Walking 800km across Spain is a demanding tramp but it's a challenge that is being met by an increasing number of Wanganui Tramping Club members. The latest to tackle the Camino de Santiago (or the Way of St James) is Linda Hart. She began the famous pilgrim route in France and walked over the Pyrenees and then it was the long trek across northern Spain to the shrine of the apostle St James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where tradition says his remains are buried. Hundreds of thousands (more than 200,000 in 2014) of Christian pilgrims and many others set out each year from their front door steps or from popular starting points across Europe to make their way to Santiago de Compostela. Most travel by foot, some by bicycle, and a few travel as some of their medieval counterparts did, on horseback or by donkey. In addition to those on a religious pilgrimage, many are hikers who walk the route for other reasons - travel, sport, or simply the challenge of weeks of walking in a foreign land. Many consider the experience a spiritual adventure to remove themselves from the bustle of modern life. Most club members have less ambitious plans but they admire and respect those who are willing to contemplate such as undertaking.
The club's June programme takes members to Egmont National Park, the Tararua and Ruahine ranges and Mana Island and culminates with the annual old timers' afternoon. The full weekend programme is: -
Sat-Mon, June 3-5, Totara Flats hut, leader Brian
Sat, Sun or Mon, June 3, 4 or 5, Egmont National Park, leader Dave
Sat or Sun, June 10 or 11, Deadman's Track, leader Esther
Sun, June 11, Mana Island, leader Dorothy
Sat-Sun, June 17-18, Holly Hut, leader Dave
Sat or Sun, June 17 or 18, Mikimiki Walkway, leader Barry
Sat, June 24, Mangawhio Lakes, leaders Diane and Royce
Sun, June 25, Old Timers' Afternoon, leader Dorothy
¦ Make all inquiries about trips to Barbara phone 348 9149 or Dorothy phone 345 7039.
The midweekers have a full programme of interesting trips every Wednesday. Those who get out on Thursday are in two groups, with longer walks on June 1, 15 and 29 and shorter ones for the TT2 group on June 8 and 22.
¦ The Wednesday contact is Margret, phone 344 3899, and the Thursday contact is Val, phone 345 0456.
To join weekend trips call the leader by the previous Tuesday at the latest. Call by the night before for day trips. As some trips have limited numbers, leaders have the final say about who to take as they are responsible for the safety and well-being of everyone on their tramping trips.
For further information contact Barbara at 348 9149 or visit www.wanganuitrampingclub.net.
The next meeting at the Deerstalkers' Hall, Peat St, at 7.30pm on Wednesday, June 7 will feature the club's Annual General Meeting and there is also an illustrated talk on pre-war Syria by Ridgway Lythgoe.