John’s pilgrimage of love

John’s pilgrimage of love

By Admin | 26/07/2022

John’s pilgrimage of love

A HUSBAND presented cash to Rotherham Hospice after an emotional trek — ending on his late wife’s birthday after starting on their anniversary.

John Slater said the Coastal Camino de Santiago “pilgrimage” across Spain and Portugal had been a personal journey — and to have raised £890 was a big bonus.

He covered about 180 miles — walking up to 17 miles a day — on the trek in memory of Christine, who died in 2017, aged 49.

“I had a couple of shorter days, five or seven miles,” said John (58). “I met a lot of fellow walkers, lovely people, all doing it for different reasons. They would ask if I was setting off to a certain place the next day.

“I would say I’m having a rest day, and explain about the dates. It was also better for the body, and meant I could relax some of the time.

“I’d been keeping in touch with family and friends. As I got closer to the end, the last couple of days, I did get quite emotional. I don’t mind admitting that.

“Going in to Santiago and seeing the cathedral was one of those things no camera would be good enough for.

“The physical and emotional sides of it, the fact it had been delayed by two years, all accumulated and it did get to me a little bit.”

John set off on April 30 and crossed the finish on May 27.

The official at the end marking the Compostelas — pilgrim passports — dedicated John’s to Christine in a touching end to the journey.

“I had no blisters at all,” said John. “The only thing was my heels but I think that was a lot to do with the terrain, there’s a lot of granite, and carrying a full pack as well. The weather was challenging, 28 to 30 degrees on some days.

“Now I’ve been able to present the money to the hospice. I was really humbled by the generosity of people. I didn’t expect that much.

“We’ve done fundraising for all different charities but for this one I knew in my heart it had to be the hospice.

“It was to give something back to a place that gave such good care to Christine.”

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