It’s only 14.5 km between Montuq and Lauzerte so we can start the day lazily. At ten o’clock, coolness is still in the air and the comfortable path climb uphill between the tall trees. As usual, at the top of the mountain, it turns out that we had only climbed up in order to go down to the small village that hides in the valley ( Bellfort ? I’m not sure). I admit that the view of the fields in front of us serves as a fair compensation for our effort. Sure enough, once we are in the valley we need to go up again towards Bonal and then down and up again. On the side of the trail I stop for a moment. On a long leaf, rests a butterfly – orange wings and black body- beautiful. We are surrounded by lovely fields dotted with green pools settled by croaking frogs. The trail leads us along the road (with lot of other hikes that suddenly appear on this part of the GR65) to Montlauzun. It’s 12:30 and as usual, I’m terribly hungry. Unfortunately my high hopes for lunch turn into disappointment. Montlauzun turned up to be a village with a small church but without any shop or restaurant
Montlauzun to Lauzerte
Soon after Montlauzun a long and steep climb begins. We are under the shade of trees, but the effort is exhausting. The climb ends but the walk continues in a forest. From time to time we hear a strong noise, as if someone is shooting in the area nearest us. And yet no one is visible. As I daydream about cold drinks, a blue picnic cooler appears in front of our eyes with a sign above it -“leave whatever you feel is right”. There are soft drinks in the cooler and we are happy to have a cold Coca before we start going up again. From the top the scenery is lovely and we pause to watch. We have a steep descending on a narrow dirt path and then lots’ of stairs that cause my knees to tremble. Three kilometers to Lauzerte. It’s hot and the air stands still. Far, on the mountain, outlined in bright colors the roofs of Lauzerte.
Right at the bottom of the mountain, at the entrance to the village, is a small cafe. Some of the walkers we saw on the way sit and drink coffee and we grab a table and sit down. Coffee and cake … what else do we need? About half an hour later, we start up the road. On the side of the road a sign captures our eyes – there’s a workshop of an iron-smith. We enter and see a world full of imagination. Iron creatures of different sizes and shapes – roosters, cats, robots … The artist uses old iron parts from cars, cutting machines and more, and creates expressive statues.
Back to the street and we soon arrive our hotel. Hotel du Quercy. The hotel knew better periods and is outdated. The pool looks depressing, one can fall to the garden from the window of the staircase. We put our things in the room and go to see the village. It’s a true pearl. At the end of the twelfth century, the Count of Toulouse received the hill in donation in order to build a city protected by a castle. Today, a steep climb in stone alleys leads us to the pilgrim’s garden overlooking the landscape. The garden is made like a labyrinth of puzzles and leads to the visitors’ center. In the doorway stands a lovely statue of a pilgrim. We keep climbing between the beautiful buildings and arrive to the main square. In one of it’s corners there is an unusual,artistic creation conducted in late 1988 by the ceramist Jacques Buchholtz. Blocks of ceramics, borders of limestone, reinforced concrete structure of 4 tons in unstable equilibrium .
Around the square are lively cafes. Sitting at a table beneath a large tree are our friend from South Africa. The woman has severe back pains and they have to finish the walk in the Camino. We raise a toast together and know that we will probably not meet again. A colorful sunset accompanies us back to the hotel. We sit for a light dinner and the day is over.