Thursday, April 19, 2018

GR653 Via Tolosana Day 2: Montarnaud - St. Guilhem-le-Desert

Montarnaud - St. Guilhem-le-Desert 
23.5 km 

Day 2 started out over breakfast with our hostess Cathy and the other guests at Le Temps d'Une Pause. We agreed to walk with our new Korean friend Jiheun, and the three of us set off through the garrigue and the budding grapevines.

We came to the town of Aniane just in time to buy a few supplies before the grocer closed up for lunch. We walked a short way out of town and had a picnic in an olive grove, after which Mariella took a short bonus hike when she realized she had left her poles back in the shop in town! 

After a long, hot afternoon we came to the Pont du Diable, constructed in 1031 to facilitate the passage of pilgrims.

From here we followed the river, walking upstream by the roadside, to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert.

We visited the abbey, built by Charlemagne's cousin in the year 804, before settling in for the evening at a gîte run by the French Alpine Club over a pastry shop.

"Ceux qui vont à Saint-Jacques par la route de Toulouse doivent rendre visite aux corps du bienheureux confesseur Guillaume."

- Aymerit Picaud, Le Guide du Pélerin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle

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