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A Gentle Mugging....Morality on the Mountain

#1
It was coming. Inexorably.
Like a big headed snake, with a tail that grew progressively longer.
There was no escape.
It wound it's way around the room towards me.
Not that it worried me. I'd been here before.
Michelle, and her sons Jefferson and Lazarus, they'd have to stand before me, state their name, where they came from, and the reason they were doing the Camino. I would be almost the last.
It would be interesting to see how the boys handled it.

The restaurant at Orisson was full.
The waitress squeezed along between pilgrim diners.
“Mr Carey?” she enquired.
“That'd be me,” I replied.
“There is a gentleman outside the door. He wishes to speak to you.”
He was short and tubby. He smiled as I approached.

By the time I made it back to my seat Michelle was standing and giving her details.
15 yr old Lazarus was next. But there was no way he was getting involved.
Too shy. He sat with his head lowered.
Some of them razzed him a bit.
I didn't like that. I felt quite protective towards him.
But then again most kindly understood his embarrassment.
16yr old Jefferson, he handled it fine. Full of confidence in most things he is.
Now it was my turn.
I stood and addressed our fellow pilgrims.
“My friends,” I commenced, “My name is Uncle Gerard, and I'm with Lazarus and Jefferson, and their mother Michelle, and I have a story to tell. Shouldn't take long.”
I then launched into my monologue.

“When we arrived at St Jean yesterday I found I'd lost my wallet.
Money, credit cards, everything. Gone. Disaster. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The last time I remembered using it was buying the train tickets at Bayonne station for the trip to St Jean. We were off-loaded at Cambo, due to the washout currently blocking the line, and transferred by bus from there to St Jean.
It was upon our arrival at L'Auberge du Pelerin that I discovered the loss. I informed Danielle, the hospitalero. She suggested I go to the Gendarmerie and report it immediately, which I did. They telephoned the Bayonne Railway Station but nothing had been found or handed in. I left my details with them and they assured me they would contact me if it turned up.
As we planned to leave this morning to walk here to Orisson, I figured my best option was to sort out replacements in Pamplona in a few days time.

Now, you may have noticed me leaving the restaurant a few minutes ago.
There, outside, was a man from St Jean.
“Are you m'sieur Carey?” he enquired.
“Indeed I am,” I replied.
“Is this your wallet m'sieur?” he asked. He held it out towards me.
“Indeed it is!” I replied in surprise. “Merci! Thank you ever so much!” I shook his hand vigorously.
“My pleasure m'sieur.” He smiled and made to move towards his car.
“Hang on a minute!” I said “Don't rush off. Tell me where it was found. In Bayonne? On the train? On the Bus? How did you become involved?”
“I, m'sieur,” he replied, “am a bus driver in St Jean. My duty this morning was to take a party of very young schoolgirls on a school trip to a farm.
On our arrival back in St Jean this afternoon I was approached by the girls. One had in her hand your wallet m'sieur, which she informed me she had found under her seat. On discussing the matter the girls decided that the correct thing to do would be to give it to me.
As my work for today was now at an end, I decided to take the wallet to the Gendarmerie. There the gendarmes informed me that yesterday you had reported the loss, and that you were currently staying at L'Auberge du Pelerin. I drove there where Danielle, the hospitalero, told me you had left this morning to walk to Orisson.
As I knew my wife would be concerned as to my now unusually late return, I drove home, where she had finished cooking dinner and the table was set.
She is a very good cook m'sieur, my wife, and I was very hungry. I had decided to eat my dinner and then proceed up to Orisson to return your wallet.
But my wife m'sieur, she had a different idea.
“But no!” she said, “You must immediately get back into the car and take the gentleman's wallet to him in Orisson. He will be most concerned!”
To which I replied. “But I am hungry for my dinner!”
“On your return!” she insisted.

I waved my wallet to my fellow pilgrim diners. “And here it is!” I announced.
The story gained a round of applause for the fortunate outcome, and also probably for the children and adults who had participated in the wallet's return.
I then resumed my seat.
The next chap in line was an Englishman. He stood to introduce himself.
“Blimey,” he said, “How am I supposed to follow a story like that?”

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
I had stood outside dumbfounded, then checked the contents of my wallet while I listened to his story. There, along with the credit cards, was my stash of 50 Euro notes. My more than enough to get to Pamplona money.
“M'sieur,” I said to my new bus driver friend, “While I thank you for your kindness, I need you to do a few further things for me.”
I peeled out a fifty and passed it to him.
“Firstly you must go home and have your dinner.
Then I need you to buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers.
Then I'd like it if you would please, at a suitable time, buy each of the children an ice cream.”
And lastly, I'd like you to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.”
He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.
“I will,” he said, “but first.....the wine. Merci m'sieur."
Obviously I had his priorities wrong.
“You'll do me cobber,” I replied as I shook his hand. “Thank you again.”

I watched as this kind man climbed back into his car and did a u-turn. Then waved as he passed.
Here, up in the mountains, you can see the evening climb the valley walls. It swallowed him as I stood, and watched, and thought.

I can see them all now.
My friend the bus driver, who did so much to track me down......the youngsters, standing shyly in front of him, the little girl holding out my wallet, showing him what she'd found under the seat......his wife, encouraging him, refusing to give him his dinner until he'd done what she considered to be the right thing.
Even as I write this my chest feels empty, yet suddenly swells with emotion, my eyes fill.
They have stolen my heart.
I hope they give it back.
I need to have it back in case somebody else wants to steal it.

Regards
Gerard
 
Last edited:

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VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#4
Umm, Gerard? You stole mine with this beautiful story You can borrow it for a while but I need it back, mate...
(I can only hit the like button once, but it's big 'LIKE' not little 'like').
 

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philip a tobin

irish scouse
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013....2014....2015.......2017...2018
#12
It was coming. Inexorably.
Like a big headed snake, with a tail that grew progressively longer.
It wound it's way around the room.
Not that it worried me. I'd been here before.
Michelle, Jefferson and Lazarus. They'd all have to stand before me, state their name, where they came from, and the reason they were doing the Camino. I would be almost the last.
It would be interesting to see how the boys handled it.

The restaurant at Orisson was full.
The waitress squeezed along between pilgrim diners.
“Mr Carey?” she enquired.
“That'd be me,” I replied.
“There is a gentleman outside the door. He wishes to speak to you.”
He was short and tubby. He smiled as I approached.

By the time I made it back to my seat Michelle was standing and giving her details.
15 yr old Lazarus was next. But there was no way he was getting involved.
Too shy. He sat with his head lowered.
Some of them razzed him a bit.
I didn't like that. I felt quite protective towards him.
But then again most kindly understood his embarrassment.
“I didn't know any of them. I couldn't say anything,” he advised me later.
16yr old Jefferson, he handled it fine. Full of confidence in most things he is.
Now it was my turn.
I stood and addressed our fellow pilgrims.
“My friends,” I commenced, “My name is Uncle Gerard, and yes, I'm with Lazarus and Jefferson, and their mother Michelle, and I've have a story to tell. Shouldn't take long.”
I then launched into my monologue.

“When we arrived at St Jean yesterday I found I'd lost my wallet. Money, credit cards, everything. Gone. Disaster. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The last time I remembered using it was buying the train tickets at Bayonne station for the trip to St Jean. We were off-loaded at Campo, due to the washout currently blocking the line, and transferred by bus from there to St Jean.
It was upon our arrival at L'Auberge du Pelerin that I discovered the loss. I informed Danielle, the hospitalero. She suggested I go to the Gendarmerie and report it immediately, which I did. They telephoned the Bayonne Railway Station but nothing had been found or handed in. I left my details with them and they assured me they would contact me if it turned up.
As we planned to leave this morning to walk here to Orisson, I figured my best option was to sort out replacements when we get to Pamplona in a few days.

