DALE TEACHER'S SPANISH PILGRIMAGE
A 240km pilgrimage from Portugal to Spain proved a never-to-be-forgotten journey for Dale Primary teacher Penny Hogge and fellow Kidd’s Beach teacher Barbie Neuper.
During the recent school holidays, the two flew to Lisbon and then travelled by train to the Portuguese town of Porto.
The next day they set off on their 13-day journey, starting at Porto Cathedral where they walked along the banks of the Douro River, following the coast until Angeiras.
“After having our pilgrim passports stamped, we left the coast in search of the traditional interior route,” explained Hogge.
“A milder 14km walk led us to a beautiful 12th-century monastery at Vairao.”
Hogge said: “We covered an average of 19km per day. Yellow arrows and a seashell, symbol of the Camino de Santiago [their destination] painted on walls, roads and poles guided our path.”
Neuper said that all along the way, people pick up pebbles and place them on a stone pillar with a prayer and soon little shrines develop.
Once they crossed the Minho River from Valencia in Portugal to Tui in Spain, pilgrim traffic became busier.
Their second-last day was a gruelling 28km in hot conditions.
“We did this in order to make our last stage shorter which would enable us to get into Santiago earlier and to the Pilgrim Mass at noon,” Neuper said.
“We are both already planning our next Camino!” Hogge said.
RARING TO GO: Dale Primary teacher Penny Hogge prepares for her 240km pilgrimage which took her to Portugal and Spain