Cycle Path Psychopath part 13 – The Right to Bare Arms

Saintes to Saint-Dizant-du-Bois (Chez Glorit)
Monday 20 October

My lovely host cooked me a nourishing breakfast of porridge with raisins and seeds to send me on my way, then cycled with me along the river to make sure I was on the correct path out of town. We said our Au Revoirs, and I was on my way, but I’m sure it will be au bientot, as hopefully I’ve convinced her to visit me in Indonesia.

Flatter today and lovely village paths strewn with wildflowers, as I followed the scollop shell signs to the medieval town of Pons where I stopped for lunch. It was decidedly hot today, so I exercised my right to bare arms – I stopped to change out of my usual black ninja merino outfit and put on a T-shirt – Hot weather makes for bad puns! (Is there any other kind).

Near the donjon (medieval tower), there was a nice looking resturant that was heaving with lunchtime patrons, the menu had beef, and something else I didn’t recognize, with the help of google, I found it was turkey – so found myself a seat in the sun, for a lazy 3 course lunch (no fromage today). After lunch, I road around the town to see the sights, but almost everything was closed, as has been usual… The town is famous for a Pilgrims’ hospital, which apparently has a very nice medicinal garden, which I didn’t see. The church however was open, and had a wooden statue of Saint Jacques as a pilgrim. Leaving town, I took the wrong exit at the roundabout and nearly ended up on the highway. Backtracking, I noticed that the sculpture of a group of pilgrims that I had photographed earlier at the roundabout were actually pointing pilgrims on the correct path….

With the help of last nights host, I had booked to stay in a pilgrims’ host in a small village near Mirambeau. The people who ran it didn’t speak English, but I was asked to call when I was in a nearby small village. They gave me instructions to get to their even smaller village (3 houses) – I understood the words, ‘church’, and ‘left’, so didn’t take me long to find it, and they had a scollop shell nailed to the gate, so I knew I was in the right place. The hostel was attached to a big country farm house, surrounded by grape vines. I was the only guest. There was a donkey to greet me in the neighboring field – I’ve never met a donkey before, and she was very sweet, coming when I called. The proprietor pointed out the view of the sea in the distance. I made a coffee, and sat and watched the sunset over the fields, the end to another delightful day.


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