Buen Camino

Camino from David Faddis on Vimeo.

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 FrancĂ©s, 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.

-Daniel

2 thoughts on “Buen Camino

  1. Hi Daniel,

    I got a notification this morning that you started following my blog, which led me to yours. I have been dreaming about doing something like you will be doing…cataloging the people you meet along the way. I’m certainly not a photographer, and probably wouldn’t have ever done the project, so it’s going to be wonderful watching your work come together on your camino. I can’t wait to see it! While the Camino is full of fascinating people, the turmoiled are the ones I found personally intriguing. You’ll probably encounter a lot of them…the ones who are desperately searching to find the answer to a crossroad in their lives. It’s a beautiful place to capture the vulnerability in the people you meet. I will be beginning the Camino from St. Jean a few days after you, on May 6th. When will you be arriving in Santiago? We will arrive on May 28.

    Have a safe, blessed trip.

    Buen Camino!

    • Allie,

      I was searching WordPress for blogs about the Camino when I discovered yours. I read it from the first post to the latest, and I found it very touching. You write beautifully. I’m looking forward to reading about your upcoming trip with your husband, and I hope we’ll meet along the way!

      I’m not entirely sure when I’ll reach Santiago. I haven’t booked a return flight yet because I hope to leave some flexibility to stay extra nights in interesting places. From reading the various forums, I’m guessing it will take just a bit over 30 days, which would put me in Santiago somewhere near the end of May also. And then I’m planning to continue on to Finisterre.

      Safe travels and buen camino!

      -Daniel

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