If you follow my blog you’ll know that I’m embarking on yet another adventure in the autumn; this time walking 1128km across Spain. I will be starting in Seville and walking north towards Santiago de Compostella. And after, onwards and westwards to the end of the world… otherwise known as Fisterra and Muxia on the Atlantic Coast.
On my previous Caminos, I’ve often wondered if I should try to raise money whilst I walk; over the last year a few things happened that made me feel that this time I should. There are two charities in particular that I would like to raise funds for (actually in reality, there are a great many… but I’ve chosen two).
My fabulous cousin recently learned that her equally fabulous grand-daughter had been diagnosed with Leukaemia. Grace is being treated on Ward E39, a specialist children’s cancer unit in Nottingham’s QMC Hospital. I asked them if I could walk on their behalf and if so, what charity would they nominate. They chose Ward E39… which seems absolutely the best choice!
My second charity is chosen on behalf of an amazing young man who, for just a little while lost his way and then sadly lost his life. However, his spirit was so amazing that he continues to move people like me to want to do something… So I walk to raise money on behalf of Chris and for the Samaritans… who in turn will help others who lost their way.
The Via de la Plata is the longest of the Spanish pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. It starts in the Andalusian city of Seville in the south of Spain and continues north in parallel to the Portuguese border before going west into Galicia and on to Santiago. It’s 1007 kilomtres long.
So I’ve been unsure where to go next!
I knew I wanted to walk again this year but I was unsure about returning to the Camino Frances. For one, I was worried that maybe there would be too much Deja-vu this time… and secondly, the Pope has declared 2016 a year of mercy and this is having an impact on the number of pilgrims walking this year.
I’m confused! I have booked my time off; I am free from Sunday 18th September until the beginning of November and I want to walk as far as I can.
The plan was to walk from St Jean to Fisterra but Pope Francis has proclaimed 2016 as the Year of Mercy. This means to visitors that the main Holy Door will be open in many cathedrals. Whilst not a Holy year, the last time the doors were opened at the cathedral in Santiago was the Jubilee year 2010 and the numbers of pilgrims were much higher than usual. A few folks are suggesting that accommodation on the Camino Frances is already booking up and this is backing up the suggestion that numbers will be up this year.
I had already started to wonder if I should walk a different route and now the idea of numbers increasing and a busy camino is pushing me further down this road.