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Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino De Santiago: 6th Edition: The Way of St James - the Ancient Pilgrimage Path Also Knows as the Camino Frances (Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean,) Paperback – 3 Dec 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Findhorn Press Ltd.; 6th Revised edition edition (3 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844091929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844091928
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 1.3 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 331,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"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

About the Author

John Brierley spent his early life in Dublin as a chartered surveyor until pilgrimage as a way to reappraise life's purpose became his abiding passion. He walks the Caminos amongst other sacred routes, and for those who may heed the calling to try these pilgrimages for themselves, he has compiled three practical and mystical manuals for the modern day pilgrim, and two maps only guides.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 16 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this guide as I was going to walk from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain in April 2010. I had no previous knowledge on guide books so obtained this knowledge purely from Amazon. Having bought the guide book and realising that it was excellently informative, I then purchased a further 3 identical books for each of my children who, after sending brief texts to them each day they were able to follow exactly where I was on El Camino. I would thoroughly recommend this guide book by John Brierley. It has everything from clear maps, albergues, historical points of interest, optional routes, words of wisdom and personal reflections. The book is slim enough to slip into a leg pocket of walking trousers for quick and easy reference and is also robust enough to withstand much thumbing through. Glossy cover ensures that it is also tough enough to endure considerable damp! I intend to buy his other guide books when I walk other parts of the Camino. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By MrFig on 16 Dec 2010
Format: Paperback
I did the St Jean Pied de Port to Finisterre in Oct2010. Used this guide for everything I needed, including a few side trips (EG: Dragonte Route-I recommend this trip but be careful which tracks you follow around the mine). Light and sturdy enough and the maps alone would be sufficient for the trip. Good size to fit into trouser side or back pocket. The written route descriptions give all the background info required. I saw the books that others had, and this one is the pick for me.

Other books did not provide additional (senda alternatives) paths the way this book did. No book will give a 100% correct description as things change every year, but I simply followed the maps every day and only went wrong when I intentionally decided to go off-track. Get additional maps for off-track areas from local tourist office along the way. Detailed maps are not really needed. Pay attention and look for the markers and you will find the path just fine.

Note that no info is included for Santiago to Finisterre, so a separate book by John will be needed, although possible with basic info from Santiago tourist office. Another shortcoming is no indication of price of albergues along the way. Possible to get summary document from tourist office in the first main town for the Leon Province (also try the Web). Unfortunately no such document available for Galicia. And remember: don't worry about the details too much, just enjoy the trip.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dáibhí Ó Bruadair on 19 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm just back from walking all 800km of the Camino Francés from St Jean to Santiago. This book was indispensable - by far the most helpful for my daily journey, and in giving me a good list of things which were necessary before I started. It also had a very useful list of some of the more common things I would have to say/ask for in Spanish. Two aspects of the book were exceptionally helpful: the maps and the historical notes.

Brierley's maps are clear and concise and give you an excellent idea of the walk ahead of you each morning. His historical notes were extremely helpful, especially when you bear in mind that there are some 1800 historical sites along the Camino Francés. His notes on churches, battles, historical developments and so much else gave me at any rate a greater comfort and sense of continuous education along the walk. Other observations, such as the types of crop grown on the Meseta Central in contrast to the lowlands, increased my knowledge of farming life in these parts of Spain. His overview map of all 33 stages in the first three pages was particularly useful, while his guide to the hostels on each day's journey was most helpful.

Now for the weak points. They were very minor in comparison. First, you may not take to Brierley's spiritual notes and personal reflections. I didn't but you just overlook them so it isn't an issue. Second, which was the relatively more serious issue, Brierley's book could be improved for the last 100-odd km from Sarria. Specifically, there are a number of new cafés/restaurants along the camino which do not get a mention and this posed me some difficulty in determining whether I had gone the correct way (the waymarking was weak around the area I'm thinking of).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan on 30 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the 2nd time I've walked a portion of the Camino. In many ways, Brierly's book was very useful. The distances and description of how to get in and out of villages was much better than the book I took last year. The maps showing elevation gain? Not to scale at all. You would have thought we had to summit Everest three times in one day based on his maps. Additionally, I wish he would have devoted less time to sharing his most inner thoughts (often times suggesting he was a rather distrusting individual)and giving more time to the description of alburgues along the way. I understand the quality of alburgues can change from time to time, but the one good thing about the book I took last year was that whenever the author described an alburgue that was particularly comfortable or welcoming it always panned out. Lastly, Brierely tells you not to buy any other book...and then sells a map book. Honestly, the only benefit of buying the map book was to know the exact distance between the cities (rather than adding it up as you read his main book). I'd skip the map book next year. THe book does the basic job if you can get past his writing style and reflection which typically read like a romance novel.
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