Imagine a holiday that fulfils you on every level. By day, you are carried by your own feet on a beautiful, historic, World Heritage listed path through north-western Spain, walked by countless people over more than a thousand years. Immersed, every evening, in gorgeous, uplifting music created by your own voice and those of others walking the same path.
Sing the Camino is a new Spanish travel experience offered for the first time in May 2014, by the talented and effervescent choir director Jessie Vintila, leader of the sixty strong Raise the Roof Community Choir in northern New South Wales, Australia. After each day spent walking freely at your own pace with your luggage carried for you by van, through stunning and varied rural landscapes, ancient villages, towns and wilderness, your group of twenty travellers on Sing the Camino will gather each evening for singing, feasting on fine Spanish food and wine, and enjoying some enriching local musical experiences. By night you will rest in comfort, in charming, high quality, and affordable, carefully selected accommodation.
Sing the Camino is a 12 day, self-guided walking tour, from the small, picturesque city of Ponferrada, home of the Templar Knights’ Castle, to the Camino’s stunning destination, Santiago de Compostella. Travellers can choose from flying into the Spanish city of La Coruna, and taking a bus or train the 200km to Ponferrada, or independently walking more of the Camino, prior to joining Sing the Camino, an unforgettable musical, cultural, visual, culinary and for many, spiritual experience. There are many Camino routes leading to Santiago de Compostella from all over Europe, all paths walked by thousands of pilgrims through the ages. While the 800km long Frances route of the Camino comes from over the French border at St Jean Pied de Port, Sing the Camino travels a more manageable 211.4km of some of the most beautiful scenery on the route.
The Spanish translation of ‘camino’ is simply ‘way’, and links closely to the word ‘caminar’ meaning ‘walk’. Also known widely as “The Way of St James”, it is a pilgrimage steeped in spiritual and religious history. The Camino attracts people from all over the world, and from a full spectrum of faiths and non-religious backgrounds, who are often drawn simply to the beauty and adventure the Camino holds. It is also said to have pagan history that predates the events surrounding St James. While everyone experiences their own, unique Camino, a highlight described by many is the remarkable and instant camaraderie between those walking, and the warm hospitality extended by the local Spanish people.
In recognition of the special common thread between all travellers of this path, you will constantly be wished a ‘Buen Camino’, or ‘good way’ by fellow travellers and locals alike.
As a musical experience, Sing the Camino offers an unconditional welcome to the joy of singing. Director Jessie Vintila works with the ethos ‘If you can talk, you can sing’, that all people have an inbuilt musical instrument they are entitled to enjoy and celebrate. “In so many cultures, singing together is something everyone does, without question, as a wonderful and normal part of life” she says, “and then there are people who only let themselves sing in the shower!” With her carefully chosen repertoire of easy, four part harmony songs, mostly drawn from the African American gospel tradition of southern USA, Jessie has a gift for effortlessly drawing out the singer in everyone. Her choir in Australia, Raise the Roof, where all are welcome to sing with no auditions, recently collaborated with international soul diva Lisa Hunt, performing in professional settings and stunning audiences with their infectious groove, their fantastic harmonies, and their sheer musical zest. Within minutes of starting her workshops and choir sessions, groups of complete strangers, many with no singing experience, make breathtakingly beautiful and uplifting music together.
With only 40 places available on two 12 day tours, anyone interested in Sing the Camino would be wise to book early for this once in a life time opportunity.
Sing the Camino 2014 May 1-12 and May 22-June 2
AUD$3050+GST per person twin share, AUD$3515+GST single