Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guess what it is. ????

Guess what it is. ????, originally uploaded by Campobello Island.

I've discovered what it is we make in Canada. Surprised that this isn't coming in from China with everything else. I'm taking one to Europe for my use and one as a gift for my friend Pru. The Toonie next to it isn't a clue it's just to give you an idea of the size. You can have the Toonie if you can guess what it is.

Leave a comment. make a guess.

It's been guessed, a Green, "Green Bag".

Green "Green" Shopping Bag

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Preparations, originally uploaded by Campobello Island.

(Clicking on the photo will take you to the original flickr photo with notes to explain each item.)

Now that winter has arrived with snow and lots of cold weather I'm starting to get excited about my upcoming trip to the south of France. I fly to Paris on January 31st arriving the morning of February 1st and take a direct TGV train from the airport to Beziers arriving there late afternoon. I have rented an apartment in Beziers for the month of February and I'm looking forward to exploring this old and historic city. While I there I plan to do several practice walks in preparation for walking le voie du Puy from Le Puy en Velay to Saint Jean Pied du Port starting March first. The canal du Midi goes through Beziers so I hope to do a couple of longer walks, 2 to 3 days, along the canal trail and my friend Pru who lives near Paris sent me a guide book, “L'Herault...a pied. Du Haut Languedoc a la Mediterranee.” which is a guide with excellent maps to 54 short walks ranging from a few hours to full day all of which are within a short distance of Beziers and I hope to do several of these.

I have my Le Puy walk planned at 40 days barring any unforeseen problems and I have made a short schedule to help me with accommodations etc.:

Le Puy en Velay to Saint Jean Pied de Port
March - April 2010

If I try to average 20 KM per day the walk to the Pyrenees should take between five and six weeks.

Accommodations Le Puy:

Gite d'etape Accueil Saint Francois rue Saint Mayol tel 04-71-05-98-87 beds 19 cost 17 Euro including breakfast evening meal 10 Euro except Thursdays and Sundays. Open all year in the old town.
Gite d'etape – Appart Hotel des Capucins English spoken. 29 rue des Capucins tel 04-71-04-28-74 beds 19 cost 14.20 Euro breakfast 7 Euro kitchen available for cooking. .

Things to see and do in Le Puy:
Pilgrim's stamp Romanesque Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Sacristy. 10 till noon and 2 till 6pm.
Climb the Puy 267 steps to the chapel of Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe (the needle)
Large statue of Notre-Dame de France over looks the town from a high rock.

In 1998, several sites in France were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the description: Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France. They are places related to the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Western Spain, a part of the Way of Saint James. Usually they are churches or hospitals. Below is a detailed list of these sites: more

Day 1 Le Puy en Velay (alt 629M) to Le Chier 18.8KM/721.2KM to go:

Accommodations Le Chier :

Chambre et table d'hotes tel 04-71-57-29-37 or 06-60-38-25-34 1 person 35 Euro dinner 18 Euro picnic lunch 7 Euro. Open all year.
Chambre et table d'hotes tel 04-71-57-20-46 1 room 2 people 45 Euro dinner 18 Euro kitchen available to use open all year.

Next village 2 KM away has shops, bakery etc but the gites there don't open until later in the year. Should be able to pick-up food for lunch on the way through in the morning though.

Day 2 Le Chier to Saugues(alt 960M) 41.2KM/700KM to go:

Just after the start of today's walk 6.7KM to Monistrol-d'Allier 589M the climb begins and continues for the next 31KM till you reach Le Sauvage 1292M. Start early plan for long slow days.

Accommodations Saugues:

Gite d'etape communal (Gites de France 3 epis) rue de la Margeride tel 04-71-77-80-62 or 06-65-15-04-32 17 places possibility to cook 10 Euro open all year. Center of town.

Centre d'accueil la Margeride rue des Tour Neuves. tel 04-71-77-60-97
40 places demi-pension 27 Euro coin op washing machine. English spoken. Open March to October street on the right after the post office .

ATM Post Office ans Credit Agricole.
Population 2000 bars, restaurants, shops, banks, post office and tourist office.
Romanesque Church Saint Medard, 13th century Tour des Anglais and dungeon.
Buy bread and food no place to eat at next stop.

