Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 – A taste of Xiberoa with Argitxu and Francois Camus.
Today my brother Robert and I met up with Argitxu Camus Etchecopar and her parents to get a little tour of Xiberoa. Argitxu attended the World Congress of Basque Communities last week and presented her latest book in the Urazandi collection on the history of the North American Basque Organization ( www.nabasque.org ). Argitxu will be giving a presentation on this and her other Urazandi volume on the history of the Paris Basque Club for the BEO’s October 6th “Urazandi Eguna” event (http://www.basqueed.org/BEO%20Basque%20Culture%20Day%202007.htm ). We met Argitxu at her home, Harrielgia, which is located in the village of Onizepe, just south of the provincial capital of Xiberoa, Maule. We started by walking around Onizepe and checking out their church, Saint Mary’s, which has the typical Xiberoan architecture of three gables of different heights, which pays homage to the crucifixion and to the trinity.
Argitxu’s father, Francois Camus, took us to Barkoxe, which is the birthplace of the famous Xiberoan Poet, Pierre Topet Etxahun. We then drove up to the summit of La Madaleine, from which you can see the entire valley of “Le Saison” and the villages that border the river by the same name. You also have great views of the Bearn region to the east and the Pyrenees to the south.
We descended to the town of Atharratze (Tardets), where I ran into my cousin Chantal. After taking a break at a local café, we traveled to the village of Larraine, which is located at the foot of the peak of Orhi and whose neighborhoods have poetic names such as “Ekhi Begia” (The eye of the sun), “Itzal Herria” (The shaded village). The center of the village surrounds a handball court and St. Jean-Baptiste Church, which is a registered historical landmark, and is on the pilgrim trail to Saint Jacques Compostelle.
We then headed back to Onizepe, stopping at the home of my cousin Shantal’s in Zalgize-Doneztebe.
Pictured: Harrielgia, the home of Argitxu Camus in the village of Onizepe.
See more photos: http://www.euskosare.org/blogak/philippe/photos_from_july_18_2007