While I type, the Republic of Ireland football team are preparing for their 2nd round match with France tomorrow at the European Championships in Lyon. Thousands of fans have made their way there by plane, bus, train and caravan to support the team. Each and every fan have behaved superbly with the French calling them the best fans. But this is nothing new. Every supporter who has traveled in the past has given the country a great name.
This is very much the same for people who travel to the Camino. Obviously, they may not be celebrating in the same way as Irish supporters, but they give this country a good name and it’s rare that you would not meet one or two each day. For 2015, 5.367 Irish pilgrims received compostelas in Santiago. If you put that in perspective, 5.417 people from a much larger USA received a compostela. In 2013, I met a group from a college in Dublin who were well loved by their fellow pilgrims. I also met J and C whom I keep in touch with to this day. In 2014, I started my Camino in St. Jean Pied de Port with an Irish girl and walked a full day with one man up and over the Alto de Perdon. And last year, my family was made up with 2 Irish people. I hope to walk with them in the future.
While the whole idea of the Camino is to walk a pilgrimage to Santiago, meeting people from around the world and learning from them, it’s good to meet people from the own country the odd time. The Camino Society in Ireland has been doing trojan work spreading the word of the Camino and long may that continue. Also, in recent years, a number of Caminos inside of Ireland have sprung up for those who do not wish to travel to Spain. I may walk one or two of those. But my next aim is to walk to Finistere. I hope I meet some Irish!
Do you have any fond memories of Irish people while on your Camino? Let me know in the comment box below.