This is my first blog using the Guide to the Camino website, www.guidetothecamino.com. In a way I am almost sorry to see the website ‘live’ and the book in the bookshops because it means the end of another Camino journey, this time on paper.
The book Guide to the Camino: St-Jean to Santiago De Compostela came about quite by accident. I returned home after a second time on the Camino trail and to keep my memories alive decided to write everything down, as it happened, day by day and in great detail. I wanted to remember every village I passed through, every church, overnight stop, the stunning landscapes, the people I spoke to, the camaraderie and even the difficulties faced along the way. Like walking the Camino, writing can be a solitary experience and penning Guide to the Camino was another challenging, step-by-step journey that required something of the same perseverance and dedication as walking 850 kilometres. As happened on the Camino I sometimes had to call on the assistance of fellow pilgrims and in the spirit of the legendary Camino camaraderie they were generous with their support.
Walking the Camino took 6 weeks, writing the guide took more than 1 year. It was time well spent and I am grateful for the opportunity of reliving this remarkable journey from the comfort of my study. And needless to say I enjoyed every minute of it. I still think about the Camino every day and following the yellow arrows across Spain taught me much about life, about myself, about freedom, about perseverance, about trusting God and about the abundant joys of living a simple life.
Through writing this guidebook I hope to repay a little of the great debt I owe to the Camino and that maybe someone who walks this ancient path might find support within its pages, encouragement in the down times, practical assistance when it is needed and advice in times of indecision. In the meantime,
Keep on walking!!