Travel at a Natural Pace; Enjoy the Journey

Call of the Camino, Rober Mullen

It sometimes takes a notable moment in one’s life to trigger a new adventure or to adopt a new approach to life. In Robert Mullen’s case, it was his sixtieth birthday that spurred him to embark on the Camino pilgrimage.

The Camino is the pilgrim way to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Although not expressing any particular religious faith it had been on Robert Mullen's mind for some time before his notable birthday. His resulting book, Call of the Camino, is a triple threaded narrative of his journey from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the French Pyrenéesto the Shrine of Saint James and then on to Finisterre at the western most point of Spain.

Each chapter opens with an explanation of the history of the pilgrimage and the many myths surrounding Saint James, the shrine and the pilgrimages. The main part of each chapter is the writer’s diary of his journey and the people he meets. Alongside that, he also explores the philosophy of the pilgrimage and personal changes experienced by his fellow pilgrims.

Robert Mullen’s journey is all on foot so Call of the Camino is very much in the mould of human-paced mindful travel as espoused by The Winding Way. He uses hostels where pilgrims of all nationalities share accommodation and meals so there is the also close engagement with people met along the way.

In the past travel was seen as a part of a person’s education reaching its pinnacle with the Grand Tours of the eighteen and nineteenth centuries.; The Winding Way believes it is still a valid purpose for the full experience of a journey. For most of the travellers on the Camino that is certainly the case; indeed it is about developing a greater understanding of themselves. Such self-discovery is an important part of spending time on mindful and reflective travel.

Despite many of his fellow travellers finding the pilgrimage a life changing experience there is very little suggestion the same was true of the writer himself. In that respect Robert Mullen is strangely absent, Call of the Camino seems to be more of an observation than self-exploration. However, it is a good read and reflects many of the principles that will be developed and explored here on The Winding Way.


Add new comment

Support The Winding Way

You can support The Winding Way at no cost to you by shopping at:

We get a small commission on your purchases but the price is the same to you.