When Phil told me about the trip he was taking to Spain for the summer, I had no idea what he was doing. I had never heard of the Camino de Santiago. But, I am the least cultured person ever. I don’t know much about anything outside my very secluded world. Phil is much smarter than I am. So I had to do some research to find out what the hell he was getting into. Then he told me there was a movie I could watch that would save me the trouble, and I could get it done in two hours. SOLD!
I finally got around to watching The Way recently. I had never heard of this movie. It stars Martin Sheen as Tom Avery. He goes to France to collect the body of his son, Daniel, played by Emilio Estevez, who had died while walking the Camino de Santiago. To honor his son, Tom decides to complete the journey and spread Daniel’s ashes along the way. While travelling the Camino, Tom meets pilgrims (other travelers) from around the world who walk with him.
There are a number of routes you can take from France into Spain, and I often found myself wondering where Phil was, and which route he was on. I really loved this movie. In the movie, Tom walks approximately (if my math is right. It rarely is) 500 miles. That’s a ton of walking. It would take me forever. But the part that I would love is the solitude. I love being alone and by myself. And there would be a ton of alone time on a trip like this. In each of the villages Tom stopped at, he would stay in hostels, or homes of people who take in pilgrims along the way. Making small talk and spending the night with random strangers sounds really awful. So there are pros and cons.
If you know anyone who has walked the Camino, or any interest in the trip, I highly suggest watching the film. It was really good. There were parts that were slow, but it’s a movie about a long walk. It ain’t Star Wars.
I can see why Phil was drawn to the trip. I can’t wait to go downtown and grab a few beers and hear the stories he has to tell. At least now I have some points of reference and an idea of what he did and where he was.