The Organising Committee of Destiny of a Child has done its best to give an answer to most queries you may have.

We hope that you find this document useful. In the event that you have a question not answered here, please get in touch and we'd be happy to help. 


The Basics

 

What does Camino mean? 

The direct translation of el camino in English is 'the way'. The Way of Saint James is the pilgrimage route leading from various European cities to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain. The oldest route to Santiago de Compostela, first taken in the 9th century, is referred to as the Original Way or Camino Primitivo, which begins in Oviedo. 

 

How do i sign up? 

Easy, go to The 2018 Challenge page, click on the green 'Register Now' button on your choice of Camino. That will take you to Join the Challenge page, click on the photo of your chosen Camino, your preferred start dates and your room type. Then click on the Register button and fill in the registration form.

Your personal information and payment details are held securely, and will not be shared with third parties.

Please make sure you read our Terms and Conditions before registering.


Financial Queries

Can I pay for the challenge in one payment? 

No, unfortunately this is not possible.

 

Why can I not pay by cheque? 

Destiny of a Child is run purely on voluntary basis and we are avoiding unnecessary administration. Therefore we will only except Debit Cards / Credit Cards for the initial deposit, and BACS (bank transfer) for the final amount. 

 

I've paid my deposit, how much more do I owe?  

Depending on which Camino Route you have opted for, you will pay the same amount as the deposit (by 31st January 2018). This equates to :-

  • Camino Del Norte Final 50% = €365 (if you selected a shared room) or €441 (if you opted for a single room)
  • Camino Primitivo Final 50% = €375 (if you selected a shared room) or €447 (if you opted for a single room)
  • Camino Frances Final 50% = €448 (if you selected a shared room) or €499 (if you opted for a single room)
  • Grand Camino Final 50% = €1,917 (if you selected a shared room) or €2,297 (if you opted for a single room)

 

What can I expect to pay in additional costs? 

Your package includes hotel, breakfast, dinner and daily transfer of your luggage. Therefore, your additional costs will be your flights to and from the challenge, and your lunches which you can purchase while walking through one of the picturesque villages.

 

What happens if I change my mind and I have already paid some money? 

Unfortunately, your money will not be refunded as stated in our Terms and Conditions.  

 

HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO RAISE?

The Walker agrees to raise a minimum sponsorship amount of no less than £1,500, however, each Walker will be asked to raise as much as possible for Destiny of a Child. The minimum sponsorship must be received by Destiny of a Child by 30th April 2018. Any additional sponsorship over and above the minimum must be received by Destiny of a Child as soon as reasonably possible, and in any case by the 30th June 2018. The Walker agrees not to use the challenge to raise funds for any other cause other than Destiny of a Child.

If the Walker cancels or withdraws from the challenge, all the sponsorship money collected or received must be sent directly to Destiny of a Child. This money will be retained by Destiny of a Child. When fundraising, the Walker must make it absolutely clear if any of the sponsorship will be used to contribute towards the Walker’s own costs and if so how much.

 

Is it difficult to set up my JustGiving page? 

No - it is very easy. Once you register with Destiny of a Child you will receive an email detailing your registration, and including a link to JustGiving which will guide you through you own personalised set-up process.

 

How can I raise the money? 

There are many ways to raise money, from cake sales to golf days - you can read more here

If you feel that an individual or company has gone above and beyond to support you on your fundraising journey, please get in touch and we would be more than happy to give them a special mention and thank them on our partners page.

 

when is the deadline for fundraising for Destiny of a Child? 

The minimum sponsorship amount of no less than £1500 must be received by Destiny of a Child by 30th April 2018 in order to allow you to join the challenge. Any further donations must be received by the 30th June 2018.

 

What will happen if I can't raise £1,500? 

Unfortunately, you will not be able to join the challenge even if you have paid for it.


Logistics

Do I arrange MY own flights? 

Yes. Follow The Camino and Destiny of a Child will not be arranging flights for challengers - this means you can take advantage of low-cost airlines (Ryanair, EasyJet, Iberia and Vueling etc), can travel from the airport most convenient to you, and can choose to extend your holiday following your Camino challenge if you wish.

 

How is the transfer organised? 

Please allow at least an hour between your arrival and time of transfer to your first hotel. 

