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Retired Burnley couple embark on film-inspired 500-mile pilgrimage
INSPIRED by a film, grand-parents Ken and Christine Fitzpatrick have embarked on one of the toughest challenges of their lives.
After seeing an advertisement for the gruelling 500-mile Camino de Santiago trek, Ken, 70, and Christine, 66, watched ‘The Way’, starring Emelio Estevez and Martin Sheen and decided to follow in their footsteps.
The film sees the cast embark on the same historical pilgrimage, from the French Pyrenees to the Spanish location where the remains of apostle St James are rumoured to be buried.
The prominent Burnley businessman and woman are well known in the town and Simonstone area.
They ran Fitzpatricks Bike shop, pram shop and camping store in St James' Street, Burnley, before taking over the Ormerod Hotel. They then bought the Harpers Inn, Fence, the Dog and Otter in Great Harwood, and finally the Higher Trapp Hotel in Simonstone.
Daughter Rachel Peabody, 41, who lives in Cheshire, said: “We just laughed at them when they told us because my mum sometimes comes up with these hare-brained ideas.
“But, to be fair, they signed up about five months ago, and they were often seen training and walking up the bypass with their rucksacks on."
The couple, who now live in Clough Lane, Simonstone, set off from the French Pyrenees on September 12 and aim to arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain in time for Ken's 71st birthday on October 15.
They are carrying all their equipment and clothing and staying at B&Bs.
Rachel said: “We are very proud of them.” To follow their progress, visit www. fitzys500.com
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