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Buen Camino! 24 local pilgrims walk the Ancient Celtic Route

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24 Drogheda pilgrims took to the roads of Galicia to walk the Ancient Celtic Camino route in Northern Spain.

24 Drogheda pilgrims took to the roads of Galicia to walk the Ancient Celtic Camino route in Northern Spain.

Dusty Flanagan pictured with Antonio Leira, Councillor for Economic Development, lead of the Camino Inglés in Galicia.

Dusty Flanagan pictured with Antonio Leira, Councillor for Economic Development, lead of the Camino Inglés in Galicia.

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24 Drogheda pilgrims took to the roads of Galicia to walk the Ancient Celtic Camino route in Northern Spain.

droghedaindependent

The relationship between Drogheda and the Galician region of northwest Spain has been further strengthened as two dozen Boyne Valley Natives completed the Camino to Santiago de Compostela along the Ancient Celtic Camino route.

24 Boyne Valley and beyond natives made their way from Ireland on the first ‘package’ group walk that included the Boyne Valley Camino (25km) and the Celtic Camino from La Coruña to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (75km).

The group, led by Dusty Flanagan, included David Gough and Áine Walsh from Boyne Valley Walking, along with Drogheda locals; Anne Walsh, Sharon and Adrian Hanna, Paddy and Sylvia Matthews. Others from Cavan, Dublin, Dundalk, Kerry, Meath, Down, Galway and Mayo made up the walkers heading to Santiago. The accommodation and logistics were expertly coordinated by U-Walk Walking Holidays, based in Navan.

“We plan to welcome return visitors from Galicia to Drogheda, to show them the Boyne Valley Camino in person and strengthen links between the two beautiful port towns of La Coruña and Santiago," said Dusty.

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The walkers stayed three nights in La Coruna, the port at which boats from Drogheda arrived from the middle ages. La Coruña boasts beautiful beaches, where many of the group swam after a day’s walk.

Dusty, Pat and Terry from Boyne Valley Walking have built up a great relationship with the Provincial Council, local Authorities and Tourism bodies in La Coruna.

Antonio Leira, Councillor for Economic Development, lead of the Camino Inglés in Galicia, and Maite Loureiro, Head of Tourism at the Provincial Council invited the group to call to their offices on the first day of their walk out of La Coruña . They were warmly welcomed and exchanged gifts, including a beautiful book on Louth from Cllr Pio Smith. Antonio invited the walkers to attend a traditional Galician festival in his town as they passed through on their third day walking.

Dusty was familiar with the twists and turns of the sections that aren’t well signposted yet. David Gough commented on the beautiful landscape, rural villages and towns that the group passed through.

Anne Walsh, who will be 80 in December blazed a trail along the route, chatting away to all the new pals she met on the trip.

The final two nights were spent in a working monastery, which has a wing converted for hotel accommodation just behind the main square in Santiago de Compostela.

The Camino distance is 75km between La Coruña and Santiago, but Áine Walsh commented that the group had clocked up approx 140km walking across five days, both on the Camino and out exploring, eating and drinking in La Coruna and Santiago.

The links between La Coruña and Drogheda were recently showcased by the inclusion of Amergin in the mural trail in Drogheda. Amergin, great poet, son of Míl is said to be the first Milesian to set foot in Ireland. Amergin and Colpha were believed to have come from La Coruña (Brigantia, city of Breogán). Drogheda and La Coruña have had port trade over the years. La Coruña is part of Galicia, a region of Spain that considers itself a Celtic Region.

Boyne Valley Walking hope many others make the trip to La Coruña to complete the Celtic Camino.

They definitely won’t be disappointed by the walking, landscape, food and people!


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