MALAGA-based insurance expert Danni Worth and his son Tom set out this month to conquer the notorious El Camino de Santiago.
Despite mechanical problems and extreme mud Danni and 15-year-old Tom cycled the 800km route in just 10 days, raising nearly €12,000 for charity Mary’s Meals.
“This project has been a long time in the making,” said Danni – the Olive Press’ own ‘Insurance Doctor’ – who has been based on the Costa del Sol for 25 years.
“I first heard about the Camino a long time ago, and I’ve been fascinated by it ever since.
“Once my son reached an age where he could tackle the challenge, we decided to go for it.”
Despite punctures and thick mud on the route between Roncesvalles and Santiago, the pair averaged 80km a day, despite minimal training.
“Neither of us are keen cyclists, to be honest we’re more golfers than anything,” insists Danni, 50.
“It’s such a good way to experience authentic Spain, with all the old churches and monasteries.
Some of the towns and villages that you pass through feel like time stopped hundreds of years ago.”
El Camino de Santiago – or St James’ Way – is a popular Christian pilgrimage route, with many starting points across Europe that converge at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.
Danni and Tom’s ever-growing total of funds far surpasses their target, and will go to help charity Mary’s Meals.
The charity provides meals in schools, with the aim of attracting chronically poor children to the classroom where they can gain a basic education.
Launched in 2002 by two Scottish brothers, in just 12 years Mary’s Meals has grown dramatically, and now feeds more than 800,000 schoolchildren every day worldwide.
“I was first introduced to the charity through my son’s school Ampleforth College in London, and it just struck a chord with me,” added Danni.
“And more than that, 93 cents of every euro raised goes straight to where it needs to go.”
The money raised by Danni and Tom will go to funding the kitchen at Chigwaja Primary School in Malawi, which feeds 952 children a day.
Despite still aching from taking on the Camino, Danni is already talking about tackling Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, hoping to be able to fund the Malawian school for a further two years.