On the Road to Saint James of Compostella

ch-de-compostelle-03From the 3rd to the 22nd August, Sister Yvonne Guézennec and Valerie Cariou, an Associate of the Daughters of Jesus, walked a stage of the Road to Saint James of Compostella. They give us some echoes of their walk.

ch-de-compostelle-000« On the 3rd we arrived at Latronquière (Lot) where Sisters Marie-Jo and Marie-Emmanuelle welcomed us very warmly.

ch-de-compostelle-06Our road began on the morning of the 4th, en route for Leyme, Padirac, Rocamadour, Montfaucon, Labastide-Murat, Vers, Cahors, and Le Pech/Laburgade.

ch-de-compostelle-01We stopped for a break at the convent of Vaylats. There we had the chance to accompany Srs Elisabeth Blanc and Patricia Guillet to the torch-lit procession at Saint Cyrq Lapopie and to visit this magnificent village after having admired the splendid Cirque de Vénès (a viewing-point on to the Lot valley).

We took up our walk again as far as Rocamadour where we met other walkers and pilgrims, in particular Akila from Algeria and Philippe a teacher in Spain.

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We walked for several days with them, each one sharing a little of his or her life. We passed through Monffaucon, Labastide-Murat, Vers, until we arrived at Cahors. Cahors is such a beautiful town that we decided, as we had done at Rocamadour, to stay there for an extra day. Phillippe, on the other hand, continued his route while Akila took the train, having reached the arrival point of her road for this year.

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We then carried as far as Le Pech/Laburgade where we met pilgrims from Nantes, Germany and Italy…. fleeting encounters that lasted an evening but very enjoyable! A stop at the “Short Halt” at Lascabanes and then we took up the route again for Montcouq where we were warmly welcomed by Srs Geneviève and Jeanine. We finished our way at Lauzerte bfore coming back to Vaylats for the annual celebration. A very successful celebration with the young people!

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On the 22nd return to Finistère, passing through Moissac.

What we have retained from the road:

The very warm and simple welcome at the halts and the great fraternity between walkers and/or pilgrims, whatever their reason for making the journey. Each one “walks” his or her road : spiritual, etc. We walked together, French or foreigner, living together a human adventure full of gaiety, friendship and surprises … and all of this with great simplicity.

We were able to

  • ch-de-compostelle-05admire magnificent villages and landscapes as we went along … not to mention the sun and the heat.
  • visit churches and chapels, go to Mass, etc.

Over the course of the days we “advanced” on our route, depending on where we had reserved for the night and the recognition of the signposting. What emotion too, at the moment of the blessing of the pilgrims at Rocamadour (as at Conques last year).

To be pursued ….

“I do not know a means of knowing where one can go,

except by setting out and walking”.

Henri BERGSON.

Buen Camino…

Valérie Cariou and Yvonne Guézennec

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