23 Sep 11: Miramont to Arzacq

Route: Miramont to Arzacq 15.8 km
We are back to hilly country, descending to cross streams and then climbing the next ridge. After a rosy sunrise over valley mists, the sun climbs into a humid day, portent of showers tomorrow. So it is stinking hot by late afternoon and I am grateful for the occasional shade. Two Germans from last night, Rita and Herman, walk with me to the first church, in Sensacq. They both really liked the Pacer Poles – wanted to buy them off of me on the spot. At Sensacq, I finally met  the other resident American walking in this sector. He is a chef from south of Sacramento, heading for Santiago. The shortcut (old GR) is the preferred route to Pimbo, which has a 13th century collegiate church, Romanesque on the site of a 9th century church founded by Charlemagne. Very interesting fortifications dating from the Hundred Years War. Good shade for the midday munch. And it was a long hot afternoon slog, down, then up and over. Time to set up for the afternoon foot-break. After I woke up from my nap, there was an old farmer who invited me ( and the Parisienne walking behind me) into his house for a cold drink on a hot afternoon. Jean-Luq is retiring from the farm next month at age 68; his wife Annie is diabetic and has spent several days at hospital, he doesn’t know when she will be coming home. He really feels lost without her. We listen to his lonesome story and promise to pray for them both. Town here is small, and strung out along a ridge.

Lodging: Gite communal. I’m in the communal gite, which has 36 spaces and must be nearly full.

Cuisine: Dinner is a volunteer preparation: tomatoes and pickled beets with terrine; roast duck legs and elbow macaroni; fruit yogurt for dessert. Table includes 2 Québécois, 2 Parisians, and 1 Californian.


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