The good, the bad, and the ugly:
The good: great fun. Her book description is very accurate. Liked her humorous writing style. Just an occasional typo. She gives place to place names, distance (only in Kms unfortunately for me), name and price of places stayed. Her red wine athletic training served her well.
The bad: ummmmmm can't think of anything. Well, some photos would have been nice.
The ugly: this about my 6th Camino book and she clearly depicts the significant number of surly, rude, non-caring people who serve (ha!) the pilgrim route. This is a recurring theme in other books. I would love for someone to organize a Camino Boycott - even if only for one month but during the busy season. Over-charging and a complete lack of compassion toward people who are tired, wet, cold, etc. really annoys me. I'd better not do the Camino because I am fluent in Spanish y no tengo pelos en la lengua! (No hairs on my tongue = outspoken). At first I thought the Spanish government should do outreach "How to be nice to your customers" training, but then thought, "Naaah, hit 'me where it hurts."
"The romantic idea of the Camino as a gentle pathway for contemplation and companionship exploded. It's a walk through villages where commercially motivated villagers want to make a fast buck. It's highly unlikely a miniscule percentage of the annual 100,000 pilgrims will return, so basic standards of cleanliness, courtesy and value for the money are compromised primarily by greed."
Competition might work. The author mentions a couple who, after walking the Way, bought an old house and are fixing it up for pilgrims. A chain of hostels that are required to maintained certain standards would be great. (thinking of the KOA (Kampgrounds of America) franchises).
I realized something interesting. I was reading a book written by the female half of Mr. And Mrs. Aussie with the means to frequently stay at hotels and it was déjà vue all over again (Yogi Berra quote). I recently wrote a 3-star review of The Italian Camino written by another Mrs. Aussie. I do think that the less frequented Italian way didn't present that many opportunities for amusing stories but mostly I think it is the difference in perspective and writing personality.
This book was published almost two months ago and I rarely buy a book that hasn't been reviewed. Glad I did and am happy to write the first review. Five bucks for 185 pages is a lot of enjoyment for the money. Looking forward to reading her next book about fixing up the old house they bought in (I think) Mallorca.