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athgarvan

El Camino

My good friend Pat Hegarty has been telling us about his experience along the El Camino pilgrimage route to Santiago last year. The Camino apparently is witnessing an amazing revival as the most popular Christian pilgrim route in the world. Pilgrims he had spoken to had experienced great physical and spiritual renewal. Their enthusiasm had aroused in him an interest to accept the challenge despite his advanced age.  It involved walking the last seventy-five miles from Sarrio to Santiago, the minimum distance required to receive the Compostella – the certificate awarded to bona fide pilgrims.

He went as a pilgrim, carrying his backpack and staying at hostels with no previous bookings and thanked God that he had the health and fitness to complete the pilgrimage. The pilgrims from around the world had one thing in common: their willingness to help and encourage each other along the way. He himself experienced this in many ways.

His pilgrimage concluded with a wonderful celebration of Mass in the Basilica on the Praza do Obradoiro at Santiago.

I wonder if I could, with all my love of walking, have the courage to take on El Camino.



  Santiago Basilica

Comments

Given that they probably don't mandate a time limit, so you can take it as slowly as you need to, and that people will help and support you along the way, I'll cheer you on. It sounds like something that is better to attempt and maybe no finish, than to spend time wondering what it would have been like to try.
Friends of mine who had just married actually spent part of their Spanish honeymoon walking the route (several of us 'clubbed together'and gave them a set of walking poles each for their gift) and felt that every mile - as well as the final Mass - was an additional blessing on their marriage.
I also know that some people raise funds for charities as well, generally for child sponsorship and similar.
No mandated time. You might be right, it might be just the thing for me at the moment. I'll check around with a few of my friends and see are they game to come with me. Thanks for the encouragemet!
I hope you find someone! Sounds like great idea to me.
Thank you.
Keep us all updated! Even better, when you go, keep a paper journal then share with us the experience.
I wonder if I could, with all my love of walking, have the courage to take on El Camino.

If you're considering it, do it now, whilst you're still able. By the same criterion, I've decided I'm not going to put off cycling coast-to-coast from Carlisle to Newcastle any longer, but will attempt to do it this summer. (I might have left it too late for doing by the time I'm forty, but it can be first on my list of things to do before I'm fifty.)
Best of luck with your coast-to-coast cycling. I'm behind you all the way. That's a fair stretch, isn't it?
<checks> 80 miles from Bowness to Tynemouth, but it also involves going over the Pennines, the mountain backbone of England. I doubt I'd enjoy the second half of it at all, but I'll appreciate having done it!