• Travels around the world by Luca Buffoni
Santiago 2013: French Way

Lourdes – Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Sunday 7 July 2013

This morning up at 6.00 a.m. but I wouldn’t say it is a call of the alarm clock, since I slept little and badly. Manuel, instead, rouse up only once… so it was the chance for me to sleep.
Mass at the Cave at 6.45 a.m. and later visit of Bernadette’s sites.

The texts of today’s prays reveal me the sense of the walk that is expecting me.

“Do not take a purse or bag or sandals” (Lk 19,4)
This is my starting condition. I haven’t got anything except from the few things I carry in my backpack. I am nobody; who meets me, does not know who I am, does not know my story. I am just a pilgrim. Looking at the mirror, it is difficult for me to recognize myself: for this journey I cut my hair completely. I restart from zero, with the wish to let me be transported, Lord, by your Word, not to trust in anything else than You.

“Search within your heart for what is pleasing to God. Your heart must be crushed. Are you afraid that it might perish so? From the mouth of the Psalmist comes this reply: A clean heart create for me, God (Ps 51, 12). The impure heart must be destroyed so that the pure one may be created.” (St. Augustin)
I move with a heart broken by many things, I am afraid of giving myself, to open myself again. Please, oh Lord, let this walk to be a chance to open myself to you, the only one that can rebuild my heart and my life.

At 11.00 a.m. I said goodbye to Manuel and I went to the station to catch the 12.23 train to Bayonne and… to my great surprise, the line was interrupted due to a flood. Luckly there was a connecting bus at 2.30 p.m. (!!!). The two hours waiting have been veryvery long, spent between the waiting room and the close bar… each time I stood up and went back because I had forgotten the hat, and I went back because I had forgotten the stick… at least I had started realising what I had.

On the bus I slept.
At 5.30 p.m. I arrived in Bayonne and at 6.00 p.m. I took the train to Saint-Jean… most of the people were Santiago pilgrims. I did not expect so many! It was nice to recognize each other and exchange greetings, information, suggestions… The travel has been the longest ever: almost 2 hours at 20 km/h, it seemed we would never arrive.

During the journey I’ve met and known Flavio and Carlo and at Saint-Jean I found a hotel with them. Pizza, shower, information office and here I am, writing. Tomorrow the walking starts!

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