After a re-energizing break in Conques, the trail called again Friday morning. And it offered a challenge right away. Most of the villages to this point had at least a short, flat warm-up stretch of trail before disappearing uphill into a forest. This one crossed the river out of the village and seemed to go vertical right away.
The steep climb was perhaps justified by the need to pass by the chapel of Saint Faith of Conques, whose relics are so prominently displayed over the altar at the abbey church. The legend is that a monk stole the relics from another monastery to bring them back to Conques. The chapel is built at the place where he could go no further.
I’m guess his backpack was considerably heavier than mine, so for him for making it even that far.
Once the climb ended, having gone from about 600 feet to over 2,000 feet of elevation over the course of about three miles, the reward was breathtaking French countryside, with rolling hills, farmlands, and livestock.
The trail passed through a village called Noailhac, which was interesting to me because someone had the bright idea of building an outdoor Stations of the Cross. It started at the parish church and lead up a relatively steep section of the Camino to a St. Roch chapel at the top of a hill.
The rest of the day was much of the same, except when passing through a city called Decazeville. I decided to get off the trail for a little while and grab a bite to eat in the city. I ended up at a kebab shop, which was just the right amount of fatty, salty goodness to keep me going.
I picked my destination, Livinhac-le-Haut, based on mileage and the presence of lodging. That was really all. I saw quite a few familiar faces at the gîte. Some of them I continue to see regularly, and some who have already left the Camino.
Approximate distance walked: 15.7 miles.