Now, you may have noticed me leaving the room a few minutes ago.
There, outside, was a man from St Jean.
“Are you m'sieur Carey?” he enquired.
“Indeed I am,” I replied.
“Is this your wallet m'sieur?” he asked. He held it out towards me.
“Indeed it is!” I replied in surprise.
“Merci, thank you ever so much!” I shook his hand vigorously.
“My pleasure m'sieur.” He smiled and made to move towards his car.
“Hang on a minute!” I said “Don't rush off. Tell me where you found it. In Bayonne? On the train? On the Bus? How did you become involved?”
“I, m'sieur,” he replied, “am a bus driver in St Jean. My duty this morning was to take a small party of very young schoolgirls on a school trip to a farm.
On our arrival back in St Jean this afternoon I was approached by the girls. One had in her hand your wallet m'sieur, which she informed me she had found under her seat. On discussing the matter the girls decided that the correct thing to do would be to give it to me.
As my work for today was now at an end, I decided to take the wallet to the Gendarmerie. There the gendarmes informed me that yesterday you had reported the loss, and that you were currently staying at L'Auberge du Pelerin. I drove there where Danielle, the hospitalero, told me you had left this morning to walk to Orisson.
As I knew my wife would be concerned as to my now unusually late return, I drove home, where she had finished cooking dinner and the table was set.
She is a very good cook m'sieur, my wife, and I was very hungry.
I had decided to eat my dinner and then proceed up to Orisson to return your wallet.
But my wife m'sieur, she had a different idea.
“But no!” she said, “You must immediately get back into the car and take the gentleman's wallet to him in Orisson. He will be most concerned!”
To which I replied. “but I am hungry for my dinner!”
“On your return!” she insisted.

I waved my wallet to my fellow pilgrim diners. “And here it is!” I announced.
The story gained a round of applause for the fortunate outcome, and also probably for the children and adults who had participated in the wallet's return.
I then resumed my seat.
The next chap in line was an Englishman. He stood to introduce himself.
“Blimey,” he said, “How am I supposed to follow a story like that?”

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
I had stood outside dumbfounded, then checked the contents of my wallet while I listened to his story. There, along with the credit cards, was my stash of 50 Euro notes. My more than enough to get to Pamplona money.
“M'sieur,” I said to my new bus driver friend, “While I thank you for your kindness, I need you to do a few further things for me.”
I peeled out a fifty and passed it to him.
“Firstly you must go home and have your dinner.
Then I need you to buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers.
Then I'd like it if you would please, at a suitable time, buy each of the children an ice cream.”
And lastly, I'd like you to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.”
He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.
“I will,” he said, “but first.....the wine. Merci m'sieur.”
Obviously I had his priorities wrong.
“You'll do me,” I replied as I shook his hand. “Thank you again.”

I watched as this kind man climbed back into his car and did a u-turn.
Then waved as he passed.
Here, up in the mountains, you can see the evening climb the valley walls.
It swallowed him as I stood, and watched, and thought.

I can see them all now.
My friend the bus driver, who did so much to track me down.
The youngsters, standing shyly in front of my him, holding out my wallet, showing him what they'd found under the seat. His wife, encouraging him, refusing to give him his dinner until he'd done what she considered to be the right thing.
Even as I write this my chest feels empty, yet suddenly swells with emotion, my eyes fill.
They have stolen my heart.
I hope they give it back.
I need to have it back in case somebody else wants to steal it.

Regards
Gerard
In such sad times we need our spirits lifting.Now,not just lifted,but soaring.Thank you .
 

Peter Fransiscus

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#13
It was coming. Inexorably.
Like a big headed snake, with a tail that grew progressively longer.
It wound it's way around the room.
Not that it worried me. I'd been here before.
Michelle, Jefferson and Lazarus. They'd all have to stand before me, state their name, where they came from, and the reason they were doing the Camino. I would be almost the last.
It would be interesting to see how the boys handled it.

The restaurant at Orisson was full.
The waitress squeezed along between pilgrim diners.
“Mr Carey?” she enquired.
“That'd be me,” I replied.
“There is a gentleman outside the door. He wishes to speak to you.”
He was short and tubby. He smiled as I approached.

By the time I made it back to my seat Michelle was standing and giving her details.
15 yr old Lazarus was next. But there was no way he was getting involved.
Too shy. He sat with his head lowered.
Some of them razzed him a bit.
I didn't like that. I felt quite protective towards him.
But then again most kindly understood his embarrassment.
“I didn't know any of them. I couldn't say anything,” he advised me later.
16yr old Jefferson, he handled it fine. Full of confidence in most things he is.
Now it was my turn.
I stood and addressed our fellow pilgrims.
“My friends,” I commenced, “My name is Uncle Gerard, and yes, I'm with Lazarus and Jefferson, and their mother Michelle, and I've have a story to tell. Shouldn't take long.”
I then launched into my monologue.

“When we arrived at St Jean yesterday I found I'd lost my wallet. Money, credit cards, everything. Gone. Disaster. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The last time I remembered using it was buying the train tickets at Bayonne station for the trip to St Jean. We were off-loaded at Campo, due to the washout currently blocking the line, and transferred by bus from there to St Jean.
It was upon our arrival at L'Auberge du Pelerin that I discovered the loss. I informed Danielle, the hospitalero. She suggested I go to the Gendarmerie and report it immediately, which I did. They telephoned the Bayonne Railway Station but nothing had been found or handed in. I left my details with them and they assured me they would contact me if it turned up.
As we planned to leave this morning to walk here to Orisson, I figured my best option was to sort out replacements when we get to Pamplona in a few days.

Now, you may have noticed me leaving the room a few minutes ago.
There, outside, was a man from St Jean.
“Are you m'sieur Carey?” he enquired.
“Indeed I am,” I replied.
“Is this your wallet m'sieur?” he asked. He held it out towards me.
“Indeed it is!” I replied in surprise.
“Merci, thank you ever so much!” I shook his hand vigorously.
“My pleasure m'sieur.” He smiled and made to move towards his car.
“Hang on a minute!” I said “Don't rush off. Tell me where you found it. In Bayonne? On the train? On the Bus? How did you become involved?”
“I, m'sieur,” he replied, “am a bus driver in St Jean. My duty this morning was to take a small party of very young schoolgirls on a school trip to a farm.
On our arrival back in St Jean this afternoon I was approached by the girls. One had in her hand your wallet m'sieur, which she informed me she had found under her seat. On discussing the matter the girls decided that the correct thing to do would be to give it to me.
As my work for today was now at an end, I decided to take the wallet to the Gendarmerie. There the gendarmes informed me that yesterday you had reported the loss, and that you were currently staying at L'Auberge du Pelerin. I drove there where Danielle, the hospitalero, told me you had left this morning to walk to Orisson.
As I knew my wife would be concerned as to my now unusually late return, I drove home, where she had finished cooking dinner and the table was set.
She is a very good cook m'sieur, my wife, and I was very hungry.
I had decided to eat my dinner and then proceed up to Orisson to return your wallet.
But my wife m'sieur, she had a different idea.
“But no!” she said, “You must immediately get back into the car and take the gentleman's wallet to him in Orisson. He will be most concerned!”
To which I replied. “but I am hungry for my dinner!”
“On your return!” she insisted.

I waved my wallet to my fellow pilgrim diners. “And here it is!” I announced.
The story gained a round of applause for the fortunate outcome, and also probably for the children and adults who had participated in the wallet's return.
I then resumed my seat.
The next chap in line was an Englishman. He stood to introduce himself.
“Blimey,” he said, “How am I supposed to follow a story like that?”

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
I had stood outside dumbfounded, then checked the contents of my wallet while I listened to his story. There, along with the credit cards, was my stash of 50 Euro notes. My more than enough to get to Pamplona money.
“M'sieur,” I said to my new bus driver friend, “While I thank you for your kindness, I need you to do a few further things for me.”
I peeled out a fifty and passed it to him.
“Firstly you must go home and have your dinner.
Then I need you to buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers.
Then I'd like it if you would please, at a suitable time, buy each of the children an ice cream.”
And lastly, I'd like you to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.”
He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.
“I will,” he said, “but first.....the wine. Merci m'sieur.”
Obviously I had his priorities wrong.
“You'll do me,” I replied as I shook his hand. “Thank you again.”

