Maybe 790 Kilometres Can Mean Something More?

by | Jun 22, 2018 | Charity | 4 comments

Time to think about others perhaps…?

During the planning of our latest long-distance walk, my wife Pat and I wanted to add some additional purpose to our journey.

We had taken some time out again, from the day-to-day, to walk the 790 kilometres of the Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port in France, to Santiago de Compostela in North Western Spain.



It was the 3rd time we had made a journey like this, as a means to unplug, unwind and gain space, and to just walk and think and re-balance priorities. Like countless others who walk this and many other ancient pilgrimage routes, we find the ‘pull’ can become rather addictive due to the amazing impact it can have on our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

But this year we wanted to add some additional ‘external’ purpose. This walk wouldn’t be about us alone. We wanted to help others as part of the process. Others a lot less fortunate than ourselves.

As an integral part of our business ‘back home’ we make charitable giving a matter of habit, with each and every customer transaction. So it wasn’t hard to imagine how we could apply some charitable giving to the walk ahead of us. We already had the process in place!

But we wanted to keep it a secret till we finished.

Why? Well firstly, we might not make it! That could have been embarrassing. And in fact if you read our Blog you’ll see that almost happened.

But mainly it was that we didn’t want to add too much external pressure that might detract from and takeover what is really a very personal journey.  Better we thought, that we would reflect at the end, on how we might mark this particular journey through helping others.

We got back home a week ago, and have decided to do the following to ensure that some ‘real’ external purpose was achieved from our walk this year.

  • For each kilometre we each walked, we funded Vitamin A for a child in Kenya to help prevent blindness. 790 kilometres x 2 = 1,580 kids.
  • For each coffee (café con leche) I drank, we funded a lunch for an at-risk child in the Philippines. 2 coffees a day = 90 kids.
  • For each meal we ate, we funded a meal for an Orphaned child in Thailand. 45 days 3 meals a day x 2 of us = 270 kids
  • For each metre of hill we ascended, we funded life saving water for a day for a person in drought-stricken areas of Ethiopia, 14,790 metres ascended = 14,790 people
  • For each day we walked (45 days), we funded access to Family Planning education for a woman in rural India. 45 women.
  • For each night we stayed in a hostel or hotel, we funded a night’s shelter for a destitute elderly person in India.  (44 nights x 2) = 88 people
  • For each visit we made to a health care professional, doctor, physiotherapist or pharmacist we funded a mosquito net for a child in Cambodia to help prevent Malaria = 10 nets
  • And finally, for each dog and cat that Pat fed along the way (she carried pet food!) we fed a sick and malnourished dog in Nepal. That’s 50 dogs.

Maybe we’ll do this next time, when I walk 1,000 kilometres on the Via de la Plata?

Pat might skip that one 😊

Note: All charitable donations were made via our Partnership with Buy One Give One.  A really cool organisation that puts businesses in  touch with worthy causes around the World.  (individuals can join too) Every cent donated goes to those in need.  Nothing is deducted for marketing, business overheads, or anything else… This partnership gives us access to about 1,000 worthy causes globally.


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  1. José


    Vía de la Plata is next?! 😍

    • Rob

      I think so. Maybe with the Via Serrana as a warm up. 1,250 kms total…….

  2. Annie

    Oh no!!! No more posts!! You had be from the first post. Myself and a friend are walking the CF this April/May just like you and Pat. So thank you for your amazing blog…i have watched, read, laughed, cried and sympathised throughout. You , two are indeed a match made in heaven and that is evident in your amazing kindness and generosity you have shown with your donations. Pat, you darling girl, are an absolute delightful human being and i am sure that Rob is grateful for each moment he spends with you. Rob, you are a gift to the people of the Camino and fellow pilgrims…i tip my hat (and umbrella~ I’m absolutely getting one of those things before i leave thats for sure!), to you! Buen Camino!

    • Rob

      Hi Annie. I’m so jealous that you are walking soon !
      Sometimes I feel like I want to live on the Camino, but then it probably wouldn’t feel so special…

      I’m hoping to walk the VdlP next year, but I have a lot of weight to lose first!

      I look forward to hearing how your journey went.

      Buen Camino.


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