I watched the Camino film, The Way, just before I moved from the UK to Andalucia, Spain. I´d heard of the Camino on my travels many years before and read the book “The Pilgrimage” by Paulo Coelho. The film was my first experience of seeing the Camino de Santiago, albeit through the eyes of the television.
And what a tale of tragedy, of friendship and of Camino spirit! I laughed and I cried as I vicariously walked the Road to Santiago with the main characters led by Martin Sheen. Martin played the grieving father who travelled to the Camino de Santiago to recover his son´s body. His son had died in the Pyrenees on the first day of his Camino.
Martin Sheen´s character, Tom, decides to take the Pilgrimage to Santiago in place of his son, Daniel and leaves his ashes along the way.
After watching the film, I was more determined than ever to walk the Camino de Santiago. Everything about it screamed, “this is for me”. It became a dream, my friend. A dream I was determined would become a reality.
The film introduces the idea of what Pilgrims know as “the Camino family”, where strangers along the way band and walk together, in little groups, forming a Camino family for the duration of the trip. Indeed, a Camino family is often for life due to the strength of the connections that are made.
Tom rejected his Camino family at first. They were people he wouldn’t normally associate with. People he believed he had nothing in common with yet as the way opened up, so did Tom. As he let go of his grief for his son, he was filled with the Camino spirit of friendship, tolerance and mutual compassion and kindness. The Way opened up a whole new world for Tom as he left the Camino (I won´t spoil the ending).
The Way is a wonderful film to learn more about the Camino, to see the spectacular countryside of Northern Spain and to see why the Camino is such an amazing experience.
If you want to experience the Camino spirit and make your own Camino family, come and join me on a seven day adventure on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago next year. We´ll wander the way together! Click the link below for full details.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2018. All Rights Reserved.