Sunday, 6 October 2013

Via Gebennensis (October 6, 2013) - Day 29 Bourg Argental to Les Chomats

A very good day...but a long one again at 35 kms or more...the more coming from a last minute getting lost at the finish line trying to find my hebergement...more later.

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and best of all the second skin blister protection applied the previous day really helped (turns out this type of protection must be placed on an already formed blister)...combined with a double sock technique I felt fine all day...which was a real big relief.

Last night's supper was special...

Great vegetable soup - Helene mentioned 5 or 6 vegetables...had a second helping!

Chicken and some type of cooked leek vegetable - both very good

Cheese followed by fruit - like trying all the cheeses

While the food was great the company was even better with Paul, Helene and their youngest child Alice. They treated me like family and the conversation was free my family always tells me I ask many questions.

Paul was born in the same year as me and retired after 35 years with the same we have something in common. Helene provides day care service during the week and Alice is taking a 10 month Nurses Aide course in Lyon and comes home on weekends.

They were really interested in all things Canadian so I tried my best to represent my country. A great couple who provide Accueil Jacquaire!

Breakfast this morning was at 7:00...only Helene was up at that time...

Typical French breakfast

After breakfast Helene asked if she could take my picture...assume she has many pictures from past pelerins who have stayed at their Accueil I asked if I could do the same. I then got off to an early start.

Helene - Accueil Jacquaire

Bourg Argental at 7:30

Today being Sunday I was surprised when a boulangerie was open at 7:30 so I bought a cookie for my lunch.

Essentially nothing happened today out of the ordinary...there was no one around and I just walked and walked. In the early part of the day the going was extremely easy on nice roads.

Then the climbing started! I climbed about 700 meters to the highest point of the Via Gebennensis so far at just over 1,200 meters. In the morning it was cool but I was fine in short sleeves and long pants however after lunch it became quite cool, misty and then lightly out came the Goretex jacket.

Bread from breakfast, busted up cookie, missing from picture is an apple - no luck getting meat

Colourful pumpkins

Colourful mushroom

During the day I did not meet a single person except at the very end...saw a hunter and a mushroom picker in the distance so no Canadian lapel pins...tonight at supper out they come!

About two hours from Les Chomats there was a trail section which for close to half an hour was the worst trail I have walked on since the start of my Camino journey. I have walked on a fair number of mountain trails in Canada and this one may take the prize.

It was straight up, very rocky, rutted, full of leaves in places and very wet. You almost feel like you are crawling to get through this section...really have to be careful not to hurt yourself. A few pictures which do not really do justice....actually much worse than the pictures show!

I am staying at the Gite Plein Sud outside of Les Chomats. My instructions for finding it were to follow the signs posted prior to coming into Les Chomats....did not see a sign...have since been told it may have fallen.

The backup instructions were to enter Les Chomats and there would be a sign...gite 15 minutes from the sign. I found the sign but it was not very descriptive...walked back and forth a few hundred meters...once after asking a very very very elderly gentlemen about the gite. He told to go back to the village and the gite was there...I did gite...turns out that gite was closed in the early 1900's I think!

So I then went for it and kept walking past the sign..oh first managed to phone the Gite and left a message that I was lost and wandering around aimlessly...first time in days that I have been able to successfully use my phone...cell service in these parts is not too good!

After 10 to 15 minutes and having to dodge a vociferous dog...I phoned again...this time I spoke to someone. By now I was really tired and told the owner I was lost in the wilderness and was about to sit on the road...he asked me questions like which farm I just passed...HOW do I know.

Somehow I must have said something that clicked and Vincent was kind enough to come and pick me way I would have found it!

Future Pilgrims

I am staying at the Gite Plein Sud - le Bois du Medexin a Montregard outside of Les Chomats. I am in the Chambre d'Hotes part in a beautiful room with shower facilities. They have a special pelerin price at 35 euros so this is a great place to stay.

I would recommend that you take the short walk to Les Chomats...turn left on asphalt road coming out of forest...walk to the wooden sign for Gite Plein Sud...take your backpack off by the road, stretch a bit, phone the Gite to come and pick you up, sit down and eat a cookie if you have one...then wait.

In the morning I should be able to get a short ride to Les Chomats where I can rejoin le Chemin where I left  it today...just received walking instructions which involve take a left, turn right, then left, jump a fence and walk though a hoop...then pray and you should be there OR I can drive you! Very tough decision!

My room


  1. Sounds like you escaped a nasty situation with that dog!

    1. Hi Jeaane,

      I did not enjoy being hounded...was a smallish dog however certainly did not trust it...yelled at in in English.

      Je t'aime