Castelmau de-Montmiral

We are recovering the body, soul and feet here at Sandy’s cousin Di and partner David’s house in Castelnau de-Montmiral, a beautiful hilltop town near Albi where Toulouse Lautrec lived. After enjoying plenty of foot spas and 2 days without having any boots or backpacks on the feet are now rapidly improving. Peter’s comment is that at this stage they are still ‘not in as new condition’!!!


Saturday night out for dinner with Di, David and Steven, Di’s son. We went to the only proper restaurant in town with it’s wonderful atmosphere and fine french food.


Outlook from Di’s upstairs sitting room window with their terrace below and views of the colourful
fields in the distance.


Yesterday we took a train from Decazeville to Figeac then another south to Gaillac where Di and David met us and drove us to their home and Di has ‘mothered’ us beautifully ever since.

Today we took the opportunity to wash every piece of clothing we had in our packs. We have been outfitted in Di and Dave’s warm clothes while ours are drying – its been a cold and wet day here – not a great day for outdoors.

An opportunity arose for us to house and cat sit while at the same time caring for Steve so
letting Di and David have 6 days away to try to soak up a bit of Spanish and Portugese sunshine, alone! The quid pro quo for us is that we now have time for Sandy’s swollen and infected foot to heal before we return to hiking the Pilgrim’s Way of St James.


We needed supplies so visited the small weekly market that is set up in the town square bringing seafood, meats, cheeses, vegetables and flowers to the people of this small French hilltop Bastide town.


We bought white aparagus at the market so the next challenge in our impromtu house sit is to find a French way to cook it. Here asparagus growers traditionally hill up the soil over the plant and with no or little light getting to the asparagus stalk which then remains white. French are rethinking the old practice and some adventurous farmers are now producing green asparagus. We think that the farmer who grew the asparagus we bought today wasn’t quite sure whether he wanted to produce white or green stalks!!! It’s only aesthetics as it all tastes the same!!!

The weather continues to be dismal with the town covered in mist and clouds and everywhere we look outside it is damp or wet. Its good not to be walking along a muddy and slippery track but to be cosy and warm inside.

Here is the front of Di and David’s four level plus cellar traditional Bastide town dwelling. Inside the building there are structural Tudor style beams embedded in the wall and overhead in the ceiling. The walls are all painted white with architraves painted a slightly darker creamy mushroom tone. It’s a very comfortable relaxing home to recover in and we’re so glad to be here.

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