The Imota Tourist Board organized a free bus transport from Imotski to the starting points of certain sections and a return to Imotski after the pilgrimage, whichh speaks volumes about the great interest in participating in the Camino Imota weekend, reports HRTurizam.
“Interest in the Camino Imota route, according to the number of pilgrims, but also according to the number of interested people who want to pass the route, is great. The Facebook group quickly gathered more than 600 members. On Tuesday, two days after the event, we already had the first individual pilgrims, who decided to cross the Camino Imota trail,” said Luka Kolovrat, director of the Imota Tourist Board.
Several pilgrims walked the new Camino Imota route. Despite the high temperatures, their impressions are very positive, and this is not surprising given the spectacular landscape offered by the Imotski region. However, besides the natural beauties on the Camino Imota route, there are also numerous sacral buildings and significant sites of natural and cultural heritage. Pilgrims received commemorative stamps in their pilgrimage passports, which serve as a confirmation of the route crossed – Camino Imota Compostela.
“On the first day, we had about 40 pilgrims, on the second about 60, and the third about 90. Some of them walked all three days, and some only one, so we can say that more than 100 pilgrims visited the first Camino Imota weekend. We are pleased with the response, and participants expressed satisfaction with the trail. About twenty of them already had experience with Camino routes, especially the one starting from France. When they passed the route, they shared their impressions with us and gave us suggestions. According to them, the Camino Imota reminds of the trail through Galicia,” says Kolovrat.
And for Camino Imota to fully justify its name, it is essential to cooperate with the local population, which on this first pilgrimage proved to be an excellent host by offering pilgrims refreshments along the way.
“In April, we held meetings with parish priests who are on the route and introduced them to our plans. They passed it on to their parishioners, which gave excellent results, and the residents of this area were pleased to help the pilgrims,” said Kolovrat.
In addition to the pilgrimage on the new route, Camino Imota weekend also had an accompanying program in which a round table called “Camino pilgrimage in the 21st century” was included. The roundtable brought together representatives of Camino associations, priests, theologians, and scientists from as many as nine countries. A special guest was Igor Vidmar, president of the Brotherhood of St. James from Slovenia, who announced the arrival of Slovenian pilgrims on the Camino Imota trail next year.
“The Round Table, which was actually a video conference, discussed why people choose the Camino pilgrimage, whether it is for religious or adventurous reasons, and why the pilgrimage has gained so much popularity. At the moment, about one and a half million people are making a pilgrimage to the Camino, and that number is increasing every year,” Kolovrat emphasizes.
The first Camino Imota weekend met the organizers’ expectations, who are now facing the continuation of work on the route itself, to be even better marked. A mobile application is also planned, and a website is already online and should be filled with information about the route, instructions, and practical tips for pilgrims in the next few days.
“After the first Camino Imota weekend, which was a great success, we are even more optimistic, and I believe that this route will come to life in the future. Interested individuals already contact us, but also entire parishes, who want to take an organized walk along the trail,” emphasizes Kolovrat and adds that the Camino Imota weekend also served as an agreement on intensifying works on the second phase, i.e., connecting the route to Sinj and Medjugorje.
For more, follow our travel section.