6 Sep 11: Paris to Cahors to Les Mathieux

Cahors bridgeRoute: Arrived Cahors by TGV supertrain from Paris about 3:20p and started walking shortly thereafter. I used the alternate route(orange balises) described in Raju’s book which is highly preferred over the 200ft climbing scramble that is the main route. Still in the Quercy here with limestone underfoot and oak trees for shade. Nice village church in Les Mathieux with beautiful polychrome plaster altarpiece filling the entire wall.

Cuisine: I still and forever adore the sandwich shops in the main-line railway stations. Had a toasted tuna baguette for breakfast and a provencal-ham baguette for lunch (over 6 hour train trip). There must be a reason SNCF does not put dining cars on their TGV long-haul trains; maybe they don’t want to compete with their in-station restaurants. Or maybe the French are so accustomed to self-catering that it would not be profitable. Dinner Demi-pension at the gite was carrot-Ginger soup (very nicely seasoned), sausages Quercy with mashed potatoes saffron and a salad of romaine lightly dressed in vinagrette. Creme du chocolate with a crumbled meringue topping and fresh raspberry garnish was dessert. And of course local vin rouge. An excellent meal!

Grace: it felt so good to clear the last tunnel south of Limoges, and be back in the south of France once more. Blue sky, warm sun, puffy clouds – still summer here, where Paris is already starting fall. A very hospitable crowd at the gite: all walkers, all from France save one Québécois. The Frenchwomen are uniformly amazed I am walking alone; they say they would be too afraid. Many are comfortable speaking English with me. Ditto for my hosts, who have a son in Flagstaff and have visited Seattle. One man has a son who is making wine in Napa valley. The conversational ones seem to have strong and positive ties to the US.

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