SLOW CAMINO - May/June 2013Over the years many people with disabilities have expressed their regret at not being physically able to walk a Camino.
In fact, every year more and more people with disabilities are doing Caminos - on crutches, with walkers, in wheelchairs and hand cycles. Many manage to walk the last 100km to Santiago and earn their Compostela certificate.
It is not an impossible dream!
A wonderful woman (with multiple sclerosis) who walked the last 114km from Sarria using her Rollator helped me tremendously with the chapter on disability in my Camino planning guide YOUR CAMINO. She planned on doing her Camino in 3 weeks but ended up racing to the end and finished it in 2 weeks.
Most guide books suggest daily stages of between 20km and 30km. This is far beyond the capabilities of people with lateral paralysis or muscular disorders.
In order to earn the Compostela - a certificate of completion - pilgrims have to walk the last 100km (or cycle the last 200km) to Santiago. There is no time restriction on how long it takes to walk the last 100km. It makes no difference if it takes you 4 days or 24 days.
If you have a physical disability and can only walk about 8km in a day (1km to 1.5km per hour) it will take you less than two weeks to reach Santiago from the 100km mark. Add a couple of rest days and most people with a disability can acheive their dreams of walking to Santiago in 15 or 16 days.
Through amaWalkers Camino (Pty) Ltd, I have decided to offer an accompanied Slow Camino walk on the Camino Frances from the 100km mark to Santiago for people with disabilities next year. Unfortunately, I can't include pilgrims in wheelchairs at this stage as we would need vehicle back up for each pilgrim and other types of support which I can't provide - yet, but am not ruling out the possibility of organising one for wheelchair pilgrims at a later date.