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3rd March 2015 - A Pilgrimage to Santiago di Compostela   

Robert Nimmo

President Ian Dewar welcomed the members of Biggar Probus Club on a cold March morning to a talk given by Robert Nimmo entitled “Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela”.

Robert spends a great deal of his retirement raising funds for the St Andrews Hospice in Airdrie and has been to Machu Pichu as well as several times to Santiago de Compostela.  At the time of his last pilgrimage to Santiago the Hospice needed to raise £30,000 per week to fund its activities and currently needs £60,000.

St James landed in Galicia in 41AD and preached there before returning to martyrdom in the Holy Land, from where his disciples took his body to near Santiago and buried it under a field of stars, hence the name Compostela.  There are four routes to Santiago, from France, England, Portugal and Seville with the true pilgrim having to walk at least 75 miles of the chosen route and traditionally travelling in groups for safety reasons.  The route to Santiago is signposted by the symbol of the pilgrimage, the scallop shell and reason for the current resurgence in the numbers of people making the pilgrimage, apart from religious, is perhaps due to the flora and fauna seen, the cities visited and the fact that the routes are now of World Heritage significance.

Robert’s walk covered 25 to 30 kilometres a day, some of it being by bus where necessary and covered all types of terrain.  On arrival in Santiago pilgrims meet at the Mount of Joy and proceed into the town where a Mass is held every evening at 7.30 in the Cathedral and where the bones of St James are kept in a glass case under the altar.

The next meeting on the 17th March will be an Open Day with members of the public very welcome.  The talk will be “Trekking in Nepal with the Guides” given by Lynn Weir.

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