At about 9.00 this morning Bastien from Hamburg came by. He had previously visited us in August 2020, which we had already written about on this blog. He was now walking the Camino (different routes) for the seventh time.
Then along comes Clothilde from Brittany. This is her first Camino so they had a long discussion over several coffees about which was the best way for Clothilde to go. The Camino Frances is very busy. The Camino Norte is more beautiful, but has more hills to climb and is perhaps a bit longer – and it rains more! So here they are:
Hier il faisait très chaud. Alors Emile a abandonné ses vêtements trop lourds ! Il avait l’intention de marcher jusqu’au Finistère et après de rentrer par un autre chemin. Pendant sa visite il jouait pour nous sur son setar – un instrument de musique Persan.
Yesterday it was very hot. So Emile had abandonned his heavy clothes! He intended to walk as far as Finisterre and then to return by a different chemin. During his vist he played his setar for us – a Persian musical instrument.
Véronique from Brittany came by a few days ago in the late afternoon. It was a warm sunny day so she planned to walk for another couple of hours before putting up her tent for the night. In the meantime she got out her recorder (flûte à bec) and played some tunes for us. Normally she plays the clarinet but that is too big to carry on the Camino.
On returning from town this morning in the pouring rain we found Kim huddled into the corner of the shelter, half in her sleeping bag to get warm and wet through. So we brought her into the house, dried off her clothes and boots and gave her a bowl of hot soup.
Her poncho was torn and leaking. So Carol and Kim made a wondeful new one – complete with arms and hood – from plastic rubbish bags. So here she is ready to set off again.
In the meantime we learnt that Kim was a civil engineering student from Saarbrucken in Germany.
Dominique from East Germany was our first pilgrim of 2022. She is an opera singer but is now running a ‘puppet’ theatre in Saxony – as she explained really more of an ‘object’ theatre that uses objects rather than people to tell a story. She told us that East Germans stll feel different to West Germans and perhaps somewhat resentful. Wages are still lower in East Germany.
She had already walked the Camino de Norte and was now doing the Camino Frances – as far as Pamplona on this occasion.
‘As always we are enjoying our time here at Emmaus and have loved meeting passing pilgrims. On our first day here we were visited by a couple from Switzerland, Marcel and Melanie. They were on day 78 of walking… They had left their home in Winterthur, about 20 kms north east of Zurich. Carrying in their rucksacks the vestiges of all their material possessions, they were walking all the way to Santiago.. and beyond to Muxia… who knows where else?
For each daily stage of their walk they had uploaded onto YouTube a short video of the places they had visited. Their YouTube channel is called meschmasch and we are included in Tag078 – see the link below
On they day they came to Emmaus, the bakery in Arthez was closed for holidays and they had struggled to get served food or drink in town. We offered to make them a baguette for their lunch and so we sat and chatted whilst they enjoyed their lunch! This explains the caption ‘wenn ich Hunge habe’. A fitting expression perhaps for this place of hospitality on the Way..
The next few days were very quiet.. pilgrims were tip tapping along but no one joined us.. but then a bit like the frequency of buses.. we had a flurry of visitors. At one point three separate groups of visitors sat together with Geoff and I in the garden.. it was a beautiful day .. each had their own story to share.. some were walking with friends, two were sisters, which was lovely.. and reminded me of my sister who if she was still alive would have loved to walk with me along the Way. We also welcomed a gentleman from Quebec who had taken advantage as soon as he could of the lifting of Covid restrictions in Canada to walk the Way..
This morning we welcomed a young french woman taking a couple of months to walk to Santiago..
So there are plenty of new faces to add to the pilgrims gallery… it’s funny how good news travels fast.. one of the visitors on our busy morning stopped by because her friend who in May this year had been here, and told her about the Emmaus welcome… she was delighted to see her friend’s photograph with volunteer Kathy..
Geoff and I have been surprised at the not insignificant number of pilgrims passing.. we get the feeling that Covid restrictions have grounded so many people for so long that now gradually, they are starting to rediscover the Way..
And so it is for Geoff and I.. we have been blessed by our rediscovery of the joy that comes with the spirit of Emmaus and the Camino.’
And here are Melanie and Marcel at Emmaüs with Sue.
Parmi quelques visiteurs ces derniers jours – Roci et Daniel, Nathalie, David, Véronique – je mentionne particulièrement Jérôme qui s’est arrêté au début du matin hier (16 août). Il est prof comme profession, ce-qui est pour lui une vocation. Entre autres choses nous avons parlé des religions différentes. Pour lui les croyances – les quatre ‘accords’ – de l’ancienne civilisation des Toltecs en Mexique sont très attrayantes. Par la suite nous avons récité la prière du matin ensemble.
Among our visitors these last few days – Roci and Daniel, Nathalie, David, Véronique – I mention in particular Jérôme who came by yesterday morning (16 August). He is a teacher by profession, something that is for him a vocation. Among other things we discussed different religions. Four him the beliefs – the four ‘agreements’ – of the ancient Mexican civilisation of the Toltecs are particularly attractive. Afterwards we said morning prayer together.
A group of six friends together with two companions-for-the-day stopped by four days ago. Unfortunately Eduardo was not in the photo as he was very tired and went to sleep on the floor of our oratory.
Then Magali stopped for a short while two days ago – a fluent German and English speaker. She was missing her three cats at home.
Yesterday Margarite and her parrain (godfather) Olivier enjoyed their lunch in the shelter, out of the hot sun that we had that day.
While today a group of eleven pilgrims, all friends from Belgium, decided to stop for their lunch. The had heard of our accueil through a mutual acquaintance and in fact as the conversation proceeded we discovered several mutual acquaintanances with Heather – mostly through the Anglican Church in Luxembourg. The three young men in the party decided to press on to Maslaq, the destination for the day, so they are not in this photo.