51 people from the Youth Club Alaiz, from Pamplona, arrive in Pallerols

On Tuesday 8 August we arrived in Pallerols from the Club Alaiz Juvenile Association of Pamplona, with the aim of reviving the passage of the Pyrenees by Josemaría Escrivá and his group in the fall of 1937, until arriving in Andorra. This was the second edition of this family plan.

We were a total of 51 people: parents, mothers and boys and girls of different ages.

In Pallerols, we stayed the most in Ca l’Ampurdanés (a rural tourism house), others in the Old School and the boys in the refuge of the recently rebuilt Old rectory. Once installed, we had an introductory talk by the priest we were carrying, D. José Manuel, in the church of Pallerols.

As a culmination of this first day of arrival, we all share a pleasant dinner by the swimming pool of l’Ampurdanés.

As the weather forecast for Wednesday 9 was rainy in the afternoon, we decided to change the order of the stages and start the Ares stage, a bit picky but it caught us fresh. In total we were 37 people among adults and boys and girls of all ages. We began the ascent at 7.30 in the morning and after three hours we were already in the abandoned village of Ares. There we read testimonies of St. Josemaria’s expedition and after that we started to descend while the rain continually threatened us. Already back in Pallerols, we had mass and a great comforting dinner and later a lively gathering with some liquors and pastes to celebrate Jon’s birthday.

The next day, August 10, dawns cloudy but throughout the morning it was clearing. We do not get up so early and at 9.30 in the morning we set off for Peramola, today we go 43 people. After seeing the haystack where the members of the expedition of 1937 rested a few hours, we set off for the Corb’s House at a good pace led by Joaquin. There we make a break to recover strength and read stories related with that place. We continue towards the ravine of the Ribalera where Father Jose Manuel celebrated the Holy Mass. It is very nice to see the families spread by the rocks participating in the Mass.

As the ascent to Aubenç can be complicated by the heavy rain of the previous day we decided to return all to Pallerols, where the young ones enjoy the swimming pool and the teenagers mount an impromptu gathering next to the rectory. At eight o’clock in the afternoon all the families gathered in the church to pray the Holy Rosary.

The next stage takes us to the Fenollet’s House. We start from the river Sallent, and after climbing the ravine of Comalavall, we arrive at Fenollet. Today the expedition is composed of 40 people. Then, at the destination we all joined. Rosa prepares an impressive meal (macaroni, chicken and Catalan cream), then table-talk and return to Pallerols.

In the afternoon, Mariano makes a guided tour of the recently rebuilt rectory of Pallerols: we saw the oven, all the rooms… What a good look it has everything after the reconstruction!. After the Mass, great dinner and we prepare the next stage.

By day 12 we planned a quiet day, and we decided to leave all early in the morning, some walking and others on the off-road masterfully led by Fernando, heading to the cabin of San Rafael. There after reading the historical accounts, D. Jose Manuel celebrates the Holy Mass. It is stunning and highly recommended, we were all thrilled there.

Later, a group headed by Joaquin and Carlos, who need their dose of daily walking, come to Peramola. Today barbecue is played by the swimming pool, an incredible day, two groups of barbecues are made with a lot of rivalry, but the result of what is outstanding.

The table is extended until well into the afternoon. At the last hour there is a talk for all the families in the church and then the Holy rosary is recited. After that, dinner and rest to prepare for the last walk that will take us to Andorra.

On Sunday the 13th, at nine o’clock in the morning, thirty-nine in total, went out towards Argolell, where we began the climb to Mas d’Alins, the first Andorran house near the border. A steep but brief slope. From there after a pleasant descent we arrive at the small oratory dedicated to the “Mare de Déu de Canòlich”, in whose altarpiece the passage of St. Josemaría by that place is remembered.

There we all got together and after praying the Salve, we ate. The descent to Sant Julià de Lòria is simple although the sun was noticed. We arrived at the Church of Sant Julià where we could contemplate the wonderful sculpture of Saint Josemaría, and after praying the Holy rosary there we went to the church of Sant Esteve in Andorra la Vella. There we have the mass remembering the one celebrated by St Josemaría after his arrival to Andorra.

When we finished we returned to Pallerolls to celebrate the success of the expedition. According to the intelligent clock of Joaquin, the full walk is 70 km in five days with 2500 m of positive gradient and 3000 of negative. A real feat!

The next day, Monday 14 August, we had our last Mass in Pallerols and after picking up everything we returned home.

It was a few days of great family life, where the good atmosphere was everywhere, we left with indelible memories, with the living emotion of having followed the footsteps of St. Josemaría during those days so hard and important for him and with the desire and the certainty that soon we will return to repeat this same plan.