Last Day of Guided Tour

This is a picture of the "pilgrims" walking in front of me. We are actually going away from Santiago here but this three mile walk deepened even further my appreciation for those who made the journey from Le Puy to Santiago. Remember, it took the first pilgrims a year to make the journey.

This is a picture of the "pilgrims" walking in front of me. We are actually going away from Santiago here but this three mile walk deepened even further my appreciation for those who made the journey from Le Puy to Santiago. Remember, it took the first pilgrims a year to make the journey.

On our last day in Esterencuby our guide, Peter Sills, had arranged for those who so desired to take an optional walking tour originating from the village of Larrau. This village is high in the Pyrennes. So, once again, we board a coach to make the journey over treacherous roads to go to this village that grew up around a pilgrim hospice and church. Once we arrived, and only about half of our group elected to do this, we had a time to refresh and then off we went - walking a pilgrim way.


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On our way back to where we were staying, we had to traverse a route even further up in the mountains. I have seldom seen such beautiful scenery.

 

We returned to our lodgings exhausted and in need of showers and a change of clothes.

This evening brings to a close the organized portion of our "camino." We have a closing ritual and a meal together. During these days we have formed relationships and created memories. Tonight is the time to say our thanks to Peter and our farewells to one another. Four of us will continue on our way to Santiago stopping at significant pilgrimage points along the way. I plan to write about these as well. 

I am so grateful for the events that have allowed me/us to cross paths with Peter Sills. Saint Paul's has a rich shared past with him and with Ely Cathedral. He has put such care into structuring this pilgrimage - especially the various worship rituals we have shared - vespers, Eucharist, Compline, etc. 

One of the hymns, unfamiliar to me, that we sang had this verse: 

We are pilgrims on a journey,
Fellow travellers on the road; 
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

Though I am sure there are other lessons to learn as one makes the journey to Santiago, this one, regardless of one's motivations for making the trip, is essential. 

Bill Kerley, 
Esterncuby, France

PS - More to come. Four of us are going on to Santiago with significant pilgrim stops along the way. Stay tuned.