Miradoux to Lectoure
Sunday morning, 29/10 . This evening we will celebrate the beginning of the New year for the Jewish people. It’s the first time that we will not celebrate it with our kids and family and I feel some sadness. We start at 09:45 in Miradoux. We say goodbye to Allison and she advises us to be careful as there are many hunters in the area. “They are dressed in an orange shirt or hat and are looking for wild boars and deer. Last year, over 6,000 deer were hunted within two months.” We hear the information with amazement and hope that our paths will not intersect with the hunters.
The fields we pass alongside have mesmerizing colors. Strong green changes into yellowish brown, white, dark brown … like a painter’s plate. A field that the tractor had already plowed silently pointing toward the sky it’s big dirt rugs, the other one still untouched seems dense and slightly gray. Dried stems left in the field after the corn harvest, fields with sunflower with black heads. Occasionally peeking from the ground a bright greenish spring like an open eye in the earth… and the relaxing, pampering silence around us. Suddenly the silence breaks … A dog runs, barking, followed by a hunter with a shotgun and an orange hat … I pray that the animal they are following will escape. We descend down the hill, beside us a hedge. Suddenly two Deer emerge from it, gracefully crossing our path and disappearing into the fields on the other side. A beautiful duo avoiding death for at least the next few moments. The temperature rises. We cross a road and stop to remove layers of clothing, drink and arrange our shoes. I’ve already forgotten that it takes time to get in rhythm, takes time to harmonize with the equipment and the breathing and the effort.
Further down the road stands an old castle in the heart of the fields. It is a real pleasure to walk in the fields today and not on roads. Giant butterflies all around us in white and brown. Shortly after Castet-Arrouy stands an ancient hospital that has changed it’s destiny and turned to be a farm. A sign tells the story of the past. Corn fields, a single yellow sunflower glances at us from a gray field. Ups and downs … hot … humid … and after a long climbing, at 13:45, we see Lectoure in the horizon. On both sides of the road huge sprinklers are watering the fields. At the intersection stands a pair of tall cypress trees. We sit on a bench, watch the sky and drink water. The way is fooling us. Up the hill to a small neighborhood and then down to a grove. On a shaded picnic table above the grove we sit down to eat lunch – goose liver and bread that we bought yesterday. Now, satisfied and full, we are ready to descend and ascend to the other side of the valley, to Lectoure.
Happy new year
A cemetery and a picturesque church greet us as we mount into the city. We continue to walk up the street within the city and reach the beautiful and dim Roman cathedral. I’m already tired and all that I want is to get to the hotel. Luckily it’s down the street – Hotel Particulier . The entrance through an impressive gate leads to a small courtyard with a clear pool. Our host welcome us to an old, renovated house, full of modern paintings and sculptures. The wine cellar was formerly used to preserve Armagnac. On the floor above there is a beautiful hot tub made of white limestone and beside it an ancient baking oven built at the depth of the wall. In our room, monochromatic shades and giant black and white photography of Natalie Wood. We hurry to take advantage of the light outside and go down to the pool and then to the hot tub. In the evening we go out to celebrate the New Year at a nearby restaurant. By the time the church bells ring for ten o’clock, we’ve long been asleep.