This year the sponsorship campaign will focus on the trail from Les Esglésies to Sentís in the municipality of Sarroca de Bellera.
This work will be carried out in the framework of the Volunteer Week 27–31 May 2019.
Reward: a Cinquè Llac T-shirt, map, roadbook and the inscription of your name in the Gratitude Wall, a representation of the restored wall on which all the names of the sponsors are written.
Would you like to know more about the history of this section of the trail?
Pepe de Mateu from Les Esglésies was a bachelor and a well-built man. Everyone in the valley remembers him for his generosity. He earned his living by working for the houses in the valley but he always had time to help whoever needed his assistance.
His story is linked to the old trails and, in particular, to the trails from Les Esglésies to Sentís, and then, later on, to the more modern roads.
As a peddler, everybody recalls how strong he was and how he would load up his two mules with cement from Xerallo, and then load another 50 kg sack of cement onto his own back. He was in charge of bringing the cement to build the foundations of the pillars that were subsequently used to transport large amounts of coal from the mines at Malpàs to the kilns at Xerallo.
Pepe also walked these trails carrying contraband. He bought wool in Aragon, where it was cheaper, and took it to Andorra to sell. He then came back to Els Pallars loaded with tobacco. However, one day near the village of Gerri de la Sal somebody took a shot at him: the bullet went in through his back and left by his nose, leaving him scarred for life.
After he left his mules, he started to drive Pasqualí, a small tractor with a trailer, which he used to bring milk churns down from the surrounding villages to Xerallo. One day, on his way down from Les Esglésies at a spring, Font de les Escales, he, his carts and milk churns all careered off the track and rolled down the hillside without coming to any harm.
Knowing now a few more details of the life of Pepe de Mateu, it is clear that he had more lives than a cat.