In September I have walked over 800 km doing the Spanish Camino de Santiago and in the process, helped to raise money for the charity Sparks.
I helped to raise money to help a group of children in Albania who are in deep need. Those who know me will understand why this cause is of particular interest to me.
I have walked over 800 km following the ancient way of the Camino Francés in the north of Spain. Probably the biggest physical challenge I have ever done, but it was incredible: firstly this is a spiritual path, and of course nature, culture, and meeting amazing people are part of the adventure.
Children in Korce (Albania)
The project I am supporting is in Korce (Albania) where CRY supports around 130 children who are not fortunate enough to have families looking after them and giving them the right care. Some of these children have resorted to begging on the streets or collecting recycling materials to earn some money. Most of these children are left unsupervised at home with older siblings looking after the younger ones or just left wondering the streets. CRY has found some not having had any food for over an entire day. A lot of the children drop school at the age of 11 or 12 because parents do not give proper attention or are not able to support them with the expenses.
CRY is looking after around 130 children and every Sunday they pick them up at their homes with a bus. They provide a wide range of activities, songs, games, arts and crafts, teaching and drama/role play. Each meeting also provides the children with healthy meals.
Fun facts about my hike
Route: Camino Frances (St. Jean Pied de Port—Santiago de Compostela)
Walking days: 25
Hours walked: 152
Longest day of walking: 42Km
Highest point climbed: 1515 meters asl
Steps taken: 1,132,482
Yellow arrows that directed my way: 2158
Provinces walked through: 8
Liters of water drank: 110
Toenails lost: 1 2 4
Tendonitis flareups: 2
Days of rain: 3
Nationalities of people befriended on the way: 41
Youngest pilgrim meet on the way: 18 months old
Meters of baguette used for bocadillos: 3.5
Meltdowns: cannot disclose
Stars seen in the sky: infinite
Moments of surpassing loveliness, human and natural: unlimited