Only a couple of weeks ago, I watched a film titled The Way, starring Martin Sheen and written by his son, Emilio Estevez. At first, I felt the film was lacking something that made the likes of Into the Wild and Wild jump out and encourage you to reconsider your life’s direction.
But on my second viewing, I found myself feeling inspired.
There’s an awful lot about the Camino de Santiago that I do not know but I can tell you, right now, that it does interest me. There’s a wealth of ‘convenience’ about the whole thing that has become apparent to me.
Further research, on my part, is certainly required and, based on the recommendation of someone I know who has walked the Way of St. James (or, at least, one of several possible pilgrimages to Compostella), I will be buying a guide in the first step of my research.
It is extremely unlikely that I will be jetting off to walk five-hundred-miles across Europe in 2015. As someone who struggles with a plethora of anxiety issues, I feel a need for further research, mild planning and tackling those counter-productive thoughts with self-directed questions and open-mindedness.
As far as long distance walking goes, my initial reaction is that it would be more convenient for me to fly to France and begin that journey than to walk the entire six-hundred-and-thirty-mile distance of the South West Coast Path, which begins only a ninety-minute drive from home…
Maybe this belief is encouraged by my own anxieties but I’ve learned from my initial research that, with the purchase of a specific passport, there are many places along the way who will welcome ‘pilgrims’ in to their homes for one night, offering a bed and sometimes even, a meal. I don’t currently know whether wild camping is any more legal in north-western Spain or the Basque country and so the issue of accommodation (coupled with food and water) is what that can trigger concern in my own mind.
Even if someone was to walk the SWCP around our south coast, which takes, on average, four-to-six-weeks; how much would that person have to pay for legal camping at designated sites, I wonder? I can’t imagine it would be any less than the cost of two one-way European flights.
I enjoyed watching Wild but the thought of walking the PCT is one I find ever so slightly more scary than it is exciting to me, right now. I’ve just watched another film this evening (titled The Way Back – careful!) but I don’t have any intention of braving Siberian blizzards or dry and deserted land – all before ascending the Himalayas!
Walking The Way is something I can do when the time is right for me. In the mean time, I can plan it and organise myself. Besides, there are several UK destinations I already had my eye on before this film came along and accomplishing them will only aid my own confidence and self-belief.
…I only hope I do not run in to James Nesbitt!!
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts or past experience of walking the Camino de Santiago then I’d love to hear from you.