Below: From Saugues, we began our crossing of the high, dry Aubrac plateau. I’d begun suffering from a very painful heat rash on the back of my calves, so was not looking forward to the 30km we’d be walking today. Before it got hot, there was a fantastic early morning haze that made us feel like we were in Middle Earth.

Below: A more beautiful morning could not have been imagined.

Below: Along the way, we passed a dairy farm. Stopping for water at their thoughtfully placed pilgrim fountain, we got talking to the owner, who gave us a tour. We met the cows whose milk made the cheese, saw the preparation area (below), and bought some samples to have for lunch. Ori was already suffering from blisters at this point.

Below: On the Aubrac plateau, very dry at this time of year. The transhumance had not yet occurred, so the pastureland was empty. There were many bothies (for shepherds and probably the occasional pilgrim) along the way, too.

Below: Stopping for a water break in Le Sauvage, a former Templar hospital. Many farms and villages in France had public washing troughs that served up ice-cold “eau potable.”

Below: A shepherd takes his flock down the path in front of us. It was always fun to see this! Unfortunately, I was in nearly unbearable pain from my heat rash at this point, and I could hardly limp into St-Alban. Ori helped to carry my bag and Manu Steven translated for me at the pharmacy while we tried to find something that could sooth my burning legs.

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