Walking the Camino de Santiago

A message from the Associate Vice-Chancellor (Victoria), Dr John Ballard.

Last week we had our first meeting on the St Patrick's Campus of those enrolled to take part in the 2018 walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.

A group from Melbourne and another from Brisbane are excitedly looking forward to both pilgrimage and adventure commencing 13 October to October 25. For anyone interested, one room has just become available so please contact Ms Carmel Yahl (Ext 2380 or Carmel.Yahl@acu.edu.au).

I have the privilege of leading the group and our Chaplain is Fr Harry Chan ofm from the McAuley at Banyo Campus. We will walk the last 115km of the many paths to Santiago de Compostella, enjoy reflection, pilgrim’s tales and the fare of Galicia. This much worn path has been walked for a thousand years by those seeking enlightenment, penance, a spiritual experience or simply a long walk.

In recent years the Camino has experienced a great revival, partly sparked by popular movies such as ‘The Way’ (2010/11) and a surge of books. It is a fantastic journey and one that I undertook in 2011 (where I took the photo pictured left), walking 800km from St. Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago. There is a long tradition in Spain of walking a leg of the Camino, whether it is measured in days or weeks, at least once in a life time. Many follow up with another week when they can. It is a unique experience.

I am taking my three year old on the journey this year and plan to tow him along in an amazing Swedish pram that harnesses to my waist and shoulders like a dog and pony cart. That makes me the pony. My wife has indicated she may end up towing us both. We plan to post some photos of the journey on Workplace to share the adventure.

If you are interested in taking part in the pilgrimage this year or next, please give Carmel a call.

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