IN the true spirit of the world famous Camino de Santiago walk in Spain, a Kilmichael man walked from his doorstep to Spain to complete this pilgrimage towards the end of last year.
Having never undertaken a trek of this sort it was certainly unchartered territory for Kieran Murphy and more so during a pandemic when he set off from his home on August 3rd last.
Kieran (43) – who is now over two stone lighter – said he had been reading up about the Camino walk where it said that to complete the real Camino, you should really walk it from your front door.
‘I got the idea about three years ago but it was something that sort of spoke to me and that it would be a good thing to do. I had no big questions that I was seeking answers for and just did to justify my existence here really,’ said Kieran.
‘I only told my family about the walk and not my friends as I also didn’t know how far I could get either due to the Covid restrictions. When I left things were loosening up and there was no problem getting into Wales and other countries.’
Kieran, who is a self-employed mechanic, said he was very lucky with his timing for his expedition because if he left it any later he wouldn’t have even been able to get across Spain. He said that he knew if hadn’t left in August he would never have got there.
‘I didn’t do that much preparation to be honest and I guess I walked myself fit over the few months. I was averaging about 25km a day with a backpack and thankfully the weather was good while I was in Ireland. Some days I did 40kms which was too much.’
Kieran covered 2,730kms from Kilmichael to Finisterre – which is known as the end of the world on the west coast of Galicia. It took him 101 days, he crossed five countries, too seven ferries, lost two stone in the process and made many friends from around the world.
‘It was only while on the walk that I met others from all over Europe who walked from their own homes too and it’s quite amazing really the numbers taking part.’
Accommodation wasn’t a problem either as he said there are plenty of hostels along the route which were relatively cheap.
‘Once people found out back home what I was doing they were very supportive and while I’m not known for walking it didn’t matter really.’
Kieran’s boots are no doubt the worse for wear after his gruelling trek.
‘France was very warm for the first two weeks and very wet the last two weeks. I walked from the top of the country to the bottom and I won’t do it again!’
He said he would like to go back to Spain again to do a bit of the Camino there once things relax.
‘It was fantastic meeting so many new people and every night we’d go out for dinner and it was really enjoyable. You have to prepare yourself for the end of the walk too and by the time I finished it in November I was definitely ready to stop.’
Kieran would highly recommend people to even do a small part of the Camino walk in Spain.
‘It’s good for the head as well as the body.’