Camino 2023, Tracy and Toby’s Story from Northern Spain
The Intelsius Camino relay offers Intelsius employees a chance to hike a section of the Camino de Santiago, a 780km pilgrimage network that winds through Northern Spain. The trek is sponsored with each employee raising money for an important cause; the figure raised is then matched by Intelsius and donated to the corporate charity ORCA.
The first leg was completed in 2018, with Intelsius employees Abi and Fiona completing the first section of the Camino, walking 113km from Saint Jean Pied de Port to the town of Estella. In 2019, a further two Intelsius employees continued the trail towards the Cathedral Santiago de Compostela. Beginning where the previous pair of employees ended, Jayne and Patrycja trekked West, and after six days and a total distance walked of 120km, Jayne and Patrycja entered the town of Belorado, and their Camino adventure came to an end, ready to pass the baton to the next two Intelsius employees.
After a three year hiatus due to COVID-19, two more Intelsius employees were ready to continue the famous walking route. This year, Business Development Manger Tracy Hall and Production Operative Toby Newton walked from Belorado to Fromista in Northern Spain, covering 140+ kilometres in 5 days in unseasonably searing heat. In this article, we speak to Tracy and Toby about their experiences.
So, tell us about the walk, how was it?
It’s quite humbling to think you are walking on the path of thousands of others who have took the same steps over the last 1200 years, all for their own personal reasons. You walk through places you would probably never visit, seeing the amazing landscape, picturesque towns and feeling part of something bigger as you meet people on the way all heading to the same destination. The atmosphere when meeting these people (see below photo) is one of true friendship and camaraderie and the support that every one gives each other is immense.
I would recommend the Camino walk to anyone. The walk itself was amazing if you like viewpoints and architecture. I met some lovely people from different cultures and it was nice to hear about their backgrounds.
And how was it travelling with someone you previously didn’t know very well?
I’m set in my ways and was worried about annoying her but I bonded really well with Tracy, things she has said have really helped me with my mental health and have taken them forward.
The idea of travelling with someone you might not be close with or know well might be daunting but this experience has truly done what Intelsius set out to do, building internal relationships. Toby and I may not have ever had the chance to get to know each other without this experience but now we have. We have shared stories and built a mutual trust. Toby’s experience could have been much better as I got an injury but his patience and support was fantastic, he wouldn’t leave my side, encouraged me and we crossed the finish line together. I know I can count on him. Some people do this walk alone, for whatever reason, but when you walk the Camino you are never alone, be it walking with someone, walking for your cause or knowing those back home are walking with you in spirit.
You’ve both been fundraising for two amazing charities, how has that gone?
Crossing that finish line for me was a huge emotional personal experience and given the fact that we were able to raise for our chosen charity makes every step worthwhile. I’m overwhelmed with the fundraising and support from family, friends and colleagues.
Most importantly I raised more money than I could even imagine for SCBU at York Hospital which gave me a great sense of achievement.
What would you say to other Intelsius employees perhaps thinking about applying to do the Camino 2024?
I urge everyone to get your name in the hat as it’s an unforgettable experience!
For those who are anxious about the walk or who you would participate with I couldn’t recommend it anymore. Thanks to everyone involved at making this event happen, just wish I could’ve done the next 400km!
Support Tracy and Toby’s Fundraising
Both Tracy and Toby were fundraising for two fantastic causes; Macmillan Cancer support, and York Special Care Baby Unit Support Group. If you’d like to support their fundraising efforts, follow the links below to their Just giving pages:
Or, simply can the QR codes below:
Intelsius fundraising Match for the Orca Charity
Intelsius are long-time corporate fundraising partners of The Orca Charity; a charity dedicated to marine conservation. Every year, we promise to match the total amount fundraised by our fantastic walkers, and donate this to The Orca Charity to help continue their amazing work.