SPOTLIGHT: Centre La Tienda – Helping you find your way to the Camino
As you may or may not know, Tarek Riman, founder of MontrealTips, is a huge fan of the famed Camino de Santiago – the historic pilgrimage hiking trail from France to Spain. In fact, he is such a fan that he even wrote a book about the insights he gained on his three (THREE!) biking trips along the epic trail.
And Tarek is not alone in his near obsession with the pilgrimage. Following an operation that rendered her disabled for almost two years, Anne St-Hillaire felt drawn to the Camino. So, she did the only logical thing – left her career in finance behind and set off to conquer this 1400km pilgrimage!
But not before first struggling through all the planning and preparation required to undertake such an adventure.
1400km is quite a feat to accomplish. Even more so when you’re struggling under the weight of everything you’ve brought with you. After nearly endless shopping trips, weighing every single item (literally and figuratively), and spending more money that ended up being necessary, she finally embarked on her journey.
And what an experience! It was then that she decided she wanted to dedicate her career to making the Camino more accessible to others.
Located in Verdun, Centre La Tienda is part shop, part cafe, part travel agency, and helps people plan their entire Camino de Santiago journey, from transportation, to accomodations, to guides, to food, to packing and equipment. The centre even hosts workshops and conferences for people to learn, discuss and share their experiences.
Winding through historic villages and breathtaking landscapes, the Camino de Santiago has been described as one of the best walking trips in the world. Whether they’re in it for the physical test, sightseeing, meeting new people, or for the deeply spiritual element of the pilgrimage, it seems clear that everyone who embarks on it comes away from this journey changed, for the better.
Having experienced the Camino herself, Anne knows what equipment truly is needed and what isn’t. She knows the best times to plan your journey and what to expect when you arrive. She knows the steps you need to take, start to finish, to get the most of your Camino journey. If you are thinking of experiencing the pilgrimage for yourself, Centre La Tienda should absolutely be the first stop on your journey.