The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes. MARCEL PROUST

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. WILLIAM BLAKE

Wanderer, there is no way; the way is made by walking. ANTONIO MACHADO

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Elysian

Very soon I crossed the Gave de Pau (gave is an old Gascon word for 'river') ...


... and walked through a luscious, green landscape of trees and vines...


... fields full of contented Blonde d'Aquitaine cattle ...


... and blue-shuttered cottages ...


... till I came to this welcoming sign ...



... just before the village of Lacommande. Here's the grey-roofed church ...



... outside of which, mushrooming up from the closely mown grass, were more steles or grave markers (remember the ones I saw in Usclas-du-Bosc) - silent witnesses and memorials to pilgrims who didn't make it to Santiago ...



... and inside of which was the simplicity of sunlight illuminating rounded Romanesque arches and windows ...



I heard a rumour that the local direct-sale wine shop offered free tastings to pilgrims, and anyone else who might come along... Mon Dieu, the white wine from the local terroir of Jurançon was unbelievable, quite some of the best wine I've ever drunk, aged for many years like red wine, the dry one fresh and light and aromatic, the sweet one tasting of honey and spiced, exotic fruits ...



... and later, in the pilgrim refuge by the church, a mellow evening was enjoyed by all ...


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