We walked the Camino de Santiago because it’s a beautiful walking route that goes for miles and miles.
A lot of other people we met were walking the Camino for very different reasons.
It’s a pilgrimage route so lots of people obviously walk the Camino for religious reasons. People walk the route to see the shrine of Saint James the Great at Santiago de Compostela cathedral.
Some people we met were walking to grieve for someone they’d lost. A couple of people we met carried ashes with them and left them along the way.
Some were walking the Camino after recovering from serious illnesses or injuries. One woman was covering more distance than anyone else every day. When Tom asked her if she was a professional walker, she said that actually she’d been paralysed from the neck down in a cycling accident just a year before. One of the reasons she was doing the Camino was to prove to herself that she could.
We also met people who were walking to help cope with - and raise money for - their current health problems, including cancer and mental health difficulties.
We saw quite a few kids and teenagers walking the Camino with their parents. Apparently, it’s a bit of a rite of passage in Spain. It’s a lovely thing to see.