The Camino de Santiago de Compostela
A unique and meaningful challenge... An Invitation: ‘Jesus saw… James… and his brother John. They were in their boat…and he called them. And at once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.’ Matthew 4:21-22 For over a thousand years pilgrims have been travelling on foot to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, North-Westernmost Spain where the apostle Saint James the Great is said to be laid to rest. The route; known also as The Way of St James is one which will challenge individuals both physically and mentally as they wind their way along the varied routes and terrain. The ‘Camino de Santiago de Compostela’ accommodates many motivations and intentions and is for anyone who decides they’d like to take the opportunity to experience it. Notably; it is not a journey to be rushed.
CAFOD would like to invite you to walk the last 100 miles (160km) of the Camino with us. As part of your journey we are asking you to raise money for our work by inviting others to sponsor your walk. In this way you can give hope to some of the world’s poorest communities and make a real difference to people’s lives. As you walk you might also take the opportunity to pray and reflect on your own life journey, and on how you, like the Apostle James, live out your commitment to the gospel of peace and justice. Your actions can make a world of difference to those in need.
Itinerary: 2nd September – 12th September 2010
Day Five: From Sarria it’s a journey of 14 miles (22.4km) to Portomarin, and is one of the most peaceful and quiet of the Camino passing through many small villages and pleasant countryside.
Day Six: Palas de Rei is the next stop 15.5 miles (24.9km) on; a small town just a few km from the capital city of Lugo; there is usually a hive of activity here typical of semi rural life in this locality.
Day One: * We will meet as a group at London, St Pancras before taking the Eurostar to Paris, where we will board an Elipsos Train Hotel for an overnight journey to Madrid. We will be provided with a bed in cabins of four people with a washbasin, WC, bathroom accessories and air conditioning. Please look at the Elipsos Hotel website for further information about the services provided.
Day Two: Arriving in Madrid at 9am there will be time for breakfast before boarding the bus to Piedrafita, whereupon we will arrive late afternoon. Enabling us to now stretch our legs there will be a 3 mile ascent to O’Cebreiro which will provide a place to explore and stay for the night.
Continuing through Palas de Rei to Arzua, (famous for its cheese); this is the longest day of walking! 17.9 miles (28.8km) completed however and we’ll be able to put our feet up knowing the final stretch of the walk remaining is the easiest, as the valleys become gentler.
Day Eight: We’ll make our way from Arzua to Pedrouzo over 12 miles (19.2km) on the penultimate day of walking, taking in much quiet countryside and rolling hills.
Day Nine: Moving forward on the last leg upon leaving Pedrouzo we will reach Monte de Gozo ‘The Mount of Joy’ after 9.3 miles (14.9km); the hilltop where we will catch our first glimpse of the city of Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral from.
Day Three: The first real day of walking will see us cover 13 miles (20.9km) ending in Triacastela; a small town with many facilities and a warm welcome!
Day Four: We’ll be leaving Triacastela and making our way to Sarria; a distance of 15.3miles (24.6km). Passing through a place called Samos there is a large Benedictine Monastery to be seen and plenty of other medieval remains.
A short walk down the hill to the city of Santiago de Compostela itself; and we have arrived! Here there is a special mass to be taken, and a day to explore the city and celebrate!
Day Eleven: One of the bakeries in Portomarin is famous for its ‘Torta de Santiago’; a large plate-sized almond tart decorated with the cross that is a combination of a sword and a shepherd’s crook.
*Our journey is coming to an end - time to travel home. We really hope you'll have had an amazing time! * [Please see following section on 'Travel'; CAFOD is proposing specific arrangements for the outward journey but leaving the return trip as your responsibility. If you would like to make your own way there as well as back please do let us know.]
Trip Support: *Travel:
In trying to reduce our carbon footprint as an organisation and encouraging others to do the same, we have looked into the most environmentally friendly ways to travel. In striking a balance between this and people's time restraints we will arrange the outward journey for you; completed by train and coach. For the return journey the options lie open to you whether you take a flight, train or ferry.
This is a credential required for the trip. It allows you to stay in pilgrims hostels along the route and is used to collect stamps; evidence of your visit to an area. Once you have confirmed your attendance on the trip, you will be asked to provide basic details for the purchase of these by CAFOD.
If you would prefer to organise your own travel arrangements completely, you can do. The only provision being that you manage to start and finish the pilgrimage route with the rest of the group within the timings specified (please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on this)
Passport and Visa: A valid ten year passport is essential for travel in Spain and must be valid for at least 3 months after entry into the country. There is no visa requirement for UK citizens. Other nationalities should check entry requirements on the World Travel Guide website.
Luggage and Trip Safety: Useful places to start searching when booking your return trip: Train - erailtravel.com Flights - ryannair.com/en Ferry - directferries.co.uk
Accommodation: There is shelter at every stage along the route, a pilgrim’s hostel or two in every place. These are basic lodgings specifically for pilgrims and all that is required for entry is that you hold a valid pilgrims passport; which we will be providing you with. They don’t take advanced bookings and occasionally if it’s busy you may need to be prepared to sleep on a roll mat rather than a bed. They are staffed mostly by volunteers, some have kitchen facilities but many do not. They operate a strict policy of early mornings, and quite often you need to be ready to leave by 7/8am.
