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Hitting the road for a 300k walking adventure

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This is a text-only version of an article first published on Friday, 20 September 2013. Information shown on this page may no longer be current.

by Will LiebrechtA pilgrimag e is far more than a physical undertaking.

It demands a willingness to welcome new encounters and a readiness to overcome difficulties that you find along your way. In July this year, my brother Ed and I completed a 300km walk along the Pilgrim's Way in Northwest Spain to raise money for the Tsogo Centre in Mabatho; Deddington Church's sister community in South Africa. This has long been a project of the church and village community, and is an ongoing effort to help those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS.

The money we raised will go towards this endeavour in the near future, where it will be put to good use over the next few months.

Our journey was inspired by the Tsogo project, which gave us a great incentive to keep pressing on, even when the going was tough. The Camino itself was an incredible experience for us and so many others, with whom we shared the journey, and as the road descended towards Santiago de Compostela, we felt surrounded by lifelong friends. People from all over the world are thrown together on the road, which makes for a fantastically diverse community, all sharing in their unique aim of reaching the burial place of St James. Thus we were unsurprised to be in the company of an Australian, a German and an American as the end drew near and we all went our separate ways.

It is an experience which I would recommend very highly to anyone, young or old, and which will bring with it memories not of tiredness and blisters so much as of shared stories, miraculous encounters and lasting friendships. Will is 18 and is about to go to university. Ed is 16 and is a Sixth Form student.

The brothers are both members of Deddington Church.

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