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Posted January 16, 2013
A Must-Have When Hiking the Camino
We hiked the Camino Frances in October/November and found this guidebook to be essential. We have been travelling basically full time for the past 5 years and, as you can imagine, have used a lot of guidebooks in that time. And I have to say, Brierley's maps were as accurate as any we've seen, probably at least partially because he updates them every year. The fact that they are generally not to scale takes a little getting used to but is more or less irrelevant. Personally, we did not have any use for the "Mystical Path" sections, but they were easily ignored and even if he removed them I doubt he could have reduced the overall size of the book by much. Although if he could I would have welcomed it.
We seriously considered going with his more basic book of maps that does not include any of the trail, town or albergue descriptions but, in the end, were happy we chose the slightly larger version as that info came in handy on a daily basis. Because things are constantly changing Brierley no longer rates the albergues but after a while it is not too hard to read between the lines and figure out which places he would recommend.
This was far and away the most popular English-speaking guidebook on the Camino and it was interesting to see how it became something of a cultural phenomenon to bash it for even the slightest inaccuracies, both real and perceived. Yet, of our group of friends and acquaintances, the few who did not have a copy were constantly either following those who did, or borrowing theirs. Anyway, as I said, we know guidebooks and I can tell you that none of them are flawless, and this one is much better than most.
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Posted February 24, 2014
My bible on the Camino! Great listings of albergues to stay at or hotels. Could not have made it without this book. at first I was not into the daily affirmations but as I walked and referred to my journal I actually went back to read them - and they hit home each time! Just remember no expectations and you are not alone! Buen Camino!!
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Posted August 26, 2013