Cédric Hoareau is a mountain guide and professional narrator of the legends of the Catalan Pyrenees. He offers a unique service – organizing walking tours and hiking trails, regardless of the season, to places related to mysterious stories and legends. He tells these legends himself. This type of educational tourism is becoming increasingly popular among children and adults. He told all-andorra.com about his sports, cultural and poetic excursions and gave an example of a Catalan legend:
“A storyteller is a bit like a gardener – they “water” the imagination that lives in our heads and help it grow. Without touching a person, I can easily make them cry or laugh … Music for me is a part of the magic too. I play the harmonica which helps me to create a special atmosphere during my stories.
Fairy tales are the best therapy. I know a lot of stories, but I’m not a historian. My stories are tales and legends that grandmothers tell their grandchildren. When people begin to listen, they forget about their everyday routine and their problems, and they start a magical journey into the world of fairies, witches and charms with me. Their faces transform…
And I like to give people this kind of enjoyment.
But do you want to know why I became a storyteller? It is an incredible story.
Once I was walking in the mountains with my dog. Suddenly a very strong wind started to blow. It was so strong that it began to lift small pebbles from the ground and rotate them in the air, forming a funnel. It was a magic power, indeed …
My dog was very close to this tornado of stones. And suddenly I clearly saw how this force raised my dog to a height of over 2 meters. He was there in front of me! He hung in the air! After about 30 seconds, my dog landed softly on four paws and the whirlwind of stones disappeared just as quickly as it had appeared! I took my dog and rushed home.
A little later, I told this story to my parents, neighbors and friends. No-one believed me and everyone laughed at my story. But I realized that people liked to listen to what I told and how I told it.
So I started collecting stories and telling them.
Today I have a large collection of stories about the Catalan Pyrenees for adults and ancient legends for children – I tell them during half-day hikes, whole day hikes or during a night walk in the forest where we stop, make a fire, and I start my performance as an actor. These can be places like Cerdagne, Capcir or Conflent in Font-Romeu, Les Angles, Cerdagne-Canigou, Mont-Louis, Villefranche. I can also invite you close to the sea – to Collioure or Cadaqués …
Building a hut in the summer and an igloo in the winter is part of the excursion. We build them together, then we kindle the fire and warm ourselves, plunging into the world of stories …
End yes… I can tell you a secret about how not to freeze in an igloo! This type of snow house is suitable for 2-3 people, no more. The floor must be level. Otherwise, you will slide off your mattress onto the snow and are likely to freeze!
I work alone without any travel agency. A half-day excursion for eight people costs 130 euros plus 15 euros for each additional person. The cost of a one day trip (including the construction of an igloo) is about 200 euros. This option is ideal for both children and adults.
To better understand what I am saying, I will give you an example:
Once upon a time, there was a young shepherd in Enveig. Every day he climbed to the mountains to give some salt to the cows and horses. He was always alone, but one day he thought he heard someone laugh. At first, he thought that it must be the wind. But laughter rang out again. He approached the place where the laughter came from and he found three beautiful girls. Pastor, that was his name, knew the mountains quite well, but, on the contrary, did not know the girls at all. He began to say the first thing that occurred to him:
– Hello, my name is Pastor. Do you see these lands? They are mine! Do you see beasts everywhere? They are mine as well!
The first girl came closer to Pastor and told him.
– Hello, Pastor. My name is Mona.
The second girl, in turn, stated her name.
– My name is Lisa.
Finally, the third girl, a very beautiful one with azure eyes and amazing blonde hair, approached the young shepherd and said:
– My name is Rosa. We are three sisters, we used to come here. But if this is your land, we can leave immediately.
– No, no, said Pastor, I did not want to scare you. I just wanted to let you know …
Pastor’s heart was ready to jump out of his chest! He had already fallen in love with beautiful Rosa. And he said:
– Listen, Rosa, I want to marry you.
– If you want to marry me, said Rosa, you must come back tomorrow at the same time at the same place. But you must be neither naked, nor dressed, nor on foot, nor on horseback, nor hungry, nor full.
Pastor thought for a moment about the riddle and, without knowing the answer, immediately accepted the conditions.
– Okay, Rosa, I’ll be back tomorrow, like you said …
– See you tomorrow, then, Rosa answered …
And the three girls mysteriously disappeared.
Pastor was lost in thought and pondered for a long time about the mystery of the beautiful Rosa. Suddenly he exclaimed:
– I understand! I know how to do it! …
Do you want to know the end of the story and see what happened? I’ll take you there and finish the legend!