I watched as this kind man climbed back into his car and did a u-turn.
Then waved as he passed.
Here, up in the mountains, you can see the evening climb the valley walls.
It swallowed him as I stood, and watched, and thought.

I can see them all now.
My friend the bus driver, who did so much to track me down.
The youngsters, standing shyly in front of my him, holding out my wallet, showing him what they'd found under the seat. His wife, encouraging him, refusing to give him his dinner until he'd done what she considered to be the right thing.
Even as I write this my chest feels empty, yet suddenly swells with emotion, my eyes fill.
They have stolen my heart.
I hope they give it back.
I need to have it back in case somebody else wants to steal it.

Regards
Gerard
Thank you for sharing this with all of us.
Wish you well, Peter.
 

Mysticl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May (2015) - pending
#21
Very poetic and a lovely story. Something similar happened to us during our Orrison stay as well ... a lovely german lady accidentally sent her bag via jacotrans ahead on Day 1, with all her worldly goods inside including all her money and identification, but because it was all so new she forgot to label it so of course the driver did not know where to deliver it and the bag did not end up at Orrison with her. She did not have a reservation either due to a mix up and the beds were all full ... but like your story it had a happy ending with her bag being personally delivered to her as we sat down to eat and a spare bed was found for her to lay her weary head on as well ... we observed similar things like this happened time and time again during our Camino, people pulling together when things start to go sideways ... it might not be magic but is sure feels like it sometimes. Beautiful generous people all pulling together for a common cause ... walking the camino. I think it brings out the best of us ... a walk can do that, I guess a long walk is even better.
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#25
Your tale brought the sun out from behind a cloud.
Thank you Gerard;
For a little earlier I had been told that a best friend, of over 50 years standing, has terminal cancer with little time to live.
I'm so sorry for your news, Bystander. That is a hard piece of information to hear. I hope you are able to spend time with your friend. All my best to you in this time of pain and sorrow.
 
#28
What a story-teller you are Mr Carey! But I really do get the feeling it's non-fiction.
Indeed it is Rachael. Would I lie to you?
Often there is no witness. But this time I did have Michelle, Lazarus and Jefferson.
Wriggle your toes in the black sand of the wild west coast for me next time you're out there. I miss those bleak windswept beaches and the roar of the sea. Say g'day to Huia, Piha and Muriwai too.
Maybe this summer.
Regds
Gerard
 
Last edited:
#31
A prezzie for you, Gerard...a wee thanks for all the wonderful stories. I hope Bethell's Beach is OK??
How good is that!
And the flax and pohutukawa too!
I'm a real West Coast boy. It's my Beethoven coast. A place of sound, fury and action.
East Coast is my Mozart coast. A place of bright sunshine, blue sea and sky, a light and airy place.

Thank you again
Gerard
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#32
Glad you like it--the thanks go to you for such stories!
And I'm sorry not to have a pic framed by blooming pohutakawa...but at least the flax snuck in there. That day the kowhai were blooming on the hill and the tuis were going bananas, chortling and half drunk on the honey. But the roar of waves...it drowned them all out that day, Beethoven indeed...lots of dramatic crashing as the tide was coming in.
 

Ekelund

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Camino Frances 2005
The Portugese Camino 2014
The Camino Ingles Easter 2015
The Camino Ingles April 2016
The Camino del Norte/The Primitivo 2016
#33
Thank you, as always your story makes me smile. And your story brings comfort, so many bad news and sadness these days.
 
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
#34
It was coming. Inexorably.
Like a big headed snake, with a tail that grew progressively longer.
It wound it's way around the room.
Not that it worried me. I'd been here before.
Michelle, Jefferson and Lazarus. They'd all have to stand before me, state their name, where they came from, and the reason they were doing the Camino. I would be almost the last.
It would be interesting to see how the boys handled it.

The restaurant at Orisson was full.
The waitress squeezed along between pilgrim diners.
“Mr Carey?” she enquired.
“That'd be me,” I replied.
“There is a gentleman outside the door. He wishes to speak to you.”
He was short and tubby. He smiled as I approached.

By the time I made it back to my seat Michelle was standing and giving her details.
15 yr old Lazarus was next. But there was no way he was getting involved.
Too shy. He sat with his head lowered.
Some of them razzed him a bit.
I didn't like that. I felt quite protective towards him.
But then again most kindly understood his embarrassment.
“I didn't know any of them. I couldn't say anything,” he advised me later.
16yr old Jefferson, he handled it fine. Full of confidence in most things he is.
Now it was my turn.
I stood and addressed our fellow pilgrims.
“My friends,” I commenced, “My name is Uncle Gerard, and yes, I'm with Lazarus and Jefferson, and their mother Michelle, and I've have a story to tell. Shouldn't take long.”
I then launched into my monologue.

“When we arrived at St Jean yesterday I found I'd lost my wallet. Money, credit cards, everything. Gone. Disaster. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The last time I remembered using it was buying the train tickets at Bayonne station for the trip to St Jean. We were off-loaded at Campo, due to the washout currently blocking the line, and transferred by bus from there to St Jean.
It was upon our arrival at L'Auberge du Pelerin that I discovered the loss. I informed Danielle, the hospitalero. She suggested I go to the Gendarmerie and report it immediately, which I did. They telephoned the Bayonne Railway Station but nothing had been found or handed in. I left my details with them and they assured me they would contact me if it turned up.
As we planned to leave this morning to walk here to Orisson, I figured my best option was to sort out replacements in Pamplona in a few days time.

Now, you may have noticed me leaving the restaurant a few minutes ago.
There, outside, was a man from St Jean.
“Are you m'sieur Carey?” he enquired.
“Indeed I am,” I replied.
“Is this your wallet m'sieur?” he asked. He held it out towards me.
“Indeed it is!” I replied in surprise.
“Merci, thank you ever so much!” I shook his hand vigorously.
“My pleasure m'sieur.” He smiled and made to move towards his car.
“Hang on a minute!” I said “Don't rush off. Tell me where it was found. In Bayonne? On the train? On the Bus? How did you become involved?”
“I, m'sieur,” he replied, “am a bus driver in St Jean. My duty this morning was to take a party of very young schoolgirls on a school trip to a farm.
On our arrival back in St Jean this afternoon I was approached by the girls. One had in her hand your wallet m'sieur, which she informed me she had found under her seat. On discussing the matter the girls decided that the correct thing to do would be to give it to me.
As my work for today was now at an end, I decided to take the wallet to the Gendarmerie. There the gendarmes informed me that yesterday you had reported the loss, and that you were currently staying at L'Auberge du Pelerin. I drove there where Danielle, the hospitalero, told me you had left this morning to walk to Orisson.
As I knew my wife would be concerned as to my now unusually late return, I drove home, where she had finished cooking dinner and the table was set.
She is a very good cook m'sieur, my wife, and I was very hungry.
I had decided to eat my dinner and then proceed up to Orisson to return your wallet.
But my wife m'sieur, she had a different idea.
“But no!” she said, “You must immediately get back into the car and take the gentleman's wallet to him in Orisson. He will be most concerned!”
To which I replied. “but I am hungry for my dinner!”
“On your return!” she insisted.

I waved my wallet to my fellow pilgrim diners. “And here it is!” I announced.
The story gained a round of applause for the fortunate outcome, and also probably for the children and adults who had participated in the wallet's return.
I then resumed my seat.
The next chap in line was an Englishman. He stood to introduce himself.
“Blimey,” he said, “How am I supposed to follow a story like that?”

