Neil Morrissey is an actor from both stage and screen. Best known for his role as Tony in the BBC sitcom Men Behaving Badly, more recently Neil has starred in The Night Manager and Line Of Duty on the BBC, and currently appears in ITV’s Good Karma Hospital.
What were you hoping to experience travelling the famous medieval pilgrimage, Camino de Santiago? I was looking forward to seeing new surroundings. I hadn’t been to Galicia before, so was looking forward to seeing the area, and then, of course, the cathedral. I was also looking forward to the companionship, and meeting the other people doing the trip.
I can recognise the sense of achievement people on the pilgrimage trail must feel, and how important it is to them
What was your favourite moment of the journey?
Getting over the Pyrenees! That was the hardest bit by far, and I was really happy when we did that.
What was the most challenging aspect?
Probably the accommodation, staying in hostels. We were in by 10pm and out again by 6am. Everyone I was with was great, which made it a fantastic experience though.
Did the pilgrimage impact on your own beliefs about faith?
Not really, if anything it compounded my own humanism and atheism. But I can recognise the sense of achievement people on the pilgrimage trail must feel, and how important it is to them.
What was the most surprising thing you learned – either about the people you met, the places you visited or yourself?
Probably what surprised me the most and also the thing I enjoyed the most, was the commonality of the experience while on the walk itself. The shared community feeling with everyone you meet, wherever you go - in any hostel or restaurant.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to somebody considering the Camino de Santiago?
Get a bit fit before you attempt it. Do some walking. Also, send your luggage on! We had ours with us all the way, but lots of people doing the trail had sent theirs on and just had some water and snacks. That would have been good.