The Camino- A Mindful Trip with the Marie Keating Foundation

Camino Trip 2016

After an amazing trip in 2015, the Marie Keating Foundation is heading back to the Camino. This year, we plan to cover the last 115kms of the Portuguese Way from 3-10 September 2016, finishing up in Santiago de Compestela. Participants will get an official Camino certificate at the end of your journey when you hand up your stamped Camino passport.

The cost of the trip will be €2,000 which includes flights, accommodation, breakfast and dinner, guides and fundraising for the Marie Keating Foundation. There will be mindfulness sessions throughout the trip.

A deposit of €300 is payable on booking your place. A further €700 is due by 3rd June 2016 to secure your place. The balance is due by 5th August, 2016. 

Places are very limited, so to find out more or to reserve your place, please email Fiona at fsullivan@mariekeating.ie or call her on 01 628 3728. 

What do I need to take part in the Camino trip?

  1. The Marie Keating Foundation trip to the Camino de Santiago will involve walking approximately 20km per day so you willneed to be fit.  If the need arises it is possible to get a taxi to the next hotel during the day (at your own expense) but to get the most out of the trip, we recommend that you be fit and healthy and have the permission of your doctor to come with us.
  1. Finally, you will need to be able to fundraise €2,000 to cover the cost of the trip. Don’t worry though, the Marie Keating Foundation fundraising team are behind you 100% to give you fundraising ideas and support to help you reach your target! A deposit of €300 is payable on booking your place. A further €700 is due by 3rd June 2016 to secure your place. The balance is due by 5th August 2016.

Where will the funds go?

All the funds raised from the Marie Keating Foundation trip to the Camino de Santiago will go to our Comfort Fund, so that the Foundation can continue to give grants to people experiencing financial difficulty as a result of their cancer diagnosis. Comfort Fund grants help people meet the cost of items such as heating bills, oil fills, basic everyday household bills and childcare while they are going through their cancer journey. 

What will the trip of the Camino entail?

This year, the Marie Keating Foundation’s Trip to Camino de Santiago will entail the last section of the Portuguese Way. The walk starts in the border town of Tui, separated from Portugal only by the River Minho and the International Bridge and covers 110km of the Camino Portugese Way finishing at Santiago de Compostela(the minimum required to apply for your Compostela certificate).  From Tui to Santiago de Compostela, the Camino trail passes wooded areas, farmlands and hamlets, as well as historic towns and cities. On this section of the Portuguese Way you will reach the Galician coast in Arcade, a seaside town famous for its oyster festival; and the city of Pontevedra with its classic Galician old town, superb architecture and pedestrian centre. Being in the Rías Baixas, make sure you sample the region’s famous white wine, Albariño. On your way to Santiago, you will also stop in Padrón, hometown of Galicia’s most acclaimed poet, Rosalía de Castro. The Camino will take you across woodlands, farmland and rustic hamlets, following tracks and paths lined by granite stone walls. The green rolling landscape of Galicia is part of each day’s walk, until you approach your final destination: the mythical city of Santiago de Compostela. Here, you can get your ‘Compostela’ certificate and explore the magic of Santiago’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also have a chance to attend a religious ceremony (if you wish) as many of the pilgrims did over the years.

On the last day there is an optional roof top tour of the Cathedral de Santiago at an additional cost of €25 pp.

To get a flavour of what the trip will be like, check out the below video. On our 2015 trip to the Camino, RTE joined us and featured the trip on a Would You Believe programme.

An outline of each day of the trip is below.
It is optional to begin and end each day with a mindfulness meditation practice however we will have periods of silent mindful walking most days. Again, it is optional to attend the mindfulness meditation session at the end of each day.

Day 1- Tui as this is the day of arrival there will be no walking
Your trip starts in Tui. We highly recommend you go for a stroll down the cobbled streets and head to the Plaza de San Fernando, where you will enjoy a fantastic view of the magnificent 12th century cathedral. If you have time the day before starting your Camino, you might want to cross the International Bridge over to Portugal.

Day 2- Tui to O Porriño – 16km
4h | +155m / -161m

This section of the Camino starts from the old port of Tui and makes its way up through the old town along the Camino de Barca. From here you will pass through the Túnel das Monxas and begin a sharp climb up to the breath-taking bridge of San Telmo. After this, the terrain becomes slightly easier on the way to O Porriño. An alternative route has been signposted in 2013 to bypass the industrial estate in the outskirts of town.

