The Camino de Santiago (sometimes called The Way of St. James) is an extensive network of ancient pilgrimage routes stretching across Europe, all finishing at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain. Many consider the Camino de Santiago as the world’s most spiritual journey because of the inherent cultural connections the nature of those that tackle the trail. People have walked the Camino for over 1000 years, traditionally motivated by religion, however, modern day pilgrims like ourselves embark on such an adventure to immerse ourselves in nature and reflect upon, and appreciate, the simplicity of life.
Of course, for us – two women that use wheelchairs – tackling the Camino de Santiago will present its own set of unique challenges: we will be travelling solo through remote and rural places along tracks that are not considered ‘accessible’ by standard definitions. We will have to adapt our travel to match weather conditions and local terrain, and come up with innovative ways to overcome barriers such as gates, hills, mud patches and rocks. We want to challenge ourselves and push our mental and physical stamina beyond and above in order to demonstrate the power of passion and determination in making absolutely anything possible.
The pilgrimage route we have chosen is the Portuguese Way. We will be starting in the city of Porto, Portugal, approx 15 day, 250km pilgrimage to our destination Santiago de Compostela, this pilgrimage will take us through coastal villages, farmland, forests and vineyards. The vast rural land will provide a challenging adventure for two women that use wheelchairs, and we will need to endure many obstacles including challenging hills, small estuaries and sometimes seemingly impossible terrain to complete the pilgrimage.
The pilgrimage is broken into stages which will endeavour to achieve each day. This means pushing approx 20-25km per day into the unknown. We will be completely self-sufficient carrying our own belongings on our back and will be staying at albergues (hostels) during the evenings. We will not be pre-booking any accommodation, allowing for the journey to take its own freedom of pace and course and not be bound by everyday deadlines. Let the adventure begin!