You'd think I would have woken in a really good frame of mind, knowing it was my last day of walking to reach Le-Puy-en-Velay. But there was something about opening the windows to find fog, and the institutional building I had slept in, that had put me in the kind of morning mood where I couldn't wait to leave St-Paulien as soon as possible!
Somehow it seemed perfectly fitting that I should then discover that close to St-Paulien on my exit route was this large factory belching smoke into the atmosphere. I had walked in such sparsely populated rural places for such a long way that I had quite forgotten about factories and industry...
However, once I had left the factory behind, I was soon back in the countryside, and the skies were blue again. I chose a roadside spot to sit down and eat my 'breakfast'. It was sardines this time: I had had quite enough of tinned pâte!
Even though I felt like there had been some big descents yesterday, in fact I was still at quite an altitude, as these alpine buttercups show. (St-Paulien was still at 810m altitude.)
The countryside was lovely, and reminded me of home.
You'd think I would have learned not to put too much faith in the very approximate altitude sketches in the Amis guide by now, but the climb to Polignac came as quite a shock, as it was so steep. However, you just gotta keep on plodding upwards sometimes...
Polignac was indeed quite spectacular, from every direction.
And it was on this final part of the journey between Cluny and Le Puy that I got lost! I took a wrong turn somewhere on the descent. I found my way again, but then couldn't work out where I should go to head uphill in the direction of the Cathedral. I felt exhausted as well as lost, so close by the chapel of St Michael at Aiguilhe, I had a 'meltdown'!
Once at the Cathedral, I found a map and sat down to orientate myself to find the gîte, which I knew was opening at 3pm. The spring leaves looked beautiful near the Cathedral, and I managed to calm myself down somewhat.
|view from the gîte window in Le Puy|
"I have arrived in Le Puy. The Cluny route is indeed a beautiful one, but not many pelerins on it, and I found the loneliness hard at times. I have a few other blog posts done but so far havent seen a cafe with wifi.
I am back in the land of many pelerins, and the first gite I rang was complet for tomorrow!!!It is lovely and sunny here in Le Puy today and am about to go climb the Rock with St Michaels chapel on top. In a few hours my French friends are arriving from doing the last third of the Cluny route, including Francis who walked with me the first two days. Am really looking forward to seeing them!"