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
I had stood outside dumbfounded, then checked the contents of my wallet while I listened to his story. There, along with the credit cards, was my stash of 50 Euro notes. My more than enough to get to Pamplona money.
“M'sieur,” I said to my new bus driver friend, “While I thank you for your kindness, I need you to do a few further things for me.”
I peeled out a fifty and passed it to him.
“Firstly you must go home and have your dinner.
Then I need you to buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers.
Then I'd like it if you would please, at a suitable time, buy each of the children an ice cream.”
And lastly, I'd like you to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.”
He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.
“I will,” he said, “but first.....the wine. Merci m'sieur.”
Obviously I had his priorities wrong.
“You'll do me,” I replied as I shook his hand. “Thank you again.”

I watched as this kind man climbed back into his car and did a u-turn.
Then waved as he passed.
Here, up in the mountains, you can see the evening climb the valley walls.
It swallowed him as I stood, and watched, and thought.

I can see them all now.
My friend the bus driver, who did so much to track me down.
The youngsters, standing shyly in front of my him, holding out my wallet, showing him what they'd found under the seat. His wife, encouraging him, refusing to give him his dinner until he'd done what she considered to be the right thing.
Even as I write this my chest feels empty, yet suddenly swells with emotion, my eyes fill.
They have stolen my heart.
I hope they give it back.
I need to have it back in case somebody else wants to steal it.

Regards
Gerard
You have a gift that I envy. Great story well told. Buen Camino
 

DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portuges 2012
Camino Frances (first half) April 2014
A posh Camino - Sarria to Santiago April 2015
Camino Frances (second half) June 2015
Camino Frances March/April 2017
#35
Thanks for the wonderful story Gerard. It is truly amazing, the kindness that can be found in people's hearts.
 
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JohnCP43

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances 2013; Camino portugues 2015; Via francigena 2016
#36
Wonderful story, so well told. So good to hear about some of the truly fine people of this world.
Yes, there truly are some fine people in the world, many of them on the Camino and in the greater Camino family.
I experienced three of them last April on the CP. As background, I am a 72 yo and as my brother described me as a pilgrim to my wife, "he's old and he's slow but he keeps on moving." Based on my experience on the CF in April 2013 I came prepared for cold wet weather not the warm sunny weather the same time period this year so I was slogging up a rather long hill in long pants and a dark long sleeved turtleneck - old, slow but still moving. There was a large group of Catholic young people I believe from Vigo strung out over a kilometer or more. By American standards they were quite well behaved but they were teenagers. One group of three young men, perhaps 13 or 14 years old passed me. Typical kids I thought, baggy shorts, I pads with dangling ear buds, bright tshirts, packs not well adjusted, not at all "pilgrim like". When they were about 25 feet past me they stopped and said something to me I didn't understand. I said I was sorry I didn't understand. One then said "we can speak to you in English if that would be better for you." I said it would and thanked him. He then asked if I was allright or if I needed help. I gave him my old and slow but moving line and then they
went ahead. Those boys however never were more than 25 feet away from me all the way up the hill and I could tell they were keeping an eye on me til we got to the top. I was taking pictures of one of the stone crosses there and asked if I could take their picture too. They laughed and said certainly so that I would have something to remember them by. I assured them I would not need a picture to remember them.
As long as we have young people like them amongst us the world and the church will continue to be ok.
There was a bar at the top and I asked if I could get them a soft drink their concern. We talked andit turned out two had been tothe US,
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#38
What a lovely story JohnCP43. That was one of the really nice parts of the Camino for me. On many occasions you would witness Pilgrims 'keeping an eye on each other' in that way.

Nothing may have been spoken, but there was definitely a sense of someone making an effort to make sure others were OK.

And I know we often talk about unruly behaviour here. But some of the nicest people I could ever wish to meet, were on the Camino! You know who you are folks ;)


Afternote..... In fact this reminds me of a situation that I came across on the CF. I wrote a short piece about it at the time as it was really nice to see people looking out for each other.....

You can read about Saving Pilgrim Susan about halfway down this page.
http://robscamino.com/10th-of-may/

 
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#39
It was coming. Inexorably.
Like a big headed snake, with a tail that grew progressively longer.
It wound it's way around the room.
Not that it worried me. I'd been here before.
Michelle, Jefferson and Lazarus. They'd all have to stand before me, state their name, where they came from, and the reason they were doing the Camino. I would be almost the last.
It would be interesting to see how the boys handled it.

The restaurant at Orisson was full.
The waitress squeezed along between pilgrim diners.
“Mr Carey?” she enquired.
“That'd be me,” I replied.
“There is a gentleman outside the door. He wishes to speak to you.”
He was short and tubby. He smiled as I approached.

By the time I made it back to my seat Michelle was standing and giving her details.
15 yr old Lazarus was next. But there was no way he was getting involved.
Too shy. He sat with his head lowered.
Some of them razzed him a bit.
I didn't like that. I felt quite protective towards him.
But then again most kindly understood his embarrassment.
“I didn't know any of them. I couldn't say anything,” he advised me later.
16yr old Jefferson, he handled it fine. Full of confidence in most things he is.
Now it was my turn.
I stood and addressed our fellow pilgrims.
“My friends,” I commenced, “My name is Uncle Gerard, and yes, I'm with Lazarus and Jefferson, and their mother Michelle, and I have a story to tell. Shouldn't take long.”
I then launched into my monologue.

“When we arrived at St Jean yesterday I found I'd lost my wallet. Money, credit cards, everything. Gone. Disaster. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The last time I remembered using it was buying the train tickets at Bayonne station for the trip to St Jean. We were off-loaded at Campo, due to the washout currently blocking the line, and transferred by bus from there to St Jean.
It was upon our arrival at L'Auberge du Pelerin that I discovered the loss. I informed Danielle, the hospitalero. She suggested I go to the Gendarmerie and report it immediately, which I did. They telephoned the Bayonne Railway Station but nothing had been found or handed in. I left my details with them and they assured me they would contact me if it turned up.
As we planned to leave this morning to walk here to Orisson, I figured my best option was to sort out replacements in Pamplona in a few days time.

Now, you may have noticed me leaving the restaurant a few minutes ago.
There, outside, was a man from St Jean.
“Are you m'sieur Carey?” he enquired.
“Indeed I am,” I replied.
“Is this your wallet m'sieur?” he asked. He held it out towards me.
“Indeed it is!” I replied in surprise, “merci, thank you ever so much!” I shook his hand vigorously.
“My pleasure m'sieur.” He smiled and made to move towards his car.
“Hang on a minute!” I said “Don't rush off. Tell me where it was found. In Bayonne? On the train? On the Bus? How did you become involved?”
“I, m'sieur,” he replied, “am a bus driver in St Jean. My duty this morning was to take a party of very young schoolgirls on a school trip to a farm.
On our arrival back in St Jean this afternoon I was approached by the girls. One had in her hand your wallet m'sieur, which she informed me she had found under her seat. On discussing the matter the girls decided that the correct thing to do would be to give it to me.
As my work for today was now at an end, I decided to take the wallet to the Gendarmerie. There the gendarmes informed me that yesterday you had reported the loss, and that you were currently staying at L'Auberge du Pelerin. I drove there where Danielle, the hospitalero, told me you had left this morning to walk to Orisson.
As I knew my wife would be concerned as to my now unusually late return, I drove home, where she had finished cooking dinner and the table was set.
She is a very good cook m'sieur, my wife, and I was very hungry. I had decided to eat my dinner and then proceed up to Orisson to return your wallet.
But my wife m'sieur, she had a different idea.
“But no!” she said, “You must immediately get back into the car and take the gentleman's wallet to him in Orisson. He will be most concerned!”
To which I replied. “but I am hungry for my dinner!”
“On your return!” she insisted.

I waved my wallet to my fellow pilgrim diners. “And here it is!” I announced.
The story gained a round of applause for the fortunate outcome, and also probably for the children and adults who had participated in the wallet's return.
I then resumed my seat.
The next chap in line was an Englishman. He stood to introduce himself.
“Blimey,” he said, “How am I supposed to follow a story like that?”

