Pilgrim’s Spirit

In Kuterevo, we used to receive visitors and volunteers all the year, some of them are travellers. It is everytime interesting to exchange words with them. The stories are often different but in the same time similar. The following story will be about a French family, came to Kuterevo to visit us and see the bears.

Thierry and Natacha Castan, respectively 41 and 40 years old, and their two little cute girls. Thierry is a realtor so he can continue to work on his laptop during the trip, Natacha was a teacher but stopped before to leave. Romane is 6 years old and she wants to be a cook, or a market gardener, and Elyse is 10 years old and would like to take care of animals. They are from Mongaillard, a town between Bordeaux and Toulouse.

This family is traveling all around the Europe with a school bus. They bought this huge bus to be comfortable for a one-year trip. The bus was previously used for an athletic sports teams so everything is done to spend a lot of time inside.

The story is…

They both wanted to travel together, they first think about a trip they will be retired. Thierry told us “If we wait to be really ready for this kind of trip, we will never leave”, and who knows what can happen in few days, months, years? So they decided, in February, to realise their dream now. They really wanted to live something else, to see different culture and to share with different people. Natacha was teacher but wanted to stop, and for Thierry it was easy to keep his job as he could work on his laptop. For the girls they found a solution for the school. Romane, the youngest, receives some lessons from her mother every morning and Elyse is learning from a school which send to the family the different lessons for her, step by step. Every morning, Thierry is working while Natacha teaching Romane and Elyse. They keep the rest of the days to visit and discover.

When we met them in Kuterevo, the first thing that we saw was their smiles! A real happy family who really wants to talk, to learn about the bears and to know how we live here. In Kuterevo we can often meet this kind of people. They travel, sometimes without knowing where they will go and how long they will be traveling. They all have different reasons to travel, sometimes to escape their routine, to discover other cultures, other way to live, open their mind, find some human and nature contact, exchange.

Before this long experience, the Castan family needed to find the good vehicle. They finally found this bus three weeks before to start to travel. Natacha stopped to work, Thierry organized everything with his colleagues, the little girls started to dream!

The 21st of July 2018 the bus left Mongaillard. The family with a nice southern accent crossed the France from the South West to the East, and then they discovered the Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia and now in Croatia.

They spend about one month in Croatia, enjoyed the welcoming inhabitant and the many beautiful places. Speaking with another couple who stayed one night and helped us the day after, they discovered Kuterevo and came right after.

They really enjoyed being here, to feel the strong spirit in this village and in the refuge. They bought some coklje as well, the typical shoes make by the villagers. They were so happy to bring a part of this place. They told us they will remember this place for a long time. Their eyes didn’t lie. They left the 24th to continue their trip with a lot of good vibes and they hope they will enjoy the other countries like this one. They plan to go to Greece for Christmas, travelling through Montenegro and Albania. The South of Europe is more comfortable in van/bus for the winter as the weather stay temperate. They planned after the New Year to visit the Baltic countries, followed by Finland, Sweden, and Norway, reach the North Cape and go back to France through Denmark, Netherland and Belgium.

When you come to Kuterevo you can feel and understand the special Kuterevo’s Spirit. When the Pilgrim’s Spirit meet the Kuterevo’s Spirit we can call that a symbiosis.

Aurélien and Delphine

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