HCPT Group 75

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Final post of the week

Well it's the end of our fantastic week! Our last full day in Lourdes is drawing to a close and it was a lovely day to close on!

Breakfast out this morning meant a little lie-in for all and the short walk across town to the cafe helped build the appetite and everyone ate well and were really well behaved, as they have been all week!

This afternoon was the Zoo, something all the children enjoyed, where they were all able to throw food to the monkeys and birds which helped bring them all closer to the animals and thanks to John we all learnt a lot about what we saw, as he knew lots about all the different species on show.

The zoo is filled with birds off all kind, monkeys, peacocks roaming around the paths, wallabies (complete with a little baby joey's in the pouch!). There were red pandas, otters, tigers and leopards all easy to see and for some easy to feed!

After the zoo it was back to the hotel to get our big candle blessed (remember I mentioned about the children decorating it ready) so we found a willing priest, in Lourdes this week you don't have to go far.

Once blessed we took it down to the Grotto to be lit. All of our children and helpers had their own thoughts, prayers and wishes on the candle, along with many wonderful requests from home for prayers to be added. This is always emotional, for some, thoughts go out to their lost ones that can't be here today with us be are always with us.

Our last dinner in the hotel was preceded by everyone making a start on packing up to head home and decide what is staying here for next year. Another birthday this week meant more cake for dessert but Happy Birthday to the wonderful helper Jen Jen, we all hope you had a good day, crazy lady.

Everyone is really keen to get home and see our family and friends, not that we haven't enjoyed it here but I think you at home have all been missed? Thank you for the message we have been getting in the HCPT Tatler they were lovely and all the comments on here and Facebook have been great to see.


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Sorry for another short delay in this post, Internet issues again, I am back with you now but I'm not sure for how long! Lets bring you all up to date with the last few days.

Wednesday was a long, busy but fun day at the beach. It was bright and sunny day so it was perfect for a day on the beach. St. Jean de Luz is a small fishing/tourist town, with a stunning long sandy beach and the sun had brought with it lots of groups from Lourdes and felt like our HCPT family was right there with us.

Once we had our packed lunch, provided by the hotel, we made our way on to the sand. Once a few footballs had gone flying around and a sandcastle was being constructed by Abbie and Cameron, Katie settled down to a good sunbathe and John had no problem if finding out how cold the Atlantic Ocean really is!

Ross loved making some helpers chase the football in to the sea and got his feet wet himself. And everyone got involved with with big parachute and all the children did brilliantly playing cricket!

Thursday morning was time for the Trust Mass. Hopefully some of you got to see the Mass on the webcams but if not they usually have the service online for a little while if you wanted to go on and watch. Have a look on the Lourdes website TV Lourdes – Le direct avec la vie des Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes | Lourdes

Trust Mass is always a very special time of the week, everyone can't help but dance, sing and be moved by the scales and warmth of the service. Over 5000 people on one place with fancy dress, face paints, flashing lights, bubbles and even very loud clown pants (should be easier to spot us on the webcams!)

The afternoon was filled with more crafts and art as the children all worked together to decorate the candle ready for Friday morning. They all wrote some prayers, thoughts or wishes on and beautifully covered the tall candle with stickers and ribbon. Tonight was all about our party! We went out for dinner tonight all in our finest costumes with Firemen, Pink Ladies, Princesses, Kangaroos and a Tiger amoungst the best of the group.

With a couple of other groups in the cafe there was yet more singing and dancing around the tables and not a scrap of food left over. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the night even with the rain bouncing on the streets of Lourdes outside.

The last act of the night is a few awards for the outstanding members of our group…the children. And we ae pleased to announce our winners are:

Best Helper – John

Best Dancer – Cameron

Best Baby Helper – Abbie

Best Pegger – Ross

Best Sunbather – Katie

One last message for the day is from our Group Leader Annmarie and Deputy Netty, to say thank you to all the helpers and the children that have helped to make this a great week for all and for helping make the week go smoothly.

Tomorrow is our final full day in France but we can't be sad as we have had a wonderful week and still have lots to do. Internet allowing we will post again tomorrow to let you know all about it.



Sunday morning


Happy Easter to every follower of Group 75 and our blog!!

This morning, after a great breakfast at the hotel, we all went for a little stroll to explore Lourdes and see some of the sights.

We got to see the beautiful Basilica and quietly tip toe past the grotto as there was a mass taking place when we got there, we got to see where they walk when doing the torchlight precession and even got a lesson in Lourdes history from our group historian and tour guide Maureen.

After all the walking in the bright sunshine it was time for a little drink, we decided on a little cafe that some of the more experienced in the group remember from previous trips. It turned out to be a great choice as there were 3 or 4 other HCPT groups there at the same time so we all sat together in the sun, with the river running beside us, singing and dancing along with the other groups. We even got a great show of dancing from one of the children in the other group, what a mover!

This afternoon is a more relaxing, with plenty to get messy with as we paint our own easter eggs.

Enjoy the rest of your easter sunday and will post again soon.


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