The Way – Randall St. Germain

The Way of St. James … (Spanish: El Camino de Santiago) … is the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried. …

… existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times, together with Rome and Jerusalem, and a pilgrimage route on which a plenary indulgence could be earned …

.. many pilgrims continue from Santiago de Compostela to the Atlantic coast of Galicia, to finish their journeys at Spain’s westernmost point, Cape Finisterre. …

pilgrim’s hostels with beds in dormitories dot the common routes, providing overnight accommodation …

Staying at hostels usually cost between five and ten euros per night per bed in a dormitory, although a few hostels … operate on voluntary donations. Pilgrims are usually limited to one night’s accommodation and are expected to leave by eight in the morning to continue their pilgrimage. …

Canadian Randall St. Germain did the 500mi (800km) French Way averaging 26mi (40km) a day.

Camino de Santiago in 20 Days: My Way on the Way of St. James is essential reading for anyone foolish enough to fancy the French Way.

Randall is not a professional writer. Unlike more poetic pilgrimage reports, Randall details the awful weather, dog bites, exhaustion, bed bugs, … 😦

It’s unvarnished.


Never to be included on the final list of Pulitzer Prize nominees, or in Oprah’s Book Club, Camino de Santiago in 20 Days is not your granddaddy’s Camino book, either.

I wanted to maintain the integrity of my Camino from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela. My writing had to be honest and based on events which actually happened. I know some of it may be dry, but I wanted to keep my journey intact and not make up anything, including dialogue. Believe me, if I made sh*t up, this book would be far more entertaining.

Randall carried a tent the entire Way — and never slept in it. Yet he hates the hostels. Hates smokers, snorers and farters. … In fact he’s not all that fond of people.

Randall’s foot problems alone are enough to turn away most pilgrims. Not to mention the lack of toilets.

Still interested? …

Check his website – Camino My Way

Or friend him on Facebook. As you might have guessed, Randall went back to the Camino …

Me? … I’m still leaning towards mountain biking The Way. Inspired and informed by Randall, I’ll be tenting it every night.

Mine was a review copy. Thanks Randall!

The Way – the film

The Way is a 2010 American drama film. It is a collaboration between Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez to honour the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) and promote the traditional pilgrimage. …


Thomas Avery is an American ophthalmologist who goes to France following the death of his adult son, killed in the Pyrenees during a storm while walking the Camino …

Tom’s purpose is initially to retrieve his son’s body. However, in a combination of grief and homage to his son, Tom decides to walk the ancient spiritual trail where his son died. …

He reluctantly falls in with three other pilgrims …. Joost is an overweight man from Amsterdam who says he is walking the route to lose weight … Sarah … is fleeing an abusive husband, who says she is walking the pilgrimage to quit smoking. Jack is an Irish travel writer who when younger had desires to be great author like Yeats or Joyce but never wrote the novel he dreamed of. …

The film has been well received. It has garnered a “Certified Fresh” rating of 82% on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes …

The consensus description is: “It may be a little too deliberately paced for more impatient viewers, but The Way is a worthy effort from writer/director Emilio Estevez, balancing heartfelt emotion with clear-eyed drama that resists cheap sentiment.”

It is pretty good. I’m still leaning towards mountain biking The Way, however, rather than walking it.

I joined in order to FINALLY watch this film. 🙂

Summit Stones: pay it forward

I just got another batch of Summit Stones from DSD.

The philosopher blogger at Summit Stones collects special stones while out on the trail. Paints them. And then returns them to the wilderness accompanied by a tiny booklet of poems & prose inspired by the outdoors.

… Sometimes another hiker passes by and collects the souvenir.



DSD links to a number of sites promoting good causes. I’d like to pass that list on to you, too.

"Giving Back & Passing Forward"

trekking Japan – 88 Temple Pilgrimage

We’ve added a category of walks called “spiritual”. This is a perfect example.

For example, one adventure recommended by Aasmund Midttun Godal, the Shikoku Pilgrimage.

Neon Pilgrim (2009) is a rollercoaster account of an Australian woman’s 1200km trek around the island of Shikoku, the famed 88 Temple Pilgrimage performed in honour of the ninth-century monk who brought Buddhism to Japan. Depressed, unemployed and overweight, 28-year-old Lisa Dempster undertook the epic walk to cure her body and mind ….


I checked out a review by Andy Hayes. His summary:

… this book has a terrible cover and an even worse title.

But it was probably the best ‘travelogue’ I’ve read all year.

Indie Travel Podcast

I’ve added Neon Pilgrim to my books-to-read list.