The route out of town this morning was along a lovely flat towpath beside one of the canals de midi. Alas, this was not to last.
As far as I can tell, the GR65 hiking trail is meant as a wilderness experience combined with a daily arrival in an adorable village with quality lodging and superb French food. Not a bad plan - most of the time.
Most days walking through forests and fields is delightful, and the frequent steep ups and downs provide a challenge. Today the continuing rain (which never stopped, but vacillated between heavy downpours and a light mist) turned the local dirt into a slippery sucking mess. Put the slippery clay onto a steep, steep path up then down then up then down etc. and it gets downright dangerous. At one point both feet were up to the ankles in clay and sliding downhill while I was trying to go uphill. Did I mention that the hills were super steep? I was so frightened and frustrated that I began sobbing out loud, and wondered what the heck I was doing.
Of course, I made it to the top of that hill and the next and the next, only to have the trail eventually return to the same canal footpath on which I had begun the day. Arrgghh.
Instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment today, I only felt frustration and a definite lack of certainty as to why I'm here. Back in the day, people walked the Chemin de Saint Jacques to save their immortal souls. Since mine was a lost cause long, long ago; I don't have that same kind of solid motivation to keep me going. Do I continue or not?