Couple take on The Camino

28 May 2015

A COUPLE from Springfield are walking 115km along the famous Camino pilgrimage route in Spain to fundraise for Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

Couple take on The Camino

Shirley, 52, and Paul Riley, 53, will be walking more than 20km a day over five days when they walk the 'Way of St James' which is one of several Camino de Santiago routes available to walkers.

The couple first did the route three years ago but will do it again this time between June 1st, which is the anniversary of when Shirley's dad Brian Tarpey died, and June 6th, the anniversary of when Paul's dad John Riley died.

Shirley said: "My husband always wanted to do the coast-to-coast but instead three years ago we did The Camino and we said at the time we should have done it for charity.
"We are doing the same route again this time because we know what we are in for and we are well-prepared. Although last time we completed it with our good friends Anne and Mike McGee who unfortunately can't come with us this time, so we may struggle as we can't speak Spanish and Mike did most of the talking. The only thing Paul really learned was how to order four large beers!"

Along the way Shirley and Paul will stay at auberges and get stamps on a pilgrimage passport to show they have completed the Way of St James.

They will be raising money for the Hospice in memory of Shirley's mum Mary Tarpey, her uncle Terence Tarpey and their friend Peter McGee who were all cared for by the Hospice.

Shirley added: "I wish I'd done it years ago, it's been over three years since we last did it and it seemed a natural thing to do it for the Hospice.
"We have known people who have come through the doors for one reason or another and we can't fault the place. They all passed away while receiving the best care ever in the hands of dedicated staff. You wonder what would happen to people if it wasn't there.
"She did sadly deteriorate and had to go into the Hospice for a bit although we wanted to get her home. However the pain got worse so in February 2012 she came back into the Hospice which is where she died. She had oesophageal cancer and was treated with major surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy but a few months before she died it got very aggressive."

The couple, who have five sons, will fly out from London and arrive in Spain on May 28 then travel by bus to the starting point of Sarria. In keeping with the tradition of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage they will finish the walk by visiting the shrine of St James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.

The couple can be sponsored at:


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