The Way: El Camino de Santiago de Compostela

For over ten centuries, El Camino de Santiago de Compostela or simply called “The Way” has cast a spell on generations upon generations of people who have walked the 791 kilometer (490 mile) path from the foothills of the Pyrenees in France to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain.


The beautiful Spanish countryside along The Way. Photo credit: Betsy May

Known as one of the most famous pilgrimages in the world, “The Way” is followed for many different reasons. Some people follow the path for religious purposes whereas others follow it for their own personal journey. No matter what the reason for taking “The Way”, it is an unforgettable journey that has transformed lives throughout history.

Map of "The Way"

Map of “The Way”

Curious about this amazing adventure, I recently watched the powerful and inspirational movie titled “The Way” written and acted by father-son team Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez to honor the Camino de Santiago and promote the traditional pilgrimage.

The movie begins with the shocking, unexpected news that Tom, an American doctor played by Martin Sheen, learns that his estranged son Daniel (played by Emilio Estevez) was killed in the Pyrenees during the start of his journey following the Camino de Santiago or “The Way”. Completely devastated by the news, Tom flies to France to collect his son’s remains and on a whim decides to walk “The Way” in honor of his son. Funny and whimsical at times and heartbreaking at others, “The Way” shows how one man’s journey has a profound, unexpected impact on a “boomer” life that has only just begun.

A dear friend of mine, Betsy May, last summer walked part of El Camino de Santiago and plans on walking again this summer. Betsy organizes walking groups with the help of a friend living in Spain who owns the travel company Puente: Your Bridge to Spain. There are some upcoming trips open to anyone who is interested in joining along with the group. Betsy asked if I would share this information with my readers as I know many of you love to travel and perhaps some may be interested in joining Betsy on “The Way” this summer. Here are some more details along with some photos from last year’s journey.

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For more information on the tour, please contact Betsy May at or visit Puente’s website.


  1. I’ve not seen the film, but a member of my writing group here in Cuenca did the walk this past spring and is finishing a book about it. Her experience was fascinating. She completed the entire thing.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  2. I stumbled upon the movie a year or so ago. It makes me think a bit of the Pennine Way across England since both traverse through mostly populated areas, and for some the latter is also a pilgrimage of sorts, just not religious.

    • What is the Pennine Way? That sounds like a great walk too. I would love to do The Way. But have to wait a bit as I still have young ones at home. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I recommend it to everyone who is remotely interested! And it is not about walking the whole distance, it is about the journey. I met amazing people there too with incredible stories. One guy felt he neded to clear his head, went for a walk, I met him 50 kms before Santiago. Oh, lived in Italy. Go, go! Good post!

    • Thanks for the comment. I would LOVE to go. It seems like such an amazing journey. I hope to do this someday once my children are a bit older. Maybe they could join me too!

  4. I watched this movie last year and loved it. I had not heard of it before but, will never forget it. Thanks for writing about it. I am going to order it so i can watch it again and again.

    • Yes the movie is GREAT. Now I feel I need to take this journey or a journey, especially after everything. I would LOVE to do this but of course will have to wait a long time as it takes long and the kids are still too young. 🙂

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