This past month the Camino routes have sprung back into Life with upto 10,000 people a week now arriving in Santiago de Compostela, embracing the healing effects of the Camino after the trials of the pandemic period. Santiago is once again seeing throngs of walkers and visitors in its streets, helping revive the local economy. The hope is that they will soon be joined in 2022 by Australians and New Zealanders as international travel restrictiosn lift in the coming months. The following news report is from the associated press:
‘The numbers of pilgrims arriving in Santiago over the next year-and-a-half will be boosted after Pope Francis extended the 2021 holy year dedicated to St. James through 2022. Santiago Archbishop Julián Barrio said he is cautiously optimistic that some 300,000 pilgrims could turn out this year, as long as the pace of Spain’s vaccination program and the health situation worldwide continues to improve. He expects many to come seeking solace from the pain of the pandemic.
“The Way of St. James, in this sense, can help us. It is a space that helps us recover our inner peace, our stability, our spirit, which without doubt we all need, given the difficulties that we have in facing the pain and the ravages of the pandemic that sometimes leave us speechless,” Barrio told The Associated Press.
Daniel Sarto, 67, joined three friends on the trail, looking to relax after months of stress from seeing his Barcelona-based trade show company bring in zero revenue.
“It has been a very, very, very hard year. Psychologically, it is very sad constantly thinking that this is going nowhere, about what will happen to our employees,” Sarto said. “This is a relief being here, without a doubt. My wife told me that I had to get out of the house. I had to come.” Mental health experts agree that the pilgrimage can lead to emotional healing for both faithful Roman Catholics and the large number of non-Catholics who are drawn to make one.
It is advisable to start planning and booking your arrangements now as demand is expected to be heavier than ever for the limited number of private accommodations as its anticipated that people will shun the more crowded spaces of the hostels’.
Source credit: AP news