23 Apr, 2019 @ 13:52
1 min read

British widow completes ‘El Camino’ in northern Spain to fulfil late husband’s dream

GRIEF: Joan (left) carried the ashes of her late husband Philip (right)

A GRIEVING widow from Northern Ireland has walked part of the Camino de Santiago in Spain with her husband’s ashes after he died on the pilgrimage route.

Philip Dunlop, 53, collapsed and died soon after completing a 252 km section of the famous walk while on the way to the airport.

The diving coach had planned to complete another leg of the Camino to Finisterre, so his wife Joan decided to return on his behalf.

“Phillip wanted to go to Finisterre next year so we walked a bit of the Camino to the beach where we scattered some of his ashes.

“Phillip phoned me every night and told me how beautiful the place was,” said Joan.

PILGRIMAGE: The famous El Camino de Santiago in northwest Spain

The 46-year-old, who worked at the same leisure centre as her husband, was joined on Philip’s journey by 18-year-old son Travis and daughters Taylor, 16 and Jordan, 15.

Before leaving Philip and Joan had watched a film called The Way, in which a father undertakes the Camino on behalf of his died son.

A heartbroken Juan said: “We still don’t know what happened. We think it was either a massive heart attack or a brain aneurysm.

“He was a fantastic husband. From the day and hour we met there was a connection there. We were inseparable, we worked together, we were together every day.”

She added that taking her ashes to Finisterre – which is the final destination for many pilgrims on the ‘Way of St James’ – made her feel as though ‘I’ve fulfilled part of his dream for him.’

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