33 Reasons NOT to walk the Camino

If you have been reading this blog for the past several years and retain a good memory for certain oddities, then you would know that I hold an obsession regarding the film “The Way.” It is a film directed by Emilio Estevez and starred his father, Martin Sheen. It is about a man (Sheen) who’s son (Estevez) died one day into his 500-mile pilgrimage and how he went to Spain to retrieve his son’s body. While there, the father impulsively decided to walk the Camino himself, carrying his son’s ashes, so that the son could ‘complete’ the Camino. It has lead me to watching untold hours of You Tube videos on the Camino. Ideally, I will walk the Camino someday; practically, it ain’t gonna happen, so until then I will do it vicariously. (Incidentally, there are ‘virtual Caminos;’ once in a while in my Facebook feed I see ads for such things. It’s like an exercise app where you enroll and walk so many miles a day wherever you live, either in your home or around the neighborhood and town. You keep track of how far you walk. I think it’s a smartphone app or Apple Watch thing; I’m not sure because I haven’t done that, either. But it looks interesting.)

Now, on to the point of this post. Recently I subscribed to a You Tube channel that is about this couple doing their third Camino. What I just love about it is that it is one of the few Camino channels that is unabashedly Catholic and approaches the Camino from its origins and purposes as a CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL PILGRIMAGE. Almost all of the others focus on a non-denominational/quasi-pagan spiritual development, or its historical and cultural importance, or that it’s a fun and worthwhile thing to do. Mostly backpackers for whom it is ‘just another’ hiking thing like the Appalachian Trail or whatever.

The channel is here: Los Peregrinos. The pilgrims are a Filipino couple from Dallas, Texas (although originally from the Philippines.) The series of videos are subtitled “33 reason why Catholics should not walk the Camino.” It is a funny use of ‘reverse psychology’ as each reason is a good lesson on faith and growing closer to Jesus, using Camino metaphors and examples.

I have not finished the series yet, currently I’m on Day 25. Each day they relate what happened, where they went and how it was; and at some point within the video he gives that day’s “reason not to walk” it, along with a “Camino Saint of the Day,” typically a saint from the area they were in on that day who is tied to the Camino in some manner.

I am loving these videos (although sometimes I do get dizzy as the camera is moved much too fast when a site is shot. But a small price for such an edifying series of videos.)

There is another You Tube Channel created by Catholics who also walked the Camino; although they visit churches along the way and their Faith is important, their videos aren’t as religious (but still worthwhile!) The St. Max Media YouTube Channel is run by a Polish lady who went on Camino with her daughter. Their playlist is here:  Camino de Santiago – The Way of Saint James

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