Aumont-Aubrac to Malbouzon – 15.5K

This entry is part 11 of 38 in the series Part 1: Le Puy-en-Valey to Moissac

Municipal hostel off-route (28€)

No rain!!!  Nice breakfast and we’re off, on our way 11 kilometers to a crossroads inn at Les Quatre Chemins.  But, whoops, we arrive at 12:30 PM, only to find that our reservation was made for the day before, and they are full.  So, what to do?  This is a holiday weekend and we already know that everything in the area is booked.  The main thing… NOT TO PANIC!  We do have a few bad moments as we make some calls to no avail, but finally we buck up and just start walking.  There’s always the (stone, cold) floor of a church. We are out on the windswept Aubrac Plateau and it is freezing and overcast. We’re on a Sherlockian moor.  Finally, at 2:15, we stop at an appealing gite, Ferme des Gentianes (that we know is full), and somehow, someone speaks English a little and grasps our predicament.  A friend of the owner gives us a ride to a nearby town with a municipal hostel (for clueless/homeless sorts like us) on the top floor of a schoolhouse. We are in a room with six beds and as of now, 4:15, two other pilgrims.

The place is very clean with blankets, a bath and a toilet, but NO HEAT.  We explore the town after eating the sandwich we’d brought along. Then we hang out at the local bar drinking wine and hot chocolate to warm up.  Go back for a nap and out again to bar hop. Pretty slim pickin’s.  Have bad pizza at the tackiest bar and then move on to the next bar for wine and nuts.  Actually we have fun playing Crazy Eights, ending with an even score, 7 to 7.  Then off to bed in bottom bunks, to bundle up for the night.

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