In October of 2011, I heard about a movie being produced and directed by Emilio Estevez and starring his father, Martin Sheen. The movie is The Way. In the movie, Sheen and Estevez play Father and Son, both on a journey along the Camino de Santiago Compostela from St. John Pied de Port, through the mountains of France and down into Spain to the coast of Muxia on the North Atlantic Ocean. The Camino is an ancient 500-mile journey taken by pilgrims to the Cathedral of St. James and his Holy Relics in Santiago, Spain.
Being a long time fan of Martin Sheen; (his character of Jed Bartlett would STILL be my choice for President if he really existed.) I knew that I would want to see the movie and even began researching this pilgrimage that thousands still trek to this day.
It was a small-budget movie that was not destined to appear in many mainstream chain theatres. Luckily, in Mobile, Alabama; we have a small independent theatre that shows the films that you might not hear about until Oscars™ are announced. When I heard the movie was coming to the Crescent Theater, my wife and I immediately planned a “date night.”
Halfway through the movie; seeing the scenery of rural France and Spain and with the soundtrack music in our ears, my wife and I looked at each other with that knowing look that speaks volumes…we had decided that we would walk the Camino de Santiago Compostela.
We bought guidebooks. We priced airline tickets; train tickets, hotel rooms. We looked at hiking shoes, special socks, backpacks and even requested hikers’ head lamps for Christmas, so that we could see to walk in the dark and so vehicle drivers would see us on the side of roads while we walked “The Way.”
We set goals and announced our intentions on Social Media. We would walk The Way of St. James in three-years time. And then…Life, the Universe, and those Powers That Be stepped in. Metaphorically speaking, the other hiking boot dropped to the floor with a thud.
First , the wife and I made career changes with new jobs. We also got the chance to buy a our first home and with terms that would allow us to pay it off in less than 7 years. Our goals and financial management needed a change to accommodate this good fortune and our jobs didn’t necessarily provide a fortune. There were health issues that arose, that gave us cause for concern and pause for what might await. We were relieved that good news revealed no health concern. We, also, assisted my Mother-in-law’s migration from Oregon to Alabama and we were blessed with caring for her through a bout with cancer, and later to be with her in her last days. There was great sadness balanced with satisfaction, knowing my wife and her sister were able to be there for their mother right until her final breath.
Now, a year has passed since her death. Our home will be paid off in December of this year. Our health is good, (Yeah, there needs to be a few changes) and I had the chance to watch “The Way” movie, once again this past week and I came back to this blog entry sitting in draft mode since 2011.
Officially, welcome to the new blog category…
I actually started the category back in November of 2011 with a “Sunday Thoughts” entry and a quote by Emilio Estevez from the movie. I have “tagged” a few entries with it, since then. Today, marks my plans to write about this eventual journey. I couldn’t help myself and made a couple of new OTRWD header/banners with a Camino-theme. The background of these entries will feature a scallop shell– a symbol pilgrims wear on their trek to Santiago. The shell is seen on signposts and buildings all along the route to guide fellow pilgrims on the journey.
My first “steps” on the Camino will start at my own house. Many things must be set into place before the actual pilgrimage begins. May 6th of 2020 is the target date. I have updated a Countdown Clock in the sidebar to torment and harass me until the date arrives.
A budget and savings plan will need to be started. Heath, fitness and diet goals will be implemented. I will need to be able to speak passably, a little French and Spanish. Plus, I can now start shopping for hiking equipment and books about the Camino de Santiago.
And as usual, it will all be written down here at “On The Road With Dave”. I will include photos, videos, articles, and resource links; that I find helpful, inspiring, or relevant to the trip. Maybe a reader will find their own inspiration to make a trip to somewhere they have delayed visiting.
First things first. Take a look at the official theatrical trailer for my– now–favorite movie, “The Way” and the longer international version, as well.
“You don’t choose a life…You live one.”
Stay Tuned and Buen Camino!
Photo From WorldAllDetails
“On The Way With Dave” is a regular feature and category introduced May 6th 2016. It will include history, planning, tips, and information for hiking the Camino De Santiago or “The Way of St. James”; a 500-mile journey from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago De Compostela in Spain. It is a centuries-old pilgrimage route. A route the blog author and his wife will attempt to undertake in 2020.