Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 19 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Branwalator of Jersey
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Retired doctor walks Camino pilgrimage in own driveway, raises $15,000


aroonroj.kul | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 04/29/20

This is an excellent way to stay healthy and reverent in isolation.

A retired Irish doctor is raising money for the charity Trócaire by completing a virtual portion of the Camino Francais. Martin McMullan, 57, will walk the length of his own driveway over and over to cover the distance, all the while following a map of the course to keep track of where he would be on the actual pilgrimage.

The Irish News reports that McMullan was forced to retire seven years ago due to a diagnosis of incurable blood cancer. In an effort to stay active, he joined his church’s ‘Rambling Retirees Walking Club,’ a walking group that travels all over Ireland and was planning a summer pilgrimage on the “Irish Camino,” which stretches around the Boyne Valley. When these plans were struck due to the world isolation, McMullan came up with the idea to go virtual. He told the news outlet:

“It was a throwaway comment during a Zoom call to my siblings, when I said `Instead of getting me a present for my birthday, I might do the next stage of the Camino on my driveway and you can sponsor me.'”

McMullan measured his driveway to find that five laps roughly equaled a mile and then he began plotting his virtual course. He said that he will be covering the portion of the Camino from Logrono to Burgos and expects to walk 30km per day. The Belfast Telegraph notes that in order to lend a bit of authenticity, his wife will run a virtual cafe when he reaches the distance where his rest stops should be. He told them:

“I know the scenery might be a little different, and probably repetitive, but I want to make this as close as possible to the real thing. If it rains, it rains, I’ll just keep on walking.”

As is tradition for pilgrims on the Camino, McMullan has chosen a charity to raise money for through his efforts. He started a fundraiser with the goal of supporting the Irish charity Trócaire with £500, but his story has drawn generous parties to donate over £12,000 (almost $15,000) at the time this article was written. He wrote on the fundraiser page:

I realize that times for many are difficult and you may not be in a position to donate. I totally understand. I intend to match the first £100 of donations myself as obviously I am saving money on airfares etc!!

The fundraiser is still open for more donations. If you’d like to make a contribution, visit the fundraiser page, where McMullan has promised to leave updates after each day of his virtual adventure.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
Reasons Catholics should read the Bible
Bret Thoman, OFS
Traces of miracles remain at the birthplace of St. Rita of Cascia
Philip Kosloski
St. John Paul II's formula for defeating evil in the world
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
'An American Blessed': A documentary to thank God in 2021
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.