Mother & 9-year-old Daughter Walk 800km Camino Pilgrimage

When we started running our #adventureshare stories, Shirley Redman’s experience of walking 800km from the south of France across Spain on the Camino de Santiago with her 9-year-old daughter really stood out as something extraordinary.  51-year-old Shirley, who comes from Plettenberg Bay in South Africa, became a single mum of three after her husband passed away three years ago. She strives to fit in outdoor adventures in between running her own business and raising a family and aims to push her own limits. In this #adventureshare, Shirley writes about her incredible Camino adventure.

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Shirley & her daughter on the Camino.

My adventure in a nutshell… I walked the Camino de Santiago (800km) from the south of France, across Spain with my then 9 year old daughter.

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Hiking with luggage.

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Why I walked the Camino with my daughter… I walked the Camino to give me the time to grieve the death of my mom. My daughter insisted on coming with and it gave us the time to have uninterrupted time together. We walked for six weeks and this gave us time to talk about life, the “birds & bees” and meet people from all over the world.

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Mother & daughter along the way.

What I loved most about this adventure… I loved knowing that all I had to do every day for six weeks was get up and walk. There were no phones or daily stresses or school runs. Just some occasional cooking and living the simple life.

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Long road ahead on the Camino.

What I found most challenging… While walking with my young daughter, I always worried if we were going to get to the next town and find a place to sleep. If I was on my own, I could have spread my sleeping bag anywhere and slept outdoors. During the summer months, the Camino gets very busy and sometimes the pilgrim accommodation gets full. Another challenge was getting my daughter up in the mornings!

Watermelon on Camino

Watermelon break en-route.

My greatest memory from this adventure… I think of the Camino every day and long to return. The many wonderful people we met on the way and friends we made were big highlights.

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Catching some shade on the Camino.

My next bucket-list adventure… I’d love to hike Eden to Addo (400km hike from Plettenberg Bay to Addo Elephant Park), walk the Otter Trail, run the Wall of China Marathon, climb Mount Kenya, participate in the “Expedition Africa Adventure Race” and, and, and…

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Finishing the long walk in Santiago.

For more on the Camino, read our post on 6 stereotypical characters you’ll meet on the Camino.

Follow Shirley on twitter: @CoralTreeCott

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