We expect the transfer from Biarritz airport to your first hotel will be at approximately 18:30pm for The Grand Camino, Camino Del Norte and Camino Frances. Transfer from Santiago airport should be around 18:00pm for Camino Primitivo. 

Should your flights be delayed and you miss your transfer, you will need to make your own arrangements to reach the hotel at your own expense. However, Destiny of a Child will do their best to help you resolve this problem.

 

How many kilos of luggage am I allowed on the walk? 

The daily luggage transfer booking between hotels during the challenge includes one piece of luggage of 15kg maximum per person. Extra weight of €5 per bag/transfer will be charged. If you leave more bags to be carried, you will be charged €10 per day and per extra bag.

 

Do I need a passport or visa? 

If you are a European citizen, your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. You do not need any additional period of validation on your passport. If you are a none European citizen, you will have to refer to your own country's visa requirement. 
 

Do I need travel insurance? 

Walkers must take out their own personal travel insurance with, personal accident (including death and disability), medical expenses and emergency, evacuation, repatriation arrangements, personal liability and cancellation of the challenge. Destiny of a Child reserves the right to withdraw a Walker from the expedition if the Walker is unable to provide Destiny of a Child with written evidence that such a policy has been obtained by 31st March 2018. The Walker should also arrange their own insurance cover for the loss, damage or theft to the Walker's personal belongings, money and documents.

For European citizens, it is essential to have a valid E111 form.  

 

 

How did you select the travel agent? 

Annie Martin, who is in charge of the logistics of the project, contacted two travel agencies in France, two in the UK and one in Ireland. On reflection, Annie decided to go into partnership with `Follow The Camino`, based in Dublin, due to their overall professionalism.

Annie and Francesca met Umberto and Patricia, from Follow the Camino, in Dublin and have organised the challenge logistics in person.


daily life on the camino

Where do we stay on the Camino? 

Follow The Camino selects accommodation based on comfort, facilities and character. For example, they always give preference to hostels awarded with a quality label and/or those recommended by recognised guidebooks. In addition, Annie Martin, Francesca Turner and Carolyn Collyer have taken the time to ensure the quality of the service they provide. However, please note that the accommodation is simple and reflects the spirit of the Camino.

 

What is the difference between an albergue and a refugio? 

Albergue and Refugio are synonymous terms for the low cost hostels. Albergues are generally dormitories with a shared bathroom. All hostels are small independently run businesses. 

For this challenge we will be staying in small hotels and guest houses.

 

Am I guaranteed a single room for every night if I paid for a single? 

We will do our best. However, on rare occasions it may not be possible as some of the hostels are very small. 

 

Will the 20 walkers of the group always stay together at night? 

Most of the time they will. However, due to the size of the hostels it is possible that the group will be divided.

 

How does luggage transfer work? 

With the luggage transfer, you will be entitled to bring 1 piece of luggage at a maximum weight of 15kgs per bag.  You will leave it in the hotel reception each morning at approximately 8am and it will be collected and taken to the next hotel and will be waiting for you when you arrive.

 

How much money do I need? 

Breakfast and dinner are included in the Camino Challenge fee, but you will have to pay for your lunch and your water during the walk. €15 per day should be enough.

 

Can I take any valuables? 

Yes, however this at your own risk. We advise you to check that any valuables are covered by your personal insurance.

 

If I have a dietry requirement, will there be a problem? 

We recognise that people may have specific dietary requirements and that for health or other reasons these vary greatly. We can however only request dietary requirements to our suppliers for the following diets:

  • Diabetic Suitable for reduced sugar, hyperglycemic, hypoglycemic and carbohydrate controlled meal requests.
  • Gluten Intolerant/Celiac also known as low gliadin, non-tropical sprue, Celiac disease, low wheat, wheat free, gluten restricted diet. A Gluten Intolerant Meal eliminates all foods prepared with wheat, rye, barley and oats.
  • Vegetarian - No meat, no fish. Nuts may be used as a protein substitute.

 

Where can I wash my clothes? 

Specific laundry facilities cannot be guaranteed throughout the trip, but you can wash your clothes in your hostel bathrooms and leave them to dry overnight.

We'd recommend taking special travel wash and safety pins (especially for those on the Grand Camino!)


Camino Details

How many walkers can join the challenge? 

We are aiming to have 180 walkers sign up for this exciting Challenge, which will allow Destiny of a Child to provide approximately 8 to 10 children with Autism with specially trained companion dogs.  

