Day 3 of the Celtic Camino Festival, Co. Mayo
Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail – 25km
Sunday, 15th of April, 2018
The third and final day of the Celtic Camino Festival included a 25km Celtic Camino Pilgrim Walk from the beautiful Mayo town of Balla to Killavalley. It was agreed to meet in Balla Community Centre at 9.30am for registration and to receive the first Celtic Camino stamp of the day. Over 200 were in attendance and forecast looked promising. Nevertheless, it was advised to bring rain gear, water, and good walking shoes. At 9.30am, we left the town and made our way to the trail – first in line was a piper – quite a fitting way to lead us!
The Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail extends from the town of Balla in central Mayo to the village of Murrisk at the base of Mayo’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick. The trail is 61km in length and mainly at low level, but the trail does ascend around the foothills of Croagh Patrick.
To gain a Celtic Compostela, it is only required to walk 25km. It was planned to walk from Balla to Ballintubber Abbey on the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail before Mass would be held in the Abbey. The walk would then recommence on the Tochar Phadraig Walk to Killavalley where the Compostela was awarded to those who arrived.
It was a very enjoyable day and it was a great way to end a very successful festival. There was a great feeling of being one with nature just for a few hours. Many pilgrims met new friends and talked about their past experiences on the Camino. There was a great sense of community and this was seen especially in Balla and in Clogher where volunteers organised refreshments. We highly recommend this route, and it is very much like parts of the Camino in Galicia.
Our thanks go to CaminoWays.ie, to Pat, Joe, Ger. To Fr. Denis and the Balla Community. Tom, Pauline, Martin and all the guides, Clogher Community, Fr Fahey and Muriel in Ballintubber. Denis from CIE and the Cawleys.
Click on the links below to find out more information about the Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail: