As part of this incredible adventure, over 10 days you will discover the many wonders of Spain.
On arrival in Madrid, Spain’s bustling capital city, you will set off on a guided tour, exploring the city’s highlights from past to present. You will then travel beyond city limits to embark on the Camino de Santiago.
From Sarria to Santiago, you will trek under the shade of old oak trees into peaceful hamlets set against the rolling green backdrop of Galicia. At night, you will experience Spain’s colourful culture and cuisine.
On what other adventure can you follow in the footsteps of the Romans, the Knights Templar, pilgrims and modern day adventurers to Santiago de Compostela?
Best of all, with every step you take, with every kilometre you cover, you will raise vital funds for Prince of Wales Hospital to continue providing the best emergency care.
Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation would like to thank Altitude Travel as one of their corporate sponsors of El Camino challenge
Your funds will directly support our new world-class facility, which will deliver the highest standard of care to patients and change lives forever at The Prince of Wales Hospital.
By trekking the El Camino and fundraising on our behalf, you are choosing to stand up for your local community to ensure they receive the best care possible.
Day 1- 2: Saturday 19th/ Sunday 20th May 2018
The entire team converged on Madrid today from the hardened souls that have been here for a week to those that arrived off the long flights from Australia..
The common themes were sightseeing, shopping and food!!
Madrid is blessed with world class assets in all three categories. Many of the team took the city sightseeing tour by bus and walking that culminated in a jaw-dropping feast for the eyes that is the royal palace ( Palacio Real). We thankfully perused just 20 of the 2800 rooms of the palace and were spellbound by the amazing intricate detail from the marble floors to the colourful frescoes.
What a great way to experience the city.
Day 3: Monday 21st May 2018
We woke this morning to a stunning sunrise in the city, after a lovely breakfast our minibus arrived and we were off on our journey up to Sarria. After getting out of the city we passed mountains that had remnants of winter snow, surprising us give we are only four weeks to the summer solstice.
We passed fields of wild poppies in the flatlands of Leon and entered the mountains (Rio Sil) as we entered Galicia. The scenery was breathtaking as we arrived in the fertile area surrounding Sarria.
Gaby our walking guide was there to meet us as we took a stroll around town to stretch our legs after the journey.
The Prince Of Wales Foundation was really generous to provide the groups dinner tonight and we feasted at a beautiful local restaurant excited about the trek ahead.
Day 4: Tuesday 22nd May 2018
Today we walk!
The start of our hike of over 100kms of the Camino.
With clean clothes and shoes, we follow the pilgrim path up ancient stone stairs following the yellow arrows to the countryside surrounding Sarria.
Soon we were passing lush agricultural land with small dairy farms and many wildflowers. The team very excited to be walking and starting our challenge. It was a perfect calm misty morning that broke into a warm sunny day. We had lunch overlooking the countryside refuelling and rehydrating for the journey. Many locals said Buen Camino wishing us luck on our journey.
With very tired legs we arrived at the white picturesque town of Portomarin on the banks of the Rio Mino..
Day 5: Wednesday 23rd May 2018
Camino day 2 – Leaving the Rio Mino behind us we continue our trek west up a long gradual hill. Before long our muscles have warmed and we are into the routine of the day, one step after the other. Passing stunning forest we stop for cafe con letche and homemade almond cake, a speciality of Galicia. Soon the sun cuts through the morning fog and heats the day to around 24oC. The team focuses on the stunning rural landscape, calling cookoos and vibrant green flora. We are certainly reminded it’s late spring as the land is alive. Arriving at our hotel exhausted, we stretch and relax with a cerveza and gin and tonic.. what a wonderful day.
Day 6: Thursday 24th May 2018
Nursing some sore bodies we have a quick warm-up (led by Fiona) before we start today’s trek.
Farmland gives way to forestry and a familiar smell of gum trees as we pass eucalyptus plantations.
We stop and feast on the local delicacies of roasted peppers and octopus. With full belly’s we return to the trail walking up down to stone bridges crossing many small creeks. It’s a surreal landscape as we near our hotel with a thunderstorm gathering behind us. As the last members of our team get to the hotel the clouds break and it pours rain as we celebrate another wonderful day on the Camino.
Day 7: Friday 25th May 2018
With overcast skies we have our morning stretches and returned to ‘the way’.
Leaving Arzua we pass small dairy’s and forestry land.. The track leads down many arch ways of old trees covered with moss and dry stone walls that are slowly being enveloped by the forest.
Many try Paella for the first time for lunch and are delighted by the texture and flavour.
We continue on, following many other travellers from all over the globe.
The hotel tonight is quite luxurious, a lovely comfort as we approach the 100km mark of our trek.
Spirits were high as we met loads of other pilgrims and hikers making there way to Camino de Santiago..
Day 8: Saturday 26th May 2018
Waking under gloomy skies that are perfect for walking we returned to the trail for our final day.
After a coffee and pastry, we joined the trail snaking its way to Santiago. After a few hours of walking, we could see the spires of the cathedral in the distance. We had our final lunch together on the trail then walked together as a group into the old city of Santiago de Compostela and onto the cathedral.. as soon as we arrived the sun came out and we took photos of km 0, our final destination as we had counted down from 113km.
It was so much fun walking into the old town with happiness and joy in our hearts that we all had made it.
After many selfies and group pictures we arrive exhausted to our hotel for a quick refreshment prior to Mass and dinner.
Tonight we reflect on all the challenges and triumphs of the trip over a lovely dinner. What a great experience and a great team.