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Day 42: Espalion to Estaing

What a wonderful day. Perfect hiking weather and wonderful nature awaiting us here in Okzintania. I slept well enough in my tent and I'm fairly optimistic in regards how this'll turn out in the next week or so as I plan not no join any Gites until at least Monday or Tuesday - then the yet ANOTHER long holiday here in France'll be over and people will leave the Gites to the real Pilgrims 😬.

As nice the hike is today, I still have some issues. My Feet somehow don't want to move and I have very low energy overall. I'm glad that I planned another short day today as I don't know if I'm already up for a regular hike.

So far I only had one single gnarly ascent. It was hard enough in my not-yet-perfect state but doable. There's only one more and I'll be done for today.

For some reason I never had an afternoon nap on Trail so far. Probably because it was always too rainy and cold! But today the weather just screamed for a longer rest so that's what I did.

Nothing much to say about the rest of the day. Love the little medieval towns along the way and overall it's a perfect walk, especially if one's only a couple of days on the way as most people here are.

Stumbeled over a memorial plaque for a "PĂ©re Arribat", a priest known for having saved several jewish children in Nazi occupied France. A remarkable man who even in his old age wished the ground in front by himself just because he wanted to stay humble.

Estaing is really something and the Picture doesn't do it justice at all! A pittoresque City with a huge Fairytale castle in the middle along a river. Everything's in original shape or very detailled reconstructed. I wished, more Towns in Europe had this kind of priority when it comes to buildings. Than again it's for sure a pain in the butt for every houseowner wishing to buy and/or renovate just anything so...

Had a little break in a Café in which a nasty old Hag showed me her disgust with my Pilgrim Outfit. It's very clear she doesn't appreciate the likes of us and prefers clean and especially RICH Tourists on vacation. So I didn't gave her any Tip but an awful Review on Google. That't how I roll.

Afterwards I got my stamp in the Office de Tourisme where a german Guy was having a little breakdown because he had no idea of the awful condition in regards of the Accomodations here on Trail. Clearly he just started and didn't understand how little beds and how many Hikers there are. I call them that now because they are NOT Pilgrims in any way...

I tried tellong him to come to the Campside with me as sonetimes they have beds and tents available but he wasn't listening so he can go fuck himself. The nice Lady then calmed him down and got him soem Hotel like 4/4 hours back somewhere which he than took. He was very typically German in his demenour and I get why they are hated in the service industry. Even if they maybe don't want to they still seem demanding and arrogant sometimes. Just something in their voice...

I than tried to be as friendly and french as I could muster to the Lady and asked her to check if the Campside was still open. She was clearly glad that her last customer for the day is better prepared and less demanding and she phoned the Place for me which yes, is still open. So I got another HUGE place for little old me and only pay 7 Euros for the night! How cool ist that? And without any hassle and booking and nothing! Why are not more People doing that I wonder? I would be majorly fucked without my tent, that's for sure because the Lady said that all the rooms and bess were booked WEEKS in advance! So even IF I wanted to reserve a bed, I couldn't do it!

My loneliness is still a thing because I've yet to come into contact with anybody else. So all I do in the evening is listening to my Audiobook, make a call or write this Blog. I surely hope this'll get better anytime soon.

Maybe after the next ten days because then all the bank holidays are finally over and then only the real Pilgrims will remain - at least that's my hope. Because all those dayhikers in heir Group and their little Rucksacks with nothing in it really don't do anything for me! They never want to talk or even aknowledge anyone else. A quick "Bonjour" and they are gone again...

Ah, pray forgive me dear reader, I'm just tired and a bit pissy. That's what being all alone with ones thoughts for too long does... it's not as bad as it seems tough.

Right now I wonder if I should walk the 20 minutes back to the Town to get Dinner or if I should just skip it. We'll see... Maybe I could order a Pizza...?

Now, have a little Quote I saw on the side of the Camino to end todays entry on a nicer note:

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May 21, 2023

Hey, don't gatekeep pilgrim-ing! Everybody starts somewhere and not all are as tough as you. And after all, OG pilgrims probably didn't carry tents or smartphones, but slept on the cold hard ground in the rain with only their thoughts and devotion to God for company ;) - AJ

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