What an extraordinary ten days in Galicia! We walked, we chatted. We met sailors, activists, politicians, mayors, farmers, artists, historians, fellow pilgrims. We ate the most delicious seafood along with other Galician specialities – like Empanada (pastry pie with various stuffings), Tortilla de Patatas; Estrella beers, Ribeira wines, even a Celtic Queimada; the almond flavoured Tarta de Santiago; delicious local cakes, biscuits and breads, seaweed and sardines … Delicioso!
We travelled through the most beautiful and inspiring countryside and visited some delightful places and buildings. We heard fantastic music played on the Galician pipes accompanied by wonderful dancing. Our hearts were touched so many times by the enthusiastic calls of ‘Bo Camiño’, by the light in children’s faces, by the spiritual sense of pilgrimage.
We have helped raised the profile of Tesouros de Galicia, INTO and the need to look after and value heritage – built and natural; tangible and intangible – across the globe. We also experienced the terrific results of involving young people and hope to replicate some of that energy and enthusiasm across the INTO membership.
The 120km or so over 5 days has left an impression on more than my feet. Looking back at that extraordinary time, I will remember above all the wonderful people who shared that journey. My lovely friends and colleagues from INTO (Bill, Gerie, Simon, Oliver, Deborah, John, Emily, Justin, Nancy); our wonderful hosts from Tesouros de Galicia (Javier, Raquel, Jacobo, Esteban, Alejandro, Cristina, Aarón, Marta, David, Nacho, Rocío) and all the delightful folks we met along the way (the musicians who met us at the top of the ‘long hill’ in Vizono, the smiling and welcoming mayors, the farming family who let us shelter in their barn, the German ladies and the jolly gents from Andalucía with whom our paths kept crossing, our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides, the hotel and restaurant staff … too many to list – everyone has welcomed us so warmly).
You can read my daily blogs of the walk beginning here.
The walk may be over but the fundraising goes on! Please help me to reach my target of raising £1,500 towards conservation projects like these around the world.
Perhaps the easiest for UK taxpayers is by visiting the INTO Virgin Money Giving page or by sending a cheque to us at 20 Grosvenor Gardens, London, SW1W 0DH (please ask us for a gift aid form to increase the impact of your gift). It is also possible to make a donation in dollars via the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the US.
For other countries, or if you prefer, you may use PayPal
Note: The thermometer is not automatic, but is updated daily.
Please click here for my earlier walk page.