Lejla fl-Ghalqa

John and Jacqueline Cutajr have kindly invited the Nebrodi Neve (Feb), Amalfi (June) and Tochar Phadraig (Aug) groups to a Lejla fl-Ghalqa on Friday 8th July 2022. We would meet next to the Maqghluba Church and then walk to their field. Timing will be confirmed closer to the date via a WA group that we’ll form.

John and Jacqueline will kindly provide the BBQ set and chicken wings/legs. We will all take care of the rest (both in terms of food/drink and what we eat/drink in/from).

Those who are interested in joining, can you please fill this form as early as practicable, preferably before end of Day Monday 27th June so that we can distribute well and equitably what people are to bring. Looking forward to your replies:

We will let you know the numbers and firm up what to bring as soon as we firm up the numbers. But your indication of what you can bring would be greatly helpful. Thanks.

A Vote of Confidence in the Camino

As uncertainty continues in Spain over Covid-19 restrictions and measures at XirCammini we are certain that the Camino will prevail as it has for centuries before.

Neither war, nor strife, nor agnosticism or indifference have served to kill the Camino. Tomorrow the pandemic will be history, but the Camino will continue.

A XirCammini perregrina busily paints the conchas for our next series of Caminos in Spain, hopefully starting in September 2021:

We also continue with our efforts locally to strengthen the local, mini, Camino and other, historically-embedded, faith walks which will also launch once a normality prevails.

Until then, let’s keep positive and active.

Sincerely … James

Praying with Paintings | Why do our faith and belief fade so quickly when once we believed so keenly?

Shared by Johnnie Walker Santiago | Reflections by Fr. Denis McBride

For those of you fond of both the Camino de Santiago and that which is Celtic and isosteric, then this reflection is for you. Enjoy

Dear Friends

For the last 10 years I have set off on a Lenten Camino the day after Ash Wednesday. This year it was not to be. The Camino is closed, no travel is permitted outside of Galicia and many other regions and the vaccination programme has hardly started. I must confess to feeling a little sorry for myself when my friend Fr Denis McBride sent me an invitation to join him for a 20 minute reflection. It is wonderful. One discerning friend has already written to say that it is a “masterpiece”.

Enjoy it. For those suspicious of the title…just listen!


Stay well land keep safe | With love from Santiago



The Last Pre-Covid 19 Overseas Trekking Experience

During this #Xircammini #hiking experience we visited Ponte dei Saraceni, Parco dei Nebrodi and North Etna. We were rewarded with snow on the North Etna trek on the last day. We would like to thank Attilio Caldarera (https://www.vaicoltrekkingsicilia.com/) for making this a truly memorable experience.

Thank you John Darmanin for bringing the group together.

URL: #www.XirCammini.org | Email: information@XirCammini.org

Irish Celtic Caminos Groups 1 & 2

#XirCammini walked the #Irish #Celtic #Caminos dubbed the (#PilgrimPaths) twice last year. We had 2 groups of #Pilgrims #hiking the 5 #trails that make up the Irish Caminos (61 pilgrims in total).

There is a video per group below

We would like to thank David and Elisabeth Ross (#http://www.topoftherock.ie/), Marian Collins and her lovely family (#https://roselawn-house.com/), John O’Dwyer (https://www.pilgrimpath.ie/), the Visitor’s Chapel in Glendalough, Fionan and his team leading the Cosan na Naomh (#https://www.facebook.com/Cos%C3%A1n-n…), the Cork Society who assisted on the Cnoc na d’Tobar, Fr. Fahey, Teresa and the Team at Ballintubber Abbey (#https://www.ballintubberabbey.ie/), Maura, Breege, Maggie and Maryanne and their lovely families at Ballintubber (#http://www.abbeysidebandb.com/, #http://www.tranquilescapesbb.com/, etc.), The guides on the various routes, the transport providers and the drivers and everyone who made this monumental task possible in 1 week.

Music Credit: bensound.com #www.XirCammini.org | #information@XirCammini.org

1st Group’s experience:

2nd Group’s experience:

COVID 19: Keep Calm | Carry on (#4)

This is the 4th update in our Covid 19 announcements to XirCammini Members.