Day 3 Saugues(alt 960M) to Le Sauvage (alt 1292M) 59KM/681KM to go:

Accommodations Le Sauvage:

Gite d'etape Domaine du Sauvage tel 04-71-74-40-30 forty places 10.40 Euro kitchen to cook meals open all year.

Day 4 Le Sauvage (alt 1292M) to Les Estrets(alt 940M) 80KM/660 to go:

Accommodations Les Estrets

Chambre et table d'hotes – Gite d'etape Bienvenue a la Ferme on the GR65. Tel 04-66-45-61-90 or 06-88-90-97-89 twenty places pilgrims demi-pension 32 Euro. English spoken.

Day 5 Les Estrets(alt 940M) to Lasbros(alt 1000M) 94KM/640 to go:

Stop to buy bread and food in Aumont-Aubrac no food in Lasbros but you can cook there.

Accommodations Lasbros

Gite run by Mr. And Mme Hernandez appears to be between La Chaze de Peyre and Lasnros. Tel 04-66-47-08-94 two room 2 to 4 people per room. 14 Euro breakfast 5 Euro kitchen available.

Day 6 Lasbros (alt 1000M) to Nasbinals (atl 1180M) 116KM/624KM to go:

Accommodations Nasbinals

A good size village with shops,bank, bakery etc.

Centre d'Accueil Nada – Gite d'etape. tel 04-66-32-50-42 38 places 10 Euro in the dorm 12 Euro in a room 3 Euro for heat. Kitchen available open all year.
Gite de Caractere Lo d'ici English spoken here. tel 04-66-32-92-69 or 06-80-28-51-12 twenty places in 4 rooms 21 Euro 6 Euro breakfast, picnic lunch on request. Open all year.

Day7 Nasbinals (atl 1180M) to Saint-Chely d'Aubrac (atl 808M) 133KM/607KM to go:

Small town with shops and restaurants.

Accommodations Saint-Chely d'Aubrac
Gite d'etape Saint-Andre (Gite de France 3 epis) English spoken here and Internet available. Tel 05-65-44-26-87 20 places demi-pension 33.70 Euro laundry 2.50 Euro picnic lunch 6 Euro open all year opens 3 PM on the left when entering the village.

Day 8 Saint-Chely d'Aubrac (atl 808M) to Saint Come d'Olt (alt 385M) 153KM 587KM to go:

A small Medieval town 15 & 16 century buildings. Shops restaurants etc.

Accommodations Saint Come d'Olt

Espace Angele Merici, Couvent de Malet (Convent)route d'Aubrac. Tel 05-65-51-03-20 rooms with 2 or 3 beds. You share in the expenses according to resources (donation I guess) and you can participate in the Nuns office services. Open all year. 500M before the village.
Gite 15 rue de Boraldette . Tel 05-65-44-12-58 one room for 6 people.13 Euro.Kitchen and washing machine. Open March through all saints. As you leave the village on a road parallel to the D987.

Boulangerie Decruejouls Le Chemin de saint Jacques (Bakery) 9 Place Port Neuve Breakfast 5.50 Euro and fast food open from 7 AM closed Monday.
ATM Credit Agricole avenue d'Aubrac.

Day 9 Saint Come d'Olt (alt 385M) to Estaing (alt 320M) 170KM/570KM to go:

Small town population 1000 hotels, cafes, restaurants, shops and tourist information. Gothic bridge over the Lot, 15th century chateau now a convent, 15th century church of Sainte Fleuret.

Accommodations Estaing

Gite d'etape communal. Tel Cafe du Chateau 05-65-44-71-74 or town hall 05-65-44-70-32 twenty places 8.10 Euro kitchen available opens March 1st.
Chambre d'hotes, Mr Dijols, les Chenevieres. Tel 05-65-44-71-51 or 06-70-38-42-81 five rooms 1 person 32 Euro 2 persons 36 Euro open all year.

Day 10 Estaing (alt 320M) to Golinhac (atl 650M) 186KM/554KM to go:

Small village with a shop bar/restaurant. A short walk 14km

Accommodations Golinhac

Gite d'etape l'Oree du Chemin
English spoken. Tel 05-65-48-61-10 or o6-71-38-07-57 20 places in 6 rooms 13 Euro 28 Euro demi pension picnic lunch 7 Euro kitchen available on the GR65 2KM before the village. English spoken.

