From Le Puy to Saint-Chély-d'Aubrac
Le-Puy-en-Velay - Saint-Privat-d'Allier (23.5km) - Saugues (19.5km) - Le Sauvage (19.5km) - Aumont Aubrac (27.5km) - Nasbinals (26.5km) - Saint-Chély-d'Aubrac (17km) I can't believe that I've already completed 6 days and 133km of walking, it has absolutely flown by!
Attending the Pilgrims' Mass at the cathedral in Le Puy was a really poignant way to start this journey. After the service, I received a blessing from the Bishop, as well as a small pendant of St James with a shell on the back. Then, after letting dad take a few photos of my ceremonial departure, I started walking.
And thus I've continued for the last 6 days, come rain or shine (and I've had plenty of both, though predominantly the shine). Despite being one of about eighty individuals in the cathedral that first morning, I very rarely encounter other people while I'm walking. This has been surprisingly enjoyable, especially as so much of the way is off-road, through absolutely stunning scenery.
This scenery has mainly been in the form of forests and farmland (usually inhabited by cows, lots and lots of cows). There have also been some of the most breathtaking, expansive views I've ever seen. Sure, these views don't come easy - you normally have to scale a mini-mountain to get them... But that view when you finally reach the top of the ascent is most definitely worth it.
While the walking itself tends to be fairly solitary, the evenings are a welcome contrast. A couple of times I've opted for demi-pension (dinner, bed, breakfast) and through this have had some absolutely delicious 4-course dinners and have been able to sample some of the local delicacies (Puy lentils featured heavily for the first few days).
The next 6 days should be good - I'll be passing through Conques and Figeac, both a lot bigger than most of the little hamlets I've been in so far! In the last day or so, I've also gained three walking buddies so I'm looking forward to spending more time with them!
And finally, the all-important blister update. My first 5 days were 100% blister free, but sadly that is no longer the case and my pinky toes are reaking havoc...
And on that note, à bientôt!