What on earth had bitten us? But then, sometimes you have to give a little of yourself! And when it's for a good cause...
A few months ago, Cindy, our President Raphaël's sister-in-law, suggested we go hiking. Challenge accepted ! And to combine "business" with pleasure, they decided to go hiking for one of Solibad's programs.
What could be more natural, since Cindy is originally from Madagascar, than to raise funds for our partner program 2400 sourires and this magnificent idea of building a village for street children. Mathis, her 1.92m tall son, joins the adventure full of enthusiasm - he's doing his internship with the association this summer! And what better region to do this walk than Brittany, land of heather, hydrangeas, crêpes, love and weather variations (from bright sunshine to driving rain in a matter of minutes, to spice up the challenge a little)?
So here we are, three troublemakers on a bus headed for Treguier, in the Côtes d'Armor region, for a 6-day, 110 km walk between this little port and Lannion.
Daily stages of between 15 and 30 kms (that last one really stung!), with a variety of accommodations - from tents with their uncomfortable camp beds, to yurts, to the superb hotel in Perros-Guirrec (there was no more room anywhere else on August 15), or to the little hut belonging to the ever smily Aurélien and his "Camping de l'Espérance"- our backs met with varying fortunes, but always, always we kept our good spirits. Feet and lower spines took a bit of a beating at times, but the encounters, the landscapes - grandiose - and the good humor were always there, and the kilometers flew by.
Well, please forgive us if our stories on our social networks weren't all that funny (we do what we can:)), but the comments from our friends and families, badminton players from France and abroad - put a smile on our faces and hearts.
What's more, the donations that poured in exceeded our initial, symbolic target of 2,400 euros for the 2,400 smiles in the name of our partner association. The faces of Tsanta, Santara, Josoa, Harena, Tsiresy and Laurent, 6 of the Malagasy children we had chosen to highlight on this walk, on behalf of all the others who will benefit from this fund-raising campaign, were of course on our minds on a daily basis.
If you're in the area, don't hesitate to visit the Plougrescant chasm, Ploumana'ch and its pink lace, Tregastel, Landrellec and all those little coastal villages that change at low tide, with their breathtaking scenery.
After 6 days' walking, covering almost 125 kilometers, we've succeeded in our challenge - at the time of writing, the total raised was 2800 euros.
This money corresponds to the sponsorship of 6 children for one year - 6 little lives that will be drastically changed thanks to your generosity, above all, and our little efforts - which were amply rewarded by our pleasure in walking these coastal paths, dipping our lips in bowls of cider, tasting the fresh waves and the local galettes-saucisses. Laughing, too, a lot, because that's what our philosophy is all about - doing things seriously, without taking ourselves too seriously. We took this maxim at its word, with a lot of lightness (except for the backpack :)) and humor, and with the joy of contributing our little stone to the edifice.
Cindy, Mathis, Raph and our super host from Camping de l'Espérance, Aurélien.
Find out more:
A short summary video will soon be available, featuring some great drone shots!
Donations are still possible until August 30, 2023 HERE
Tsanta is one of the children who will soon benefit from the Village of Smiles. All thanks to you!
And for those who would like to try their hand at this adventure one day, the GR34 "sentier des douaniers" (customs trail) circumnavigates Brittany from Mont St Michel to Saint Nazaire, sometimes flat, sometimes not, at least on the part we walked (Treguier-Lannion). But it's accessible to all ages - although we'd advise you to limit your daily stages to 15 or 20 km maximum, so that you'll have enough strength to go for a walk or even find somewhere to eat in the evening. All in all, a lot of fun!
Our partner association: full program info HERE