The Camino through song: I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

Is there anyone who hasn’t thought of this song with regard to the Camino? Or the oldie by the Mama and the Papas (500 Miles)? That one is a but sadder and more lonesome, but I’m Gonna Be was in my head a bunch. You know, “I would walk five hundred miles, and I would walk five hundred more.” Remember that one?

It’s pretty catchy. 🙂

Why I think I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) was in my head

First of all, the Camino is traditionally five hundred miles long. Or technically (at last count) 487. But 500 is close enough.

Did I walk all of that? Turns out, I didn’t. I walked exactly, 436 miles from Saint Jean Pied de Port, France to Finisterra, Spain. I didn’t make the whole enchilada because I took the bus twice.

I was walking with Muriel from France who only had 3 weeks to get as far as she could down the Way. When she was ready to leave the Camino, we were in Carrion de los Condes. I had been taking my time at that point, not pushing to do too many miles in one day. Pacing myself. But I’d started paying more attention to the mileage and realized that I wouldn’t make it to Santiago in time if I didn’t hop on the bus and catch up, as it were. So we both bought tickets to Leon and, in the process, I made up about 110 km and got back on track.

Two days later, I was walking into Astorga with a fever and an ear infection and stopped at the cushiest hotel/spa you can imagine to recuperate. By the time I left, I was two days behind schedule.

I wasn’t at all stressed about timing. I really trusted that I would get where I needed to go in the right time. But after 2 days of pampering and rest, I followed my feet through the old district in town to a little pilgrim gift shop and chatted up the staff there. I inquired about the bus station and they pointed me in the right direction. As the fates would have it, a bus to my next destination was available and left, conveniently, in just 20 minutes.

While I waited in the bus station, I met a British woman and we swapped stories about why we were walking the Camino. She told me, “It’s a walk of thanksgiving. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and then throat cancer.” In a raspy voice she continued, “I told myself while I was going through treatment that if I survived it, I would walk the Camino. My family thinks I’m a little crazy to be doing it, but they’re really supportive. I’m happy to be alive.”

I had no good words. I was so moved by her sharing.

And I was reminded that every path to Santiago counts. There’s no right or perfect way to “do” the Camino.

When I look at a map of Spain, I can’t believe how much of that blue line I’ve walked with my very own feet in those ugly but beloved running shoes.

Would I walk it again? Yes. I probably would. And maybe someday I really will.

Enjoy

When I wake up yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who wakes up next to you
When I go out yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you

If I get drunk yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you
And if I haver yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked 5,000 miles
To fall down at your door

When I’m working yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s working hard for you
And when the money comes in for the work I’ll do
I’ll pass almost every penny on to you

When I come home yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who comes back home to you
And if I grow old well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s growing old with you

But I would walk 500 miles…

When I’m lonely well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man whose lonely without you
When I’m dreaming well I know I’m gonna dream
I’m gonna dream about the time when I’m with you.

When I go out yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you
When I come home yes I know I’m gonna be,
I’m gonna, be the man who comes back home with you
I’m gonna be the man who’s coming home with you

But I would walk 500 miles…

4 thoughts on “The Camino through song: I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

  1. ooh! I love hearing – really hearing – what went on in your mind during your Camino. what a great song – thanks for the trip back to that movie too. hahahaha. Benny & Joon.
    Music is so incredibly powerful – it can move a person 500 miles (or 436!) on a journey. It’s just one more step… Actually that is a lyric from a song written for my first “wedding” ceremony to Anita, June 1991.
    It’s just one more step
    Neither beginning nor an end
    It is a leap of faith
    Into the arms of your lover and your friend!

    I’m going off on tangents. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Jennifer. ❤

  2. Thanks for sharing the song, I didn’t know it….
    I and Marisela spent some time together in Toulouse last monday… and we really missed you !

  3. That is one of my all-time favorite songs — everything about it is awesome. And I get to start my day listening to it because you posted it as part of your wonderful story!

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