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A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean • Roncesvalles • Santiago [Paperback]

John Brierley
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean • Roncesvalles • Santiago A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean • Roncesvalles • Santiago 4.6 out of 5 stars (5)
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Book Description

Dec 1 2011 Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean,
Now updated to include newer maps and photos—and lighter in weight to support carefree traveling—this comprehensive guidebook to the Camino de Santiago and its offshoots contains all the information needed by modern-day pilgrims wishing to walk the sacred Way of St. James. Overview route planners plus daily stage maps and detailed town plans help sojourners with all the advance preparation they need. The maps feature contour guides to help distinguish the terrain that will be crossed each day, while full information on all pilgrim hostels, as well as details for alternative accommodation, allow travelers to plot adequate nightly stopping points. All reference information is accompanied by helpful spiritual guidelines to support the seeker's inner journey as well as the outer pilgrimage. Otherwise known as the Camino Francés, the main route covered in this volume is the most popular sacred route through Spain, from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago.


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"Even if you don't think you will ever make this pilgrimage, you will enjoy the books because they help you feel like you are right there, making the journey along with the many travelers on the paths." -New Spirit Journal --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Brierley is a former charter surveyor who promotes business sabbaticals and pilgrimages as a way to reappraise life's purpose. He is the author of several collections of maps and guides to the Camino de Santiago and the Camino Portugués.


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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Camino de Santiago Sept. 21 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Since I'm just contemplating walking the Camino de Santiago, I bought this book based on the suggestion of my friend who did in fact walk the entire Camino this summer. She loved the book and found it a very useful tool. I read through the introduction and all the daily thoughts as well as the conclusions and found it very compelling. Would recommend it for anyone interested in pilgrimage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By dan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I will be bringing this guide with me to St Jean next May , full of Info , great design , excellent for carrying on the trip ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real Guidebook June 19 2014
By dmg1350
Format:Paperback
This book is perfect for anyone planning this excursion. It has excellent details and information to truly help in planning this walk.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Dec 27 2013
By sam
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the Cadillac of guide books. Very detailed routes. What to look for and what's available on the way.
It's a must for your preparation for the Camino. Buen Camino
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  54 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indespensible June 2 2010
By Russell J Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
We purchased the 2009 edition before embarking on the Camino Francais last May. We used the book every one of our 18 days hiking, followed the excellent maps, and relied on the detailed information about highlights and accommodations. We encountered nothing inaccurate, misleading, or out-of-date. This is simply the best English language guide to the Camino available. And it is vastly superior to the French language guide we used on our trek in 2008. We won't be hiking the Camino this year, but will be looking for Brierly's 2011 edition before embarking next year.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indespensible guide to the Camino Sept. 16 2010
By busylilhoneybee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you are going to step on to the Camino de Santiago, I highly recommend this guide to be part of your equipment. While on the Camino, my friend and I drew upon its information daily. Knowing how far it is to each mile-stop, whether your feet can make the distance some days can make all the difference as well as locations that offer ATMs or don't as may very well be the case! Be warned that the author has a tendency to down play the day's routes, particularly in regards to alternative paths! We found that dew-laden brush paths and rough going should have been relagated to "you will get wet walking this path and the rate of climb is only for the VERY fit." One of the secondary paths that was suggested by the book that we started to follow actually had local people calling to us and trying to tell us not to go that way; we soon realized why when we spent the entire morning climbing up the side of a mountain to the top of the valley. But the guide is very accurate, whether you follow the marked path or take the secondary paths offered by the book you will get there, have some advanced knowledge of your next destination, and have a marvelous journey in the process. Buen Camino!
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't go without reading! Aug. 8 2010
By Jennifer Hofmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm planning to walk the Camino in 2011 - and this is THE book that has all the details.

PROS:
Excellent information: hostels, way points, maps, and clear instructions on how to prepare. I appreciate how the writer addresses both the practical and spiritual aspects of the trip. I like that there are suggestions for which pages to remove to cut down on weight.

CONS:
Without pages removed, this book weighs 10.7oz - rather heavy if you're looking to keep your pack light. I found some of his commentary to be judgmental toward some peregrinos and a little sentimental about the "old" Camino. It's not purely a travel book due to these opinions.

Overall:
Don't go without at least reading this thorough, informative book. Highly recommended.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An authoritative guidebook for the Camino March 29 2012
By Lincoln S. Dall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in 2003 with a friend, before the Camino became as well known as it is today in the United States. Back then, I was thinking of becoming a priest and had just applied to seminary. Now, fast forward nine years, and I am walking the Camino again. I leave in a week and a half with a group of from Mississippi. Yes, I am now a Catholic priest, working in the missionary diocese of Jackson, Mississippi, where I cover two rural counties in the Mississippi Delta, where I serve in three parishes and two prisons.

When I first walked the Camino, I purchased a guidebook in Spanish when I was over in Spain (I speak Spanish, have served as a missionary in Ecuador for three years). I really researched what guidebook I wanted, talked to those who had recently done the Camino, and knew that this was the guidebook that I needed. I have been reading it in preparation for the trip. I really like the way it provides helpful hints in walking the pilgrimage route - giving pointers of which alternative route to take, telling the pilgrim to watch out for confusing sections of the road, speaking about the terrain or whether there are long stretches where the pilgrim needs to carry water or food with him. I like the spiritual aspect of the book interspersed with the practical aspect. Even for those who just do the Camino for a sense of adventure, the spiritual aspect will be there in one form or another. I still correspond with a couple for Minneapolis/St Paul whom I met in 2003 on the Camino. They were firm in saying that they were not religious and were just walking the Camino for the sense of adventure, but I can glean the spiritual aspect of their lives and the Camino experience from the emails and correspondence I have had with them over the years.

I appreciate the comments about the refugios in the guidebook very much. From my experience, those comments and talking with the other pilgrims will help make the decision of where to stay for the night.

I am definitely a guidebook/map oriented person. I need something to read and to consult when making my journey. I am very happy and relieved that I will have this guidebook with me when I embark on the Camino in the city of Pamplona on April 10, 2012. Being a pilgrim is a huge part of my identity now since I completed the Camino in 2003. I know that the Camino has changed so much in the intervening nine years. I cannot tell you how excited I am to go on this pilgrimage again. Buen Camino, everyone!

Update - May 2012 -
I just got back from the Camino on May 5. I walked about 325 miles of it over the course of 21 days, meaning that I averaged about 15 miles a day, which is similar to the trajectory that the author recommends in the stages he maps out. All of the English speakers on the Camino use this guidebook - it is like a Bible for pilgrims. Its weaknesses are very minor compared to its strengths. The elevations he uses can be a bit deceiving, but all the information he gives is so helpful. I appreciated the little coffee cup symbol he uses to show where there are places to get food along the way. The author really likes the natural trails compared to the paved ones. I would agree with him, but it was sometimes a relief to get on a paved pathway after have walked over rocks and through the mud for miles and miles. (The weather was horrible when I went - sun only one day, and rain, sleet, hail, and snow flurries the entire way, and this was in April and May!) However, I cannot recommend this guidebook enough. My is very worn and tattered, which means is that I got a lot of use out of it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Sept. 26 2011
By Marker 24 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this guide several months before leaving for the Camino. It was like a travel log that I could read and enjoy beforehand and it gave me valuable insight and tips for what to take and how to be prepared. During the trip, we used it religiously to determine the routes we would take, to plan how far we would walk and where we would stay. We referred to it multiple times a day and would not have traveled so well without it. Now that our trip is over, it provides support information for our journals and triggers many wonderful memories. I recommend this book whole-heartedly.
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