It’s often said that the Camino begins as soon as you walk out your own door, wherever you are.
According to the official statistics provided by the official Pilgrim’s Reception Office, in 2016:
- 91% completed the Camino on foot
- 8.5% by bike
Then, in that final half a percent, there were four Irish guys who came by boat.
And not just any boat. Four men, including Oscar-winning singer and songwriter Glen Hansard (Once), arrived in A Coruna in June 2016 in a traditional boat called a Naomhog that they built themselves. It was the end of a three-year journey (rowing for one month each year, that started 2500 kilometers away in Ireland.
“People might say we’re out of our minds, undertaking this journey. And you need some of that because if you were fully sane you’d do nothing at all.”
A Coruna is the starting point for the Camino Ingles, the shortest of the “official” overland Camino pilgrimages, traveled historically by those from the British islands who came to Spain by boat.
The great Celtic odyssey is all recorded in a documentary that aired this month on Irish TV. The whole thing isn’t available in the US yet (c’mon, Netflix…), but the trailer is up on Vimeo:
I love this quote from near the end:
“The idea of going on pilgrimage in boats like this was to sail away from the land, encounter signs of strangeness and wonderment, and then come back home with a different perspective on the world.”