On the Camino pilgrimage
with Trevor Fotheringham
By Gisele McKnight
On the day Trevor Fotheringham had the stomach flu, he walked only 12.9 kilometres of the Camino pilgrimage. On his most ambitious day, he walked 38.5 km.
The stomach flu was one of several ailments Trevor suffered during his 30-day walk from France across northern Spain to Santiago on a 789-km pilgrimage called the Way of St. James. It was a popular Christian pilgrimage during the Middle Ages and today draws hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and secular long distance walkers each year. Most walk, although some cycle and a few ride donkeys or horses as pilgrims did 1,000 years ago.
“For me it was the opportunity to mix my desire to do a pilgrimage and my desire to do a long distance walk,” said Trevor.
Ambitious walks are standard with Trevor. The retired nurse from the Parish of Lakewood in Saint John, originally from Lincolnshire, England, is the president of the Saint John Outdoor Enthusiasts Club. Last year he took a group to hike the Cleveland Way in North Yorkshire, England for a two-week, 177-km walk.
But by then, his mind was already on the Camino.
“I started thinking about it two years before,” he said. “I saw a documentary on TV and thought I wouldn’t mind doing that. I read some books. Then I watched the movie The Way and that put me off.”
But he continued to research and plan, and in April of this year, set out on the pilgrimage of a lifetime. He began at his mother’s house in Rotherham, England, taking the train, then a flight to southern France. From there it was a bus ride to the starting point of Saint Jean Pied de Port.
Gisele McKnight is communications officer for the Diocese of Fredericton.