Monday 30th of May Le Vigan to L'Esperou

There are definitely more accommodation options if you're walking across France rather than Spain. Perhaps a similar number of small hotels but in France you also have Chambre D'Hote and Gite d'Etapes. The downside for is that you get charged by the room whereas Spain it was often by the person making it a cheaper place for travelling alone. There are also more food options and to be honest the food has been generally better in France than Spain.

Last night at the Logis in Le Vigan was the exception. Was a bit worried about their priorities when I saw the large pink toy rabbit on the bed. Initially the large number of customers in the outside restaurant, and the traditional menu, made me think we were in for a treat but the food was just awful, over cooked and really bland. I think this was the the only outside restaurant in Le Vigan open on a Sunday night and the smokers who had descended on the place were not bothered about what the food tasted like.

Not a long walk today, about 20 kilometres, but with 1300 metres of climb it was a tough one. Instead of the blazing heat of yesterday today was cloudy and humid, not ideal for a tough climb. The walk was almost completely within trees and even when there was a longer view the humidity meant that it was not very clear.

It was hard work keeping Christine moving. Walking on my own I have got into a habit of not stopping, stopping just for food once or twice a day depending if it's a standard or a very long day. Christine is a frequent stopper and constantly on the lookout for a village with a bar or a coffee place.

The first place which should have had a cafe was Aulas which was an hour out of Le Vigan reached after a steady climb up through hillside suburbs. Unfortunately the cafe was shut so no choice but to press on. A cherry orchard just above Aulas provided some temporary relief but after 40 minutes more we had to stop for a first lunch. Things really got tense when 10 minutes later another stop opportunity came up with a cafe on the side of a road the route crossed and, so soon after stopping for lunch, I insisted we press on. 40 minutes later we stopped for our second lunch and had only walked a painful 8 kilometres. My suggestion that it would be dark before we got to Esperou was not well received but I plugged her into the IPod and with the worst of the climbing done things went better. In the end we got there by four.


Humid Weather

A lot more walkers on trail at the moment which is nice and they usually stop to ask where you have come from. A group of Frenchmen who spoke perfect English, opened the conversation by saying that they had already done 250 kilometres, so being able to respond with ' Oh really? I've just done 2500 kilometres' was the perfect putdown.

L'Esperou is, believe it or not, a ski resort with several hotels and a development of chalets which look very Swiss. Just as we arrived it started to rain but the sky is now blue and things feel a lot fresher. It's about another 300 metres of climb to the top of Mont Aigoual which we go over tomorrow and apparently on a perfect day you can see Mont Blanc in the Alps and Canigou in the Pyrenees.

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