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Travels with My Donkey: One Man and His Ass on a Pilgrimage to Santiago Hardcover – 1 Jan 2005
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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
"No man can ever have felt more proud of a donkey as I did watching Shinto crap atop the Cruz de Ferro. It was, indeed, his pilgrimage too." - from TRAVELS WITH MY DONKEY, as the author and Shinto stand atop the famous pilgrimage milestone
In 2004, for no particular reason related to piety, author Tim Moore decided to make the venerable east to west pilgrimage across the width of northern Spain starting at Valcarlos and ending at Santiago de Campostela at the enshrined (supposed) remains of the apostle Saint James. Not wishing to carry his stuff all 466 miles, Moore decides to pack it in with a donkey. Thus Shinto, an ultimately endearing 200 kilogram package of obstinacy, phobias, and more or less stoic forbearance.
The books biggest flaw is the lack of any photos - especially photos of "Shints" - even though the author makes multiple references to pictures taken. I had to go to the Web to retrieve a color snap of Tim and his faithful companion which I printed, trimmed, and pasted into the book for the benefit of its next owner. Shinto bears little resemblance to the donkey portrayed on the volume's front cover.
As a lapsed Catholic and in the face of life's day-to-day responsibilities, Moore's 41-day trudge seemed an enormous waste of time. However, that doesn't prevent a feeling of reluctant admiration for one who'd actually do it, especially while pushing, pulling, and cajoling livestock all the way. After all, Tim produced an engaging and humorous narrative about the experience which provided several days of chuckles. And I did appreciate the author's comments about Shirley MacLaine.
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