Like the walkers the craic started at dinner ending with some pretty competitive sing songs!
As an organisation we had set a fundraising target of €50,000 for the week-long event but that has well been surpassed. A large group from Kerry, Cork, Mayo, Wicklow, Limerick, and Dublin joined forces and covered over 140kms walking and almost 400kms cycling and have funded over 20 missions for our charity Air Ambulance service.
One of our cyclists George Blackshields entertained the group at night with songs and kept everyone positive with his sunny disposition. George, from Cork City had raised almost €6,000 before the trip. He told the story of his and his wife’s experience with the Air Ambulance. “We were on holiday in Kerry in June 2020, spending the day at the beach with family when my wife collapsed.
“There was a huge emergency response. It was a relief to hear from the ambulance paramedics that the helicopter was on its way, I knew that it would be important to get Jean to hospital quickly.
“The crew did everything they possibly could to bring Jean back but sadly it didn’t work out for her. We really appreciate the efforts they took.
“The Irish Community Air Ambulance is badly needed, it’s an essential service, especially in rural parts of the country. I cycle regularly and the Camino is another adventure for me and I’m so grateful to everyone who has donated over the last few months.”
Both groups finished in Santiago de Compostela around the same time on Saturday 30th April. This was a really moving experience, finishing the distance covered, meeting up with group mates and seeing all the other pilgrims was exhilarating. Visiting the cathedral, enjoying some tapas and taking photos is absolutely a great finish, but it truly was the journey there that made this trip so special, in all different ways for us all.
Personally, I can’t wait for next year to see what the Camino brings and meet another group of Air Ambulance Camino Crew Pilgrims!
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