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
I had stood outside dumbfounded, then checked the contents of my wallet while I listened to his story. There, along with the credit cards, was my stash of 50 Euro notes. My more than enough to get to Pamplona money.
“M'sieur,” I said to my new bus driver friend, “While I thank you for your kindness, I need you to do a few further things for me.”
I peeled out a fifty and passed it to him.
“Firstly you must go home and have your dinner.
Then I need you to buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers.
Then I'd like it if you would please, at a suitable time, buy each of the children an ice cream.”
And lastly, I'd like you to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.”
He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.
“I will,” he said, “but first.....the wine. Merci m'sieur.”
Obviously I had his priorities wrong.
“You'll do me,” I replied as I shook his hand. “Thank you again.”

I watched as this kind man climbed back into his car and did a u-turn. Then waved as he passed.
Here, up in the mountains, you can see the evening climb the valley walls. It swallowed him as I stood, and watched, and thought.

I can see them all now.
My friend the bus driver, who did so much to track me down......the youngsters, standing shyly in front of my him, the little girl holding out my wallet, showing him what she'd found under the seat......his wife, encouraging him, refusing to give him his dinner until he'd done what she considered to be the right thing.
Even as I write this my chest feels empty, yet suddenly swells with emotion, my eyes fill.
They have stolen my heart.
I hope they give it back.
I need to have it back in case somebody else wants to steal it.

Regards
Gerard

An incredible story, which could only have happened if the students, the bus driver, the Gendarme, Danielle, and the bus driver's wife all did the right thing. That doesn't happen very often!
 

Saint Mike II

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#40
Hola Gerard, you have now had a practical experience of "the Camino will provide". I really liked your reward and I am not surprised that your French bus driver knew the correct order of business!!
Cheers
 

FionaLucy

I promise to stay true to my Butterfly....
Camino(s) past & future
April 2016
June 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
April 2017
#42
A wonderful story Gerard! Thank you for sharing it. I am smiling here now :)

I too have the most wonderful story about my Camino angels. It is a long story so I will start another thread with it so as to keep your story special....
 

Irenie

Irenie
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Ingles (September 2017)
#43
It was coming. Inexorably.
Like a big headed snake, with a tail that grew progressively longer.
There was no escape.
It wound it's way around the room towards me.
Not that it worried me. I'd been here before.
Michelle, and her sons Jefferson and Lazarus, they'd have to stand before me, state their name, where they came from, and the reason they were doing the Camino. I would be almost the last.
It would be interesting to see how the boys handled it.

The restaurant at Orisson was full.
The waitress squeezed along between pilgrim diners.
“Mr Carey?” she enquired.
“That'd be me,” I replied.
“There is a gentleman outside the door. He wishes to speak to you.”
He was short and tubby. He smiled as I approached.

By the time I made it back to my seat Michelle was standing and giving her details.
15 yr old Lazarus was next. But there was no way he was getting involved.
Too shy. He sat with his head lowered.
Some of them razzed him a bit.
I didn't like that. I felt quite protective towards him.
But then again most kindly understood his embarrassment.
16yr old Jefferson, he handled it fine. Full of confidence in most things he is.
Now it was my turn.
I stood and addressed our fellow pilgrims.
“My friends,” I commenced, “My name is Uncle Gerard, and I'm with Lazarus and Jefferson, and their mother Michelle, and I have a story to tell. Shouldn't take long.”
I then launched into my monologue.

“When we arrived at St Jean yesterday I found I'd lost my wallet.
Money, credit cards, everything. Gone. Disaster. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The last time I remembered using it was buying the train tickets at Bayonne station for the trip to St Jean. We were off-loaded at Cambo, due to the washout currently blocking the line, and transferred by bus from there to St Jean.
It was upon our arrival at L'Auberge du Pelerin that I discovered the loss. I informed Danielle, the hospitalero. She suggested I go to the Gendarmerie and report it immediately, which I did. They telephoned the Bayonne Railway Station but nothing had been found or handed in. I left my details with them and they assured me they would contact me if it turned up.
As we planned to leave this morning to walk here to Orisson, I figured my best option was to sort out replacements in Pamplona in a few days time.

Now, you may have noticed me leaving the restaurant a few minutes ago.
There, outside, was a man from St Jean.
“Are you m'sieur Carey?” he enquired.
“Indeed I am,” I replied.
“Is this your wallet m'sieur?” he asked. He held it out towards me.
“Indeed it is!” I replied in surprise. “Merci! Thank you ever so much!” I shook his hand vigorously.
“My pleasure m'sieur.” He smiled and made to move towards his car.
“Hang on a minute!” I said “Don't rush off. Tell me where it was found. In Bayonne? On the train? On the Bus? How did you become involved?”
“I, m'sieur,” he replied, “am a bus driver in St Jean. My duty this morning was to take a party of very young schoolgirls on a school trip to a farm.
On our arrival back in St Jean this afternoon I was approached by the girls. One had in her hand your wallet m'sieur, which she informed me she had found under her seat. On discussing the matter the girls decided that the correct thing to do would be to give it to me.
As my work for today was now at an end, I decided to take the wallet to the Gendarmerie. There the gendarmes informed me that yesterday you had reported the loss, and that you were currently staying at L'Auberge du Pelerin. I drove there where Danielle, the hospitalero, told me you had left this morning to walk to Orisson.
As I knew my wife would be concerned as to my now unusually late return, I drove home, where she had finished cooking dinner and the table was set.
She is a very good cook m'sieur, my wife, and I was very hungry. I had decided to eat my dinner and then proceed up to Orisson to return your wallet.
But my wife m'sieur, she had a different idea.
“But no!” she said, “You must immediately get back into the car and take the gentleman's wallet to him in Orisson. He will be most concerned!”
To which I replied. “But I am hungry for my dinner!”
“On your return!” she insisted.

I waved my wallet to my fellow pilgrim diners. “And here it is!” I announced.
The story gained a round of applause for the fortunate outcome, and also probably for the children and adults who had participated in the wallet's return.
I then resumed my seat.
The next chap in line was an Englishman. He stood to introduce himself.
“Blimey,” he said, “How am I supposed to follow a story like that?”

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
I had stood outside dumbfounded, then checked the contents of my wallet while I listened to his story. There, along with the credit cards, was my stash of 50 Euro notes. My more than enough to get to Pamplona money.
“M'sieur,” I said to my new bus driver friend, “While I thank you for your kindness, I need you to do a few further things for me.”
I peeled out a fifty and passed it to him.
“Firstly you must go home and have your dinner.
Then I need you to buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers.
Then I'd like it if you would please, at a suitable time, buy each of the children an ice cream.”
And lastly, I'd like you to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.”
He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.
“I will,” he said, “but first.....the wine. Merci m'sieur."
Obviously I had his priorities wrong.
“You'll do me cobber,” I replied as I shook his hand. “Thank you again.”

I watched as this kind man climbed back into his car and did a u-turn. Then waved as he passed.
Here, up in the mountains, you can see the evening climb the valley walls. It swallowed him as I stood, and watched, and thought.

I can see them all now.
My friend the bus driver, who did so much to track me down......the youngsters, standing shyly in front of him, the little girl holding out my wallet, showing him what she'd found under the seat......his wife, encouraging him, refusing to give him his dinner until he'd done what she considered to be the right thing.
Even as I write this my chest feels empty, yet suddenly swells with emotion, my eyes fill.
They have stolen my heart.
I hope they give it back.
I need to have it back in case somebody else wants to steal it.

Regards
Gerard
Gerard, you are a master storyteller. I was on the edge of my seat, waiting and you didn’t disappoint. Not only a happy ending, but an example of Camino kindness. Thank you for sharing.
 

nathanael

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#45
It was coming. Inexorably.
Like a big headed snake, with a tail that grew progressively longer.
There was no escape.
It wound it's way around the room towards me.
Not that it worried me. I'd been here before.
Michelle, and her sons Jefferson and Lazarus, they'd have to stand before me, state their name, where they came from, and the reason they were doing the Camino. I would be almost the last.
It would be interesting to see how the boys handled it.

