Elena was superb. As she was seeing to the large cut on my big toe, a group of 8 walkers turned up for drinks. I told her they were waiting and she said: “your toe is my most important task at the moment, they can rest a while”. When I am waiting for service in the future, I will remember Elena and my big toe and hope that I never complain again about waiting. She re-dressed it before I went to bed and left me all the mending material to re-dress it again in the morning so it will be ready for an extra big day today.

We ask the owners of our rooms to book our accommodation for our next night and no-one yet has complained. As she was preparing dinner I asked her if she would book for us. She rang immediately, put the phone between her cheek and shoulder, answered a walker’s concern, spooned food from one pot to another and booked our room simultaneously. There were 6 of us for dinner – no matter the number we all eat together with the owner, we had our own room and shared the bathroom with the other 4 who were also sharing a room. These places are called gites, and on the camino, as above, they concentrate on the well being of the walker. In return, the walker does whatever s/he can to respect others and do what is needed to be done to make it easier for all.

Off into the rain, not really an issue, the bonus being a mild 8 degrees, fairly easy walking and no concern about running out of water. Later in the day it was showers and strong winds, with sunny patches. The grapes were still there as were the wheat and beans, the odd poppy and mauve gladioli, a few cattle and about 10 walkers.

There has been a common walking theme for the last few days. We walk in the open for some minutes and then a natural tree tunnel will appear before us. They may be Birch, Oak, Maple and others that remain on pathways as the rest is cleared for food and wine products. It was interesting to see the pattern of going from dark to light being mirrored by the weather pattern.

We stopped at the crowded cafe shop – the only one in the 30km day and talked with a man from Colorado and his French wife. “It’s great to see you raising awareness about Parkinson’s, the group of people on that table told us about you so we have been looking for you. We chatted for awhile (they were doing one of those weekly legs of the camino) and then joined the raindrops once again.

We arrived dry, the rain gear seems to be working better – a bit damp inside last time, as we seem to be walking better – earlier muscle discomforts no longer really bother us – Corrie’s knee can only remember normality, and my Bursitis has totally de- inflamed.

We arrived home to no 3 Place de Cordeliers, next door to it’s exclusive neighbour, a flash hotel. On my enquiry at the hotel for the location of our less salubrious lodgings, she replied gruffly: “this is a hotel!”. When I saw the paint flaking on our place next door, the assertive but not exclusively attired owner, and the dog lounging on the footpath, I understood the hotel receptionist’s response, but we were more than happy to pay this jolly woman than her rich cousin next door.