Camino 2018 Fourteen Transition Year students and two teachers walk 120k to Santiago de Compostela.

Santiago 2

Our Lady’s College, Greenhills.  Transition Year Camino Trip

On Thursday 24th May, fourteen Transition Year students and two teachers flew out to Santiago de Compostela, in North East Spain, on the first trip by students from the school to walk the last 120K Camino de Santigo or The Way of St. James. After months of preparation and training walks at the weekends and after school, the day had finally arrived.

Following an overnight stay in the town of Sarria, the group embarked on the first leg of the journey, 21-22K from Sarria to Portomarin. A document called   or pilgrim’s passport was collected at the hotel. On passing through various villages, this document was stamped with the official St. James stamp and provided a record of the journey. Signs bearing the characteristic yellow arrows and the shell symbol guided everyone along the way.

On the second day of walking, the journey went from Portomarin to Palas de Rei, some 25K. This prepared everyone for the third day, the toughest and longest day. A distance of just over 30K was ahead from Palas de Rei to Arzua.  All were up for the challenge, and with plenty of breaks, water, food and encouragement along the way, everyone was delighted when the accommodation for that night was in sight. Early to bed for everyone!

Something new greeted the group everyday-from hearing the cuckoo in the distance, admiring the well-kept vegetable gardens beside every house, the locals at work in the fields, cows, donkeys, geese, roosters and hens in the farmyards.

The long journey had taken its toll, and some severe blisters appeared for some people. However, with foot padding and band aids, a newly acquired walking stick, the affected student was determined to complete the full journey. And so, day four of the journey took the students from Arzua to Pedrouzo, a mere 19K!

And so, to the final day, when a student could be heard saying to her father on the phone that there was only 20 K to be walked! Only! Finally, now following the golden shells encrusted on the footpaths, the plaza del Obradorio was reached which revealed the wonderful Baroque cathedral. Although, because of current renovations, it is not looking at its best, it was a very welcome sight.

The following day, the walking complete, the group went to the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago to present the passport which had been stamped along the journey. Certificates were issued to all. On attending the 12o’clock mass in the cathedral, it was a pleasure to hear the name of Our Lady’s College, Drogheda welcomed among the many other visiting groups.

Many memories were made along the journey and indeed many interesting people from many different countries were encountered. The students experienced the interesting history, culture, language, food and people of Galicia, memories which will remain with them for many years

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