The restaurant at Orisson was full.
The waitress squeezed along between pilgrim diners.
“Mr Carey?” she enquired.
“That'd be me,” I replied.
“There is a gentleman outside the door. He wishes to speak to you.”
He was short and tubby. He smiled as I approached.

By the time I made it back to my seat Michelle was standing and giving her details.
15 yr old Lazarus was next. But there was no way he was getting involved.
Too shy. He sat with his head lowered.
Some of them razzed him a bit.
I didn't like that. I felt quite protective towards him.
But then again most kindly understood his embarrassment.
16yr old Jefferson, he handled it fine. Full of confidence in most things he is.
Now it was my turn.
I stood and addressed our fellow pilgrims.
“My friends,” I commenced, “My name is Uncle Gerard, and I'm with Lazarus and Jefferson, and their mother Michelle, and I have a story to tell. Shouldn't take long.”
I then launched into my monologue.

“When we arrived at St Jean yesterday I found I'd lost my wallet.
Money, credit cards, everything. Gone. Disaster. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The last time I remembered using it was buying the train tickets at Bayonne station for the trip to St Jean. We were off-loaded at Cambo, due to the washout currently blocking the line, and transferred by bus from there to St Jean.
It was upon our arrival at L'Auberge du Pelerin that I discovered the loss. I informed Danielle, the hospitalero. She suggested I go to the Gendarmerie and report it immediately, which I did. They telephoned the Bayonne Railway Station but nothing had been found or handed in. I left my details with them and they assured me they would contact me if it turned up.
As we planned to leave this morning to walk here to Orisson, I figured my best option was to sort out replacements in Pamplona in a few days time.

Now, you may have noticed me leaving the restaurant a few minutes ago.
There, outside, was a man from St Jean.
“Are you m'sieur Carey?” he enquired.
“Indeed I am,” I replied.
“Is this your wallet m'sieur?” he asked. He held it out towards me.
“Indeed it is!” I replied in surprise. “Merci! Thank you ever so much!” I shook his hand vigorously.
“My pleasure m'sieur.” He smiled and made to move towards his car.
“Hang on a minute!” I said “Don't rush off. Tell me where it was found. In Bayonne? On the train? On the Bus? How did you become involved?”
“I, m'sieur,” he replied, “am a bus driver in St Jean. My duty this morning was to take a party of very young schoolgirls on a school trip to a farm.
On our arrival back in St Jean this afternoon I was approached by the girls. One had in her hand your wallet m'sieur, which she informed me she had found under her seat. On discussing the matter the girls decided that the correct thing to do would be to give it to me.
As my work for today was now at an end, I decided to take the wallet to the Gendarmerie. There the gendarmes informed me that yesterday you had reported the loss, and that you were currently staying at L'Auberge du Pelerin. I drove there where Danielle, the hospitalero, told me you had left this morning to walk to Orisson.
As I knew my wife would be concerned as to my now unusually late return, I drove home, where she had finished cooking dinner and the table was set.
She is a very good cook m'sieur, my wife, and I was very hungry. I had decided to eat my dinner and then proceed up to Orisson to return your wallet.
But my wife m'sieur, she had a different idea.
“But no!” she said, “You must immediately get back into the car and take the gentleman's wallet to him in Orisson. He will be most concerned!”
To which I replied. “But I am hungry for my dinner!”
“On your return!” she insisted.

I waved my wallet to my fellow pilgrim diners. “And here it is!” I announced.
The story gained a round of applause for the fortunate outcome, and also probably for the children and adults who had participated in the wallet's return.
I then resumed my seat.
The next chap in line was an Englishman. He stood to introduce himself.
“Blimey,” he said, “How am I supposed to follow a story like that?”

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
I had stood outside dumbfounded, then checked the contents of my wallet while I listened to his story. There, along with the credit cards, was my stash of 50 Euro notes. My more than enough to get to Pamplona money.
“M'sieur,” I said to my new bus driver friend, “While I thank you for your kindness, I need you to do a few further things for me.”
I peeled out a fifty and passed it to him.
“Firstly you must go home and have your dinner.
Then I need you to buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers.
Then I'd like it if you would please, at a suitable time, buy each of the children an ice cream.”
And lastly, I'd like you to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.”
He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.
“I will,” he said, “but first.....the wine. Merci m'sieur."
Obviously I had his priorities wrong.
“You'll do me cobber,” I replied as I shook his hand. “Thank you again.”

I watched as this kind man climbed back into his car and did a u-turn. Then waved as he passed.
Here, up in the mountains, you can see the evening climb the valley walls. It swallowed him as I stood, and watched, and thought.

I can see them all now.
My friend the bus driver, who did so much to track me down......the youngsters, standing shyly in front of him, the little girl holding out my wallet, showing him what she'd found under the seat......his wife, encouraging him, refusing to give him his dinner until he'd done what she considered to be the right thing.
Even as I write this my chest feels empty, yet suddenly swells with emotion, my eyes fill.
They have stolen my heart.
I hope they give it back.
I need to have it back in case somebody else wants to steal it.

Regards
Gerard
a rare occurance but it does restore ones faith in human nature.
 

kirkie

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#46
It was coming. Inexorably.
Like a big headed snake, with a tail that grew progressively longer.
There was no escape.
It wound it's way around the room towards me.
Not that it worried me. I'd been here before.
Michelle, and her sons Jefferson and Lazarus, they'd have to stand before me, state their name, where they came from, and the reason they were doing the Camino. I would be almost the last.
It would be interesting to see how the boys handled it.

The restaurant at Orisson was full.
The waitress squeezed along between pilgrim diners.
“Mr Carey?” she enquired.
“That'd be me,” I replied.
“There is a gentleman outside the door. He wishes to speak to you.”
He was short and tubby. He smiled as I approached.

By the time I made it back to my seat Michelle was standing and giving her details.
15 yr old Lazarus was next. But there was no way he was getting involved.
Too shy. He sat with his head lowered.
Some of them razzed him a bit.
I didn't like that. I felt quite protective towards him.
But then again most kindly understood his embarrassment.
16yr old Jefferson, he handled it fine. Full of confidence in most things he is.
Now it was my turn.
I stood and addressed our fellow pilgrims.
“My friends,” I commenced, “My name is Uncle Gerard, and I'm with Lazarus and Jefferson, and their mother Michelle, and I have a story to tell. Shouldn't take long.”
I then launched into my monologue.

“When we arrived at St Jean yesterday I found I'd lost my wallet.
Money, credit cards, everything. Gone. Disaster. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The last time I remembered using it was buying the train tickets at Bayonne station for the trip to St Jean. We were off-loaded at Cambo, due to the washout currently blocking the line, and transferred by bus from there to St Jean.
It was upon our arrival at L'Auberge du Pelerin that I discovered the loss. I informed Danielle, the hospitalero. She suggested I go to the Gendarmerie and report it immediately, which I did. They telephoned the Bayonne Railway Station but nothing had been found or handed in. I left my details with them and they assured me they would contact me if it turned up.
As we planned to leave this morning to walk here to Orisson, I figured my best option was to sort out replacements in Pamplona in a few days time.

Now, you may have noticed me leaving the restaurant a few minutes ago.
There, outside, was a man from St Jean.
“Are you m'sieur Carey?” he enquired.
“Indeed I am,” I replied.
“Is this your wallet m'sieur?” he asked. He held it out towards me.
“Indeed it is!” I replied in surprise. “Merci! Thank you ever so much!” I shook his hand vigorously.
“My pleasure m'sieur.” He smiled and made to move towards his car.
“Hang on a minute!” I said “Don't rush off. Tell me where it was found. In Bayonne? On the train? On the Bus? How did you become involved?”
“I, m'sieur,” he replied, “am a bus driver in St Jean. My duty this morning was to take a party of very young schoolgirls on a school trip to a farm.
On our arrival back in St Jean this afternoon I was approached by the girls. One had in her hand your wallet m'sieur, which she informed me she had found under her seat. On discussing the matter the girls decided that the correct thing to do would be to give it to me.
As my work for today was now at an end, I decided to take the wallet to the Gendarmerie. There the gendarmes informed me that yesterday you had reported the loss, and that you were currently staying at L'Auberge du Pelerin. I drove there where Danielle, the hospitalero, told me you had left this morning to walk to Orisson.
As I knew my wife would be concerned as to my now unusually late return, I drove home, where she had finished cooking dinner and the table was set.
She is a very good cook m'sieur, my wife, and I was very hungry. I had decided to eat my dinner and then proceed up to Orisson to return your wallet.
But my wife m'sieur, she had a different idea.
“But no!” she said, “You must immediately get back into the car and take the gentleman's wallet to him in Orisson. He will be most concerned!”
To which I replied. “But I am hungry for my dinner!”
“On your return!” she insisted.

