Yvonne was so much fun. I told her about Elena, (owner of our room last night) and the care she took with my big toe. She looked at me suspiciously and said: “Atencion William, atencion”. She went on to say that many people with Parkinson’s have a tendency to chase other women among other socially unacceptable habits (I know this to be true), and was concerned for Corrie. Both Yvonne and a French woman staying there had friends with Parkinson’s. We talked about broken relationships and the difficulties in being a single parent. Besides letting her rooms to people like us, she also cares for people who are dying, something she did for her own mum.

We said goodbye to her and Gypsy who was mostly asleep while we there, probably exhausted by the 15 puppies she has raised over the years. Across similar fields today with a mix of wooded tunnels, around a small village, past 3 girls looking as though they just joined the trail (they were too clean and happy) a Frenchmen we had bunked with previously and an older French couple who had pointed out the sign that we had missed when we returned guiltily to the right path. Up one of the few hills of today through a village with a small table in the square with drinks for us walkers as there were no cafes all day. There were also the only seats of today at this pit stop – not sure if the French have an aversion to sitting or just want to keep us on the move!

For the first time we walked half the day without any shade along newly plowed plains, crossing roads and disused rail lines, and luckily with a fully clouded sky. 2 kms from home we passed through the town of Barcelonne-du-Gers which had a series of waterways flowing in different directions under buildings, in large pools and over small concrete waterfalls. It looked a very professional and technical water scheme but have so far been unable to uncover its mystery.

We crossed the very wide L’adour river thinking this may have a lot to do with what we’ve just witnessed. Isabelle met us at her Gite door, provided us with the mandatory welcome drinks, as we also removed our shoes and left them with our poles in their isolated, quarantined and mandated space – dirt and unwanted bugs are not allowed in any room. She was fond of France but loved Spain so she and Corrie had a lot to talk about.