It was just after I’d graduated from college that I saw Americano on television. I’d come back from a trip through Spain not long before that. A short trip; just two weeks. Not nearly enough time. Americano is set there, in Pamplona and the northern countryside where I hadn’t gone. The imagery grabbed me. Especially the final scene, where — spoiler alert? — the protagonist begins a trek, frame-pack and all, down some trail I’d never heard of through the most beautiful places I’d never seen.
So I looked it up. El Camino de Santiago, “The Way of Saint James.” Not one trail, but many. The most popular route, the Camino Francés, begins in a small town nestled at the base of the Pyrenees in France. It crosses the mountains into Spain and down through Pamplona, and continues westward until it reaches Santiago de Compostela. From there you can go on to Finisterre, the end of the earth. Around 780km in all, or nearly 500 miles.
I was hooked (thanks a lot, Youtube). I knew I’d go someday, though I didn’t know when. I needed to get a job, earn a paycheck, and try to be a mensch. But I promised myself I’d do it by age 30, which is rolling around next summer.
I have the opportunity now and my flights and trains are booked. I’ll set out from St. Jean Pied de Port the morning of April 26, after quick stops in Florida, New York, and Madrid.
While I’m there I’ll bring you updates whenever I can. My camera equipment is going with me, with a particular goal in mind. This blog is called “Faces of the Camino” because in addition to using this as a journal, I hope to take portraits of people I meet along the way and record something of their stories to share with you here.
If you follow along on the facebook page, you’ll see when I’ve added a new post. Keep an eye out, and we’ll see where the road goes.