Allan and Ronda Fabbi spent 34 days this fall hiking the El Camino de Santiago trail in Spain. The historic route covers 825 kilometres.

Allan and Ronda Fabbi spent 34 days this fall hiking the El Camino de Santiago trail in Spain. The historic route covers 825 kilometres.

Trek follows historic trail through Spain

For Allan and Ronda Fabbi, a 34-day trek on a trail in Spain was a personal challenge.

For Allan and Ronda Fabbi, a 34-day trek on a trail in Spain was a personal challenge.

In September and October, they hiked the historic El Camino de Santiago trail. In English, the name translates to The Way of St. James.

Between 100,000 and 150,000 people hike the 825-kilometre trail each year.

For many Catholics, it is a spiritual pilgrimage. For the Fabbis, it was a way to mark turning 60.

“It was a great accomplishment being able to do it,” said Ronda Fabbi.

The Fabbis heard about the trail through Yasmin John-Thorpe and Rick Thorpe, who hiked it in 2010.

John-Thorpe later wrote a book about the experience.

“She was our inspiration for doing it,” Alan Fabbi said.

The Fabbis began their preparations in February, looking for appropriate clothing and footwear and training for the lengthy walk.

When they began the hike in St. Jean on Sept. 14, they soon discovered it was an ever-changing experience.

“The thing about the Camino is it’s a metaphor of life,” Allan Fabbi said.

The trail, through the Pyrnees Mountains, changes from day to day and the weather ranged from warm and pleasant to cold and rainy. At times, there were steep climbs and steep descents.

Along they way, they stayed in hostels, in modest hotels or pensions and at a monastery for one night.

They said the hospitality along the way was impressive.

“Most communities really embraced the Camino.”

When they arrived at the trail’s end on Oct. 17, it was a cold, wet day and they were drenched from their hike in Santiago, just 30 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean.

“We were proud of what we had accomplished,” Allan Fabbi said. “We walked every step of the way.”

A full account of their trek can be found online at fabbicamino.tumblr.com.