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Travels with My Donkey: One Man and His Ass on a Pilgrimage to Santiago [Paperback]

Tim Moore
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Griffin; Reprint edition (24 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312320833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312320836
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Moore's writing has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, The Sunday Times and Esquire. He is the author of French Revolutions, Do Not Pass Go, Spanish Steps, Nul Points and I Believe In Yesterday. He lives in London.

Product Description

Travels with My Donkey Having no knowledge of Spanish and even less about the care and feeding of donkeys, Tim Moore, Britain's indefatigable traveling Everyman, sets out on a pilgrimage to the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela with a donkey named Shinto as his companion. Armed only with a twelfth-century handbook to the route and expert advice on donkey management from Robert Louis Stevenson, Moore and his four-legge... Full description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pilgrim and donkey hilarity 1 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Tim Moore decides to walk the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, but does not want to carry a rucksack. Instead, he decides to take a donkey to do the carrying for him, despite never having been up close to a donkey before. Anyone who remembers the stubborn, placid nature of these creatures can see right off that this is a crazy idea, but Tim sees it through with method and determination. First, he has to find his donkey, and get it to the start of his camino in Roncesvalles. His adventures persuading the donkey to follow him on the camino are too many and too funny to summarise here. I made sure to read this book only at home, i.e. not on the bus, so that I could laugh out loud and re-read the best bits as often as I needed to. As well as adventures with the animal, Tim enjoys his encounters with the other pilgrims, who are kind, epigrammatic and daft in the combinations we pilgrims expect. Tim breaks up the story with summaries of the history of the Camino, which are not overly reverent. He does not pay much attention to the spiritual side of the camino, shredding Shirley Maclaine and the "guffmeister", Paulo Coelho.

I read this book after I'd spent two weeks walking part of the Camino de Santiago, so was delighted to recognise the places and some of the characters in this book. His stories of staying in refugios and meeting other pilgrims along the way ring absolutely true, and no one could make up the stories of donkey care and persuasion. I wish I'd met Tim on my pilgrimage, as I'm sure he'd have had the whole room laughing.
Travels with My Donkey: One Man and His Ass on a Pilgrimage to Santiago
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great service 21 Mar 2014
By Don
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought the book for a friend abroad. It was delivered to his home in Strasbourg. Spot on. No hassle. No worries.
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1 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my thing? 19 Nov 2009
I bought this because I read a good review of it in a newspaper and it sounded like an interesting theme for a book. To sum it up in one word- DULL.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A man, a plan, a donkey - Camino! 29 Sep 2007
By Erik Olson - Published on
I read a number of books about the Camino de Santiago before I did it in July-August of 2007. They were either practical guidebooks or deeply personal memoirs. I'd begun reading "Travels With My Donkey" about two weeks prior to departing for Spain, but I didn't get past the introduction - too busy with preparations. I figured I'd read enough anyway, and I wanted to save what looked like a good book for post-Camino reflection. I'm glad I waited until after my pilgrimage to read "TWMD," because it was an excellent and uniquely humorous account that brought me right back to the Camino.

Mr. Moore first became aware of the Camino when he met a pilgrim on "a small boat in Norway." As is common with those who've walked the Way, the idea settled in his mind and bloomed after a period of germination. Also like the typical pilgrim, he began doing research and making preparations for the trek. However, unlike most of us he decided to bring along a donkey. After some searching, he finally found one named Shinto and committed to his adventure. He and Shinto were trailered to Valcarlos, Spain, and commenced their trek to Santiago one step at a time.

During the next forty-one days, Mr. Moore and Shinto experienced numerous adventures on the Camino. Shinto became somewhat of a focal point - most of the time for good, but sometimes for ill. The author soon discovered the difficulties involved in herding a somewhat truculent donkey, including health issues, finding enough food for both of them, and securing donkey-friendly accommodation. Even so, he persevered and eventually formed a bond with Shinto based on shared hardship.

"TWMD" reminded me a lot of Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods," another humorous account of a trek along an old trail. Indeed, both books made me laugh out loud in some spots and cringe in others. However, since I was fresh off the Camino, I was actually able to identify with Mr. Moore's experiences. I loved revisiting familiar towns and fondly remembered (or no-so-fondly remembered) refugios. And I empathized with the author's trials and tribulations, such as blisters, prickly pilgrims, harsh climate conditions, and fast automobile traffic.

"Travels With My Donkey" made me miss the Camino, and it also made me glad to be a peregrino. Recommended for those contemplating the Camino, pilgrims who have already walked the Way, and wanderers in general.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Biting Hilarious Modern Pilgrimage 19 Feb 2006
By J. Holland - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Moore's sense of humor and his complaints get him to the Pas de Roman to visit the Spanish Santiago Cathedral over the Pyrenees from the Atlantic Coast of France. Along the way, we are all drawn into his contacts with other, serious and not so serious pilgrims; the landscapes; the hardships of caring for this donkey animal he starts the trip with not knowing or caring much about; the incredible overnight sleeping accommocations he encounters; the meals; the brandy; the elevations; rain and shale; bridges and cobble stones. Having driven alot of the trail myself without knowing much about what it was or what I was doing, I was tied into this wonderful and hilarious story every bit of the way, enjoying his cynicism and suspicion until he reached the pinnacle of Santiago for all his cold dismissal of the energy required to make this pilgrimage. I sensed he made quite a turn by the time he reached the end of the journey but then perhaps he'd started out more committed to personal spiritual reasons for the journey than I'd understood at the beginning. I LOVED the book, his hilarious ability to laugh at himself and his circumstances, his brilliant evaluations of others' situations, his cautious thoughtful spiritual tussles along the path and most of all the subtle way he slipped in so much of the history of that great period when the Crusaders were displacing the Saracens or the Muslims. The weight of the themes sneaks in on the reader as the book develops - there are so many twists and turns that this book would be a fantastic book club or academic assignment as it calls out for interaction among readers. Would it ever become a book tape? Would it ever become a play? I feel it should have wider dissemination. Great book!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One ass you'll want to kiss 24 Jan 2006
By D. C. Hunter - Published on
Tim Moore has taken me on some extraordinary journeys in the past, from the Tour de France to the Monopoly board via the arctic deserts of Iceland, but I found this one easily the most enjoyable. If you don't fall in love with the infuriating but utterly endearing donkey he takes with him on this Spanish pilgrimage, I'll eat my cat...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and very funny 4 Feb 2012
By S. Kayton - Published on
With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the author and a donkey travel 750 km on pilgrimage. Similar to Travels On My Elephant by Mark Shand, but much funnier.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book 29 Oct 2005
By A. H. Mitchell - Published on
If you've ever thought of making the pilgrimage to Santiago, or simply enjoy hilarious travel writing, (Bryson, O'Hanlon) get this book. The title just about sums it up, both in attitude and description. While giving you a great idea of what the walk to Santiago is really like, Moore manages to deliver a laugh outloud on virtually every page. I did the pilgrimage the same year that Mr. Moore did (though six months later). I wish I had had the opportunity to meet him on the road. A delight.
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