A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino De Santiago: St. Jean - Roncesvalles - Santiago (Camino Guides) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2015/12/15
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Now updated to include newer maps and photos - and lighter in weight to support carefree traveling- this comprehensive guidebook to the Camino de Santiago and its offshoots contains all the information needed by modern-day pilgrims wishing to walk the sacred Way of St. James. Overview route planners plus daily stage maps and detailed town plans help sojourners with all the advance preparation they need. The maps feature contour guides to help distinguish the terrain that will be crossed each day, while full information on all pilgrim hostels, as well as details for alternative accommodation, allow travelers to plot adequate nightly stopping points.
All reference information is accompanied by helpful spiritual guidelines to support the seeker's inner journey as well as the outer pilgrimage. Otherwise known as the Camino Frances, the main route covered in this volume is the most popular sacred route through Spain, from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela.
John Brierley is a former chartered surveyor and the author of A Pilgrim s Guide to Camino de Santiago, A Pilgrim s Guide to Camino Finisterre, and A Pilgrim s Guide to Camino Portugues.
John Brierley's guides to the Camino are by far the best I have encountered. I tested about six other guides when I first ventured on the Camino Frances in 2010, and found no rival for Mr. Brierley's book. Since then I have used his "Camino Portugues" guide in 2011, the "Camino Finesterre" guide in 2012, and again the "Camino Frances" in 2013. By then the 2010 edition had proved quite outdated, particularly with respect to lodgings information, and I welcome the new updated 2015 edition, which I am going to use in my planned 2015 or 2016 trip. The slightly more compact size and the additional individual town maps will surely make it even handier.
I have only one reservation to make with respect to Mr. Brierley's recommendations:
His placing the " Route de Napoleon" as the recommended route for crossing the Pyrenees on the first day from St. Jean Pied de Port. The authentic pilgrims route had always been the Valcarlos/Arneguy route with its connections with the Charlemagne saga and its numerous villages are well equipped to cater to the needs of pilgrims. The "Route de Napoleon", on the other hand, has only one 18 bed albergue, and what is worse - is extremely steep and dangerous, particularly in poor weather. While I was walking the Valcarlos route in September of 2013, a woman fell to her death from a precipice on the Napoleon Route, and two other ladies almost did the same. So beware!
Otherwise, as I have stated above, Brierley's guide is the best Camino guide a pilgrim could wish for.