THE pilgrim’s path has seen hikers return to El Camino following the pandemic.
The pilgrim’s path has seen hikers return to El Camino following the pandemic. Hikers spend, days, weeks or even months crossing Spain along the Camino de Santiago which ends at the reported burial place of the apostle St James.
Hikers are once again strapping on their backpacks and following trails after covid related travel restrictions meant they were kept off the Way of St James, according to AP News.
Many people hike the trail in search of their soul, much like Laura Ferrón, whose marriage came to an end during the lockdown in Spain and as the bank she works for is planning layoffs she also is fearing losing her job. She and two close friends flew from Ceuta to spend a week walking the final 100 kilometres of the route.
“This helps you let it all go. This pandemic has taught us to give more importance to what we have and to take a good long look at yourself,” Ferrón, 33, said.
The Camino de Santiago consists of a series of paths that all end at Santiago’s baroque cathedral, where it is believed that the tomb of St James can be visited. According to Catholic tradition, it was St James who brought Christianity to Portugal and Spain.
In 2019, over 340,000 people from all over the world walked the pilgrimage. However, with Spain blocking foreign and domestic travel last year, only 50,000 hiked “El Camino” in 2020.
Now that travel has been permitted again, more people from across Spain and Europe are walking the ancient religious paths, even though many of the hostels along the way are still closed. There are now a few hundred people arriving in Santiago each day, however, a typical summer would normally see several thousand hikers on the various trails.
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