Today I'm in Toulouse, having covered 1348 kms so far, which is just over half way to Santiago. However, I am more than half way through the days available, so plans will have to change.
I had been looking forward to walking the Canal du Midi, but as with a lot of expectations, the reality turned out to be very different. Based on hearsay, I had fantasies of wine, women and song - well at least I was hoping for the odd bar along the way. However, for the 4 days of Canal walking, I passed only one bar. Okay, I didn't walk straight past it, I did stop for lunch and a beer. Okay, maybe 2 beers. But it was a very long way between drinks.
In many places, the canal was quite beautiful, with huge plane trees arching across the canal, and creating a 'natural' cathedral a hundred feet high. It is amazing to think that it was built in the late 1600's, with a workforce of over 12,000 people, including over 1000 women, who contributed a lot of knowledge because they were the ones involved in the construction and maintenance of the water supplies to their home villages and towns.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn't the best with rain threatening all the time, the odd shower or two, and a fierce westerly wind, which didn't encourage taking time out to smell the roses. I tended to just put my head down and slog on until I reached my destination for the night. As it was downhill with good surfaces underfoot, I could easily manage 5 kms an hour, so the days weren't too long.
I now have the Pyrenees in sight to the south, and will parallel them west for a week, before starting the 3 day climb to the Somport Pass.