I waved my wallet to my fellow pilgrim diners. “And here it is!” I announced.
The story gained a round of applause for the fortunate outcome, and also probably for the children and adults who had participated in the wallet's return.
I then resumed my seat.
The next chap in line was an Englishman. He stood to introduce himself.
“Blimey,” he said, “How am I supposed to follow a story like that?”

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
I had stood outside dumbfounded, then checked the contents of my wallet while I listened to his story. There, along with the credit cards, was my stash of 50 Euro notes. My more than enough to get to Pamplona money.
“M'sieur,” I said to my new bus driver friend, “While I thank you for your kindness, I need you to do a few further things for me.”
I peeled out a fifty and passed it to him.
“Firstly you must go home and have your dinner.
Then I need you to buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers.
Then I'd like it if you would please, at a suitable time, buy each of the children an ice cream.”
And lastly, I'd like you to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.”
He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.
“I will,” he said, “but first.....the wine. Merci m'sieur."
Obviously I had his priorities wrong.
“You'll do me cobber,” I replied as I shook his hand. “Thank you again.”

I watched as this kind man climbed back into his car and did a u-turn. Then waved as he passed.
Here, up in the mountains, you can see the evening climb the valley walls. It swallowed him as I stood, and watched, and thought.

I can see them all now.
My friend the bus driver, who did so much to track me down......the youngsters, standing shyly in front of him, the little girl holding out my wallet, showing him what she'd found under the seat......his wife, encouraging him, refusing to give him his dinner until he'd done what she considered to be the right thing.
Even as I write this my chest feels empty, yet suddenly swells with emotion, my eyes fill.
They have stolen my heart.
I hope they give it back.
I need to have it back in case somebody else wants to steal it.

Regards
Gerard
such a beautiful story, experience, sharing, and now, a word I wish to use in the sense I first knew it: awesome.
 
Camino(s) past & future
[April 2014] Camino Frances; St Jean -Finisterre & Muxia. [2018, May-July] Le Puy -St Jean
#47
That's absolutely lovely, Gerard. Just what I needed. Thank you.
Thanks so much Gerard, for this heart warming account. I have fond memories of Danielle on my second night in SJPdP, 2014, demonstrating her technique for climbing steep terrain: two short breaths in, two short breaths out through the nose in time with short steps. It stood me in good stead. (A veteran of many caminos, she was planning a long, long walk in Japan at the time).
 
Camino(s) past & future
August to September 2016
#48
It was coming. Inexorably.
Like a big headed snake, with a tail that grew progressively longer.
There was no escape.
It wound it's way around the room towards me.
Not that it worried me. I'd been here before.
Michelle, and her sons Jefferson and Lazarus, they'd have to stand before me, state their name, where they came from, and the reason they were doing the Camino. I would be almost the last.
It would be interesting to see how the boys handled it.

The restaurant at Orisson was full.
The waitress squeezed along between pilgrim diners.
“Mr Carey?” she enquired.
“That'd be me,” I replied.
“There is a gentleman outside the door. He wishes to speak to you.”
He was short and tubby. He smiled as I approached.

By the time I made it back to my seat Michelle was standing and giving her details.
15 yr old Lazarus was next. But there was no way he was getting involved.
Too shy. He sat with his head lowered.
Some of them razzed him a bit.
I didn't like that. I felt quite protective towards him.
But then again most kindly understood his embarrassment.
16yr old Jefferson, he handled it fine. Full of confidence in most things he is.
Now it was my turn.
I stood and addressed our fellow pilgrims.
“My friends,” I commenced, “My name is Uncle Gerard, and I'm with Lazarus and Jefferson, and their mother Michelle, and I have a story to tell. Shouldn't take long.”
I then launched into my monologue.

“When we arrived at St Jean yesterday I found I'd lost my wallet.
Money, credit cards, everything. Gone. Disaster. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The last time I remembered using it was buying the train tickets at Bayonne station for the trip to St Jean. We were off-loaded at Cambo, due to the washout currently blocking the line, and transferred by bus from there to St Jean.
It was upon our arrival at L'Auberge du Pelerin that I discovered the loss. I informed Danielle, the hospitalero. She suggested I go to the Gendarmerie and report it immediately, which I did. They telephoned the Bayonne Railway Station but nothing had been found or handed in. I left my details with them and they assured me they would contact me if it turned up.
As we planned to leave this morning to walk here to Orisson, I figured my best option was to sort out replacements in Pamplona in a few days time.

Now, you may have noticed me leaving the restaurant a few minutes ago.
There, outside, was a man from St Jean.
“Are you m'sieur Carey?” he enquired.
“Indeed I am,” I replied.
“Is this your wallet m'sieur?” he asked. He held it out towards me.
“Indeed it is!” I replied in surprise. “Merci! Thank you ever so much!” I shook his hand vigorously.
“My pleasure m'sieur.” He smiled and made to move towards his car.
“Hang on a minute!” I said “Don't rush off. Tell me where it was found. In Bayonne? On the train? On the Bus? How did you become involved?”
“I, m'sieur,” he replied, “am a bus driver in St Jean. My duty this morning was to take a party of very young schoolgirls on a school trip to a farm.
On our arrival back in St Jean this afternoon I was approached by the girls. One had in her hand your wallet m'sieur, which she informed me she had found under her seat. On discussing the matter the girls decided that the correct thing to do would be to give it to me.
As my work for today was now at an end, I decided to take the wallet to the Gendarmerie. There the gendarmes informed me that yesterday you had reported the loss, and that you were currently staying at L'Auberge du Pelerin. I drove there where Danielle, the hospitalero, told me you had left this morning to walk to Orisson.
As I knew my wife would be concerned as to my now unusually late return, I drove home, where she had finished cooking dinner and the table was set.
She is a very good cook m'sieur, my wife, and I was very hungry. I had decided to eat my dinner and then proceed up to Orisson to return your wallet.
But my wife m'sieur, she had a different idea.
“But no!” she said, “You must immediately get back into the car and take the gentleman's wallet to him in Orisson. He will be most concerned!”
To which I replied. “But I am hungry for my dinner!”
“On your return!” she insisted.

I waved my wallet to my fellow pilgrim diners. “And here it is!” I announced.
The story gained a round of applause for the fortunate outcome, and also probably for the children and adults who had participated in the wallet's return.
I then resumed my seat.
The next chap in line was an Englishman. He stood to introduce himself.
“Blimey,” he said, “How am I supposed to follow a story like that?”

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
I had stood outside dumbfounded, then checked the contents of my wallet while I listened to his story. There, along with the credit cards, was my stash of 50 Euro notes. My more than enough to get to Pamplona money.
“M'sieur,” I said to my new bus driver friend, “While I thank you for your kindness, I need you to do a few further things for me.”
I peeled out a fifty and passed it to him.
“Firstly you must go home and have your dinner.
Then I need you to buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers.
Then I'd like it if you would please, at a suitable time, buy each of the children an ice cream.”
And lastly, I'd like you to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.”
He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.
“I will,” he said, “but first.....the wine. Merci m'sieur."
Obviously I had his priorities wrong.
“You'll do me cobber,” I replied as I shook his hand. “Thank you again.”

