Camino de Santiago

It was thanks to the great teaching from Sandrine on how to Nordic walk properly, that I was able to complete a 575 kilometre walking journey (Camino / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camino_de_Santiago) from Lisbon in Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.  “The Way” of St James was made even more famous by the film of the same name, starring Martin Sheen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q9PjBR8W74).  In his case he walked the 800 kilometres starting in France and tells the story of retracing some of his son’s journey.  It is a brilliant film and very well worth watching.

The Apostle St James is buried in Santiago, and although many take the walk by various routes, it is traveling through the countryside and meeting local people and fellow travellers that make it memorable.  One young Dutchman carried a number tattooed on his right wrist.  He explained his Dad had died when he, the son, was only 13 years old.  The tattoo enabled him to take his Dad with him on each journey he made.  The film journey and mine culminate in reaching the Cathedral in Spain.

People arrive at least two hours before the noon pilgrim mass, which is open to all and ends with the swinging of a huge incense pot (Botafumeiro – see YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUxSdgKnYkQ) being swung high in to the roof of the Cathedral by a special team of censors.  The journey is not easy, it is physical, reflective and Spiritual, but thousands each year complete it.

With good training and the support of Sandrine, you could complete a life changing journey too.  It all begins by walking round the Hamilton Lake in one of Sandrine’s classes!  Age is no barrier, you’ll meet great people, and who knows, you may have a life changing adventure!  With thanks to Sandrine.

Ian Hanley.

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