Distance 5km High temperature 61
Finally the big day arrives: to complete the route between Prague in the Czech Republic and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Spanish border.
Of course one begins with breakfast, in. most civilized fashion, listening to Mozart and overlooking the peaceful garden. Then it is an hour’s walk along the river – a very pretty route.
Just on the edge of the old town, the Chapel of St Michael comes into view, perched atop its volcanic rock.
Le Puy has been a pilgrimage site in its own right since before the millennium; there was a station here of the monastic order whose duty was to protect pilgrims.
After dropping my pack at the hotel, I set off for the cathedral, which sits on its own lofty perch.
On the way up, the other major landmark comes into view: a 16m (50 ft) statue of Notre Dame, cast from 210 cannons captured at the Siege of Sebastopol on her feast day.
The cathedral is famous for its combination of Romanesque architecture with Moorish decoration.
There are actually two Black Madonnas in the cathedral; the upper one is in the main nave, while the lower one is in a side chapel.
And the famous departure portal, where pilgrims head southwest toward Santiago.
Not long after, I cross paths with a Swiss woman from earlier in the week. We agreed to dinner and it was quite a celebratory feast!
Lodging: Le Bilboquet Hotel