I actually made a short blog post on the day about Montverdun: you may as well read it as it was!
This evening I am staying in an amazing old priory on a hilltop. The Amis of this beautiful old place have opened a gite in it to welcome pilgrims and others, and as I write this the bells of the old church have just tolled 9pm. I can look up at the huge old beams over my head. What a truly amazing place to sleep in: I might dream of cowled monks roaming around!
This is my tenth day of walking and I think I have four more nights before I arrive in Le Puy. Hardest bit has been the solitary nature of it all- am looking forward to seeing more pilgrims after Le Puy! Today was my first day with lots of road walking, and although it was only 20km, a distance my feet and body are now well used to, my feet were complaining about the hard roads by the end of the day.
And now for the day's journey with some photos...
I was quite clearly close to the Auvergne region now, with small old volcanic cones popping up in the landscape, some with castles or churches on.
The building I was to stay in had once housed monks. It had thick stone walls and window frames. And lots of black granite that told a story of old volcanoes. It was indeed rather foreboding from below, and I was told that it was for a time a very important monastery in the area
I was very well looked after from the moment I arrived. A cousin of the 'responsable' for the gîte was in the office when I arrived, and she organised me with the key etc so I could have a shower. When the 'responsable' arrived, it turned out she was a retired teacher of English, so we were able to have a detailed conversation about all manner of things.
I'd been told that I could have 'demi-pension' and an evening meal and breakfast would be provided. I wasn't quite sure how that would work since I was the only pelerine... But it turned out they had an arrangement with a local restaurant, and a French meal, with its typical arrangement of several courses, was delivered in a special polystyrene tray. And breakfast was all organised for me in another tray. I just had to master how to turn on the gas oven safely to boil the eggs!
It was an early night. I had been looked after very kindly, but I was still a bit worried about the ghosts of past centuries who might be haunting the place.....