Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation is looking for walking and adventure enthusiasts to trek one of the most famous and oldest pilgrim routes in the world - the Camino de Santiago.
The foundation is seeking people to travel from October 3 to 10 to raise funds for vital palliative care services in Mayo and Roscommon.
This year, Hospice has decided to take the Portuguese route into Santiago.
The Portuguese Way or Caminho Portugués is a fantastic route for pilgrims looking for a more rural experience on the Camino de Santiago.
On the Portuguese route, trekkers will make their way past terraced fields, lush forests, vineyards and peaceful, sleepy villages.
The last 100 kilometres of the Camino Portugués is the most popular section, starting in Tui, Galicia, just across the river from Portugal.
“Our last two trips have been fantastic experiences." - Laurita Blewitt, Mayo Roscommon Hospice
Explore Tui’s beautiful old town, visit the hilltop cathedral and, if you have time before heading to Santiago, walk across the 19th century International Bridge to Valença do Minho, its Portuguese ‘twin’ town.
“By taking the Portuguese route, we are giving people who may have already done the Camino a chance to come again and take on another route while discovering a different approach into Santiago,” explained Laurita Blewitt, fundraiser with Hospice.
“Our last two trips have been fantastic experiences and I’m positive our next trip in October will be no different”.
Mayo Roscommon Hospice has raised over €75,000 in the two previous trips and is encouraging walkers of all levels to consider taking on this challenge.
Pilgrims from all over the world have walked the Camino de Santiago for centuries, following the various paths on their way to Santiago de Compostela and the tomb of St James.
Today, whether walking the Camino for religious reasons, to find yourself, take a break or simply get back to nature, the Camino is a trip of a lifetime and a unique experience that inspires many, even after the journey is over.
Although sometimes physically demanding, the Camino only requires a reasonable level of fitness, making this an ideal adventure for many people.
On this section of the Portuguese Way, participants will reach the Galician coast in Arcade, a seaside town famous for its oyster festival; and the city of Pontevedra with its classic Galician old town and pedestrian centre.
Being in the Rías Baixas, participants will sample the region’s famous white wine, Albariño.
On the way to Santiago, the group will also pass Padrón, hometown of Galicia’s most acclaimed poet, Rosalía de Castro.
The trip will, of course, finish at the famous Catherdral of St James, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried, in Santiago de Compostela.
To be part of this unique adventure, you must meet the fundraising target of €2,500, where the proceeds will directly benefit palliative care services in Mayo and Roscommon.
A deposit of €300 is needed to secure your place.
The Trek 4 Hospice package includes: return flights, all internal transfers, twin sharing accommodation (a limited number of single supplements are available at extra cost ), evening meals, pilgrim passports, t-shirt and training information.
Application forms are available on www.iregister.ie/trek4hospice
Further details are available from Hospice on (094 ) 93 88 666 or email [email protected]
The Camino trek will be fully supported by a licensed travel agent who specialises in the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
Experienced guides will stay with the group from arrival until departure.
A Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation representative will also travel as part of the tour.
For regular updates, like Trek 4 Hospice on Facebook.