Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Help Me Walk "The Walk"

About the Project:
My project is to walk The French Way / Camino Frances which is the most traditional of all the pilgrims’ ways to Santiago via The Way of St. James and the best known internationally. The journey covers a distance of 780 KM (482 miles) and will take about 59 days to walk. I plan to document this pilgrimage in photographs as I go. Not only the route, but the places and people I encounter on my journey. Regular blog entries to supporters, friends and family will keep them up to date on my progress as well as provide sneak peeks of photos that may appear in the book. After finishing the journey, I will produce and publish a book containing photographs, information and my impressions of my adventures. Through these photographs, I hope to give readers who may never have the opportunity themselves, to experience and enjoy this tradition. For others, I hope to inspire them to make their own journey as well those who have already, to share and remember the experience.
Your Support:
Will help fund this project and help defray the costs of travel, accommodations, meals and other associated expenses. Once the pilgrimage is completed, funds will be used to produce, publish and distribute a book about my adventure.The route, which was established in the late 11th century, crosses the North of the Iberian Peninsula, through the Basque Country, Navarra, La Rioja, Castilla y Leon and Galicia regions of Spain.  Starting in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, at the foothills of the French Pyrenees, the French Way runs through Northern Spain, from East to West, all the way to Santiago de Compostela, in the Northwestern corner of the country.
About The Way:
Click Here for a video about El Camino de Santiago (or The Way of St. James). 
This is the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, north west Spain, where legend has it that St. James' remains  were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where they were buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. The Way of St James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. It was considered one of three pilgrimages on which a plenary indulgence could be earned (the others are the Via Francigena to Rome and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem).
There is no single route on the Way of St. James. In fact, there are a number of pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. However, some of these routes are perhaps better known than others. Santiago is considered to be an important pilgrimage destination because of its association with James the Great. During the Middle Ages, the route was highly travelled, but the Black Plague, the Protestant Reformation and political unrest in 16th-century Europe resulted in a usage decline. By the 1980s, only a few pilgrims arrived in Santiago annually. However, since then, the route has attracted a growing number of modern-day pilgrims from around the globe. The route was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in October 1987; it was also named one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites in 1993.
The Modern Camino`s revival began in the 1960s thanks to the efforts of people like a local parish priest who wrote a guide on the Camino and travelled around Europe giving lectures on the subject. Although initially a pilgrimage for those with religious motivations, there are many travellers and hikers who walk the route for non-religious reasons: travel, sport, or simply walking in a beautiful but challenging landscape. Also, many consider the experience a spiritual adventure away from the stress of modern life. In 2010 (the most recent year for which data is available) 272,313 "pilgrims" completed the entire trek. Thousands more did portions of "The Way".
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