Arno and Huberta

Arno and Huberta

We are the founders of “L’Esprit du Chemin”. Arno walked the Camino in 1999, Huberta in 2000.

Huberta and Arno

In 1999, during a sabbatical leave, Arno walked from the Netherlands, via Santiago, to Cabo Fisterra. The following year, Huberta walked from Le-Puy-en-Velay to Santiago.
  
After that, we still had the wish to walk the Camino together once. That moment came faster than foreseen. At the end of 2001 Arno resigned as a manager working for the government. And so, in the spring of 2002, we walked the Vía de la Plata. “Now you have the chance to really reflect on things. Maybe you would like to do something completely different …” joked Huberta, before we set off.
  
Who could then know what was lying ahead of us? After just two weeks Arno came up with an idea about a hostel. Two months later we had a meeting with the mayor of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. And after another three months we signed the preliminary contract of sale … . 

 

In front of the hostel in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Is was quite a reversal, not only for Arno, but also for Huberta (among other things she worked as a theatre director, trainer and coach). We had the intention to work alternately six months in the hostel (as volunteers) and six months in Holland. We had to renovate the hostel, to work in “the catering industry”, and to learn to deal with other languages and cultures. In short, an enormous challenge and school.
 
In the meantime our life has changed significantly. During the winter we now are less occupied with earning a living – “enough is enough”- and we more and more undertake activities which fit “the spirit of the way”. In that way, we live a simple and rich life.

More information: in this article we describe why we started a new hostel in Le Chemin (PDF).

In front of the hostel in Le Chemin, Anthien