I watched as this kind man climbed back into his car and did a u-turn. Then waved as he passed.
Here, up in the mountains, you can see the evening climb the valley walls. It swallowed him as I stood, and watched, and thought.

I can see them all now.
My friend the bus driver, who did so much to track me down......the youngsters, standing shyly in front of him, the little girl holding out my wallet, showing him what she'd found under the seat......his wife, encouraging him, refusing to give him his dinner until he'd done what she considered to be the right thing.
Even as I write this my chest feels empty, yet suddenly swells with emotion, my eyes fill.
They have stolen my heart.
I hope they give it back.
I need to have it back in case somebody else wants to steal it.

Regards
Gerard
Thank you so much for this wonderful story!
 
Camino(s) past & future
StJPdP to Santigo 18/09/17 - 16/10/17
Santiago to Muxia to Finisterre 18/10/17 - 22/10/17
#49
Wonderful story, and strange things happen on the Camino. We have our own story as well. My daughter likes to graze on anything growing along the way and at the "soul garden" she came across a long grey string of pearls lying in the long grass. She showed her father, and carefully lay them back down, taking note of the distance on her gps watch and landmarks. About a couple of kms past the iron cross we came across a man frantically searching his pack and she asked him what was wrong. He told her he had lost his treasured pearls that were a gift from his wife. She asked if they were grey, to which he said yes, and she reassured him that she had come across them and that he could find them by a certain tree on a rock, an exact distance back. He thanked her headed off in search of his pearls. That evening at the alburge he arrived, overjoyed to have his pearls back. He couldn't have been more thankful to my daughter, and we still get goosebumps thinking that a few minutes difference and we would have never crossed paths and the pearls would still be there........
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-SDC 2012, Hospitalera Rabanal 2014, First Aid 2015, Burgos-Rabanal 2017, Part VF 2017
#51
Wonderful story, Gerard - thank you. Your stories always make my day so bright!
Cheers from Sydney -
Jenny
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#52
For some reason, @ivar's new Forum set-up is causing lots of old threads to reappear.
So we get to re-read this story, Gerard - and good thing, because it's probably one of your best!
It's gotten a few likes so I may not be the only one who thinks so.;)
 

TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017)
#53
It was coming. Inexorably.
Like a big headed snake, with a tail that grew progressively longer.
There was no escape.
It wound it's way around the room towards me.
Not that it worried me. I'd been here before.
Michelle, and her sons Jefferson and Lazarus, they'd have to stand before me, state their name, where they came from, and the reason they were doing the Camino. I would be almost the last.
It would be interesting to see how the boys handled it.

The restaurant at Orisson was full.
The waitress squeezed along between pilgrim diners.
“Mr Carey?” she enquired.
“That'd be me,” I replied.
“There is a gentleman outside the door. He wishes to speak to you.”
He was short and tubby. He smiled as I approached.

By the time I made it back to my seat Michelle was standing and giving her details.
15 yr old Lazarus was next. But there was no way he was getting involved.
Too shy. He sat with his head lowered.
Some of them razzed him a bit.
I didn't like that. I felt quite protective towards him.
But then again most kindly understood his embarrassment.
16yr old Jefferson, he handled it fine. Full of confidence in most things he is.
Now it was my turn.
I stood and addressed our fellow pilgrims.
“My friends,” I commenced, “My name is Uncle Gerard, and I'm with Lazarus and Jefferson, and their mother Michelle, and I have a story to tell. Shouldn't take long.”
I then launched into my monologue.

“When we arrived at St Jean yesterday I found I'd lost my wallet.
Money, credit cards, everything. Gone. Disaster. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The last time I remembered using it was buying the train tickets at Bayonne station for the trip to St Jean. We were off-loaded at Cambo, due to the washout currently blocking the line, and transferred by bus from there to St Jean.
It was upon our arrival at L'Auberge du Pelerin that I discovered the loss. I informed Danielle, the hospitalero. She suggested I go to the Gendarmerie and report it immediately, which I did. They telephoned the Bayonne Railway Station but nothing had been found or handed in. I left my details with them and they assured me they would contact me if it turned up.
As we planned to leave this morning to walk here to Orisson, I figured my best option was to sort out replacements in Pamplona in a few days time.

Now, you may have noticed me leaving the restaurant a few minutes ago.
There, outside, was a man from St Jean.
“Are you m'sieur Carey?” he enquired.
“Indeed I am,” I replied.
“Is this your wallet m'sieur?” he asked. He held it out towards me.
“Indeed it is!” I replied in surprise. “Merci! Thank you ever so much!” I shook his hand vigorously.
“My pleasure m'sieur.” He smiled and made to move towards his car.
“Hang on a minute!” I said “Don't rush off. Tell me where it was found. In Bayonne? On the train? On the Bus? How did you become involved?”
“I, m'sieur,” he replied, “am a bus driver in St Jean. My duty this morning was to take a party of very young schoolgirls on a school trip to a farm.
On our arrival back in St Jean this afternoon I was approached by the girls. One had in her hand your wallet m'sieur, which she informed me she had found under her seat. On discussing the matter the girls decided that the correct thing to do would be to give it to me.
As my work for today was now at an end, I decided to take the wallet to the Gendarmerie. There the gendarmes informed me that yesterday you had reported the loss, and that you were currently staying at L'Auberge du Pelerin. I drove there where Danielle, the hospitalero, told me you had left this morning to walk to Orisson.
As I knew my wife would be concerned as to my now unusually late return, I drove home, where she had finished cooking dinner and the table was set.
She is a very good cook m'sieur, my wife, and I was very hungry. I had decided to eat my dinner and then proceed up to Orisson to return your wallet.
But my wife m'sieur, she had a different idea.
“But no!” she said, “You must immediately get back into the car and take the gentleman's wallet to him in Orisson. He will be most concerned!”
To which I replied. “But I am hungry for my dinner!”
“On your return!” she insisted.

I waved my wallet to my fellow pilgrim diners. “And here it is!” I announced.
The story gained a round of applause for the fortunate outcome, and also probably for the children and adults who had participated in the wallet's return.
I then resumed my seat.
The next chap in line was an Englishman. He stood to introduce himself.
“Blimey,” he said, “How am I supposed to follow a story like that?”

But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
I had stood outside dumbfounded, then checked the contents of my wallet while I listened to his story. There, along with the credit cards, was my stash of 50 Euro notes. My more than enough to get to Pamplona money.
“M'sieur,” I said to my new bus driver friend, “While I thank you for your kindness, I need you to do a few further things for me.”
I peeled out a fifty and passed it to him.
“Firstly you must go home and have your dinner.
Then I need you to buy your wife a nice bunch of flowers.
Then I'd like it if you would please, at a suitable time, buy each of the children an ice cream.”
And lastly, I'd like you to buy yourself a nice bottle of wine to enjoy.”
He thoughtfully rubbed his chin.
“I will,” he said, “but first.....the wine. Merci m'sieur."
Obviously I had his priorities wrong.
“You'll do me cobber,” I replied as I shook his hand. “Thank you again.”

I watched as this kind man climbed back into his car and did a u-turn. Then waved as he passed.
Here, up in the mountains, you can see the evening climb the valley walls. It swallowed him as I stood, and watched, and thought.

I can see them all now.
My friend the bus driver, who did so much to track me down......the youngsters, standing shyly in front of him, the little girl holding out my wallet, showing him what she'd found under the seat......his wife, encouraging him, refusing to give him his dinner until he'd done what she considered to be the right thing.
Even as I write this my chest feels empty, yet suddenly swells with emotion, my eyes fill.
They have stolen my heart.
I hope they give it back.
I need to have it back in case somebody else wants to steal it.

Regards
Gerard
Once again, thank you.
 

kirkie

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#54
For some reason, @ivar's new Forum set-up is causing lots of old threads to reappear.
So we get to re-read this story, Gerard - and good thing, because it's probably one of your best!
It's gotten a few likes so I may not be the only one who thinks so.;)
Hah! Well spotted, vnwalking! I thought it was brand new...
 
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