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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This guide is not worth carrying, 7 Oct 2006
This review is from: The Way of St. James (France): Chemin De Saint -Jacques De Compostelle - Le Puy to the Pyrenees (Cicerone International Walking) (Paperback)
I bought this guide and the companion to walk from Arthez de Bearne to Finisterre. I regret not throwing them away earlier than I did. They added very little value and add extra weight which could be used to carry a useful guide. Everyone I met on the camino who had this guide had the same opinion and wished they had one of the other guides available. I saw this book discarded in Hostals several times.

1 - The books provide for the most part directions to following the camino Frances. The camino is so well signed that a narrative is completely unecessary.

2 - They are very out of date. The date stated is 2003. The material is clearly much older. The descriptions are clearly out of step with what you find. Towns that have Pilgrims Alburgues in them don't even get a mention.

3 - There is little or no attempt to provide information on the Pilgrims Alburgues. A significant part of the experience. The French and German guides were full of really useful info e.g. how good / clean, facilities internet, meals, cost.

4 - The material is very inconsistent and contains significant errors. It is clear that no-one checked the guide out while in draft form otherwise some obvious mistakes in Raju's notes would have been discovered.

5 - The sketch maps are of little or no use and are very rough. Proper maps would be of real use and of more interest and would help on the odd occaision you do get lost, the descriptions don't help.

The best guides have proper maps, descriptions of towns, Pilgrim Hostals info, Points of interest etc.

Most of the info in the Spanish French or German guides is pretty easy to read if you have a smattering of the language. The best guides I saw were the spanish El Pais and the german Rotherwandfurherm the french miam mian midot was well thought of. You could survive with the little confraternity book easily enough. There is a nother english book by John Brierly that didn't seem too bad.

Buen Camino
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2.0 out of 5 stars the way of St James, 15 Mar 2011
By 
Leroy (Grosse Pointe, Michigan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Way of St. James (France): Chemin De Saint -Jacques De Compostelle - Le Puy to the Pyrenees (Cicerone International Walking) (Paperback)
I had hiked the Camino Frances...St Jean -> Santiago, and I bought this book for the French section, which I was hiking the following year...I found the book helpful in giving an overview of the trail (from Le Puy to Cahors)including history and background, and what to expect in general, but I decided NOT to bring it with me...
I bought Miam Miam Dodo (in French); I found that guide to be much more useful for the day in day out - trails, aubergues, etc. Get that guide, and when you arrive in Le Puy(or Figeac or wherever), buy the relevant detailed maps (in a booklet).
Buen Camino!
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