Day Eighteen

I woke at first light, about 6am, but didn’t contemplate getting up until closer to seven. By quarter past I was out the door and on my way. Yesterday I’d walked about 24km and today I have about the same to do.
Today I have to be in Moissac by about 2pm as I’m staying with some friends of my parents. Gill and Alan Rodgers, and Tom Grainger. Friends from Fivehead, Somerset. I know Gill worked with my ma at Curry Mallet primary school, and Alans’s parents live opposite my folks. I hadn’t known that Tom knew my dad through a work colleague at Clarks.
I’m hoping today is easy going as my feet are still feeling very tender.
As I leave the medieval hill town, the air is cool, there is a strong wind but I guess this will move the clouds as the day heats up. By 10am, it’s still very windy and the clouds seem to be getting darker.
I contemplate stopping to put my camera away, I can see the weather turning bad. Instead, as usual, (I’m to bloody stubborn), I speed up, thinking I’ll out-walk the storm that’s approaching.
I overtake several other pilgrims as I march on, still taking everything in, but now at the pace of a car that’s driving on the choke… (yes that’s right, I’ve tested the theory, my mini was great…)
Throughout late morning I feel the odd drops of rain, but nothing comes from it. Finally I drop down into Moissac. It takes me an hour to get into the centre and then find the abbey where Gill & Alan are meeting me.
Just as I come out of the abbey and go to look in the tourist office window, I glimpse who I think is Gill, yep, she recognises me about the same time. A quick drive and we’re at their place. It’s beautiful and ideally positioned between the river and the canal.
We have a quick bite for lunch, and then I’m given space to do my daily chores, shower, washing etc. I relax for a while before heading back to the others. It’s so calm and relaxed here. We chat about motorbikes among other things and how my parents are worried…
Despite the weather, we have a BBQ for dinner, it’s all good. They’re shocked when I tell them it’s probably only my fourth or fifth hot meal I’ve eaten since I began on the 20th.
Unfortunately with the relaxed atmosphere I had a couple of beers, the men were smoking roll ups, my will power lapsed and I too smoked….only a few but I knew I’d feel it tomorrow!
By 10pm I was shattered, usually I’m crashing out by seven or eight o’clock. I bid everyone a goodnight and went to bed.
Oooh I forget to tell you, yesterday I saw another snake, a western whip snake I believe! Very exciting, but still to quick for me to get a picture…!

About waytosantiago

The way of St. James is one of the three largest Christian pilgrimages of the world. I intend to walk one of the many routes which begins in le Puy en Velay, France. The route has been trodden by many weary souls, looking for answers, looking for adventure, for the obvious religious reasons, or just walked for the sake of it. I first came across the route about 6 years ago whilst reading Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Pilgrimage’, I decided maybe something could be learnt from spending so much time on the road in solitude. Being the kind of person that lives to work, these ideas were put on hold whilst my life moved steadily forward. Recently I’ve found myself longing for adventure and decided it was time to begin planning. Another thing I decided was if I was going to do this, I may as well try and raise money for charity along the way. So the story begins...
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