ST 6: Les Australiens

So last night was the worst place we’ve stayed in years. It really was a dive – although the food wasn’t bad, the room was simply awful. The positive side was that it proved a bonding experience with our cohort of French walkers.

In the movie Antoinette dans les Cevannes our heroine is shocked to discover that everyone on the Stevensons Trail already knows her story when she meets them. We are finding ourselves a bit like that, we are ‘les Australiens’ because there are no others. Last night when our hostess at dinner approached us with a flood of French several people piped up and said ‘just slow down and they’ll understand, they are the Australians’.

We only had to cover 12km today and so we walked slowly, chatting with the French and comparing notes that concluded that our hotel was only marginally the worst in the village. Quite a few of our fellow walkers are stopping today and returning home, with the plan to return next year and do the second half of the Trail.

It was a lovely morning and once we had dealt with the first 4km of constant uphill the views were marvelous. The mimosa plants on the side of the path were covered in foam from spittlebugs so thickly that it looked almost like snow at some points. At the path’s high plateau we walked directly underneath huge wind turbines.

Spittlebugs’, well… spittle

We reached Chasserdes in time to sit in the shade under some trees and have lunch in a bar. But by the time we had finished lunch there was rolling thunder coming from over the horizon. We made it to our gite, which looks a vast improvement on last night, with minutes to spare before the heavens opened and rain flooded down.


Poor Jennifer has a Zoom meeting tonight from midnight to 6am but we’ve lost power three times in the last hour so goodness knows what the chances of that coming off are. I’m just pleased we, for today at least, are not walking in the deluge.

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