Great breakfast with strong coffee. We stayed a few more minutes to speak with Enza and Paul and learnt that there is a small church just next to them. We left our bags ,took the key – it’s a large and impressive key, one that might open the gates of a castle – and went around the house. Indeed, the key opens a small and lovely ancient church. We returned to take our things and Paul helped Doron to mend his broken glasses with some magic glue. It was already 09:30 and we had 20 kilometers ahead of us. We crossed the bridge and joined the GR651. Tree branches covered with moss formed a sort of tunnel that kept the path cool and shady. Paul told us that there is a beautiful cave with clear underground water somewhere near the path but we didn’t had the energy to start searching for it. A leisurely walk of about three kilometers led us to Espagnac Saint Eulalie.
Espagnac Saint Eulalie
The beauty of the village was visible in every corner. Pots of flowers, a large iron statue of a pilgrim, meticulously restored houses, and a large and impressive church with impressive steeple .Unfortunately, the church was closed to visitors. In the courtyard of the large gite we filled water (there are clean toilets) and talked to a nice young guy who was making his Camino on a bicycle.
The Gr651 has a tendency to take you up and down , sometimes it seems just for the fun of it. We crossed the bridge and started climbing on a rather steep mountain. Around 11:00 the sun’s rays were strong. On the summit, the prize awaited us – a beautiful view of the valley and the village. We stood and appreciated this beauty that surrounds us. It felt like a moment in heaven. Another hour of walking on the plateau, descent into the valley and once again climbing to another peak. Suddenly- a spring bubbling from the rock. Its’ coolness attracted us as well as many bees. We went down again among trees and climbed up . Here the path led us adjacent to the cliff until we entered an area with remains of some ancient building clinging to the cliff . A slippery descent, suddenly Doron tripped and fell. Luckily there was no sever pain and we already arrived to Brengues.
We left the trail – went 400 meters down the street and found the village restaurant. While we hesitated what we want to have for lunch, the owners announced that the kitchen would open only in half an hour. Is this the law that forbids service before 12:30? Is it just a whim of the owners ? We’ll never know. What a disappointment!! We still had 12 kilometers ahead of us so we decided to drink beer and then buy in the small shop some sardines and bread and move on.
The Célé Valley is one of the possible variants departing from Figeac. At home, while we were preparing the route, we hesitated whether it will be a good decision to choose the variant. The information about it is relatively small and the reason to chose it was the information that it was a challenging course, with cliffs and forests and relatively less traffic. It seems that today we began to enjoy our choice – the steep climbs, the magical walk under the shadow of the cliff, the valley landscape and the wonderful silence that enveloped us from all sides. The GR651 either winds along the river or rises up close to the cliffs. Even at this stage we could tell that it certainly guarantees both effort and satisfaction.
Brengues to St Sulpice
The path from Brengues passes through fields and then turns and climbs to the mountain. Twenty minutes of climbing in the oak forest brought us to the summit. The exit from the woods to the summit reveals a surprise. On the other side of the valley stretches a beautiful cliff, at the bottom of the valley the cele river- its water move in a slow pace, and next to the cliff the houses of St. Sulpice. Another 2.5 kilometers and we entered the village. Like the other villages on the Camino, St Sulpice is well maintained and there are toilet and water.
The GR651 continued to be predictable and took us up again. Two o’clock is an hour that I do not like very much when it comes to climbing. Doron advanced at a fast and vigorous pace, while I trudged slowly and cursed my knapsack. At the end of the climb we sat down on a stone wall and declared lunch – it was the time for our bread and sardines. I took off my shoes and aired my feet, what turned out to be one of the nicest things I could do. Half an hour later we felt refreshed. The next four kilometers on a plateau with oak trees. Then the path widened and for the next half an hour we moderately climbed up. Around half past four it was very hot and we were happy to arrive to Marcilhac-sur-cele and to Gite de Galance.
The building of the gite is new and clean and we were only four guests that night. There was time to rest before dinner.It was nice to notice that although we had gone quite a bit in the past few days, we were not exhausted. This is one of the differences between this part of the journey and the first part we did in September. Back then, almost every evening we fell exhausted and used huge amounts of Arnica in order to relieve the pain of our muscles. Is it due to the hiking poles that make the difference or maybe it is just the more relaxed state of mind ?
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