Day 18: Benevent Abbaye to Chatelus de la Matevieu???

As I mentiond yesterday they were having a fete in town so I had to check out how the French liked to party. I walked the short distance into town and parked myself at the only opened bar. Across the road they had a band set up but no band. There were guitars, drums, electric piano but nobody around to play them. Some guy, who spoke pretty good English told me that the band would play later, after the bingo was over. Indeed, over half the town was under a tent playing bingo. Okay, I thought, I can wait for that. Well, at about 2200 (10 pm),I had had enough. That bingo must have been a real hoot as everyone was still there. The scene reminded me of Premery on my third day of  walking. Readers of this blog will remember:

” Oui monsieur, we have a bus. We have a bus stop, we have a bus schedule but we do not have any buses.” Reminded me of the department of silly walks.

” Oui monsieur, we have guitars, we have drums, we have pianos but we do not have anyone to play them….Sacre Blue” A virtual band.

The main drag at the height of the party.

I was staying in a pretty nice gite (jeet) run by a another English couple from England. The man had his own business installing septic systems and other human waste management technologies. We shot the shit (meerde) for about an hour. He then told me that the hike to my next destinatlion will be a difficult one. I didn,t k now whether to believe him after Duncan in La Souterraine. For all I know, given his occupation, he could have been full of shit. As it turned out he was right. The hike was a dichotomy of sorts. A very beautiful scenic hike that was uphill all the way. Clean crisp morning air, about 17 C, a light wind and scenery that was breathtaking. I find it difficult to find the words to describe the scene. Rolling hills, a tapestry of green. Fields of golden virgin hay, like a patch quilt separated by the lushest canopy of forest you will ever see. Deciduous trees. I can just imagine how beautiful that fall colour must be. And alas, you can already detect a hint of colour in the distant forests:

Mystery of life! Have you ever noticed how much cows look alike. I mean, look at this picture


They all have big ears, sad eyes and big snouts. So how does a mother cow know how to distinguish her baby cows? Huh? Huh? These are the sort of thoughts one has when going on a 900 kilometer walk. Crazy! You bet. Just another mystery of life brought to you by moi.

I covered off my 20 kilometers in about 4.5 hours. I found a cafe open where I parked myslf and ran into Yannick, a young Danish man from Denmark. Had a beer with him. I ran into him and Sara a few days ago. Another young man who told me he is doing the camino because he had a breakdown, or a crisis of being as I like to call it. Yannick is the second young man I have come across in the last few days who have had this  condition. Michel from Belgium has also suffered this malady. Sooo sad. Young men in the prime of their lives having a personal breakdon of confidence. What on earth is going on in this world? Hug your kids, no matter how old and tell them you love them each and every day. I tried to reassure Yannick and Michel when I walked with them, but alas, they will have to find their own path on their own time.

Then, out of the bleu Samuel appears. He is the guy at a hostel a few days ago who wanted to sleep by the heads as he is a averse to snoring. After a few hellos, how are you we decided to stay at the local git and cook dinner together. Yannick left. No Samuel is a colourful  charactet. Tall, husky, about 275,  tatoos all over his arms,  neck etc. Bald, someone you would be intimidatd by. But after getting to know him you find out he is highly educated, great sense of humour and one who speaks very good English. He is from Paris and has completed 3 caminos. The Camino virus as people relate to this. Yeah,Samuel seems to be s great guy. It just shows you that you cannot judge a person by his or her appearance. Samual is a sensitive man trapped in a Hell,s Angel,s body.

This song is for Yannick and Michel. I hope they find their way:



4 thoughts on “Day 18: Benevent Abbaye to Chatelus de la Matevieu???”

  1. Hi John, tell Yannick, Samuel and Micheal to listen to Jordan Peterson. Congratulations and surviving another grueling day, soon you will be doing 30 or 40 Kms a day….

  2. Hey dad. Those adventures sound amazing. We are going to cousin Marilyn’s house today for a family bbq. Persiphony and jeannie are coming. We will be thinking about and talking about you. Keep it trucking dad! We love you. Titus, jeannie, pj.

  3. As always I am reliving my treks vicariously through you John so thanks for that..the people who tell you ” it’s flat as a pancake ” although they have never travelled it other than by car..and the characters that you are much fun..everyone has their own story and reason that they decide to walk 1000 kms..good man must be getting into the rhythm by now and more expectant of what is to come etc etc. Thanks for the stories..

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