Patricia and Michel from Belgium hosted us in their 4 room Gite last night. It was a full house where they wine and dined us along with 3 middle aged Frenchmen. Classical music wafted throughout the house as we were welcomed at their table. It was a wonderful night and though they conversed mainly in French, they spent time speaking in broken English for our sake, especially when we had some understanding of their French and joined in. They had left their wives to do other things because walking was not their go, but will meet up with them along the track.

The Frenchmen helped us with places to stay along the way, explained the more difficult sections and other details. Patricia cooked for us in the same room as we ate so she was part of the conversation. We are getting used to the French way of eating and so far it appears that they start with a soup or salad – entree (ours was pate, tiny apple slices and orange and tomato sauces) – main (ours was pork in delicious onion sauce), potatoes baked in butter, and mushrooms – 4 cheeses, date sauce and bread – dessert (ours was rhubarb cheese cake). Red wine was served throughout and bread left on the table cloth. They also saved implements by using our main plates for cheese. Michel waited on us and also served the 6am breakfast with Patricia’s home made yoghurt and jams.

We left once again prepared for predicted rain but fortunately it waits for us to complete our walks and then rains a little in the late afternoon and night which made a bit of a muddy soup. Hills and valleys again today and entree was a fourth yellow flower that appeared en masse, not sure what all this yellow means but I’ll come up with something. Just 3 villages today instead of the usual 5 or more, luscious fields, an array of trees – some breaking through their buds, others with flower such as apple blossoms and others dressed in their various green leaf designs. Spectacular rain forest type cover with little streams playing in their undergrowth and the more grand Lot river at Sainte-Come-d’Olt was today’s main course, while the cheeses were reflected in the smattering of herds of Charolais cattle. A final very long and steep challenging hill tested our stamina as we reached its welcome summit and then stumbled down into our valley home.

Dessert was waiting for us when our new hostess (we’re their only guest) came to our room in a maids outfit (she and her son were a hoot) with tea, cakes and fruit. I think they knew we hadn’t yet finished our meal.