20 Sep 11: Nogoro to Dubarry

Route: Nogoro to Dubarry (14.5 km)

Maybe there is more going on in Nogoro than meets the eye: I saw a recruiting poster for the local women’s rugby team as I was leaving town. A fine crisp fall morning, crystal cloudless blue as I follow the little pillow of my condensed breath. Some rolling hills here, vineyards with the harvest in progress. Walking with a French army woman from Champagne this morning, heading for Santiago, stopping at every church en route. I am suddenly bereft of pilgrim companionship, which is hard now – all the groups have withered away and only the long distance walkers remain and these are few in number. Plus, because of the feet, my stops are in the less-frequented locales. Most will make Aire-sur-l’adour in 1 day from Nogaro where I will take 2. I just cannot manage 30 km a day!

Lodging: Gite Dubarry. This is a spacious airy gite in a renovated farmhouse, with a friendly and conversational host. A young Swiss couple from Lucerne and a French hiker from the Jura are the other guests tonight.

Cuisine: Dinner is a magnificent platter of red and yellow tomatoes from the garden dressed in balsamic vinagrette; duck hearts and handmade frites; homemade apple compote for dessert, Floc for aperitif. The Swiss teach me how to play Rummikub, which is sort of a Scrabble with numbers: lightweight, compact, requires no translation.

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