PÉRIGUEUX – SAINT –ASTIER

 

Just simply alive

Both of us, I

And the poppy

                                             Issa

                            

I decided to continue the Way. There was something bigger than myself, bigger than my frustration of getting lost, bigger than the hurtful feet – it was something, which carried me forward, some inner energy, which did not want to stop.

 

 

Leaving the refuge in rue Gambetta /Périgueux

Leaving the refuge in rue Gambetta /Périgueux

 

It took me more than one hour, through sheer endless rows of houses, to get out of the city. Strong rain and wind were with me all the morning. The rain was so heavy that forest roads turned into little lakes and muddy paths.

 

 

Part of the Benedictine Abbey Chancelade

Part of the Benedictine Abbey Chancelade

 

 

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Sign forbidding mushroom picking

Sign forbidding mushroom picking

 

 

In the little town of Gravelle, I stopped for a coffee and met a young woman with the name Maude. She was a pilgrim too. She told me that she had slept in the forest. She looked unkempt, disorderly and was constantly smoking. I felt uncomfortable with her. Later on, I realized my aversion and regretted not having talked with her more. I hoped to meet her again.

 

 

 

River Isle with mill

River Isle with mill

 

 

When I arrived at the Château Puy-Ferrat, the sun was out again. The Chateau was also a pilgrim’s refuge and I decided to stay overnight. Here I met Maude again. We shared the same room and had good conversations. I was happy to not have given in to my first impression.

 

 

15th century Château Puy-Ferrat

15th century Château Puy-Ferrat

 

 

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The Château was a fantastic place. Everything was open and free to look at – from the cellar to the attic. Many things were original – like the 15th century roof construction. The wall walk under the roof was totally intact. One could walk around the entire castle.

 

 

One of the rooms of the castle

One of the rooms of the castle

 

 

Part of the original Wall Walk

Part of the original Wall Walk

 

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Since 1999, Pierre Marzart has owed this place and mainly rents it for weddings. But he also provides rooms for tourists and pilgrims. The price pilgrims pay to stay overnight is incredible cheap. He told me that the 250 acres of land he owns he gave to his friend for use, free of charge. I was impressed by his generosity.

 

Pierre stamping the pilgrim’s pass

Pierre stamping the pilgrim’s pass

 

I also was impressed by the poetic chaos I found on the property of the Château. This place was alive.

 

 

Ruin in the garden of the Châtea

Ruin in the garden of the Châtea

 

 

Little clay figure in the garden of the Château

Little clay figure in the garden of the Château

 

 

A peak into the derelict barn

A peak into the derelict barn

 

 

A statue of Christ with burning heart amongst the chaos and debris of the derelict barn.

A statue of Christ with burning heart amongst the chaos and debris of the derelict barn.

 

 

Dogs, cats, chicken, geese, goats and the humans, all seemed to coexist peacefully.

Dogs, cats, chicken, geese, goats and the humans, all seemed to coexist peacefully.