Hong-Kongers on the St Guilhem

Visitors who come form far…
Photo en mairie du Vigan > de gauche à droite :

Jean-Louis Arbre – Association « La Draille »

Jean-Claude Loubet – Association « Troupelade »

Eric Doulcier – Town hall and general counsellor of Le Vigan

Peter & Carina – Our guests from Hong Kong

Pierre Muller – Association of the Friends of the Chemin de St Guilhem

Last winter, a letter caught my attention. The address was as follows :

Friends of the way of St Guilhem
Town hall
30120 LE VIGAN

I noticed that the stamp was “Hong Kong” and became curious to know who could write to our association from China.

So I met Peter and Carina, respectively Australian and Spanish, who work and live in Hong Kong and appreciate very much the south of France where they have already come on the paths of Saint Jaques and Stevenson.

The city of Vigan, in order to greet these hikers from the other side of the world, organised a reception in town hall in the presence of the Mayor and general councillor of the Gard, Eric Doulcier, the press and representatives of local hiking associations ” The Draille “and “Troupelade”

They were graciously lodged at the holiday village of La Pommeraie where a friendly barbecue, organised by the hikers present, brought everyone together around tasty grills. We became more familiar with Peter and Carina who turned out to be people full of empathy and humour, very comfortable with all despite the language barrier. The participating “viganese” were able to practise their English.

They live together on an island, a short helicopter flight from Hong Kong; an Island with strong nature, which they appreciate very much. The city itself, is not attractive to them and they only go there if they are obliged! The Pearl River which has its mouth at this point is very polluted and our River Arre, despite some regrettable incidents in recent years (pollution with detergent and plastic waste), seemed to them, perfectly clear.

Did they wish to please us? In fact, they found that the chemin de St Guilhem was an extraordinary mixture of landscapes and unspoilt nature, that placed it unquestionably at the top of their personal hit parade, in the south of France. This flattery, by informed people who came so far, was very touching. This being confirmed, by the rapidly rising attendance on the chemin.

The next day, some hikers, clubs La Draille and Troupelade, and also the deputy of Vigan, accompanied them on the next stage towards the town of Blandas which dominates the cirque de Navacelles.

Let’s welcome this couple, who had to face the disastrous weather of spring 2013 to reach us. But Saint Guilhem, in his great benevolence, probably interceded to make the sky more clement, and, in spite of a rather cool temperature, this journey proceeded with fine weather.

Peter Sherwood is a columnist, and on his return to China, will send us an article on his experience this spring on the chemin de St Guilhem. It will, of course, be published on this blog.
Let us wish them an excellent end of their stay in Europe and hope that we will see them again in Languedoc, or in Le Vigan itself, for another adventure.

PM

Below are some pictures of the “barbecue” evening in the holiday village of Pommeraire au Vigan and the trek next day to Le Vigan and the town of Blandas.

Peter Sherwood’s Speech at the Holiday Village of La Pommeraie au Vigan

A Air-Ventouse after the climb

Peter and Carina

Carina well protected!

Peter in full form after the effort

Carina’s smiling portrait

The time to eat (carrot sandwich)!