On the pilgrim trail


We breakfasted in the tiny parlour of the quaint but atmospheric Hotel d’Albans while the proprietor sat about two feet away reading the paper! There was nowhere else for her to go.

The pont canal (aquaduct) that crosses the Garonne at Agen is the second longest in France. It is strange to go to the highest part of town and there find boats on the canal high above river level.

We followed the canal again with a stop at Valence d’Agen, a lively town with an arcaded square, and at Moissac on the river Tarn. There were many pilgrims walking along the canal path. In Moissac we saw a couple walking through the town with two donkeys. At the same time we met a Dutch man, also on pilgrimage to Santiago, but on a red, heavily laden moped. He told us about his trip so far, dedicated to the memory his father, with some adventures on too narrow paths, his daily budget and his concern to keep the moped in a presentable state. At home he cleans it twice a week – that’s a bit too often in my opinion!

On the way out of Moissac there was another long aquaduct. A young woman was sitting on the edge, legs dangling over the side with a long drop down to the muddy swirling river. She was on the opposite side to us but caused us some concern about her intentions. Fortunately as a school group on excursion approached her, she stepped down and walked off.

We left the canal to reach Montauban, also on the Tarn, a city with a cathedral and several large churches. The rivers are all flowing at capacity but our weather continues to be fine.

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