Monday, July 20, 2009

Pious Pilgrims

I had a bit of a strange experience this morning. Walking the Voie Verte from Mirepoix, I was thinking that, as usual, despite us being in the full swing of the French holiday season, I had seen hardly anybody. In fact 3 people in 15 kms.

I was just about to enter the first tunnel (the VV is an ex railway line) when I heard the sound of many voices singing in contrapuntal fashion, and the tapping of a stick. As I had just passed the Abbaye-Chateau (where we stayed a few posts ago, on June 30th), thoughts of ghostly monks leaped into my mind. Don't laugh - I can tell you all sorts of stories about weird happenings round here. In this very house, in fact.

I met the singing group in mid-tunnel. The lights, although adequate to stop one crashing into walls, are a bit dim, and my specs were still very dark from the sun. But I think it was one man, leading, and tapping his stick, followed by a group of maybe 12 young women, all carrying heavy packs and singing away in a practiced fashion.

They did not acknowledge my presence in any way (the tunnel is one track wide). Yes, I did speak to them. I assume they may have been a group of pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compestela. Doing the pious thing because somebody has told them it is a good thing, but forgetting the humanity to man which is what it is all supposed to be about.

For the week ending yesterday I clocked up 115 kms, despite spending 3 days in the steaming jungles of Rome. So for this year so far I have walked 2610 kms.

1 comment:

talesfromagarden said...

Must look up that word"contrapuntal" sounds a mouthful!Good luck on your all your walks!