Finding clarity on the Camino

Daniel Island resident hikes the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago, a revered Spanish pilgrimage that has captivated travelers from around the globe for centuries, recently drew in Daniel Island resident Kerrie Scott to complete its iconic trek.
Also known as The Way of St. James, the Camino is a network of pilgrim pathways leading to the shrine of the Apostle James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain. 
“The pilgrim routes date back to 800 A.D.,” Scott explained. “There are seven main routes to choose from, but they all lead to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which houses the tomb of Saint James.”
Established after the discovery of the apostle’s relics in the early ninth century, the Camino’s significance became popularized when Pope Alexander VI declared it one of the “three great pilgrimages of Christendom” in 1492. 
It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and draws over 200,000 pilgrims annually since 2013, according to the Camino’s website. The 500-mile-long pilgrimage has continued to attract spiritual seekers, hikers, and adventurers, including Scott and her family and friends.
Scott chose the Coastal Portuguese route, starting in Vigo, Spain, and walking over 100 kilometers to Santiago. 
“We loved it! The route traveled through vineyards, farmlands, Eucalyptus forests, quaint alleyways, and fields of wildflowers including poppy and digitalis,” she said.
Throughout the pilgrimage, Scott and her group followed the symbolic scallop shell markers that guide pilgrims along the Camino route. 
“You must walk at least 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, to receive your certificate of completion,” she said. “On our five-day trek, we walked 12 to 16 miles per day, rain or shine. We carried our own backpacks with water and necessary provisions.” 
The trek’s company, Santiago Ways, helped map out their daily distances, book accommodations, and transport luggage, allowing the group to focus on their journey.
The experience was physically challenging but deeply rewarding. 
“With steady determination and encouragement, we completed our Camino with surprisingly no injuries and just a few blisters! It was an emotional ending arriving at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela where hundreds of pilgrims were also celebrating the completion of their journeys!” Scott recalled.
For Scott, the trip transformed from a bucket list experience to a time for reflection. 
“Some people set out on the Camino for spiritual reasons and visit historical churches along the way. Many pilgrims find a sense of clarity and renewal following hardships and loss. It is simply amazing meeting and walking with others from all over the world.”
After completing the Camino, Scott and her group rested in Lisbon, Portugal, before traveling to the Algarve in southern Portugal, where Scott led a yoga retreat with her business, Quest Yoga Travels, merging travel and wellness in various international locations. 
“Though the Camino was not a part of the retreat, it was the perfect addition to our Spain and Portugal travels,” she said.
Scott encourages all avid adventurers to hike the Camino de Santiago, as it unites people from all walks of life on a path to spiritual growth and personal achievement. 
“Buen Camino,” the traditional salutation for pilgrims on the trek, now resonates with Scott and her fellow travelers as they carry the spirit of the Camino into their everyday lives.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

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