Call of the Camino
“The Camino finds you out. The Camino will provide what you need. The Camino will heal you if you let it. Most intriguing of all, the true Camino begins only when you reach the end.” Robert Mullen, Pilgrim and Author.
The unique 560-mile walk of the Camino Francés is made by thousands of pilgrims every year. The subject of a film, The Way, written and directed by Hollywood star, Emilio Estevez, and starring his father, Martin Sheen, is due for release in the UK early next year and was recently selected for the 35th Toronto International Film Festival. While we look forward to the release of the film, the Call of the Camino book by Robert Mullen makes for some entertaining and insightful reading.
As one of the 100,000 or so pilgrims from all corners of the world that have walked the Camino every year on average in the past seven years, author Robert Mullen seeks out the growing appeal of this ‘back to basics’ nature walk along the Camino Francés from the French town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port at the foot of the Pyrenees, to the shrine of Saint James at Santiago de Compostela, and on to Finisterre, the westernmost point of Spain.
This is a story of friendships formed and life lessons learned from the various characters and landscapes that this popular pilgrimage encounters. It’s intelligently interwoven with descriptive and well researched myths and legends that have defined the camino throughout history, as far back as the middle ages. The book recounts the great leveler that comes from shared hardships and adventures where “real life” no longer defines you. The story is well balanced with Robert’s experience, his pilgrim companions and the overall meaning of the Camino.
A well-researched pilgrimage combined with the extensively documented personal experience has created a fascinating taster of the life changing adventure so many pilgrims undertake. When Robert asked himself having turned 60 “what am I doing with my life?” he must now look back with great satisfaction at having completed both the adventure and a highly readable account of the pilgrimage and its history. Even arm chair adventurers will hear the call of the camino after reading this well versed chronicle and empirical narrative.