We woke up with mixed feelings. The sun shone outside and it seemed that spending in Conques the last day of this part of the journey would be relaxed and delightful. However, as in the way of a last day, we were reminded of many beautiful and challenging moment from the journey and felt that we did not want it to end. Through the window we could see the side of the mountain and the path with which the Camino continues – it will wait till next May.
We had a generous and tasty breakfast, left our backpacks near the door and headed towards the main square. Now, on a sunny morning, the square seemed inviting. In the cafe opposite the church sat people, drinking beer and warming up in the autumn sun.
Around the main Square
The front of the church drew us once more to look at the details. From here we went on to a museum with remnants of Saint Foy and other items. We enjoyed seeing the exhibits and when we left we sat down to indulge ourselves in a hot drink.
The Old Cemetery of Conques
Near the church, literally hanging over the deep ravine of the stream, is found the cemetery. Walking between the tombstones was a kind of glimpse into the long history of the village and the families who lived there.
After about two hours of strolling through the alleys of the village, we decided it was time to move toward the hotel where we would spend the night. In advance we decided to be pampered at the end of this stage in a boutique hotel and give ourselves a day before the return to Le Puy .
It was three o’clock when we stood at the door of Hôtel-Restaurant Hervé Busset – Domaine de Cambelong. This is supposed to be a fancy boutique hotel and so we were surprised to discover that it’s all dark and only a young receptionist welcomes us. He apologized and said that now the end of the season (the high price did not reflect this) and therefore they have no staff. The receptionist led us through the empty hotel to our room. The room was beautiful and large with a balcony facing the nearby stream. Then he informed us that he could make us a cup of coffee (there was no kettle in the room) and soon after the shift he would leave the hotel. We were stunned to hear that only the two of us were going to stay in the hotel until morning, with no staff to go to and receive service or even a small thing like a hot drink. After he explained how to activate the alarm he left. We stayed in the empty hotel !! When the evening fell we felt hungry, walked along the road to the village, back to the hotel we had slept last night. Barbara and her husband were surprised that we did not stay at the charming hotel . We told them about the strange situation and they prepared dinner for us.
In the morning we discovered that there was no limit to fraud. A meal consisting of a cold croissant, an apple and a sausage was served to us cold, darkened room. Similar in quality to the less good picnic meals we ate along the way, but seven times as expensive. We were annoyed by the insolent cheating and an hour later we were glad to leave with the feeling that this was a place we would not recommend to anyone. As usual, the Malle Postal pick-up came with perfect precision and a three-hour drive to Le Puy began.
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