Day 11 Golinhac (atl 650M) to Conques (alt 280M) 207.5KM/532.5Km to go:

Historic town shops etc. Relics of Saint Foy.
Accomodations Conques

Accueil Abbaye Sainte Foy . Tel 05-65-69-89-43 ninety six places 9 Euros breakfast 5 Euro evening meal 11 Euro English spoken.

Day 12Conques (alt 280M) to Decazevile (alt 215M) 227KM/513KM to go:

Medium size town population 7000. The only gite doesn't open until April.

Accommodations Decazevile

Hotel Foulquier 14 bis avenue Victor Hugo. Tel 05-65-63-27-42 rooms 45 to 55 Euro breakfast 6.50 Euro evening meal 12 to 14.50 Euro. English spoken.

Day 13 Decazevile (alt 215M) to 4KM beyond Livinhac le-Haut (350M) 235KM/ 505KM to go:

A very short walk of only 8KM only other choice is to walk 33KM to Figeac.

Accommodations 4KM beyond Livinhac le-Haut

Gite Les Monts de Chaunac. Tel 05-65-43-58-34 or 06-37-88-52-19 English spoken. 11 places 13 Euro breakfast 5 Euro evening meal 14 Euro picnic lunch on request, kitchen and laundry available. 400M from the GR 65.

Day 14 4KM beyond Livinhac le-Haut (350M) to Figeac (194M) 260KM/480KM to go:

Large town 10500 population.

Accommodations Figeac

Gite Le Soleilho 8 rue Prat. Tel 05-65-34-64-41 or 06-79-13-00-70 6 places 16 Euro breakfast 4 Euro kitchen available. Internet.

Day 15 Figeac to Grealou (370M) 280.5KM/459.5 to go:

Chambre d'hotes Atelier des Volets Blue. An artists house. Tel 05-65-40-69-86 or 06-84-37-64-73 six places 26 Euro Possibility of simple evening meal .

Gite (Gite de France 2 ears) Mme Treuil. Tel 05-65-40-66-00 or 06-07-09-59-85 two rooms 4 to 6 people 15 Euros Breakfast 5 Euros kitchen available. No heat in winter. Next to the Hotel Quatre-Vents.

Day 16 Grealou to Gayfie (179M) 297.5KM/442.5 to go: Gayfie is about 3 KM off the GR65 half way between Gaillac and Saint-Jean-de-Laur You take a side path or road to the left there are signs.

Gite Domaine de Gayfie English spoken Mme Lise Lotte . Tel 05-65-40-62-73 three gites 25 Euros per person. Breakfast 4 Euro picnic basket 7 Euro kitchen avaliable.

Day 17 Gayfie to Les Moulins 320.5KM/419.5KM to go: 800 meters before Bach take the route to the left then take the D19 on the right 200 meters further on.

Gite d'etape le Relais Arc en Ciel. Tel 05-65-22-72-64 or 06-30-22-24-56 twelve places in rooms of 3 people 12 Euro breakfast 4Euro dinner 10 Euro kitchen available picnic basket 6 Euro laundry 2 Euros.

Day 18 Les Moulins to Les Pradelles (273M) 341.1KM/398.9KM to go:

Gite d'etape private Saint Antoine new opened in March 2009 . 40 chemin de Rhodes . Tel 05-65-20-13-43 or 06-79-84-41-46 twelve places in 4 rooms pilgrims demi-pension 29 Euro with credential. kitchen available. The gite is 300 meters from the GR65.

Day 19 Les Pradelles to Cahors (122M) 346KM/394KM to go: A very short day due to lack of accommodations for the next 20KM. But that's OK because Cahors is a beautiful old town and I will be glad to have the day to look around.

Auberge de Jeunesse 20 rue Frederic Suisse. Tel 05-65-35-64-71 OR 05-65-53-69-68 forth five places in rooms of 2 to 6 people. 13Euro breakfast 3.80 Euro dinner 9 Euro washer dryer and internet.

