The next day, Friday 28th we rose very early and joined a group from Valencia and Malaga at Aravell for a joint hike up to Collado de la Torre and from there we descended to the River Civis crossing point, where the access point to the Cabra Morta Ravine. It was not our intention to scale the ravine this time but we did admire it from the vantage point of the road. The Valencia and Malaga group were camping out overnight on the mountain, something we might try to do the next time! The descent through the woods was delightful and everyone was exhilarated at completing this hike. We returned to Pallerols and had Mass in the evening followed by a nice dinner.
On Saturday 29th we went to the Grotto of our Lady of Canólich, Patron of Saint Juliá de Lória. This marks the point where, in 1937, St Josemariá and his companions prayed the Salve Regina in thanksgiving for having arrived in Andorra. They are depicted in the painting behind the statue in the grotto. We began a walk there which lead ups down into Sant Julià de Lòria covering the final stage of the 1937 expedition. We arrived in good time to attend that Mass in honour of St Josemaría which was taking place that day in the Church where a sculpture of St Josemaría commemorates his visit to the Blessed Sacrament in that Church on 2nd December 1937. It had been the first un-desecrated tabernacle he could visit since the previous July 1936 when the Spanish Civil War broke out.
Our priest, Fr Donncha, was one of the concelabrants of the Mass and we were touched by the warm welcome of the Parish Priest. Indeed we were overwhelmed to be invited to the meal held after the Mass and to be asked to perform and Irish song for the guests. It was an experience we will never forget. That evening when we returned to Pallerols we decided to do a "bonus" hike up to see the cabana de San Rafael and were delighted at the hike up. We had a good get together at the sire which has a nice area to sit down. It was a most memorable day.
Our group consisted of Dr Ezequiel Mercau, Santiago Pampillon, Dr Pat Gill, Fr Donncha Ó hAodha and Ruairi McGinn as leaders. Then we had Conor Treacy, Daniel Geoghegan, Kenneth McDermott, Miguel Gonzalez Arevalo, Seánie O hAodha (who made a speech and presentation to Ramon Camats at the meal), Seán Keane, Ciarán Black and Ruben Fernandez Gonzalez.
We hope to come back to do more of the Camino de Andorra in the future.