Grandad treks across Spain for hospice

A grandad has spent 34 days trekking across Spanish terrain as part of a once-in-a-lifetime journey, all while raising money for St Catherine's Hospice.

Wednesday, 29th June 2016, 2:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:53 pm
Michael Iaverdino during his trek in Spain for St Catherine's Hospice

Michael Iaverdino, 67, from Preston, has completed a gruelling 500-mile pilgrimage route – the Camino de Santiago - with friend Santos Rivera, and has raised more than £1,600 for the charity.

The pair set off from Pamplona, the capital of northern Spain’s Navarre province, in early April, and travelled all the way across to Santiago de Compostela on the far Western side of the country, just above Portugal.

Michael, a dad-of-three who has recently become a grandfather, said: “The walk was very difficult to start with because I am not the fittest of people. But once I got going I got used to having to get up early every morning to walk between 20 and 30km until my next rest.

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Michael Iaverdino during his trek in Spain

“I walked for 34 days with only two days’ rest. My days started at 7am and the terrain got harder as I got towards the end, with more mountainous and some very stony, steep paths.

“I enjoyed the experience very much though, particularly reaching the end! I saw many interesting places and met a lot of interesting people on my journey.

“As well as doing this for my own reasons, I really wanted to raise some money for St Catherine’s Hospice, which is a fantastic local charity where staff do an amazing job.”

Emma Jacovelli, fund-raiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Michael for choosing to support the hospice through his gruelling 500-mile trek across Spain.

Michael Iaverdino during his trek in Spain

“St Catherine’s are only able to provide care to patients and families because of people like Michael and Santos, and their amazing effort completing the 500-mile pilgrimage route – the Camino de Santiago. All the funds raised will help us to provide much needed care for local people when it really matters most.”