Gite Commune de Pomps (46€)
Local lore: We’re told that if we can see the Pyrenees first thing this AM, the weather will be crummy when we cross them. An old wife’s tale? But no problem, the day is very foggy… no visibility. Our guidebook has promised an amazing view of a beautiful lake with the mountains in the distance, and we behold nothing but dense fog. We visit a bakery and then the butcher (really catching on to this lunch thing) and proceed to walk through some lovely country which we start to see as the fog clears. Rolling hills, lakes, ducks, geese, ups, downs. Once again I am reminded of Marin and Sonoma counties… huge oaks and another tree which is laden with fruit that looks like chestnuts. We see our Belgium friends often. We have our lunch near an old abbey. Warrior priests were here, building their church on a steep rise. The views are beautiful from our shaded bench near to the potable-water spigot that is a fixture at cemeteries next to churches. Exactly why this is, we know not. And so we continue, now in the heat of the day, through more cornfields, tidy little villages, two more churches and WOW… what’s this??? A pelerine/pilgrim stop offering free beverages, snacks, and shade … wonderful! Finally we reach our gite, which is very basic. Down the road there’s an epicurie and we stop for wine, ice cream, soda and an apple. Back to the gite to claim our tiny alcove (in a big room accommodating about twenty pilgrims). There is no privacy here. I do the laundry, shower, read and take a tiny nap. We read our respective volumes of Sherlock Holmes. We sit outside and don’t enjoy a very bad dinner! OK quiche, terrible lamb chops, canned peas, OK bread, a tiny bit of wine and eclairs, which I pass on. We both have a hard time sleeping. It rains in the middle of the night and I rescue our shoes and socks (parked outside). Fitfully reading by the light of our headlamps, we finally fall asleep after 11:45… again, thank God for Sherlock, John, Mrs. Hudson, and even Dr. Moriarty.