An update on our intrepid trail-finding team. Although these are veteran pilgrim walkers they are not youngsters ( two men and two women - average age 68) but they are strong, stubborn, and determined!
Where possible they are driving the dirt roads and walking sections where vehicles can't go. Yesterday they did a part of the walk around Mariathal and decided to continue further down on the dirt tracks to Maria Hilf. Here they had an unexpected adventure when their vehicle got stuck in the mud and they had to be towed out!
They were a couple of km from Maria Hilf (Maria Help) when they got stuck. After trying to put stones and vegetation under the back wheels they realised that the could not move. Jon stayed with the car and the other three very hot and mud splattered pilgrims trekked to the mission where they found help. A bakkie was sent to help and towed them out of the mud. (Thank you Maria Hilf!)
Our plan was to walk from Maria Hilf to Mariathal in one day, but the team have found that the difficulty of the landscape and the circuitous trails have made it a much longer stage. So, we will go back to the drawing board and re-plan this stage.
They spent the night at Emaus. This morning, when the 2 strong-young men who were supposed to be their guides didn't turn up, the wonderful Sister Imelda and Albert decided to walk with them from Emaus to Umzimkulu. When they arrived at the small village of Emvugukazi and stopped for a drink, Jon turned around to walk back to Emaus to fetch the car. He will meet them on the road.
Tomorrow they will leave from Lourdes and Fr Michael has confirmed that a guide will be there at 8am to walk with them. (Thank you Fr Michael!)
Photos: The Farm St Isidore (on Kings Grant land). In the forest: The team trying to lay stones under the stuck, back wheels: A very muddy Anna and Jenny on their way to Maria Hilf for help: The mission bakkie towing them out of the mud: Sr Imelda and the team on the way from Emaus to Umzimkulu.