31. May 2014 14:59
31.05.14 Sunday Aire sur l'Ardour to Ferme Marsan..
Dinner last night was fish stew there being a fish shop in town, Tony walks back to get petrol for the stoves as tomorrow starts a few days away from towns in the real Gascony.
The boulongerie by the Bull Ring (we think a real one but used for other purposes mainly now) is open at 6am we eat the best pain au rasin yet and are off out of town up steeply (again) past the no longer inhabited Ursuline convent and the very old church of the town with all the faces removed from the stone figures around the entrance arch, Ray thinks probably again a relic of the French 17 C religious wars. Stained glass ok and a notice to shut the door to keep the pigeons out!
A wander along the well maintained track round the local reservoir scoring two herons andwe are off through the rolling Gascony countryside few vinyards and larger fields of maise are the norm today with no mud but plenty of tarmac. A pre lunch stop at Sensac is enlived by a friendly Gordon Setter and cans of beer the bar being closed but a small shop is open. The easy going induces Tony at lunchtime to change footwear to sandals without socks. Alas a 100m stretch of impossible to avoid bouey is his reward and he stops to change back before the second foot follows the first into the mire. We arrive at the farm and are told to pitch on the field opposite the house and use the facilities of the gite. Washing and lazing about in the sun watching the local bird life, on this last day of May we hear the cuckoo once and a Hoopoe flies off across our path just outside the Bull Ring in A sur l'A. Some orchids just after lunch and an interesting grass Betsy calls Doddering Dillys complete a biologically interesting day.
25.3km 400m up 320m down.