Wednesday Dec. 31st 2014 Pellegrue

 Mr. en mrs. Lacaux in the morning when saddling the horse.

After breakfast together with married couple Lacaux in les Esseintes, Petit Champ 1. Z33194, mme. Laceaux brought Servé to the station of La Réole. Due to a frozen rails switch, there were problems right away, but because my handy doesn’t work in this area here in Pellegrue, I can not call Servé, or anyone else, to ask how it went. It had frozen again. Leon had a lot of hay and some grass. Tosca had installed himself like a princess on a soft couch with blankets, in the conservatory and Servé and I shared a double bed. After mrs. returned from dropping off Servé I left at 9 am. I got hard-boiled eggs, bread, cake, hot coffee, an apple and some old bread for Leon. She herself guided me the first hour. Cozy chatting together, time went fast. After an embrace and the usual two kisses, she turned around. She would have liked us longer, she said, Servé had to call her, if he had arrived home safely and we certainly had to send her a card. Pleased with so much cordiality I continued my journey with satisfaction.
 Grave for a non-Catholic, outside the Roman Catholic cemeteries!
 Another one
The whole day the grass remained white frozen in the shade, but it was nice and sunny and clear. For the first time I saw the Bordeaux vineyards today. Here too the wine is made in tanks, which are in open barns, where it is freezing now. In the Netherlandsthe  it is always claimed that the temp. should not go up and down much etc., but here one doesn’t care much it seems (picture).
  Wine tanks in freezing cold
Mrs. Lacaux had insisted that I should visit the smallest commune of France: Castelmoron d’Albret. Except that it is a beautiful historic mountain village, just like my Vijlen !, it is known that every house has a nativity Christman scene, often from distant countries.
smallest municipality of France
Castelmoron d’Albret on top of a rock: smallest community of France.
nativity X-mas cribs in Castelmoron
Anyway, I think this is a beautiful region. Sloping, just a bit more than my own S-Limburg, many beautiful old houses, castles, beautiful churches, watermills and nice and quiet. But yes, in the afternoon the daily anxiety starts to rise again. The wind was already cold, sunset red as a sign of a night with severe frost. Hoping the door code that I received from the Office de Tourisme is correct. If only I find a good place for the animals. I can not ask anyone for help tonight. Nobody wants a stranger at New Year’s Eve! Upon arriving in Pellegrue I’d better go to the town hall to verify if everything is well agreed. That’s why I was in a hurry to arrive on time, because otherwise the town hall might be closed. Damn it Leon, walk a little faster. Do not eat at that road side. Fortunately we were in time in Pellegrue. Oh, you have a horse and a dog, but that does not work. If only you had let us know, we would have been able to arrange something. Again I answered: if I let you know on beforehand, I will be banned from the start in half of the places. I will look for a place for the animals myself. An autistic employee from a room next door, who had heard the story, joined in: animals may not be housed in the municipality, no dog at all in the inn, and besides, the inn is closed. I thought: dude, go hanging under the horse again! I: if I can only stay in the municipal pilgrim shelter, then I will arrange a shelter for the animals myself. Tosca was with me tonight, I had already thought and for Leon I had already seen a possible lot of grass. I can not walk on, now on New Year’s Eve, in this cold, I said . We’ll see what we can do for you, said one of the ladies. If you only leave me in the inn, I said. Yes, but we are responsible, also for the animals. Many Portuguese migrant workers live here, who work in grape cultivation, and if they are drunk this night, they may release your horse bragging and then we will be blamed for not having taken good care of you. That sounded more hopeful. Leon is now in the garden of the town hall, has some grass and stands there safely against theft. I am now, at New Years eve, all alone in the cold pilgrimage, together with Tosca. The local bar opens the door at 9 pm, about the time that I plan to go to bed, to get up in time again tomorrow. For tomorrow night I also have arranged something, for Friday night most likely, but after that, that will be difficult. So I stay tense for that reason. Walking is nothing, it is the constant uncertainty, whether you find shelter for yourself and the animals in the cold winter. Of course, one can go to a hotel, but that quickly becomes unaffordable and even then: the animals. If you say you have a dog and a horse, they often do not want you. If you do not say anything, they are pissed. That is why I am happy when the holidays will beN over. And being alone is only alone. Shared joy is double joy and shared grief is half grief.

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