 

HOW BIG ARE THE GROUPS?

The Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo and the Camino Frances will comprise of a maximum of 20 walkers, each with an experienced guide. The Grand Camino will comprise of a maximum of 6 walkers and will be a self guided walk.

Whilst the specific Destiny of a Child groups will not meet or walk together, you will have plenty of opportunity to meet other walkers along the Camino.

 

How did you select the different Camino ROUTES? 

Each route was chosen with the view to offering a unique experience, across different terrains with stunning views of the Spanish landscape.

The Camino Del Norte makes it way along the magnificent coastline of the Basque region and crosses some of the most spectacular scenery of the northern coast with superb cities like San Sebastian and Bilbao.

The Camino Frances is one of the most popular routes taken by walkers. You will cross the Pyrenees, which is a challenge by itself.

The Camino Primitivo is one of the most beautiful and rewarding sections on the Camino and arriving in Santiago de Compestela is always a moving experience.

The Grand Camino is not for the faint hearted. This route option is the most challenging Camino across 507 miles / 810 kms of Spanish coastline.

 

Which routes should I follow? 

You will select your route on registration of the Challenge. Please refer to the individual Camino routes on the 2018 Challenge page of our website.

 

How will I know which way to go? 

The Camino is signposted with yellow arrows at very frequent intervals.

 

How easy is it to get lost? 

On your trip you will be in a group of 20 walkers, accompanied by a guide and therefore you cannot get lost. If you are walking the Camino Grande, please be advised that this is a self guided walk but the chances of you getting lost is very limited as all walkers are walking in the same direction and the Camino is very well signposted.

 

Will I be walking through any big towns? 

Yes, depending on your Camino option, please refer to the daily itinerary. 

 

What is an average day on the Camino like? 

Walking and enjoying the scenery, talking to old and new friends as well as the locals. Stopping for lunch and relaxing in the evening over dinner. There is inevitably some time spent getting in and out of towns but for the most part you will be away from crowds and enjoying beautiful countryside.

 

Is it physically challenging? 

The Camino Grande is the most challenging as mentioned before. However, it is undertaken by people of all ages. There are some long days, a few arduous climbs – but it is not meant to be a tough physical challenge. Blisters are more of a problem than exhaustion.

 

What kind of fitness level is required? 

You will need a certain level of fitness in order to complete this Camino challenge. Some parts are more strenuous than others. The more practice you put in before the challenge dates, the better you'll fare. You can find some Useful Guides here with training plans and tips.

 

Do I need to train for walking the pilgrimage? 

This is optional. If you are in good health and good physical condition you can walk the Camino without special training, although any training is never going to hurt. However, it is advisable to test and break in your walking shoes/boots. 

You may also want to experiment with walking poles if you are not used to them, to see if they help. If you are not walking or exercising regularly it would be good to prepare with a few longish walks – to build confidence.

 

do you have any guides on how to train for the camino? 

Yes, if go to the Resources section on our website, you will find a wealth of information on how to prepare yourself for the Camino Challenge.

 

Am I too old or too young to walk? 

The Challenge is open only to adults aged 18 and over. The rule of thumb is you can walk it if you can carry your own daypack. If you have a known health condition you will need to take the necessary precautions. 

 

If I am diabetic, can I walk the Camino? 

Yes, but you need to look after your insulin supply. Consult your doctor. Carry at least a day’s supply of food at all times and test your blood sugar very regularly and remember to drink plenty of water.

 

What is the average speed and distance covered per day? 

Each day is different but the average is 20kms per day. An average walker’s speed is 3-4 km/h, an expert walker’s speed is 4-5km/h and a tough walker’s speed is 5-6 km/h. A sensible planning assumption is to assume you cover about 4km per hour to take account of short stops for coffee etc. Please refer to the Daily Itinerary of each Camino on the Challenge page on our website for more information.

 

Do I need to carry my bag? 

Not on this trip as the luggage will be transferred every day to your next hostel. You will want to carry a day bag with you though (see backpack note above), to keep walking essentials in like water, snacks, spare socks, blister plasters and a first aid kit.

 

Is there a recommended weight my backpack should be? 

Your daypack should not weigh more than 10% of your body weight, though do see the below question too.

 

What type of weather can I expect? 