Day 20 Cahors to Lascabanes (179M) 367.3KM/372.7KM to go:

Chambre et table d'hotes . Tel 05-65-22-92-63 or 06-73-07046-37 three rooms demi pension 28 Euro . 100 meters after the village just after the chateau turn right after 100 meters.

Day 21 Lascabanes to Lauzerte (221M) 390.3KM/349.7KM to go:CROSSED THE HALF WAY POINT TODAY.

Gite d'etape communal. Tel 05-63-94-61-94 seventeen places 10 Euros kitchen available ask at the cafe in place des Cornieres. Several restaurants in the village.

Day 22 Lauzerte to Moissac (68M) 415.8KM/325.2KM to go:A medieval town well worth exploring.

Ancien Carmel 5 sente du Calvaire. Tel 05-63-04-62-21 or 06-73-49-54-27 internet access available, rooms of 2 to 6 places. 12 Euros demi persion 28.80 Euro. Kitchen available laundry and foot massage available. At place de l'abbatiale take the stairs next to the tourist office get off opposite the crossing of de bourg de visa 200 M later turn left on la sente du Calvaire. (Not sure that this is a very good translation but hopefully it helps)

Day 23 Moissac to Auvillar (108M) 436.3KM/304.7KM to go:

Gite d'etape communal old presbytery. Tel 05-63-39-89-82 eighteen places 14 Euro kitchen available. Laundry available.

Day 24 Auvillar to Castet-Arrouy 458.6KM/282.4KM to go:

Gite communal at town hall. Tel 06-84-92-73-96 or Mr Sala 05-62-28-73-97 or 06-22-18-42-76 eighteen places 15 Euro includes breakfast. Laundry and kitchen available.
Day 25 Castet-Arrouy to Marsolan 477.6KM/263.4 to go:Only one place to stay and a bit expensive compared to other stops along the way.

Gite – Chambre d'hotes – L'Enclos du Tabus. Tel 05-62-68-79-40 or 06-84-32-78-28 pilgrims demi pension 32 Euro laundry available, swimming pool.

Day 26 Marsolan to Castelnau-sur-l'Auvignon 473.6KM/248.4KM to go:

Gite – Chambre et table d'hotes Les Arrocasses. Tel 05-62-68-12-24 ten places in 2 rooms 14 Euro or demi pension 32 Euro. Sounds really nice in the village.

Day 27 Castelnau-sur-l'Auvignon to Larressingle 489.6KM/232.4KM to go: Only 16KM today. Walk through Condom today there must be some interesting postcards there.

Accueil a la Ferme de Tollet-gite. Tel 05-62-28-02-45 or 06-87-36-04-34 call at meal time. 5 rooms divided for 2 people 15 Euro kitchen available demi-pension 30.50 Euro meals are produce from the farm, laundry , also sell farm produce and will go find you on the GR if required. To find the farm leave the GR via a little road on the right follow the arrows the farm is 500M from the GR.

Day 28 Larressingle to Lamothe 507.3KM/214.7 to go:

Gite d'etape-Chambre Le Repose des Pelerins . Tel 05-62-09-40-65 ten places 11 Euros 20 Euros demi-pension. Internet access. Collectively prepared family meal 5 Euros.

Day 29 Lamothe to Le Haget 527.9KM/194.1KM to go:

Gite d'etape Le Relaid du Haget . Tel 05-62-08-54-02 or 06-11-66-13-98 . Two gites 5 places each 11 Euros demi-pension 27 Euros kitchen and laundry available .

Day 30 Le Haget to Castagnere 542KM/180KM to go:

Gite-Chambre d'hotes Tel 06-09-98-36-21 three rooms for 2 people no sheets demi-pension 30 Euros. 200M after repere 2 of the GR ??? turn right on to a little road which crosses fields fro 800m tomorrow you only have to walk 400M to rejoin the GR.

Day 31 Castagnere to Aire-sur-l'Adour 561.2KM/160.8KM to go:

Hotel de la Paix-Gite . Tel 05-58-71-60-70 or 06-81-39-50-02 eight rooms 1 person 15 Euro including breakfast.

Day 32 if everything went as planned this should be April first.Aire-sur-l'Ardour to Miramont-Sensacq 579.4KM/142.6KM to go:

Hotel-restaurant Beaumont. Tel 05-58-79-90-65 ten rooms pilgrim demi-pension 30 Euro closed weekends. April first is a Thursday.

