Breakfast served at Regina’s (says she is the queen of the village) table – another breakfast feast and lunch made (no charge) to take with us. She took us up to their backyard between 2 massive boulders to look down on the magnificent Lot valley – I don’t think there could be a better view. These boulders have been left as years of heavy rain have exposed them in their beauty by divesting them of their protective soil coating. This delightful woman then walked us through town to make sure we were on the right track. We hugged and cheek-kissed, how friendly you can become with a near stranger, on ‘the chemin’.

We hear the cuckoo everyday, today no exception, and the myriad of smaller birds, free to be heard as there don’t seem to be any larger, noisy birds or dominating ones that would drown out their sounds or harm their existence. In Australia birds such as Currawongs, White Cockatoos and Minor birds have become a concern in doing just this.

We saw our first crops of the trip so far – not sure what they are. This first 200kms has been mainly lush pastures for the dairy cattle, horses and goats; pine forests for timber; and birch and beech forests. Yellow flowers have been prolific, the absolute standout being the daffodil, a flower I was fond of as a child – my father grew them along with his fields of tulips, the main flower seen in the village gardens that we pass every day.

We chatted and walked a little with the 3 wife-less Frenchmen that were at our table 3 nights ago, met a Danish mother and daughter trying to complete the trip in their holidays and practiced our ‘bonjours’ and ‘bon chemins’ on the dozens of French people we see every day. We said our daily hellos to the fat spoilt cattle, sang with the birds and patted a donkey that followed me for some way unusually wanting to engage or be fed!!

We’re now at the 11th century village of Conques whose stunning ancient stone houses cling to the steep hillside while displaying their envious charm to us and tourists. We carefully and tiredly walk down the long cobbled pathway to our new home, the abbey. Up and up its wide stone spiral stairway (just another hill) to our room, dead-to-the-world overlooking the abbey graveyard, which makes us feel right at home.