Camino Inglés with The Helping Harry Trust
Working with The Helping Harry Trust, this amazing fundraising challenge is one for the memory bank.
DATES: 17th – 24th June 2020
- Includes flights, transfers and accommodation.
- An experienced guide on the ground.
- A fitness plan to get you ready for your challenge.
- A training weekend so you have a full understanding of the Camino.
- You will receive a Camino starter pack, including shell, peace pebble, guide, Camino passport and a surprise.
- A commitment of £500 towards the Helping Harry Trust.
GET OUTSIDE AND GET INSPIRED
Find out more by clicking the tabs below the photos.
Why Support Harry?
The first thing you need to know about Harry is that despite his difficult start to life, he’s such a happy little soul.
The short version of his story is that Harry suffered severe brain damage and is now severely disabled; he has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and many other complex needs. He can’t coordinate his movements to reach for a toy, hold his head up, or eat or drink without the aid of a tube-fed directly into his stomach. He’s not meeting any of his milestones and sadly his list of problems is likely to increase as he grows.
We’ll keep you updated on Harry and how your support is helping to give him the best life possible on here. But for now, we asked Harry’s mum, Hayley, to tell us a little more about their journey:
Our little smiler, by Harry’s Mum
When my husband Andy and I found out that we were having a little boy we were just overjoyed, it would complete our perfect little family with his sister Lily being just two years older – a perfect age gap for playing, making them lifelong friends. Andy and I had visions of family holidays, strapping the push bikes on the back of the car and carefree family days out.
It wasn’t until Harry’s second day of life that we realised that there was something wrong with our gorgeous little bundle. Harry started to have seizures… from then on our world started to unravel a bit, by bit. He was rushed down to neonatal where doctors conducted tests to try and fathom out what was wrong with him. From the outside Harry looked so perfect, it just seemed so surreal that this was happening to us- this is what happens to other people.
Four days later we were called into a waiting room by Harry’s consultant – his brain scan had revealed that Harry had suffered strokes prior to being born which had caused “significant brain damage”. That was the moment our lives changed forever – nearly three years on and the memory is still as vivid and heartbreaking as ever. The consultant couldn’t give us a prognosis for Harry other than what he may be likely to have, he listed these like he was giving us a list of groceries; cerebral palsy, visual and hearing impairments, trouble with speech, epilepsy, feeding difficulties, learning difficulties and even breathing difficulties.
Since then Harry has been diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy; this basically means that he has stiffness in all four limbs because his brain isn’t sending the correct messages to his muscles. He never met any of his milestones physically and is cognitively around the age of a three-month-old. Harry is registered blind, can not swallow properly (resulting in him being tube fed and having breathing difficulties) and has to sleep with an oxygen tank.
For Harry, this means that he is unable to use any of his limbs to form any purposeful movements. He is unable to hold his head up properly and the poor tone in his stomach and throat means that he has severe reflux problems and breathing difficulties. Despite all of these things though Harry is a little smiler, he loves cuddles, music and tickles. As a family, we are still coming to terms with our new reality and learning to adapt to make sure that our children have the most fulfilling childhood that they can have, it may not be what we imagined but day by day we are growing stronger and more resilient.
Are you curious about the Camino de Santiago? You have perhaps seen the TV series or heard someone talk passionately about this magical place which has guided you to land on this page, but you are still not sure?
Adventure Geek has partnered with The Helping Harry Trust to help facilitate an inexpensive week-long trip to experience a full Camino route from start to finish.
We have a full-time guide to help you and your small group of fellow pilgrims all the way. From what to pack, to arriving in Santiago, to drinking the best Spanish wine, experiencing the culture and spirit of the Camino.
As our client, you will experience this, and so much more.
No need to be anxious about:
- Not speaking Spanish
- Not being an experienced hill walker
- Not being fit enough (we will give you a full training programme, but you really do not need to be super fit for this journey).
- Carrying your rucksack along the way
- You will feel prepared as we will assist you with what to take, how much training you need and what to expect on your forthcoming Camino.
- Full time, on the ground experience guide(s), to assist you in every way
- Walk with a small group that you will meet before your trip.