Our underlying advice remains, “Keep calm | act sensibly | exercise discipline | carry on.”

Introduction: Thank You

We will start Alert #4 by reiterating our thanks to the healthcare fraternity and those around them engaged in halting and healing. We also reiterate our note of caution:

Thanks: We want to thank all the healthcare professionals, paramedics, disciplined forces, volunteers and all those engaged in the effort to halt and or heal. Thank you.

Caution: A word of caution to everyone else out there in touch with the healthcare profession. Please be supportive of the efforts and instructions in place. These are there to protect us. Please cooperate fully with the medical fraternity. They are our ultimate line of defense.

Overseas Trekking

General Instructions & Announcements

We will continue to monitor local, regional and international news and advisories in order to update our members as necessary.

There is a general increase in cases mainly in continental Europe prompting more measures from respective governments.

Latest from Santiago de Compostela

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and the Pilgrim’s office have announced today that they will remain closed until further notice. This coincides almost with the Spanish government’s decision to declare a state of alert today coming into effect on Saturday.

XirCammini has secured the refund of all payments made by its members to the various accommodation providers for the Camino Norte. This was due to take place next week and we will distribute these to the members shortly.  

Latest from Malta

Meanwhile in Malta, the government announced today that any incoming passengers (including tourists) from any country need to observe the 14-day quarantine on penalty of € 1,000 per breach.

Any returning trekkers are strongly urged to abide by the quarantine directives.

Schools closed for a week. Similarly, churches closed and catechism classes suspended; the church arranging for televised and streamed liturgical services. Hospitals and old people’s homes also have restrictions or in some cases a ban on visiting times. This is the latest from the Times of Malta on the government announcements: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/watch-robert-abela-gives-update-on-coronavirus-measures.777839

Gatherings of groups of people, while not prohibited, are actively discouraged. Many of the local trekking groups have cancelled their hikes until further notice.

Local Trekking: Universal Peace Walk 1543AD

After having consulted the persons who were planning to participate in the event and weighed this against on-going directives and developments, XirCammini announces with regret that it will be postponing the Universal Peace Walk 1543AD event of 15th March 2020.

The Committee has taken the decision with great responsibility as a precautionary measure since the current Covid situation remains fluid and is constantly developing.

While – until possible to do so – we encourage exercise in sunlight and fresh air solo or in small groups we also advocate that interaction with others continues to follow the simple safety principles advocated by ECDC, WHO and the Government of Malta. XirCammini represented these principles in all of it Covid advisories (1 -4) contained herein.

XirCammini will refund in full the contribution collected for transport and the Credencial. We ask those who paid and wish to collect the refund to provide us with IBAN details so that we can transfer the € 5 or € 10 contribution back to them.

Practical Prevention Advice

We will end today’s advisory with some practical self-risk assessment / prevention.

The Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) may not show signs of infection for a number of days. By the time they fever or cough manifest themselves Fibrosis may already have taken effect in the lungs.

A simple self-test each morning:

Take a deep breath and hold it for more than 10 seconds.

If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness and so on this an indication that there is no Fibrosis in the lungs; i.e. no infection in the lungs. Slef-check every morning.

The following is a synthesis of a piece from the Stanford hospital board:

Preventative measures:
  1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
  2. This new virus is not heat-resistant. Therefore temperatures of 26/27 degrees will kill it. Sunlight and heat limit the growth or longevity of coronavirus.
  3. A coronavirus induced sneeze can be airborne for about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
  4. Viruses dropping on
    1.  a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours. Therefore it is very important to regularly wipe metal surfaces with  anti-bacteria wipes and wash hands with anti-bacterial soap.
    1. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it.
  5. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Do not to drink liquids with ice. Keep your mouth and throat moist with sips at 15-minute intervals if possible. Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill the virus. If you don’t drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs.
  6.  Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minute.
  7. A lot can happen in 5 minutes. Avoid rubbing your eyes, unwittingly picking nose etc.
  8. Gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
Recognising the Symptoms of Coronavirus:
  1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days.
  2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.
  3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
  4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you are drowning. It is imperative you then seek immediate attention.

