George Bush's daughter has been hiking the Spanish pilgrimage route known as the Camino de Santiago with some friends
Photo: © PA
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Jenna, who had already walked 120 kilometres when this photo was taken, was aiming for the city of Santiago de Compostela - believed by the faithful to be the last resting place of the apostle St James
Photo: © PA

JENNA BUSH HITS THE PILGRIMAGE TRAIL IN SPAIN

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With her graduation from the University of Austin in Texas behind her – even if she did not attend the May 22 event in person – First Daughter Jenna Bush has been taking time out to travel with friends in Spain.

The 22-year-old English graduate was spotted hiking the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route across northern Spain, with a group of chums.

Casually dressed in shorts and sneakers, Jenna – whose twin sister Barbara, a humanities major, has just graduated from Yale in New Haven, Connecticut – was presumably enjoying a little R and R, before taking up an internship in New York. She is expected to share an apartment with friends in Manhattan, where she will do volunteer work with school kids.

During their varsity years the twins enjoyed a relatively low profile, despite several headline-making incidents, including underage drinking and getting caught with false IDs. Now, however, the sisters – both of whom are currently single - are poised for a very public coming out.

They are to feature in an interview and photo spread in the August issue of US Vogue magazine before doing their bit in support of dad George Bush’s re-election campaign.

Every year thousands of people take to the Camino, the Spanish stretch of which runs 500 miles from the Roncesvalles pass in the Pyrenees to Galicia in northweatern Spain. Along the way it wends through some of the country's most spectacular countryside, dotted with beautiful Romanesque churches, tiny villages and ancient monasteries.

To qualify as a pilgrimage the journey must be made on foot, bicycle or horseback. Travellers, who come from all over the world to share the cameraderie, adventure and spiritual sigificance of the route, stay at a series of free hostels dotted at regular intervals. In addition to the traditional clam shell, which pilgrims wear around their neck or strung from their backpack, they also carry a special "passport" which is stamped along the way, proving they have made the journey.

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