Time To Prepare For The Annual Kerry Camino

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Kerry Camino members Adrienne McLoughlin, Grace O’Donnell and Ingrid Boyle launching the event on Monday at The Meadowlands Hotel.

THE Kerry Camino was launched yesterday and organisers expect around 200 walkers from far and wide will take part in the annual event on routes from Tralee to Dingle.

The three day walk will take place on the May Bank Holiday weekend, May 4-6, with a registration/information evening at The Grand Hotel, Denny Street on Thursday, May 3.

Borrowing elements (e.g. logbooks or passports) from the famous Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Kerry Camino is not just a great idea to encourage walking tourism, but is reviving Kerry’s links with pilgrims of the past.

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During the three days, walkers pass through rugged, mountaineous, coastal scenery, on through towns and villages, with stations along the way where logbooks can be stamped until reaching the final destination at the Spanish built Church of St. James in Dingle and receive the Certificates of Completion.

Kerry Camino committee members Grace O’Donnell, Adrienne McLoughlin, Ingrid Boyle and Mike O’Donnell.

The Kerry Camino logo, which is printed on the front of our Passport, is a pewter scallop shell with a bronze-gilded statue of St. James attached and mounted on a brooch, which indicates that it was a pilgrim’s badge.

It was found in 1992 during an archaeological dig at the ruined Ardfert Cathedral, just north of Tralee and associated with St. Brendan, patron saint of Kerry.

The artefact was found underneath the wall of a late medieval tomb at the cathedral.  The shell has long been associated with St. James and, when found in a grave, suggests that the deceased person had been on a pilgrimage to the apostle’s burial place in Santiago…Kerry pilgrims setting off for La Coruna from St. James Church in Dingle, others from St. James Gate in Dublin etc.

The first Kerry Camino was in June 2012 when they walked the first stage of the present route (Tralee to Camp.)  A commemorative plaque was unveiled adjacent to St. Johns Church, Castle Street, Tralee, where that annual walk departs from.

Numbers have been increasing steadily since then.  This year it takes place on Friday 4th May (Tralee to Camp), Saturday 5th May (Camp to Annascaul) and Sunday 6th May (Annascaul to Dingle).

A certain level of fitness is required for this event, with appropriate footwear, clothing, snacks and drinks.  Each day’s walking is approx. 6-7 hours.  Transport and luggage transfer is arranged if required by participants.

Again this year they are having a BBQ in  Hanafin’s Bar, Annascaul on completion of Day 2, Saturday, May 5.

Additional information about Kerry Camino can be found by contacting them via email or on website/facebook pages: Email: info@kerrycamino.com Website: www.kerrycamino.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/KerryCamino

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