Marcel delayed my start today. When I awoke, I discovered Marcel with his head buried in my chest. Marcel was a tick—I’m just guessing at his name—and judging by his size, he’d been attached to me for a couple of days.
Having lived in France, I knew that the pharmacy has an outsized role in the healthcare system. They’re like a kind of junior medical clinic, consulting on all sorts of minor ailments. So, I went to the nearest pharmacy to described how I’d been piqué par une tique.
Two hours and 39 euros later, I’d had the tick removed, visited a doctor for a prescription for some antibiotics–better safe that sorry when it comes to Lyme disease–and had my prescription filled. Everyone was kind and patient with my lousy French. Later in the day I would discover that I’d acquired two of Marcel’s smaller siblings. I removed those myself.
The pharmacy and doctor were down the hill from Domme in entirely the wrong direction. So, I had to adjust my route and extend my already long day.
The walk itself was a continuation of yesterday—walking amongst farms along quiet roads. There was a section down a dirt road, buzzing with insects. I passed a local logging operation where French men looked at me very skeptically. Maybe not an entirely legal logging operation?
I finished listening to Emily St. John Mandel’s charming new novel Sea of Tranquility and staggered into the workaday town of Gourdon in the late afternoon. Marcel was not the only one of today’s surprises.
There’s a thriving tradition of travelling funfair in Westen Europe. They’re basically small-scale Playlands, with children’s rides, food trucks and carnival games.
Gourdon is hosting one of these fairs this evening. Unfortunately, it’s directly below the window of my room. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Shania Twain’s “Man, I feel like a woman” sung by an elderly French woman in a house dress.
The rest of the town was empty, so I visited a charming medieval garden and took in the views from the battlements above the main square.
After a funfair dinner of hamburger and churros, I retired to my room to watch Montpellier win at rugby. I really don’t know the rules of rugby. Tomorrow, I sleep in and catch the train back to Narbonne.