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What motivated you to walk the Virtual Camino? What have you enjoyed? Did the COVID outbreak have an impact on your commitment?

In 2017 I embarked on a virtual ‘cross country’ trip through Canada on my bicycle. I decided to do this after my son Oscar had died. He was 44 years old at the time. I remembered how he told me once, that he had not cycled across Canada yet. So I decided to do this in his honour. I kept track of my cycled km’s and plotted those km’s on our number 1 highway that runs from one side of Canada to the other. I started on Vancouver Island where I live and was cycling virtually across the different provinces, I looked up some of the towns, and some of the side roads and tourist attractions. When I saw the Virtual Camino advertised, I thought I could do both!

When did you start using the Camino for Good app? How many miles do you average in a day?

I started using the App on Mach 1, 2021. I arrived in Santiago on July 5th 2021 On average I think I walked between 5 and 10 km’s a day.

What are some other challenges you face while walking?

I walked rain or shine. To fit in both the cycling and the walking I started using the cycled km’s. But I worked out a formula that felt ‘fair’ to me. Based on what I had learned that the average walker covers 5 km/hour. The average cyclist 15 km/hour. So I started dividing my cycled km’s by 3 and applied those to my Camino walk.

What has walking done for you spiritually? Mentally? Physically?

I enjoy being physically active. I take fitness classes (currently by Zoom);I liked running well into my 71’st year;I love setting goals and reaching them. It helped me mentally with my grief about my sons’ deaths. Spiritually I felt both my deceased sons encouraging me and applauding me. (I have two sons and both are deceased) It was a good feeling to walk and feel their presence in my mind.

What was most enjoyable about the Camino for Good experience?

The encouragement from other participants around the globe. I met someone who was participating as well and who lives in my area. We have walked together and she helped me celebrate my virtual arrival in Santiago.

Feel free to share anything else!

After I finished the first Camino, I ‘reset’ the button and decided to cycle the same route. I thought I would be finished so much quicker. However, life had another story in mind and I became quite ill with some sort of abdominal illness. After almost 3 months of illness which started last fall, I am now back finishing the trip to Santiago. I very much appreciated the care and encouragement from other Camino pilgrims on the facebook Camino for Good Café page during my illness. Now that I picked up where I left off, I have just about 30 km left to go! After that I will peruse other virtual routes.

Buen Camino
Marsha Bergen

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