The weather can be very unpredictable at this time of year so walkers are advised to bring a variety of clothing for both warm and wet days. Please refer to our Camino Packing Guide and Hiking Equipment Check List, which can be found in the Resources section of the website. 

 

Where and what can I eat on the Camino? 

There are bars along the way which have drinks and snacks and you can buy food in shops. You should check each morning where the cafes are along that day's route – sometimes there can be long gaps between villages and in that case it makes sense to ensure you have adequate water and snacks.

 

Where do you go to the bathroom on the Camino? 

The Camino is not like some long distance paths which deliberately avoid towns and villages. Indeed many towns and villages you will visit exist precisely because they are on the route of the Camino. So typically on each day there will be cafes and bars along the way and typically they are extremely clean.

 

Do mobile phones HAVE SIGNAL WHILE ON THE CAMINO? 

Not necessarily on the walk. However, most of the hostels will provide Wifi.

 

Are there dangerous dogs on the Camino? 

Not usually. However, the dogs may bark at you because most of them are working dogs.

 

 

Do I need to tip the guide at the end? 

This is at your discretion. However, our guides are knowledgeable about the Camino and local traditions. Therefore, if you feel your guide has been informative then it is appropriate to tip. 

 

Will I be able to contact Destiny of a Child while walking the Camino? 

Yes, you will have direct contact with one of the committee members.

 

I have questions, who can i speak to? 

If you can not find the answer from our website, which is very informative, we will endeavor to answer your questions. However, please note that Destiny of a Child is run on a voluntary basis therefore, your questions may not be answered straight away. 

 

What happens if I fall ill or have an emergency? 

The most important thing is your safety and we are committed to that. We will give you an emergency phone number that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For those participants that are with the guided group you will have the support of our certified guide in the case of unforeseen circumstances. We strongly recommend that you take out your own personal insurance and have an valid E111 form to cover any unforeseen circumstances.

What should I take with me? 

Depending on the time of year and your chosen destination, clothing requirements can vary greatly. We would always recommend doing your own research, but we have compiled helpful packing and training guides on the Resources section of our website.

 

Do I need specialist hiking equipment? 

Please refer to the Resources section on our website for a detailed list of hiking equipment and clothing.

 

 

What type of shoes are suitable? 

Please refer to the Resources section of our website where there is information on choosing the best walking foot wear for the Camino.

 

Should I take walking poles? 

Walking poles are not a must, it is down to individual preference. They are not essential but anyone with knee/ankle issues may find them helpful, especially on downhill stretches.

 

What kind of walking notes will be provided? 

Two months before your departure date, you will receive a Challenge Pack from Follow The Camino. This pack contains all the information about your challenge route, including the walking notes and maps, which are sent via email.

These walking notes are extremely detailed and describe your route step-by-step. Our notes are checked regularly and updated accordingly. In addition, we welcome customer feedback on the information we distribute.

Our maps are the best in terms of design and usability. They are perfect for walkers and adventure travellers.

 

Is the pilgrimage only for religious people? 

No, these days the way of St James attracts thousands of people from all over the world representing all faiths and those with no faith.

 

Do we receive our pilgrim passports and what do we do with them? 

Yes you will receive this with the holiday pack. This will have to be stamped once per day along the Camino and for those participants completing the last 100kms, it will need to be stamped twice per day. The places in which they can be stamped are in hotels, café’s, restaurants and churches along the way. Only those who are completing the last 100kms into Santiago will be able to achieve their pilgrim certificate.

What does ‘ultreia et sus eia’ mean and why do I keep on hearing it? 

The name Ultreïa is a mix from latin and an old french language. It used to be shouted between former pilgrims of the Middle Age as a wish of an unfailing courage. The true words seem to be

E ultreïa, E susseïa” as : “Go upper, go farther!

 

What is Saint James day? 

Many people in Spain celebrate the life and deeds of  James, son of Zebedee, on Saint James' Day (Santiago Apostol), which is on July 25. Saint James was one of Jesus' first disciples. Some Christians believe that his remains are buried in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

 

Destiny of a Child hope that you have a rewarding experience while walking the Camino and thank you for supporting us in raising money for such a worth while cause. 

Annie, Francesca, Carolyn, Julie, Mercedes, Christian, Jenny, Diane, Maria-Grazia, Savannah and Mirka