This June, I'm taking on another cycling challenge... my toughest yet. It's a 1,000km Camino (pilgrim route) from Seville in southern Spain to Santiago de Compostela in the north.
And I'll be blogging the whole route - but alas not on this site (Wix doesn't have an iPad app... don't get me started on how frustrating that is!). You can follow my exploits here.
I'm excited to be starting in Seville - well known for its recent (and excellent) cycling infrastructure - and, by coincidence, I begin cycling on World Cycling Day (3 June): clearly this was meant to be!
About the Camino
Pilgrims have been walking the Camino – ‘the Way’ – to Santiago de Compostela in north-east Spain, thought to be the final resting place of Christ’s Apostle St James, for over 1,000 years. In its medieval heyday, something like a quarter of a million people each year walked or rode from their homes to Santiago, a staggering proportion of the population. In the 1980s, when I first heard about it, just a couple of thousand pilgrims were turning up at the Cathedral annually; now, numbers in peak season can reach 3,000 a day – likely to top 300,000 over the year. But until 100km from Santiago, the routes aren’t crowded – it’s a peaceful and beautiful part of the world.
The route I am taking this year largely follows a Roman Road known as the Via de la Plata. I will be cycling alone on a mountain bike, much of it off-road, carrying my kit with me and staying in small hotels along the way. I also pop into any church that is open and sing an ancient song that would have been sung on this route in the Middle Ages – it’s a glorious feeling to know that the churches will have heard these tunes hundreds of times…but probably not for hundreds of years
About Sussex Cricket Foundation
I jumped at the opportunity to apply to be a trustee of Sussex Cricket Foundation. I’ve always loved cricket – my cricket-mad granny used to have the family television, so it was required after-school viewing. I also have a professional interest in the health benefits of the game, whether it’s running around in the sunshine or enjoying catching up with friends.
SCF does a wonderful job of involving all ages across the county: supporting our very youngest cricketers through the All Stars programme, school cricket, local clubs, disabled cricket, Walking Cricket, and weekly Sporting Memories meetings for older people (currently held at the County Ground in Hove) – and our programmes for women and girls are particularly successful. It's a pleasure to be involved.