Le Sauvage Aubrac

So après un promenade longue et chaud we arrive redfaced and sweating at the gite d’etape promisingly called Le Sauvage and it looks surprisingly civilised.In fact it looks great. A long stone building originally built by Knights Templar to tend pilgrims in the middle of a blasted heath, there was a friendly accueuil, and long wooden tables filled with happy eating/drinking French people. We pay and are given our room no. Narcisse 26.
Up the winding wooden staircase past the famed washing machine and gleaming loos and showers. All good. We open the door of 26…Well I thought I’d booked a room for two. But it seems I’d asked for a room for six. Obviously I was unconsciously hoping to make a few friends along The Way.
Helen quickly takes possession of 25 which has two beds and is empty, I traipse back to acceuil and point out on their list that we had asked for a twin room. Nice kind girl looks through the list but can’t rearrange anything. She refers to a hatchet faced woman who says the twin rooms were booked in January. January! And if I don’t like it I can move on! Oh my word. There are no other options within 8km – we could walk on but decide to make the best of it, secretly dreading the wine bibbing snorers, forgive me but mostly male, of last year. As people arrive we do our best not to be judgemental but really we look them up and down and assess the possibilities of a night of calm. We have both chosen the men we want to sleep with and random sweaty foreigners don’t figure.
After a shower some bread and cheese and beer it doesn’t feel so bad. We’ve done our washing using french fairy liquid found by a sink. No harm done: we put it on before drinking the beer and were moderate with the dose. Washing is now hanging blowing in the wind. Very pleasing.
Lying on our beds I’ve put my earplugs in to try them out for tonight (There are people shrieking in the field down below. They’re only two feet away from each other but who cares? ) my little attempt at shut eye is interrupted by three French women barging in and telling us to put our boots downstairs. Not a bonjour or excuse me between them. Just pointing our the affiches et regles and sounding cross. These are our roommates.
Embarrassingly – for them-we’ve met them before eating tarte au myrtilles and a happy chat we had then. When they realised who we were, they did attempt a small backpedal but could not resist another nag about the rules.
We moved our boots. We are good girls.
We have the beds by the windows which, we are determined should remain open. All night long. Helen is teaching me how to feign an asthma attack. She says a fit would be easier to fake but we need a condition that needs fresh air.
Our last roomie had arrived,a friendly English lady. So we’re even! And No Men. Whoop Whoop! I am so glad we didn’t move on affronted. Surfing the waves of the unexpected is part of this experience. We both have a lot of control and choices in our normal lives, so it does us no harm to let go a little. And it’s turned out ok tonight. Maybe these women are friends waiting to happen. They are for tonight. A tout a l’heure. I’ll keep you posted.

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