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MLMC is Back from Walking the Camino de Santiago
Three of our members – Dawn, Paul and Shaun – spent the first week of this month walking the Camino de Santiago with members of the Justice for LB Campaign.
You can read more about their preparation for the trip here: Learning Disabled People Can Have Adventures Too!
Now we are going to report back on how it went.
How was the journey?
For Shaun, it was the first time he had been on a plane. “It was easy,” he said. “Though the take-off gave me butterflies.”
“I was nervous about flying, but the EasyJet staff really looked out for us,” said Paul, who got to visit the cockpit and meet the pilot during the flight.
The group was met at the airport by Alicia, who works for Learning Disability England, and her husband Henry.
“Alicia was very energetic and excited to see us.”
By the end of the first day, Paul had been interviewed by the Spanish News.
How was Spain?
“I was worried about Spanish food but I liked it,” said Paul.
“Spanish food is really nice!” said Dawn.
“The buildings look different,” said Shaun. “The people were very friendly and polite.”
“We met 2 Mayors and a Disability Group,” said Paul. “We found out that in Spain, the government give people with learning disabilities money to stay at home and keep out of the way.”
How was the walking?
“Tiring!” Said Dawn. “Especially going up hills.”
“Everybody helped each other out.”
What is the thing you will always remember?
Shaun said: “For me, it meant spending positive time with people who are supportive, getting to know new people, and getting to know people I already know better.”
Paul said: “The best thing was getting over my fear of flying, and doing something new – long distance walking and going to a foreign country. I think we are the only people with learning disabilities from the UK to have walked the Camino de Santiago. We are definitely the only self-advocacy group who has.”
Dawn said: “I was worried about the walk, but am so proud that I achieved it. We are My Life My Choice and we don’t let anything get in the way.”
Shaun said: “We did have a whale of a time. There’s no doubt about that.”
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