We will be encouraging participants to carry their own rucksacks along the Camino as part of the Pilgrimage experience. A support vehicle will be with the group all of the time in the case of people becoming injured or becoming unable to carry all they have brought, however space will be limited. There will be 3 trip leaders guiding the group (which will be a maximum of 25 people). They will be first aid trained, friendly and approachable with the ability to deal safely and effectively with any situation that arises; looking after all aspects of the trip. Changes to the itinerary will be made if deemed necessary should local conditions dictate.
Costs: If you'd like CAFOD to organise your outward journey for you then travel will be £180.
Food: As with accommodation there is a wide provision of food available along the route. Every town has a bar which serves the Pilgrims menu; a three course meal with wine / water for the evening. The varieties of these tend to be similar but they are filling and accessible. There are also small shops in towns and villages where you can buy food to cook in the hostels if they have a kitchen; it may be cheaper and more convivial. These shops are ideal for buying breakfast and picnic lunches from, selling tortillas, baguettes, cold meats, fruit, and bread. It would be ideal in addition to carry high energy supplies on you, and trip leaders shall be ensuring they too have these readily available.
Other costs of the trip are food (recommended £25-30 a day; less if you cook yourselves) and accommodation (recommended £10-£15 per night). These will need to come out of money brought with you on the trip; and will be subject to fluctuation based on location and availability.
Walking Advice Clothes and Equipment:
It must be stressed that participants should try to carry as little as possible; ideally below 10 kilos.
In September the weather in this area of Spain is usually quite pleasant. The average maximum temperature is 23°c and the average minimum tempertaure is 12°c. There may be frequent short bursts of rain; both light and heavy showers so do ensure you have layers and waterproof clothing to cope with the often quite sudden changes.
Suggested lists propose taking per person in a light rucksack: - Well fitting boots – (leather over gortex) - Treatment for blisters - Two pairs of shorts, one for night, the other for the day. (Zipable long trousers are good) - 1 T-shirt - 1 shirt (lightweight, quick drying) - 2 pairs of socks - Sleeping bag - 2 pairs underwear - Rain gear – poncho is the best. - Fleece, it does get cold at night and the mornings can be chilly - Sandals for evenings - Pain-killers - Sunscreen - Sunglasses - Hat - Toiletries – keep it very light - Towel – get quick dry from outdoor store, they are also super light - Mobile (if required) - Camera - Earplugs - Small torch - Mosquito spray We will be providing a comprehensive list to all trip participants but the above is to give you an initial idea of what you may need to have.
Terrain: On this particular route the landscape will change from mountainous scenery to rolling hills as you near Santiago. The route is well maintained but paths may range from wellsurfaced roads to less defined tracks. It may often be muddy underfoot so make sure you are prepared.
Fitness: You will need to be relatively fit, however every year people of all abilities complete the Camino – many on a longer trek. It is normal to have leg muscle pains so a cream or spray to rub into any sore spots before and after a day’s walking is recommended. The fitter you are the more enjoyable it will be so we recommend some pre-event training!
Medical: Please ensure you travel with an E111 card, entitling holders to free emergency treatment. You will need to take out your own individual holiday insurance.
Y it!! ber to ENJO m e m re d n a …. Travelling is always unpredictable, whether it’s weather or otherwise ……..it’s all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We can guarantee that coming face to face with experiences outside your comfort zone will help you to bond with your fellow walkers and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about. A sense of humour and a sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!
Do you have experience of walking long distances?
I never walk unless I have to I walk occasionally I go walking regularly over a variety of distances I have previously taken part in long distance walking (20K +)
Phone Number: Other / Comments: How did you hear about this trip?
(This information will help us to ensure we provide the right level of support needed for your walk) Why do you want to take part in the challenge of ‘The Camino de Santiago de Compostela’?
The accommodation on the trip will be very basic and you will have to sleep in mixed sex rooms although there are separate changing areas. Often there are beds but during busy periods you may be given a roll mat to sleep on. Most accommodation will have showering facilities, but we can’t guarantee all hostels will have these facilities. Have you considered all of these factors?
In addition to the expected costs explained previously, we hope that all participants will actively fundraise for CAFOD.
Additional Information: Do you speak Spanish?
Our target is ÂŁ500 per person; how do you envisage achieving this?
Some knowledge of Spanish language
Do you want CAFOD to organise your outward travel? (see travel section in Important Information Section for full explanation of the options) Yes I will organise my own
Please ensure this form is returned to Helen in the Community Fundraising Department by the 1st of July 2010. Email: email@example.com Address: Helen Hinde, CAFOD, Romero Close, London, SW9 9TY
CAFOD is the official overseas development and relief agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. UK reg. charity no. 285776.