Charlie’s Camino Experience

No fifteen-year-old was ever happier to see a Cathedral than me, Charlie Quinn, as I dragged my weary body into Santiago de Compostela following a gruelling 5 days walking 117 kilometers of the Camino de Santiago to my destination.

My journey began in April 2019 when I started my pilgrimage from Sarria in north west Spain. Weather conditions in this part of Spain are unpredictable (think Ireland) and unfortunately luck was not on my side. Temperatures were cold for the time of year and I also experienced 2 days of non-stop heavy rain. But with the charity always on my mind, I was determined not to give up.

I first got the idea of raising money for the IRFU Charitable Trust when my school asked us to participate in Auxilium, a programme of service that involved giving back to the community. I am a keen rugby fan and through my parents I had heard of the great work carried out by the Trust. When I learnt that I was to spend my Easter holidays walking the Camino I decided to use to the opportunity to raise as much money as possible. I set up a fundraising page and asked members of my family and my friends to support me.

Walking the Camino was a unique experience. There is great camaraderie on the route from Sarria to Santiago, and my fellow travellers helped to keep my spirits high. I really enjoyed meeting people of all ages and backgrounds, all with different reasons for completing the pilgrimage to Santiago. It was great to be able to tell them of my reasons for doing the walk, and to spread the word about the work done by the Trust.

I would like to thank all my family and friends who supported me on this journey, and I am delighted to be able to present the IRFU Charitable Trust with a cheque for €2,070.

And watch this space – this may turn out to be more than a once in a lifetime experience as I am already thinking about returning to Spain next June to complete another section of the Camino (once the pesky matter of the Junior Cert is out of the way of course!)

Charlie Quinn, Blackrock College student