Conclusion: A Reminder on Trekking Etiquette

  1. Do not join the trek if you are sick, running a temperature, have a cough, or experiencing trouble to breathe;
  2. Do not join the trek if you have recently returned from Italy, Spain, France, Germany or Switzerland. You should be in quarantine;
  3. Avoid any form of physical contact with others (i.e. shaking hands, hugging, kissing etc.) and try to maintain the 1 metre physical distance;
  4. Avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Carry and use alcohol-based hand sanitisers, tissues, and other hygiene products constantly on a trek;
  5. Use soap and water if hands are visibly dirty;
  6. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

In the face of all this it is worth reminding ourselves that we are not circumstances and we can choose not to be defined or constrained by circumstances.

Life is a journey | keep walking | keep smiling | keep (yourself and others) safe. Take care.

Coronavirus emergency: can you trek or perform outdoor activities? (#2)

Massimo Clementi [source www.trekking.it]

This is a useful think-piece by Massimo Clementi (www.trekking.it) coming from a country currently in lock down because of Covid 19. The underlying message remains the same as expressed in our think-piece on the same subject (https://xircammini.org/presidents-pen/covid-19-keep-calm-be-sensible-carry-on/) i.e. to “Keep Calm | Act Sensibly | Exercise Self-Discipline | Carry on”.

This morning the Official Gazette published the new Prime Minister’s Decree which extends the provisions and limitations previously applicable to Lombardy and the other provinces referred to as the “Red Zone” to all of Italy.

We made a general examination of the current provisions for the containment of the spread of Coronavirus. In this article we want to focus on sports activities and, in particular, on non-competitive outdoor activities, such as trekking, Nordic walking and mountain biking.

For these disciplines where there is an area of doubt in ​​the legislation, it is important to achieve clarity and to understand what can be undertaken safely and what must be avoided.

What are the activities that are definitely prohibited

Article 1 – paragraph 3 of the Prime Minister’s Decree, which came into force this morning, expressly prohibits all types of competitive and non-competitive sports activities, in any sports facility. The following is articulated in a way that it leaves no doubts:

Sports events and competitions of all kinds and disciplines are suspended, in public or private places. Professional and non-professional athletes can use gyms / training grounds behind closed doors where it is recognized as being of national interest by the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and by their respective federations

This provision:

1. Prohibits all sporting events, competitions and competitions of all types, both in professional and amateur settings; but

2. Training of professional athletes is allowed only if recognized by CONI or their respective Federations of interest, in view of future sporting competitions, such as the Olympics.

The rule continues by providing further indications for outdoor sports: these activities can be carried out provided that the minimum distance of one metre between the practitioners is respected and without prejudice to the prohibition of gatherings of people. The same article states that:

“… sports and physical activities carried out outdoors are allowed only on condition that it is possible to respect for the interpersonal distance of one metre …

Leaving the house to go walking alone, or with the people with whom we share a house, and immersing yourself in nature or in a street outside the centre is not only allowed but it could be a great way to combat the stress and anxiety of these days.

All those who are fortunate enough to be in mountain or countryside locations will be able to take advantage of these days to take long walks in nature.

Staying indoors may not be pleasant, but it is a necessary measure to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Trekking outdoors can be a valid alternative that allows you to recover physical and mental balance in these days.

Let’s try to make a short list to better understand what you can do without risk:

  • Go walking in nature and, in any case, away from crowded areas.
  • Go walking alone or with the people you share your home with.
  • Avoid crowded places and city centres.
  • Take advantage of green areas that are located near your homes.
  • In any case, respect the distance of one metre.

Massimo Clementi: Web Content Manager of Trekking.it. Social media, writing and content are my daily bread. Mountain lover, trekking and outdoor activities. I take care of the contents of trekking.it every day, I ensure that there is quality reading material that is useful to those who read it. We try to take the best ingredients from the great jungle of the internet to “cook” articles and insights that know how to give value to our readers.