Voie de Vézelay, Day 20



In late morning, I started the trek to the Bénévent-L’Abbey, a town fourteen miles away from La Souterraine. With each step I took, I felt better. Walking in nature is meditation for me; it connects me with something bigger than myself – with the bigger Self.















Curious Limousin cattle
Curious Limousin cattle


Picturesque Gothic window decorations and an old, deteriorating mill greeted me like old friends.



House façade in the village Le Bec
House façade in the village Le Bec



Moulin de Châtelus
Moulin de Châtelus



Millstream of the Moulin de Châtelus
Millstream of the Moulin de Châtelus



In the west, dark clouds had formed and soon I was surrounded by thunder, lightening and heavy rain. It was like the tension of last week was taken over by the sky and released by this powerful thunderstorm. I loved the soft sound of the raindrops falling on my red rain cape, the warm drops on my face and the walk through the rain puddles on the ground.






At 6pm, I arrived at the refuge in Bénévent-l’Abbay. The refuge was a charming house owned by Yves and his wife Thérese. Yves was a retired psychiatrist and Thérese worked in the psychiatric hospital in La Souterraine. Both share a love for donkeys. Their refuge is called Adosdanes. It refers to the donkeys they provide with a kind of retirement shelter in old age. The seven donkeys are named Nana, Spirou, Romeo, Bijou, Chocolat, Margarite and Capucine.


Refuge Adosdanes
Refuge Adosdanes


one of many donkey objects in the shop of Yves and Thérese
one of many donkey objects in the shop of Yves and Thérese


In addition to the warm welcome and the fantastic meal Yves and Thérese cooked, I also met two Belgium pilgrims here, Eddy and Rohan. We decided to walk together the next day, as the way Yves was suggesting was different from what was suggested in my book.



Yves and Thérese serving wine mixed with cassis as aperitif
Yves and Thérese serving wine mixed with cassis as aperitif




Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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