St James’s Way 2
Continuing the pilgrimage way started at Puy en Velay and finishing at Conques this stunningly beautiful walk takes you from Figeac to Cahors. Plateaux of scrub and drystone walls with dolmens and stone shepherd huts contrast sharply with the dramatic cliff lined valley of the Célé river. The most beautiful of historical routes. Dates 2019: 14th - 20th April, 8th - 14th September
The idea of pilgrimage has a spiritual connotation. You will walk through some pretty dramatic settings this week. Donkeys and Mag the muleteer will be with us to carry all necessary items.
The landscape will involve the cliff lined river valleys of the Célé river and the wild rugged plateau tops known locally as the 'causses'. This really is a part of untouched France. Untainted by industry and seasoned with the most beautiful villages perched high or low in the varying landscape.
This is a portrait of Caramel who has accompanied us on many walks now for 12 years. He is getting older but is acting as tutor to Ulysse his younger colleague. On the last pilgrimage he succesfully made Ulysse happy with going through water. In the end you almost had to stop Ulysse from going in! Before, he would not even cross a puddle.
And here is one of the villages that you will walk through. Need I say more about the beauty of the landscape and feeling of remoteness? What little town by river or sea shore, or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, is emptied of folk, this pious morn? ... And, little town, thy streets for evermore will silent be; and not a soul to tell why thou art desolate, can e'er return ...
James hosts this trip. Hotels, restaurants and visits have been carefully selected to reveal the character and colour of the causses and Célé river valley which is where this walk takes place. You will stay in a town hotel, a mill house, a fortified chateau and a former bishop's palace! All meals are included and lunch will be a mix of picnics, cafés and restaurants.
You will stay in four distinctly contrasting places. The first is in a three star hotel on the banks of the Célé river in the heart of the medieval town of Figeac. From here you move to a charming mill house where you stay two nights on the banks of the river in an idyllic rural setting surrounded by orange and manganese cliffs. Then two nights in an impressive fortified maas finally ending in the former Bishops palace perched on the cliffs overlooking the river Lot.
Grade Of WalkingAll the paths will be good solid pilgrimage paths. There will be a few hills but nothing that will not just give you a bit of a puff! Diana always says a hill is what is needed in order to call a walk a walk! Stunning views along the way.
FOOD & WINE
I am not saying that we are going to eat snails along the way but we might try something original for you. One of the most interesting steaks I have eaten was cooked by Marco Pierre White's team on our Suffolk walk and it was the tenderest cut of beef fillet served with snails layered on top. It was a stunning blend of flavours.
We do our best to keep you happy at all times and your glasses full. We will sample some delicious wines from the south west of France, so rich in variety and colour. Cahors, Madiran and Gaillac definitely assuage the palate and an occasional gem of a rich sweet white from Chateau Richard, Saussignac, for example.
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SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT
14 Apr - 20 Apr
8 Sep - 14 Sep