The APT Trail group met at Mariannhill on Friday 9 March and after a tour of the monastery they had a group photograph at the grave of Abbot Pfanner before boarding their bus for Reichenau. You can read an article here written by Duncan Guy for the Saturday Independent.
We’d like to thank the people of Underberg who came to Reichenau to meet the group and watch the erecting of the first APT Trail stone. The Mountain Echo was there as well – thanks Paul. The two bishops of Mariannhill and Umzimkulu dioceses said the blessing. There was a special blessing of the group in the church and Peter Frow did a tour of the mill (thank you Peter for coming to meet the team).
They spent two nights at Ashtonvale Guest Farm and Fr Pawel from Centocow, who has joined the team for 6 days, says a blessing at the start of each day and offers mass and communion at the end of the day. Duzi Productions have also joined the team and will walk with them each day, filming for a Harry Gwala District promotional video. Also with the team are a crew from DV Productions (they did that wonderful Trappist Trail documentary for the SABC in 2014) filming an issue for the SABC religious program Hosanna. They have cameras and a drone which was quite disconcerting to start with as it sometimes hovers overhead, or follows alongside the path and even in front of the group. The photograph shows Jon (group leader) pointing out the drone with his walking pole.
The first day’s walking was long and hard but the pilgrims were all on a high after making it from Reichenau to Ashtonvale. Yesterday was a long, hard slog from Ashtonvale to Kevelaer. They got caught in a rain and hail storm close to Kevelaer and arrived freezing and sopping wet. A few hardy hikers attended mass offered by Fr Pawel and they were then taken to their lovely warm accommodation prepared for them ay Myddelton Farm.