- That you will receive a daily information sheet so that you are prepared for the next day’s hiking.
- That you will have fun and experience a healthy, and often a spiritual journey, that you will never forget.
- That this adventure will fit most people’s budget.
- That you will get to spend time with YOU, which we all need.
What is special about the Camino?
Historically, most people undertook the Camino de Santiago as a religious pilgrimage. Nowadays, whilst many still have religious reasons for doing so, a significant number of pilgrims are not religious and have other reasons for walking The Way.
Here are a few aspects of the Camino De Santiago that make the whole experience unique:-
- Time to think:
In our everyday lives, we get very little time for reflection and thought. When all you need to think about is walking, sleeping and eating then you find that you have plenty of time for reflection and thinking about stuff. Or sometimes, you will find that you have walked a few miles and not actually had a single thought about anything. It’s very hard to explain, but this is one of the magical aspects of this wonderful place.
- The scenery:
The Camino offers such a variety of scenery. From cute Spanish villages with their wooden window boxes and glorious flowers to rich mountains full of wildlife. From vineyards to forests, there is something for everyone.
- The people you meet:
Everyone is walking in the same direction, but they come from all over the world. It is a place where you are not judged by the size of your house, the car that you drive or what you do for a living. It is a place where your ego is left at home. Everyone is in the same boat. You are all wearing walking clothes, you all have rucksacks, you eat the same food, yet you all have different stories to tell. Most people walk the stages as written in the guidebooks, therefore you get to see the same people at café’s or hostels each day. The friendships made on the Camino are known as your “Camino Family” and they often become friends for life.
- The weather:
We will be walking in June, so it will be rather warm. You are also heading west each day which means the sun is always on your left. You can spot a Pilgrim as we tend to develop a one-sided suntan! Please note that it does also rain in Spain… quite a bit!
- Clarity about your future / solve that problem:
People walk the Camino for all sorts of reasons. It may be a simple physical challenge, or you may be at a crossroads in your life and need to ponder on the issue before making a decision. Many people also walk as they are grieving (the loss of a loved one, or perhaps a break up of a relationship).I have heard that many stories where people did not even know why they were called to walk the path but felt that they had too. Not everyone is religious, but most people have an open mind and find clarity in their situation whilst walking The Way.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
There are no permissions expressed or implied by the Adventure Geek organisers. Participants make use of the facilities at their own risk and without express permission from the Adventure Geek organisers.
Walking is a physically active sport. If you have any doubts about your abilities, you should always seek advice from your GP before embarking on an Adventure Geek walk.
By registering for an event you accept that you do so entirely at your own risk and that it is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and able to take part in the event. We regroup often and our walks cater for all levels of fitness.
Children under the age of 16 years old are the responsibility of their parents or guardians and need to be accompanied at all times before, during and after the walk.
Adventure Geek volunteers do not accept responsibility for injury, loss and damage sustained by a participant unless the above injury, loss and damage are proven to have been caused as a direct result of negligence on the part of the organisers.
• Flights from Gatwick to Santiago.
• Transfer In from Santiago de Compostela to Ferrol
• Transfer out from Santiago de Compostela to Santiago airport
• Accommodation in a twin room, including breakfast on the first night. Plus basic accommodation in hostels for the duration of the trip. (There is an option to upgrade your accommodation, however, this will incur additional costs)
Return Flights (15 spaces available)
• LGW-SANTIAGO – 17 June, 6am – 9am
• SANTIAGO-LGW – 22 June, 9:40am -10:35am
The above price also includes:
- Assisting with booking luggage transfer (if you are not keen on carrying your backpack)
- Camino starter pack (includes Camino passport, peace pebble, shell for your rucksack and a small surprise)
- Fundraising support.
- An experienced Camino walking guide/host. We will communicate via a private WhatsApp Group. We will accompany you from the start to the finish, all the way to your flight home (as much or as little support as you need).
- Medical support for minor injuries. (All guides carry a first aid kit and are first aid qualified).
- A weekend of Camino training based in Northamptonshire.
The above price does not include:
- Luggage transfer as this will be your responsibility to pay for this on the day directly to the service provider.
- Accommodation with exception to the first night.
