Some readers have asked: what is this walk we are doing? Although since we both a very bad flu caught on a plane while traveling here this walk might be postponed for a couple of days at least.
My daughter describes the Camino de Santiago as epic. In a way it is but I think of it as a long walk that has some amazing moments. The Camino (which means ‘the way’ in Spanish) is an ancient medieval Christian pilgrimage route that will take us 800km/500 miles across northern Spain to a place called Santiago de Compostela – which translates as Saint James of the Field of Stars.
There are many different Camino routes all across Europe, but the French, or ‘Frances’ route is the most popular. And this is the one that Jerry and I will be walking – for the second time. All the routes end up at the same place, and when you look at them all on a map the lines come together. This is one reason for the scallop shell to be a symbol of the Camino – all the lines on the shell converge into one place. It has been an important Christian pilgrimage route for over 1000 years. In medieval times it was the third most important route after Jerusalem and Rome.
The Camino Frances starts at a small French village, St Jean Pied de Port which is nestled at the base of the Pyrenees mountains. No matter where you start the Camino route ends in the Spanish province of Galicia, at Santiago de Compostela. It is believed to be the final resting place of Saint James the Apostle. To me, it does not matter if the actual relics are there or not. The tradition, the stories, the value system and the journey make you reach for something greater than yourself, you have to dig a little deeper in order to complete the walk. For this reason, it is worth doing.
We are very blessed indeed to be able to do it for a second time as we walked the route in the Northern Hemisphere Autumn in 2016. Jerry wrote about our adventures here. Thanks goes to Jerry too for the photo (Above) of the Alto de Perdon
Walking across a country offers unique experiences. The Beyond the Way series by Aussie filmmaker Andrew Suzuki touches on some of the complexities of the experience which I think some of my readers will enjoy. These 10 short films that have inspired thousands of people. You can find out more of Andrew Suzuki’s work at Beyondtheway.net
Beyond the Way Prologue
Beyond the Way 01: Oh the Places…
In his first video, Andrew quotes Dr Suess with flair and optimism while learning a life lesson.
Beyond the Way 2: Ascension
Beyond the Way 03: In the name of the father… ( I think this is one of my favourites of all the episodes)
Beyond the Way 04: Struggletown. Population, me.
Beyond the Way 05: Perfectly Imperfect. (oh dear another favourite episode)
Beyond the Way 06: Walk, eat, sleep, repeat…
Beyond the Way 07: The Golden Mile.
Beyond the Way 08: The professor and his puppies
Beyond the Way 09: Some assembly required.
Beyond the Way 10: To the end…
If you enjoyed this series I am not affiliated but I do believe Andrew Suzuki’s work is very worthwhile and should be supported – he has a Patreon site where people can donate to give support.
Beyond the Way – Patreon Main
The 2018 BBC series
Recently the BBC ran a documentary over 3 programs in which 7 people walk part of the Camino. They walk for 15 days so they select some of the Camino highlights and then walk the 100 kms. So you only get to sections of the Camino but it does touch on some important aspects of the pilgrimage.
Here are links to all three episodes of the 2018 BBC Pilgrimage series which are available on YouTube
Pilgrimage: The Road to SantiagoEpisode 1 of 3
Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago Episode 2 of 3
Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago Episode 1 of 3
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