We went slowly but no sign of George and Claire.
They had missed our note, waited frantically in the valley, then walked all over looking for us and as it got later, took a taxi to the next hotel. We, obliviously climbed on…
When we reached Saugues we hadn’t a clue where Claire had booked us to stay. I found a gite and they graciously lent me their computer. Claire had posted an email for us “worried.” We found the hotel Les Gabales and collapsed.
Great dinner of Beouf Borginon, we were first guests of the new owners, great people.


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