The first pilgrim to complete the newly signposted “Camino de la Vera Cruz” has arrived in Caravaca de la Cruz after covering the 900 km in eight days.
Celso Bañón Ortega, from Yecla has officially become the first pilgrim and was received by the council for tourism, and the Hermano Mayor from the Cofradía de la Vera Cruz, Gregorio Sánchez Romero at the end of the journey.
He reported that the route is well signposted, although admitted that there were some sections of the route, which were more difficult for cyclists to undertake, comments which were welcomed by officials who prepared the route as they will help them to improve the Camino for the future.
Caravaca is one of only five holy cities in Spain and hopes to develop tourism business long-term by building more pilgrimage routes to the city.
Documentary evidence indicates that was a pilgrimage route along the same pathway in the middle of the 13th century, the Camino de la Vera Cruz, running from Puente de la Reina across the Pyrenees to Caravaca de la Cruz.
The project to rebuild and signpost the route is being done in conjunction with the Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia, the Ayuntamiento de Caravaca de la Cruz, the Cofradía de la Santísima y Vera Cruz and Caja Mediterráneo. There are several pilgrimage routes leading to the city and the work to bring them all into operation is directed towards the next Jubilee year or Holy year, which is in 2017.
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