TWENTY-one people from the northside of Limerick have travelled to Spain to take part in one of the world’s most famous and sacred pilgrimages.
Parishioners of Corpus Christi church, and those of neighbouring parishes packed their bags, walking poles, and hard-wearing shoes, and boarded a plane to Spain this week.
A huge mix of ages gathered at the church on Tuesday morning - teachers, students, teenagers, and many who had walked part of the Camino way before.
One of them was Joyce Walsh, from the Ennis Road, who was embarking on her third walk on the route which ends in Santiago de Compostela.
She said: “It is something that gets under your skin. It is a great chance to think. You can be with people, and you can be on your own too. You meet lots of different people. It is just a wonderful feeling, and you have nothing to think about only walking and getting from one place to the next.”
It is the first time Corpus Christi has run a pilgrimage to take part in the Camino route. While they will not do the entire 800km route - which would take five weeks - they will walk on average 25km a day for five days.
Moyross parish priest Fr Tony O’Riordan, who is leading the pilgrimage said: “The great thing about the Camino is it is a great leveller. Backgrounds, ages, nationality, and religion do not matter. It is people walking the road together on a powerful journey.”
He added: “There is something about Camino and community. About 300,000 people will do the Camino this season, and about 10,000 of them are from Ireland.
“What I find when I meet Irish people is that it is the form of nourishing their spirituality. They can link with the gospel, link with themselves and link with nature. It is spirituality in our time.”