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Islander documents trials and tribulations of 500-mile trek

Islander documents trials and tribulations of 500-mile trek

Wednesday 04 October 2023

Islander documents trials and tribulations of 500-mile trek

Wednesday 04 October 2023


An islander who is walking the 500-mile Camino Frances trail in memory of his canine companion has written about the highs and lows of the trek.

Dave Evans set off on 25 September on a journey from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela that will take him more than a month to complete.

He is now more than 150 miles into his journey, and has documented some of his experiences on the pilgrimage so far, which he is completing in aid of Spanish Stray Dogs UK, the charity which brought him and his dog Flora together.

Flora was rescued from the streets of dusty Southern Spain in about 2013 when she was about a year old, and then spent the next two years at the Los Barrios Municipal dog pound where the charity makes the lives of the dogs as bearable as possible in difficult circumstances.

After eight years together, Flora died in May.

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Pictured: People on the trail leave shrines and memorials for loved ones.

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Pictured: Mr Evans is walking through rural Spanish towns.

Mr Evans is full of admiration for the charity's work and donates 50% of the proceeds from his work as a photographer to the organisation.

His fundraising target for the hike is £5,000, and he has already raised nearly £4,000.

From St Malo to St Jean Pied de Port, there to Refuge Orisson, on to Burguete to Larrasoaña and then on to Najera, the journey has had its ups and downs.

He has written about being an "official pilgrim", lighting candles in churches in memory of Flora – but also about the hikes up steep mountains, cold morning weather, getting locked out of his hostel, lost on the trial and the difficulty of finding a bed for the night.

On Day 6 in Pamplona, he wrote: "I started looking for places to stay, and the prices were crazy, and the places that weren't crazy didn't look great (even to a humble but now depressed pilgrim), and still reeling from the sadness and the thought of having to try and get a bed in an overcrowded Albergue where I knew no-one, I for the first time questioned what the hell I was doing, and I didn't like it or what my options were or why I'd got myself in this mess.

"I did what any normal Dave would do in this situation and I ran away. Or more accurately, I started walking. After a few miles, with the noise of Pamplona now in the distance my mind started to quieten again once more. I really want to like cities, but I think it was just too much for me at that point in time."

Retreating to a monastery, he found his calm again, and continued the journey.

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See below for some more images from Dave's journey, and visit his Facebook page for the full logs.

 

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