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Sauges et Le Villaret d’Alpches

Sauges et Le Villaret d’Alpches

A very busy 2nd and 3rd day on my walk. The major activity was my meeting with Pere Michel Rennou, who was known as Father Mike during the many years he visited ships with the Seamans Mission in Kobe, Japan. What a wonderful soul, and a friend to all sailors. 

Father Mike (who is >80) is quite the walker. On 8/24 he walked up the trail from Sauges to greet me and lighten the last of a second very long trek. From Le Puy to Sauges (including Saint Privat) is supposed to be 46 km, but my Fitbit showed 38 miles total. A look at the elevation changes will show what it was like, my Fitbit tells me I climbed 202 stories on day one and 245 on day two, and the pictures paint the story which included heavy rain on both days. 

So I was a very tired sailor by the time we walked into Sauges. I basically just collapsed for an hour, but rallied to visit the town cathedral and have a great dinner and conversation. Since Father Mike walked a Camino with Lloyd Rath in 2013, he is an inspiration to me. At the end of my long day, I had trouble keeping up with him. I guess I must have looked pretty bad since he offered to drive me to the next stage so I could rest. I was tempted, but agreed to only do short walks for the next couple.of days. As one of my favorite peregrinas once told me…”It’s supposed to be a pilgrimage, not a penance. Take it easy on yourself.”

So today I set out on what was to be an 11 km walk to Le  Villeret d’Apchiers. But I made a wrong turn somewhere and ended up walking 13 miles. The good part is that I was tired enough to need a rest. When I saw a picnic table sitting in the trees, I went over and ended up lying on my back to rest. For around 20 minutes I experienced what I can only describe as Bliss. Looking up through the pine needles at a clear blue sky. I felt completely at peace, at one with the universe, and happy to be at exactly that time and place. Wow! Trés kumbia.

And tonite I found a Gite d’Etape called “Des Deux Pelletins. Hotel of the two pilgrims. Even singing! Altogether, this is turning out better than I had hoped. For an old hippie it doesn’t get much better than this…..and Merci Beaucoup to Father Mike!

 

So, Day 1 was tough 

But Day 2 was brutal

Today there was 100 stories of climbing to 1140 meters. Glad I only went half way

 

 So, to a guy who likes his coffee, France is great!

 Old German mountain goats sprinting by me Day 2

Slippery wet and steep makes for tough downhill 

 

 

I tired sailor arrives at Sauges

 

Me and Father Mike. He’s the young one on the left

 

 

Greetings to Sauges

 

Uphill to Le Villeret. Just amazing countryside

Bliss!

 

Gite des Deux Pelerins

 

 

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