Sunday 22nd May Mazamet to Angles

A rest day yesterday and given my sore feet it was just as well that there is nothing to do in Mazamet. One web site claims that it is one of the 10 prettiest towns in France but trust me it isn't. Once an important textile centre making uniforms for the army the empty factories line the route into town. The town centre itself is a dismal place with lots empty shops.

Left the lovely Chambre D'hote at about 8.30 fully laden. After running out of food last weekend I had stocked up with enough food yesterday for two days. Really annoyed to find a Sunday market and that open bread shops. Je ne comprends pas!

The weather had changed from hot and sticky to cloudy and cloud. It wasn't really problem as it was a route through trees and a least it wasn't raining.

Having travelled north from the Pyrenees I'm now travelling east until I get to Lodeve in four days time.

Today continued the sort of walking I had when I came down from the Pic Noire the day before yesterday. Having negotiated the suburbs of Mazamet and gone past Leclerc supermarket (which is probably the culprit in the murder of the town centre), the walk involved a fairly gentle climb up to about 900 metres through a forest which occasionally opened up into flower laden hay meadows and patches of broom.

A meadow in the trees

Endless broom

The forests are a mix but with a lot of sweet chestnut, beech and the most enormous pine. The pine are truly enormous I guess at least 100 feet high and today with their tops reaching into the low cloud they looked like giant sentinels on the hill side.

Huge mist laden pines

The other interesting feature of today's walk is that just to the north east of Mazamet the E4 leaves the GR 36 (which I think carries on up to Normandy) and joins the GR 71/GR 653 which is the main French feeder to the St James Way which comes down from Le Puy. In addition to the usual brilliant French way marks you now get the extra treat of scallop shells to keep you on the right route.

After 26 kilometres and 900 metres of climb I got to Angles at about 4. Staying at a Gite d'Etape, which is a cross between a Chambre d'Hote and a Refuge. You get your own room, you share a bathroom, but you also get lots of rules. Can't bring your sticks in the house and your shoes have to go in a special rack. Actually the landlady was savage with my shoes banging them on the wall outside which given the increasingly delicate state they are in was really unnecessary. Both pairs know have holes in the soles and still four days to go before a new pair arrives from London with Christine. Can't wait for the new shoes and can't wait to see Christine.

1 comment:

  1. You spend a whole day of rest with a princess and her white horse, and Christine is still not hurrying up with new shoes to make you walk away ... ? What other means of pressure do you have, except complaining on rhyme about holes in soles?