19 September 2014

Have stone will travel II


Jamie and Hanna bear in my cabin

I spent the weekend in Holland with some of my best comrades. We have been meeting every year for the last 21, though I have missed a few while I was sailing around the world. J our Dutch member had planned it and we hired a 14 meter steel motor cruiser to motor up and down the canals in Freisland. As you can see in the photo I slept up in the fore peak with J and M.

The Nienburg Crew


I must say I do admire the manner in which the Dutch live with and on the water. Generally the water level of the canals we sailed on was higher than the surrounding fields on which the cattle were grazing. The little towns were all very picturesque and many of the houses near or on the water had their own jetty. The Dutch are also real party animals and enjoy a party and their food and drink, so we had a good time out at night. 

Since I have been back I have changed my cycle route to go twice passed Hanna, once on the way out, when I just stop to say "good morning" and once on the way back when I can sit and chat for a bit. This morning I was surprised to pass one of Hanna's daughters out jogging early, I rather think she was surprised to see me too, but as we were both concentrating on getting fit we did not stop to chat. 

During the weekend I discussed with M my intention to walk the Pilgrim's way, as he has done it now three times on three different routes. He gave me some very useful tips and it was in the course of our discussions that I have decided that next year I will walk the Camino from the French border as he did the first time. But I will do this pilgrimage for Hanna's soul and not specifically for mine. I think my soul needs a bit more and so will walk for it's redemption from Vezelay in France in 2016. I will cycle from here to Trier via Cologne, but accommodation in Germany for pilgrims, unlike the Camino is non existent. One has to overnight in expensive Hotels or B&Bs.

You may remember that I picked a stone up off of Hanna's grave to take on the pilgrimage, well today I picked up a second stone from directly opposite the house where Hanna was born. This stone is a little larger and so I can write her name on it. I will carry both on the pilgrimage as it seems fit to do so, one from near her birth place and one from her final resting place.