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Camino de Santiago pushing mind and body beyond barriers


Outdoor sports provide the opportunity to escape the world of everyday living. It is often a challenge on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. It is described as soul food, and the Camino de Santiago is such a life-changing opportunity. Set against the backdrop of the Spanish landscapes this network of pilgrimages offers modern-day pilgrims a choice of routes to challenge themselves. The ways provide more than the hardships of covering the distance on foot; it is also a journey into self-discovery.

Camino de Santiago

This is a journey for the soul and an outdoor challenge stretching over 500 miles (800 kilometres). This pilgrimage can be taken on many routes that start in either Spain, France or Portugal and leads to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, which is in the North-Western region of Spain. The most famous route is Camino Frances, which begins in St Jean Pied de Port and is 800 kilometres from your end destination. Pilgrims cover between 18 to 25 kilometres a day for 35 days of historic roads and pathways.

This is the time to immerse yourself in the culture and history of Spain. For any pilgrim to receive recognition for taking on the pilgrimage, one needs to complete at least 100 kilometres. Thus, the route starting in Sarria, which is only 111 kilometres away from Santiago, is an extraordinary journey to be able to receive your Compostela certificate. For cyclists, the distance is 200 kilometres which need to be completed to receive the certificate.

An Escape from the World

The Camino offers pilgrims the opportunity to escape from their daily routine. It is freedom from the world as they know it and challenges themselves to an adventure in the outdoors. It is the time to explore more than the region and the culture, but also your barriers, expanding your horizons and re-evaluate your life. Take time out and learn more about the Spanish culture, their language and their local cuisine. A pilgrimage is about exploration, challenges and growth.

Preparation

Professional guidance is available to help you plan which route will suit your expectations best on the Camino de Santiago. Help is also given with booking accommodation and advice on preparing yourself mentally as well as physically. Experts can also assist with structuring fitness plans to ensure you are mentally and physically ready for the journey. Allow about six months in your planning for all these preparations.

The Journey

Pilgrims all receive a pilgrim passport. These need to be stamped once a day unless you leave from within Galicia, then it needs to be sealed twice daily. These passports will help you to ensure accommodation. When accommodation is limited walkers receive priority above cyclists. Your journey will be directed with yellow scallop shells showing the way to Santiago. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the final destination of your trip and proof of that you have exceeded expectation.