North Lakes resident Dave Bosworth will today begin the Camino de Santiago walk for the sixth time.
He will start the gruelling journey climbing the Pyrenees mountain range in freezing conditions but wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) in Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain.
“It is a walk that is a pilgrimage for many. I don’t do it for those reasons,” Dave explains.
“The only task I have every day is to walk 25-30km. I’m not doing it around other things that happen in the day. This becomes my task for the day and I like that.”
The retired school principal says he’s always been a walker and first took on the Camino de Santiago walk in 2015 with his wife Lynette.
He’s done it almost every year since then except when borders were closed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, 10 days before he was due to leave, COVID-19 struck and travel overseas was ruled out. He’s been waiting for an opportunity to return.
“I’ve done it five times before and I love it,” he told Moreton Daily on the afternoon he was due to fly out of Brisbane.
It will take him 35 days, walking about 30km per day.
Dave says the first day is the hardest, having to climb 1400m up the Pyrenees mountain range.
“You can’t finish the walk on the first day but you have make sure you don’t finish your own walk on the first day,” he says.
“I do love the first day because you get up above the clouds and it’s often snowing.”
“The experience of being away from my comfort zone and all the pressures and responsibility that comes with everyday life, is what draws me to walking. I enjoy the feeling of being in the wilderness, walking with my backpack. I am totally reliant on my own skills, knowledge and preparation,” Dave says.
“The challenge, the scenery, the camaraderie, the exercise, the lifestyle, is my aphrodisiac and I feel at ease. I walk to escape the built environment, to go somewhere that is peaceful, to see different places and environments and just get away from life for a bit. The exercise is an added bonus.
“I love the feeling of waking to the sun, not worrying about time. For when I walk the Camino, the Camino takes me.
“I enjoy the changing nature of a walk, physical, mental and as you approach your destination, spiritual. You have time to think and look at your life closely and in depth. Walking allows your mind to wander. The challenge with so much time to think, is not to over think.
“I like the personal challenge. When you’re finished to be able to sit down and say you have walked 900km-1000km … not a lot of people can say that. It’s an achievement.”
While walking has shifted up a gear in retirement for Dave, the former Earnshaw State College principal says he still managed to make time for it when he was working.
These days, he enjoys talking part in the Redcliffe Man Walk three times a week.
“We walk, talk and support,” he says.
“When you’re retired you wonder where you can meet people. The Man Walk has gone beyond being a group of blokes that meet up and go for a walk.
“Many have become good friends and they’re there for each other. It’s getting bigger and bigger. The more times you meet someone and talk with someone, the more than you get the opportunity to bond and have a friendship.
“We’re supporting each other, it’s non-judgmental and it fills a void for a lot of retired people.”
His walking mates will be looking for Dave’s updates on the Redcliffe Man Walk Facebook page throughout his journey.