My Personal Message.
Hi everybody, and thank you for visiting my website.
My name is Tom Quinn. I was born in the beautiful sea-side village of Kinvara in South-west County Galway, Ireland. My early life there was all about playing the great ancient Gaelic game of Hurling and exploring the wonders of the magnificent Burren area (www.burrenbeo.com). This was for me and my peers, a magical Nature Playground right at our doorstep and where we learned how to enjoy, and above all, respect our environment.
The only painful part of my childhood, of course, was trying to cope with the gratuitous corporal punishment which was part and parcel of the primary-school teaching methodology of the time.
Why the name “Camino Tom”? Well, I just love to walk the Caminos (old Pilgrim Routes) in Spain and have done so on several occasions. My first one was from Leon to Santiago with my son Graham in Sept’ 2008. We had some beautiful “quality time” together as we journeyed through spectacular picturesque countryside and old rural villages, some of which are of times long long ago. My next one was in May/June 2009 when I walked the Camino Frances ( 850kms ). It winds it’s way from the beautiful and magical village of Saint Jean-Pied de Port in the foothills of the Pyrenees in France, across the mountains on the Route de Napoleon and then along the Camino pilgrim route in Northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela in the beautiful North-western Province of Galicia.
So, I am a “retiree” who spent over thirty years immersed in business…stressed out, overweight and unfit. I am a relative newcomer to my new passion of hill-walking and hill-climbing and I’ve been at it now since 2007. While I find that most of the“outdoors” type people I know seem to just “comfortably” enjoy their experience ( and that’s fabulous ), I like to seek out some really different and a bit more difficult challenges. This is why I walked the “Camino de la Via de la Plata” (1000kms) from that wonderful and historic old city of Seville to beautiful Santiago de Compostela.
So, I hitched on my back-pack and set off on foot from the Cathedral in Seville on Monday 14th May 2012. !
I am also a Volunteer Mountain Ranger with the Dublin Mountains Partnership (www.dublinmountains.ie ). This affords me an ideal opportunity to contribute something back, by way of appreciation, for all the free pleasure and health benefits I get from trekking around the wild and wonderful outdoors. My Ranger duties are mostly mountain trail maintenance, meeting/greeting, reassuring/helping visitors to the hills and explaining the “Leave no Trace” principles.( www.leavenotraceireland.org ). I also lead free Guided Walks in the Dublin Mountains from time to time…see www.dublinmountains.ie for details.
The purpose of this Via de la Plata Camino is to raise funds for the late great Film Actor, Paul Newman’s Children’s Charity…… Barretstown, a “Serious Fun Camp” for ill children (www.barretstown.org). This is located in Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, Ireland. My target was €10,000 and I have, to date, managed to “squeeze” over €7,000 from my Friends and theirs. Fund-raising is not easy in these “hard times”, and I really appreciate all donations generously given, so far. If you would like to help make up the shortfall of €3,000, perhaps you might consider a donation, however small, to this great cause. You can always visit the charity’s site for information and to donate, if you wish, at: www.barretstown.org ( Please quote “Camino Tom” ) or go to facebook.com/caminotom
Obviously, like everyone else, there is a “Hell of a Lot “ more to a “retiree” like me ……so, maybe, like you, I will write my book(let) someday !
In the meantime, thanks again for taking the time to read this little bit “about” Camino Tom .
Tom Quinn ( “Camino Tom” )