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About Mr Gerald Kelly
I was astonished! I could not understand why would anybody want to subject themselves to that kind of hardship.
For whatever reason this bizarre notion was like a seed sown in the deepest corner of my sub-conscience, and a few years later there I was talking my first steps on my first Camino.
Now, many years and many Caminos later, I still don't fully understand why people do this!
This set of books grew out of my fascination for the Caminos and the people who make them special and my desire to give something back for all that they have given me.
I wanted to provide pilgrims with up-to-date and impartial information for preparing for the Camino and for when they're walking.
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It would be several years, and several trips, before I would complete the Camino and finally finish my journey to Santiago. Behind me was a trail of experiences that changed me for ever. My journey had taken in every emotion, I had braved freezing cold and searing heat, eaten dodgy food and drunk dodgier whiskey.
Along the way I had found friendship, happiness and finally something like enlightenment.
What do I need to know? How do I prepare? What should I bring with me? What's it like on the Camino? How far will I have to walk each day? How much will it cost?
Just how difficult is it?
This book sets out to answer these questions and many more besides. Written by an experienced pilgrim and hiker, and based on exhaustive research, it divides preparation up into different sections and explains in practical and straight-forward language what you need to do to make your Camino an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.
Packing - what to take, or more importantly, what not to take, is the most important part of your preparation. How to choose equipment, what to think about and watch out for when buying hiking clothes, shoes and a backpack.
Health and safety - how to avoid, or if necessary, deal with blisters, bedbugs, heatstroke and other hazards. How to access the Spanish health service and stay safe. What to do before you leave home to avoid disaster.
What to expect on “the Way” – What's a typical Camino day? What's it like staying in a “pilgrim hostel”? Where do you eat and what's the food like?
Communicating – how do people manage if they don't Speak Spanish? How to order food in restaurants?
History of the Camino and of Spain from its beginnings to its revival, what was the Camino like in the middle ages? Who walked it then? What hardships and hazards did they face?
Society, culture and environment – politics, culture and people of modern Spain.
Internet resources - including details of websites and Facebook pages and groups where you can meet other pilgrims.
Remember, thousands of people walk the Camino every year! Just how difficult can it be if all of these people manage fine?
Revised and updated for 2019. Now also includes altitude profiles.
A practical, no nonsense guide to walking the Camino de Santiago / Camino Francés with information about pilgrim hostels and services plus lots of background information about the history, culture and architecture of the places you will pass through.
It covers the Camino from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela and onwards to the coast at Finisterre and Muxia.
This guide grew out of the caminoguide.net free community-based guide to the Camino which is kept up-to-date with the help of feedback from pilgrims past and present.
The guide includes:
The Route: distances between places with pilgrim hostels, descriptions of difficult points along the route.
Maps: route maps showing the Camino in rural areas and large-scale maps of the major cities and towns showing the location of Pilgrim Hostels and other facilities.
Accommodation: up-to-date and accurate information about pilgrim hostels, the facilities provided and prices. (Please note, this guide is intended for pilgrims walking the Camino the traditional way staying in pilgrim hostels, it does not contain information about hotels and guesthouses.)
Services: information about services (shops, restaurants, tourist information, internet, etc.) plus the dates of local festivals.
Sights: historical and architectural information about the sights you’ll see along the Camino.
History: a brief history of the towns and villages along the Camino, describing significant events, people and legends.
Gastronomy: descriptions of the traditional dishes to watch out for in the different regions and recommendations on where to try them.
Placenames: the meanings and origins of the names of villages and towns.