- Spain is very much a cash country. We recommend a budget for around €30-€35 a day for basic food/accommodation or €40-€65 a day if you want a private room and have not pre-booked your accommodation with AG.
- Food – your eating preferences are absolutely your choice. You choose where/when/what you eat.
Your rucksack is the ideal weight, your walking boots are well worn in and you have completed your training. You have your Camino Credential (passport) and your shell is attached to your backpack and you are ready for the off!
What happens next?
Day 1 – And we are off!
We fly into Santiago airport and then make our way by bus to Ferrol. Ferrol is one of Spain’s hidden gems, with excellent seafood and friendly locals. The evening is yours to do with as you wish however, make sure to be back at the hotel for a briefing to prepare you for the following day's walk.
Day 2 – Ferrol to Neda – 15km/9 miles/19k steps
We’ll be up early to take our first steps of the hike, starting at 8 am by the Camino Ingles milestone on the quay. From here, the Camino arrows will lead the way. Today's walk is fairly easy, flat ground with the estuary as your companion. Much of the route is through lovely parks and on tarmac paths. (We even pass a Spanish MacDonalds!).
Day 3 – Neda to Pontedeume – 16km/9.9 miles / 21k steps
Today's walk is less than ten miles, but it is quite challenging with a few steep hills. We walk through the historic town of Neda and onward over the hills to cross the Eume River before finding our way into the medieval town of Pontedeume. We will take our time today with lots of opportunities to catch our breath and take plenty of photos.
Day 4 – Pontedeume to Betanzos – 21km / 13miles / 27.5k steps
From Pontedeume, the trail climbs up to give spectacular views over Betanzos, Ares, and Ferrol. The trail continues to Miño by way of a medieval stone bridge over the Baxoi river. We will then travel along the coast to the Lambre river, on a path that holds beautiful views of the Rias de Betanzos and the surrounding marshlands. The town of Betanzos has some of the most interesting and artistic, historical buildings in Galicia.
Day 5 – Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma – 28.3km / 17.4 miles / 36k steps
Today is one of the most challenging days, but also the most rewarding. The day starts along a moderate trail, and the second part of the day we will be wandering through some beautiful forest trails. Today we say goodbye to the sea as we start to make our way inland.
Day 6 – Hospital de Bruma to Sigüeiro – 24.8km / 15.5 miles / 32.7k steps
Today we will be walking through the beautiful Galacian forest, where we’ll pass a bizarre sculpture park which includes a life-sized dinosaur!
Day 7 – Sigüeiro to Santiago 13.6km / 8.5 miles / 18k steps
Spirits will be high today as in a few hours we will be walking into the central plaza of Santiago De Compostella, feeling a real sense of achievement. Today, you will experience an enchanted forest stroll, and we will encourage you all to stop at the last church before arriving in Santiago. You will not see the Cathedral until you turn the final corner and this magnificent building then dominates its surroundings. You did it! You walked over 100 km! Now it’s time to collect your certificate and spend a few quiet moments reflecting on your journey during the last six days.
Costs / Fundraising
£270 registration fee payable at the time of booking
£280 balance/trip costs due by 25th March
£500 fundraising minimum which must be raised by 15th June 2020
Details for fundraising ideas can be found here.
With exception to your initial fee to Adventure Geek, there will be other costs that you will need to consider for this trip. So before you click the “buy now” button, please take a look at the list below.
There are some essentials that you will either need to purchase, or already have before you embark on a trip such as the Camino. The two main essentials will be a good backpack (35 litres +) and a good sturdy pair of trail runners or walking boots.
Food is relatively cheap in Spain and the wine is even cheaper! Budget for approx €25 a day then that should be plenty! It's the many cafe con lechés (coffee) that tend to add up!
Attend a full days workshop on day one where you will learn everything you need to know about the Camino. From the food, accommodation, language, navigation, apps to download, what to expect, going through the itinerary and a full pack-shakedown. On day two of the weekend, we will take a 10-mile hike along with full packs. This weekend is not just about the education of the Camino, but it is a great opportunity to get to know the people that you will be walking with.
Dates: 23rd & 24th May (to be confirmed)
Venue to be confirmed (will be in Northamptonshire)