The Camino Does That to People

By Mary Kay Seales

This blog is dedicated to traveling “with your heart and soul open,” and I can think of no better example of doing so than this beautiful incident that occurred on the Camino de Santiago in Spain to fellow world traveler, Peter Klika.

Just as a reminder, the Camino de Santiago is a series of “pilgrim” pathways leading to the Cathedral of Santiago (Saint James) in Santiago de Compostela, a city in the northwest tip of Spain. Though the journey on these paths was originally for religious pilgrimages, today people travel the Camino de Santiago for “non-religious” reasons as well.  The most popular of these paths is the Camino Francés, an 870 km route, starting on the French side of the Pyrenees Mountains.  Also referred to as The Way, this route of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela was the subject of the Hollywood movie, also titled The Way, starring Martin Sheen, who plays a grieving father walking the Camino to honor his dead son.

Today all the walkers on the Camino de Santiago are referred to as “Peregrinos,” or pilgrims, and though many walk for non-religious reasons, each one is on their own private journey, and many, like the father in the movie, end up finding a lost piece of their soul.

Here is Peter Klika’s story:

“I came around a curve on the Camino and there was an older man weeping piteously . He was visually impaired and his companion dog had gone missing. He was surrounded by other “Peregrinos” trying to console him. We decided to form a cell phone “net” with a tech savvy German pilgrim as the central contact who stayed with the man lovingly holding his hand and assuring him his partner would be found. In less than an hour a Swiss pilgrim announced to the net the missing canine had been found playing with a girly dog. Minutes later he was reunited with his master. The photo tells it all. No one refused to help. No one said they were too busy or in a hurry. Every one pitched in to solve the problem. The Camino does that to people.”


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