Day 33 Miramont-Sensaco to Arzacq-Arraziguet 593.4 KM/128.6KM to go:
Centre d'accueil gite d'etape communal. Tel 05-59-04-41-41 35 places possibility of private room 10.50 Euros kitchen available demi-pension 22 Euros.
Day 34 Arzacq-Arraziquet to Pomps 614.4KM/107.6KM to go:

Gite d'etape communal. Tel 06-84-91-94-00 or 06-32-78-14-81 or town hall 05-59-81-60-61 eighteen places 9 Euros breakfast 4 Euro dinner 10 Euro reserve the day before kitchen and laundry. Town has a grocery store open 11:30 to 6:30 closed Sunday.

Day 35 Pomps to Maslacq 633.4KM/88.6KM to go:

Gite d'etape . Tel grocery store-bar Pereira 05-59-67-30-27 or 06-24-64-42-80 six places 8 Euro breakfast 3.50 Euro kitchen available.

Day 36 Maslacq to Navarrenx 655.2KM/66.8KM to go:

Bar des Sports-chambres . Tel 05-59-66-50-63 two rooms 25 Euro 1 person 36 Euro 2 persons. Breakfast 5 Euros evening meal possible reserve 9 Euros. Closed Sunday afternoons there are other restaurants in the town.

Day 37 Navarrenx to Aroue 740KM/48.8KM to go:

Gite d'etape communal . Tel 05-59-65-95-54 12 places 9 Euro kitchen and laundry a restaurateur come to get you and returns you after dinner grocery store open in the afternoons. 100 M after the church.

Day 38 Aroue to Arosteguia 759.6KM/29.2KM to go:

Gite d'etape prive a la ferme Arosteguia. Tel 05-59-65-27-94 or 06-27-71-69-82 fourteen places 15 EURO breakfast 5 Euro kitchen available take the short cut off the GR marked by yellow and blue snails in the middle of the road. This short cut rejoins the GR if you keep going.

Day 39 Arosteguia to Caracotchia 777.8KM/11KM to go:

Chambre d'hotes. Tel 05-59-37-03-97 four rooms 1 person 40 Euro located on the GR reservation recommended

Day 40 Caracotchia to Saint-Jean-Pied de-Port 788.8KM/0KM to go:

Gite L'Esprit du Chemin. Tel 05-59-37-24-68 18 places 8 Euros breakfast 3 Euros dinner 9 Euros. The best experience of my 2008 Camino can't wait to stay here again.

Should be the 9th of April one more day and I will be 60.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Christmas, Vrolijke Kerstmis ,Joyeux Noël ,Frohe Weihnachten ,Χαρούμενα Χριστούγεννα ,Buon Natale ,メリークリスマス ,즐거 운 성탄 ,Feliz Natal ,С Рождеством Христовым ,Feliz Navidad

The Huron Carol (Canada's first Christmas Carol)

'Twas in the moon of wintertime when all the birds had fled
That mighty Gitchi Manitou sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim and wondering hunters heard the hymn,
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

Within a lodge of broken bark the tender babe was found;
A ragged robe of rabbit skin enwrapped his beauty round
But as the hunter braves drew nigh the angel song rang loud and high
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

The earliest moon of wintertime is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory on the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt with gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

O children of the forest free, O seed of Manitou
The holy Child of earth and heaven is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant boy who brings you beauty peace and joy.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

Words: Jean de Brebeuf, ca. 1643; trans by Jesse Edgar Middleton, 1926
Music: French Canadian melody (tune name: Jesous Ahatonhia)

The "Huron Carol" (or "'Twas in the Moon of Wintertime") is a Christmas hymn, written in 1643 by Jean de Brébeuf, a Christian missionary at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Canada. Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people; the song's original Huron title is "Jesous Ahatonhia" ("Jesus, he is born"). The song's melody is a traditional French folk song, "Une Jeune Pucelle" ("A Young Maid"). The well known English lyrics were written in 1926 by Jesse Edgar Middleton.

This version performed by Heather Dale, and sung in Wendat (Huron), French and English.

You Tube version of the Carol: