This is a short report back on the last day of trail finding. It also includes a challenge for the priests!
After a very successful day from Lourdes to Emaus Jenny wrote:
“Having spent 3 days driving and walking the trails we all think that when it finally comes together it is going to be fantastic and utterly unique. There is nothing like this anywhere else. We loved walking in deep, rural Umzimkulu area and the scenery is spectacular. We have felt very safe.”
Their guide for the day, Cyril, arrived on time and although they had difficulty finding the right place to start, doing a long deviation, Jon got them back on track. Next time Cyril will meet them at Riverside and they will walk from there. Jenny said that they will definitely want to use the services of Cyril again as they felt that he could grow into the role of guiding and welcoming at Lourdes. (He works at the mission and went to school there.) We will just have to steal him away from his job every time there is a group to lead! It might be necessary to have two more trail-finding outings but they think they might be able to walk the whole route by March next year. The locals were so excited to see Sr Imelda walking them that Jenny is challenging some of the young priests to walk with the team next time!
When they have done a final test walk of the whole route in March we will organise the first ‘dress-rehearsal’ and walk the route from Reichenau with a group before we start advertising the APT Pilgrimage Trails. We would like to have a big party at the start of this walk, with all the bells and whistles, a chevron tape at the start - which the Bishops can cut – and a good send off! On this walk we will mark the trail, try out the accommodation and food, test the walking guides, luggage transfers etc.
We will keep you updated on the progress of our trail-finding.