Amazing how quickly a routine is created. It was our fifth day on the Camino and like every morning, we got a stamp on our Credential notepad , had breakfast and left our suitcase near the door for La Malle Postale. The skies were bright, the air fresh and for the first time we had a great picnic lunch packed in our backpacks. Now we had to return to the GR65 , to the point that we left last evening. Our Swiss friends and we got some vague explanation from the receptionist. He assured us that we can make a shortcut and easily find the trail. Happily we turned towards the village and searched for the first turn left. Once we thought that we found it the four of us started following a small path that climbed up the mountain. Fifteen minutes later we were standing unhappy in a field. Obviously we didn’t took the right turn and now it was a question what to do. After some hesitation our friends decided to go downhill and we decided to go uphill. This decision led us to some hiking in the fields till a wire fence blocked our way. Frustrated we decided to crawl under it. The effort and the few thorns in our hands paid off and we found ourselves once again, a bit dirty, with another extra kilometer of effort, on the Camino from Les Faux to Aumont-Aubrac.
The trail passed through pine trees and led to the small village of Le Rouget. Like the other villages we saw on our way, le Rouget seemed to be deserted. Only a few hens on the sideways and a sleeping cat. It remained an unsolved mystery – where are the inhabitants of all these villages ?
Another two kilometers, this time in moderate decline, and we arrived to the small city of Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole. A city with hospital, pharmacy, a few coffee shops, big school…. This was a refreshing change and we embraced the opportunity and stopped for coffee and then went to the pharmacy to buy Arnika . I must admit that Arnika became our friend and hope. Our muscles were in such agony at this stage that without this gel we felt that it would be hard to go on.
On the way to Aumont-Aubrac
Like every morning I was convinced that there are going to be only a few short sections of climbing. “It’s an easy hiking today”, I made a promise to Doron. Luckily, after the prior days Doron learned to ignore my optimistic estimations and took the climbing stoically. Once we left Saint Alban sur Limagnole the path became unpredictable and led us sometimes downhill but mostly uphill. It took us about thirty minutes of climbing. The fields around us looked yellow and dry and the rock changed it’s color to white and it’s texture to conglomerate. We felt relief when we entered the shade of the forest. From the valley bellow we heard the noise of a nearby sawmill as we descended into another village. The scenery was lovely, the weather was calm. The sun shone in soft light and made us forget to put sunscreen (our faces got a red hue that evening). Around 17:30, after 21 kilometers, we arrived to hotel Le Relais de Peyre in Amount-Aubrac.
Dinner is ready
Aumont -Aubrac is relatively a big village and has a Michelin starred restaurant in Hôtel Chez Camillou. The hotel that we stayed in was on the other side of the road and belongs to the same owners. In our exhausted state it was nice and easy to cross the road and make only a few steps to the restaurant. The Michelin restaurant was close that evening but the hotel’s restaurant was open and we appreciated our luck. It was the first time in the Camino that we dined in a real French restaurant. We liked the decoration the huge panoramic picture of Aubrac plateau on the wall. The good diner was even better due to the presence of our friends.
As usual (and now with the help of the red wine)- at ten o’clock we were fast asleep-
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