24 May 2008

Camino-Waterford (May 2008)


Over the past two weeks I have travelled on the Camino Santiago (the way of St James) from Waterford to Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, Spain. The route involved sailing on board the Jeanie Johnston (a replica 19th century wooden hulled sailing ship --- as close to medieval as we could get) from Waterford quay, out of the Waterford estuary, and the southwards past the Scilly Isles and across the Bay of Biscay to A Coruña on the north coast of Galicia; this was a journey of 4 days. The next section was on foot from A Coruña to Santiago de Compostela over 3 days. Finally we spent a few days in Santiago before flying back a more conventional twenty first century route to Dublin airport.

The journey was a recreation of the pilgrimage taken by a previous Mayor of Waterford City in 1473 and 1483, James Rice. This route was known in Medieval times as the "English Way", which was an alternative to the more famous land routes to Santiago such as the French routes that cross the Pyrenees and converge near Pamplona, or the internal Iberian (Spanish and Portuguese) routes coming from the south.

I have posted three sets of public photographs (as yet undocumented) on the Flickr photo sharing site, and I've made this available to everyone so that the people I travelled with can have easy access to them:

  • Camino-Waterford Preamble (a small number of photographs taken on my camera phone during and after the ceremony in Christ Church Cathedral where Mary O'Halloran, the Mayor of Waterford, sent us on our way)
  • Camino-Waterford Voyage (photographs taken with my Cannon 400D SLR with a Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC prime lens)
  • Camino-Waterford Walk (photographs taken with my Cannon 400D SLR with a Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC prime lens)

I found the camino to a be a fantastic experience, particularly because of the people who we travelled with on the ship, and on foot. So a big thanks to my fellow pilgrims: Eamonn, John (of the shell), Jackie, Nina, Mary, Anne, Paddy, Pat, Jim, Oliver, Brian, Aidan and Tim; a big thanks to our fellow travellers on the ship: Sean, John, Pat, Maeve, Coleman, Stephen and Steve; a big thanks to the captain, officers and crew of the Jeanie Johnston (the captain, Luca, Paul, Daithi, , Quentin, Jim, Charlie, Suzie, Earl, Karen, Pat and Johnnie). The trip was organised by the Waterford Museum of Treasures, who placed this article (worth reading for some historical background on James Rice who made the pilgrimage in 1473 and 1483) in the local newspaper the Munster Express; so a special thanks to Eamonn and Donnchadh for making it all possible.


  • Edwin Mullins, 1974, The Pilgrimage to Santiago (the best book I have found about the pilgrimage which, though it focuses on the route from Paris over land, covers much of the history and context for the growth and decline in popularity of the pilgrimage).
  • Camino de Santiago A practical blog about doing the walking pilgrimage today.
Posted by mofoghlu at May 24, 2008 11:55 PM | TrackBack
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