Sunday December 28 th 2014 Billes, only one house

This morning at an outside temp. around freezing point we were in the beautiful village of Roquefort. The cafe where we had gotten the key, was still closed. O.k., then we’ll just leave the key on the table in the front hall of the very poor mini inn where we had spent the night. After 1 km. walking the problems started: a small wooden bridge, which one could climb by a dozen steep steps. That was too much for Mr. Leon, so, back to the village which implied making a detour from and to the route Saint Jacques. First back to the village. In the village we passed the cafe where we had gotten the key to the inn yesterday. Meanwhile, the cafe appeared open, because the barkeeper came running outside, to us, asking for the key. On the table in the inn we answered. Now I must get it myself (300 m.), he grumbled. You were not open yet, we replied. Some simmering, but I did not want to walk through the main street unnecessarily long, because in traffic Leon is always very nervous, so I left the key where it was.
It was a nice, quiet day again, but it was getting colder and more northeastern wind. Frost of minus 6 degrees is predicted for the next few nights. Then I got nervous again. With such cold I can not leave Tosca outside next nights, even with a coat. And about Leon, with its rain blanket, I am also worried. Lately he has eaten only roadside greenery and green meadows. He does not seem to suffer, but, yes, if it is so cold! And then I am fed up with all those rotten holidays. Often you have to book an inn in the town in advance. They are often closed these days. My phone often does not reach here in the interior country, and I can not afford not to find shelter in the cold for myself and the animals. So now I’ll have to wait till tomorrow to try to call for tomorrow night and maybe even for the rest of the week. And that’s difficult, if we want to get finished the day program, because all those phone calls keep us up long. New Year’s Eve Servé will be back home, so in a few days I’ll be tramping alone here in the cold again.
Some people were jealous, they emailed, that they are not able to make such a fun journey. Well, fun is not the right qualification: exciting, dispense, cool, sometimes fun, but especially worrisome. Not really relaxing, though it may look like that to the outside world . Often I experience it as a survival trip, also with its fascinating and beautiful moments. I think of my deceased former office associate Sjef. When once an old woman died, I told Sjef: she had a troublesome life. Sjef said: she still had her good moments. What a very different approach is that, compared to nowadays, when life only is considered meaningful if it is constant fun and happiness. This trip I experience as meaningful, but not always fun. Sjef, so your words impressed me.
In a beautiful, historic chapel we picnicked (pictures) in the hamlet of Bourriot Onse. Only then we saw the bar: coffee and a possibility to call for tonight. We were welcome, even the animals. Phew, fixed. Billes turned out to be a cabin in the woods. One old house with a very crooked, skinny woman in her 80’s, wearing old and grubby sweatpants, blue sweater. The children had come for the holidays, but had left one day earlier than expected and therefore their rooms were free. We were lucky, she said. The central heating was fired in an old fashioned hearth with wooden logs. The loft through which we got to our room was icy cold and the wind was blowing right through. Our bedroom was (still) good hot, but for how long? In every room only one light bulb or lamp, which was immediately turned off by the old lady when the light was no longer needed. She laid the table for the three of us. We ate her soup, her bread, a boiled egg and on top of that our trekker meal. Some talking, but she did not hear properly. After eating we studied the itinerary for the coming week. Servé is tired and wants to go to bed early. I at 9 p.m. We find ourselves tonight in earlier times 

  Nonstop proceeded to monumental chapel: lunch Nonstop proceeded to this monumental chapel: lunch time


Li is Zoon Servé, rechts is vader Harrie, voor degenen die ons niet kennen. Lijkt me nogal wiedes

Left is son Servé, to the right is father Harrie, for those who do not know us. Looks evident.

Vanwege de mooie blauwe lucht en vanwege Servé nog eens de kapel

Because of the nice blue sky and because of Serve once more the chapel.

Onze hospita in huis Billes.

Our landlady in house Les Billes

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