Why Santiago de Compostela?

Our interest in hiking was born in the Blue Ridge mountains of Georgia.  The inspiration to walk El Camino began one night, browsing through books at Books & Books in Coral Gables.  Rolando came across a book titled Humbled by the Journey by Miguel “Mike” Benito Fernandez.  It is a story of a Cuban businessman, and his journey on El Camino to Santiago de Compostela.  It seemed like an interesting read, so we decided to buy it, hoping that it wouldn’t sit on our bedside table along with the other books we haven’t found the time to read.  At the register, Rolando asked the cashier if he knew anything about this story.  The gentleman at the cashier, a man in his late 60’s we thought, said that he did know something about the story because he had done the pilgrimage himself.  This man 20+ years our senior, he is in his 70’s we learned, planted the seed that would soon become a dream.

That seed was firmly rooted the day we watched a movie directed and produced by Emilio Estevez and his father Martin Sheen, the leading actor in the film The Way.  Movieholics that we are, it isn’t hard to believe that one movie would have such an impact on us.  Great movie–a must see whether you’re interested in making this journey, or just want to experience an inspirational story.

Being in the beginning stages of our quest, our research consists of lots of reading.  Today we started the day reading two chapters of To The Field of Stars, by Kevin A. Codd.


There is a story about the meaning of Compostela, which if you understand Latin, (and who understands Latin??) translates to Field of Stars.  Hence, the title of Father Codd’s book, an American priest on his own journey towards enlightenment.  We are only two chapters into the book and already we don’t want to put it down.

Next on our reading list will be that first book that inspired us, and still sits on our bedside table.

Our journey awaits.


Buen camino. . .Buen Camino Logo



Live, Love. . . Let’s Do This

After meeting late in life, we are a couple in love, knowing that sometimes second, even third chances don’t come easily.  We are Olga and Rolando, and while working through the monotony of everyday life, we still dream big.  And now, through the eyes of a couple starting life anew, today we have decided to embark on a pilgrimage along El Camino de Santiago.  Also known as The Way of St. James, for many this path begins in the Pyrenees, and continues through northwestern Spain to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Our love of hiking began while on our honeymoon in Georgia.  There’s something about pushing yourself to walk long distances on beautiful trails, some easy, some hard, but oh so rewarding when you’re done.  This picture was taken while hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains.  It was during our time in Georgia that we began to fantasize about tackling the Appalachian Trail.  We began to follow seasoned hikers of the AT on YouTube, and thought…we can do this!  Now we have set our goal to walk a path a bit further away from home, and hope to walk El Camino, a visual, spiritual, and physical adventure stretching over 500 miles.

Back home in Miami, we have begun to plan for our future journey.  This morning we didn’t venture off too far from home.  We did an urban hike on Ludlam Trail, a new 6.2 mile trail through Miami, created in the old East Coast Florida railway system.  We look forward to training throughout different trails for the next two years, and sharing our experiences in our preparation to conquer El Camino.

Here are some pictures of our hike on Ludlam Trail in Miami.