Off on the Camino tomorrow

My sisters Maeve and Grace turned 50 earlier this year, and to mark the occasion, they each wanted to do something memorable.  You’ll remember Maeve swam the English Channel in August and in doing so, raised over 6,000 Euro for the Childrens Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin.  Fair dues to ya girl!  Grace was keen to walk the Camino de Santiago to mark her 50th year and invited me along.  How could i miss out on an invite like that?!  As Gary pointed out, the Coffeys clearly never do things by half.  He should know, he’s as daft.

Grace and her husband Joe have already walked about 200km of the Camino and I will meet them in Ponferrada tomorrow night, and start my walk on Wednesday morning. It’s to be an easy 20km day according to Joe, to break me in gently.  Fingers crossed!  From Ponferrada, it is about 210km to what is the end point for most – Santiago de Compostela.  Given we are Coffeys, we will continue on for an additional 89km to Finisterre – all we want to do there is stand on the cliff edge to feel the Atlantic wind on our faces – bliss!  It should be worth the extra few days walk, we hope.

As we get older and our lives get busier, it is rare to be able to spend any length of time with family, so this Camino is, for me, less about a pilgrimage and more about spending precious time with my sister Grace.  And Joe too of course ;-).  Having done lots of high altitude trekking in the Himalayas, I just love the whole thing of putting one foot in front of the other, enjoying the lovely countryside God created and meeting interesting people – all with some sort of a story – along the way.  I am looking forward to it.

My friend Barb also walked the Camino at the beginning of the Summer this year and found it hard to get reliable wifi along the Way, so I am unsure how frequent my blog posts will be.  if I can post, I will, I promise.

Until then … wish us Buen Camino.


About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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2 Responses to Off on the Camino tomorrow

  1. Karen says:

    Kate enjoy the journey and the precious family time.

  2. Renu says:

    Go Coffey girls!

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