Day 11. La Jemaye to Laperche. 56 miles
As the weather has become quite warm I decided to set off early. Brendan was taking down the tent when a thunderstorm blew up so he had to wait a while for the tent to dry before setting off.
I cycled down the main road which had proved to be very quiet. I passed through Montpon-Menesterol (a gentle downhill run of about 30 km) then another 20 km of more undulating terrain to Ste-Foy-la-Grande where we met up for a coffee. There was a huge market on so the town was crowded. I talked to a couple from Grimsby who were cyclists.
From there I took a back road which looked on the map as if it had easier gradients than the main road. There were two uphill sections, but easily engineered. However, my left knee started playing up again. I stopped at one point to talk to to a cyclist from Yorkshire, who comes to this area every year with his wife, and their caravan. He spends a lot of time out on his bike, and at the age of nearly 70, has been advised by his doctor to keep at it.
Near Thenac, I passed a crowd of walkers, including three monks in oriental dress. I noticed a sign pointing to Plum Village, and realised this must be the retreat centre founded by the Vietnamese spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. www.plumvillage.org
We met up at Miramont-de-Guyenne for a late lunch, but had to detour a few miles so that I could pick up my sun glasses which I had left at the roadside while texting Brendan.
Arrived at David and Janey's farmhouse about 4pm. Beautiful old farmhouse with cherry trees and swimming pool.
David has a stamp for the Anglican Chaplaincy of Aquitaine, so I got a stamp for my pilgrim record. Lovely meal of salmon, asparagus, localish cheeses, strawberries and cherries. Great local wine and kir too.