Every traveler comes to the Camino de Santiago for their own personal reasons, but those walking the Camino inevitably share a focus to strip away the clutter of life in order to better see the inner self. In that process, consciously utilizing the healing power of music and nature while you walk or bike the Way can have a powerful effect on your journey.
Consciously deciding what sound you want to include on your journey along the Camino can enhance the healing and centering effect you may wish to accomplish on this particular trip. Music, in any form, recorded or the music of nature, has been documented to augment mood regulation and the mind-body connection. For example, Andrew Schulman, in an interview with All in the Mind, presents his experience as a “Medical Muso,” using specific music to affect physical regulation with critically ill patients. Schulman walks the listener through his discovery that the intricacies and chordal structures of Bach, in particular, are a powerful “resetter” of physical regulation. Compiling a playlist of acoustic music, music itself stripped of “clutter,” can be one conscious approach to creating a pilgrim’s soundtrack.
If you envision a walking soundtrack that embraces the culture of the countryside you travel through, your playlist might include acoustic string instruments such as the guitar and traditional Galacian bagpipe music which traces it origins back to the area’s ancient Celtic roots. The work of Carlos Nunez is an excellent starting point to explore this unique history. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Nunez discusses why he feels this particular music is so intriguing. “It has a history of 1,000 years. We know that through the Atlantic corridor, through the sea, there was a great piping connection with Ireland and Scotland. Centuries ago, all the Irish pipes, all the Scottish pipes, were very similar to the Galician pipes, nearly the same instrument. Today what makes it different is the sound and the way it’s played. I always love to say that the Scottish pipes are the fire, the Irish pipes are the water, very mellow, very subtle, and the Galician pipes are the earth.”
When you have had enough of pre-recorded music, all you have to do is pull out your earbuds to embrace the healing sound of nature that surrounds the traveler along the Camino. Water and forest sounds will be your constant companion on the Way if you come from the direction of Portugal. As you set out from the coastal town of Porto on the Portuguese Way, the crashing sound of waves will provide a welcome respite from the city sounds. Whether it is the fountains in the main square at many towns or the drinkable water pouring from the natural springs along the Way, you will never be far from the sound of water either on the Coastal or Central Portuguese Way. When not meandering along the ocean or rivers, the Coastal Camino will take you through quiet pine and eucalyptus forests that sing from the numerous birds that fill the air. Listen for the Eurasian Thick-Knee, Great Reed Warbler and the Red-necked Nightjar.
So why are you planning your Camino trip? Are you looking to “strip away the clutter?” Are you looking to connect with your loved one or children? Whatever your reason, consider the soundtrack of your trip. Do you want the comfort of the familiar as you walk or are you feeling adventurous? Local music or birdsong? Bagpipes or guitar? When you contact Adventure Camino for your Camino de Santiago trip planning, know that we pay attention to the details of your trip, no matter how small!