Camino General

Galician Music Group

Galician Music Group

The Camino is the world’s most well known Christian pilgrimage route. Increasing in popularity the head of it hopes that the pope might come next year for the Holy year and anniversary. He has been invited and could be one of the first away trips for Pope Francis who is patron saint of the poor. There was a special Assisi walk that finishes on July 24th and 2014 is the anniversary. Even Hollywood has come to the Camino with Martin Sheen and Jim Nesbitt featuring in a movie on it called “The Way”. This means more American and Asian visitors.
The Government owns the routes and we visited the hostels that they manage and where walkers can stay for just 5 euro per day, soon to be 6 and these are open all year. We visited some that were quiet due to post Easter and rainy weather.
They open after 2pm and walkers must be on road at 8am and lights out at 10pm, non one can stay over one night you must keep moving. We were also in the Samos hostel and Benedictine monastery, where you can stay for free courtesy of the monks, others were modern and others were restored buildings. We found a really nice hostel along the river is with picnic tables and café, not far from the end at Rivadiso 30k from Santiago de Compostella.
The walk has a great economic effect for the rural economy of north west Spain and the Celtic region of Galicia, as walkers spend money in shops, food outlets etc. Why do people do it, some for health others for religion more for a break from the modern age or to get over a death of a close one or a break up.
You can meet many on the road at the end of the day they swap stories about their day and their life, it is a little like youth hostel in the old times or camping, but older people are taking to it. And the young or post teens are there too, we met some young Irish schoolboys who did it on a bike. 20 per cent do it this way and a smaller number do it by horse from the south of Spain. There is even places where people can feed and leave the animals in stables.
The atmosphere among the walkers is very positive helping one another with food or injuries incurred en route it all makes for a positive way of life they say often it is a life changing experience.
It might be exhausting but all found it worthwhile even if it was for only 150 km.

Santiago de Compostella serviced by Aer Lingus.
Let organise your package.

For full story see The Munster Express newspaper or
subscribe to our Electronic edition.

Leave a Comment