So I’m walking the Camino with two friends – the last bit from Sarria to Compostela. It’s clear from the comments on Twitter and Facebook that this is something which people think about doing.

Practicalities first – my feet are sore and so are my knees. I’ve walked over 20k on each of the last two days and will do more tomorrow. And it’s hot.

But the other bit of pilgrimage is the people. There are dozens if of it hundreds doing the same thing. And you can talk to anyone and everyone. It took me a while to work out why they all seemed to be Irish – then somebody told me that the Aer Lingus flight arrives on Thursday. So we are moving down the Camino with that plane-load of Irish people.

Which of course is completely fascinating for any student of secularisation in Ireland and Scotland. The stories are often of people with deep spirituality who have parted company with institutional religion. That’s why pilgrimage is important – the journey is more important than the destination; relationships are more important than dogma. I’m learning a lot!

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