 From O Porriño you will cross and continue along the Louro valley. A short climb leads up to the chapel of Santiaguiño de Antas, a lovely place to rest your legs. After this, the trail enters pine forests and heads to Arcade through the village of Setefontes.

Day 3- Porriño to Arcade – 22km
5h30 | +429m / -429m

From O Porriño you will cross and continue along the Louro valley. A short climb leads up to the chapel of Santiaguiño de Antas, a lovely place to rest your legs. After this, the trail enters pine forests and heads to Arcade through the village of Setefontes.

Day 4 Arcade to Pontevedra – 11km

3h | +220m / -235m The first point of interest today is where the trail crosses the Verdugo River at Ponte Sampaio. This bridge is the point where Napoleon’s army suffered one of its greatest defeats in Galicia. From here you will travel along a cobbled road leading to the 13th century church of Santa María.

Day 5 Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis – 24km

6h | +244m / -241m

Today, from Pontevedra, the Camino will take you through chestnut groves and pine and eucalyptus woods. In the village of Ponte Cabras you will see the rectory of Santa María de Alba. At Lombo da Maceira there is a statue of Saint James with his walking stick showing you the way. On your way to Caldas de Reis you will pass through the hamlet of Tivo with its lovely fountain and public washing bath.

Day 6- Caldas de Reis to Padrón – 18km
4h30 | +268m / -285m

From Caldas de Reis you will cross the river Umia and encounter the hot springs that have given the town its name since Roman times. The trail once again leads to forests and gradually climbs to the village of Santa Mariña. After a descent you will cross the river Fontenlo before making your way through pine forests to today’s final destination: the town of Padrón. When the body of Saint James was being brought to Compostela by ship, Padrón was said to be the first land it reached.

Day 7 Padrón to Santiago de Compostela – 24km

6h | +448m / -202m

Your final day of walking will take you through a number of small villages on your way to the historical sanctuary of A Esclavitude. Nearby on a hilltop sit the ruins of a fort known as Castro Lupario. Shortly after this you will see some of the oldest wayside crosses in Galicia. As you make your way towards Agro dos Monteiros you will be able to see the spires of the cathedral in Compostela. You will pass the ruins of the castle of A Rocha Vella, as you approach Santiago de Compostela.

Day 8- Santiago de Compostela
End of the Tour after breakfast. Santiago de Compostela is a gem of a city: small enough to be explored by foot but always vibrant and lively. Wander in the cobbled streets of its UNESCO-listed old town, go for a stroll in the Alameda Park and discover regional flavours in the local market and the many restaurants and bars.

The cost of the trip includes all flights, transfers, accommodation (all rooms will be en-suite, based on a twin, double occupancy. Single occupancy is a supplement of €160 pp and is on a first come first served basis), breakfast and dinner as well as an English speaking guide.  Lunch is not included but you can enjoy a bite in one of the nice cafes scattered along the route

Again it is optional to attend a weekend course in mindfulness taking place at Glenstal Abbey on the weekend TBC at a cost of approximately €300 per person

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a Buddhism- derived concept and practice that involves developing an un-distracted awareness of the here-and-now (Hollis-Walker & Colosimo, 2011)

Mindfulness has been described as paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.
• It is not about trying to relax
• It is not a breathing exercise
• Mindfulness is not a new religion
• It’s not about emptying the mind of thoughts!
• Mindfulness is about learning to be where we already are!

Through mindfulness, you can learn to be aware and awake to the present moment and live deeply in every moment of daily life. To be mindful is to be truly alive, present and at one with those around you and with what you are doing. We bring our body and mind into harmony while we wash the dishes, drive the car or take our morning shower.
Sometimes called moment-to-moment awareness, mindfulness helps us to come back to ourselves, calm our emotions, be peaceful, happy and more able to deal with all that daily life throws at us.

How can I get more information on the Camino trip?

If you would like more information about the Camino trip, please fill out the form below. Someone from the Marie Keating Foundation team will then get in touch with you to give you more information about the trip and answer any of your questions.

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