Hi All, we’re still stuck near Tarragona as the garage let us down yet again yesterday. We are now hoping to get the car fixed today or tomorrow. I have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday and hopefully we can move on Thursday. Weather still pretty good although we had another downpour yesterday morning and the evenings are getting slightly cooler.
I think I mentioned going to the 12th century Cistercian monastery at Sante Creuse about ten days ago. We wandered through the cloisters and sat in the same rooms and gardens the monks had used over the centuries. There was nobody else around, and the atmosphere was very peaceful. I wrote this poem afterwards.
Down through the years
You, who walked these cloistered paths through nine long centuries of change
Who sought to cleanse your souls through quiet contemplation
Prayed to find some solace in the love of God
And followed not the paths of greed or vaunted expectation
You, who lived your chaste and simple lives, produced the food you ate,
Gave shelter to the hungry, tired and lame
Who built your halls with love, care and humility
While striving to treat all men just the same..
You, whose names we’ll never hear, whose gentle deeds are lost
When those of violent men redound
Should know that you have left your mark; A spectral presence
In these vaulted rooms devoid of sound
Where we can sit in quiet and tranquillity,
Leave awhile our world of noise and stress and fears
And in some measure find a common link
That passes down the years
All the best,
Why no photo’s guys?
There are some photos on the website pages and a few on facebook. I managed to upload a video of the human towers onto facebook but couldn’t do it on the web.
It sounds as though you are off on another adventure. perhaps you should be doing a blog as well.
We have moved further south at last and are starting to look for a place to live for the winter. Hope to see you soon.
Love Mum and Andy
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Hi there, nice to hear from you last night, glad all is sort of ok despite the car. Sorry you haven’t received my previous comments, I know I could have sent more but hopefully you’ll get this one alright!!! Look forward to seeing your new photos later today.
Monastries are lovely tranquil places to visit – liked your poem. I go to a Bhuddist monastry at Chithurst now and then and always leave feeling refreshed and calm. I also meditate on a regular basis to ground myself and find clarity, it’s great.
Sad to hear about Iona, not that I knew her, hope Chloe’s dad is ok as well as mum, their higher power will help them through this difficult time, just wish I’d found mine sooner.
Like I say hopefully you will get this comment, love to you both,take care.
We have finally managed to move on. We are in Javea which is right on the coast again. Most campsites seem to be by the coast but looking around the area, there are lots of mountains and we don’t want to be pulling a caravan up them.
We have started looking for our winter home. Hope you’ll be able to come out to stay.
Liked your comment on our blog. Thank you!
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loved your poem, Andy. it reminded me of many rests taken in the cloisters of various monasteries in different years when walking or cycling the Camino de Santiago. the hospitality was always good in monasteries too, clean beds and safe and generally good conversation at table though generally food a bit sparse. Dominicans particularly have a rule they will always find you somewhere to sleep and something to eat even if it is just an omelette buttie.
re. Spanish lessons, Kate tells me we are meeting up at Ropetackle again on Friday. of course David now in Columbia and Richard soon taking off to Paraguay again. I am ashamed to say the only time I ever used Spanish on my six week epic over the States, Canada and Alaska this summer was to point to a tumble drier on the cruise ship and say to a Spanish lady ‘?quieres Usted?’ which you might say was a shocking waste of an expensive education.
I had a wonderful time in North America. all went according to plan except just before and after the Grand Canyon. Tell me, am I the only person ever to have seen it in the rain? forget the stunning sunsets, the multicoloured rocks.. just rain and mist and gift shops. the helicopter tour was cancelled and floods in Colorado knocked out a bridge on the train track so after the Canyon it was necessary to take the Greyhound bus to LA instead, arriving at the bus station at half past midnight. ‘you took the greyhound bus?; american friends asked in horror. actually it was comfy and punctual and I have to say the bus station was well policed and safe and even had an all night cafe. I slept on a bench next to an alkie from whose recumbent body on the floor below rose waves of pungent fumes, meths maybe. on the first lap to Phoenix, there was a guy sitting behind me who was just out of prison, and on the second lap to LA a huge guy got in and said ‘Man, I’ve been on the run for one year, but I’m going back to turn myself in’. after that, everyone went rather quiet.
joking apart, I loved New Mexico and the train ride from San Francisco to Vancouver. a highlight on that trip was the rock and roll museum in Seattle, founded by Paul Allen and well worth the visit. cruise to Alaska was very relaxing and food excellent. we took a sea plane over the deepest glacier in the world. main pleasure was visiting friends and family i never thought I would see on their home turf and everyone made me very welcome and seemed astonished a Brit would venture out to the West.
I hope you are getting your ear trouble sorted out, Andy, and you and Ann will soon be on the road again. where to this time? all good wishes and to consolidate it I’ll just have a wee drop of white wine to wish you well.
much love. onwards and upwards. Marina.
What a fabulous adventure!!!
It sounds as though you should be doing a blog too. How about putting some of your photos up for us to see?
Give our best wishes to the Spanish group when see them. Andy’s Spanish is brilliant and I am trying very hard but not getting far. They speak so fast!!
We are starting to look for a place to live for the winter now. Hopefully, we will get lots of visitors’ you included!
Love Ann and Andy
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