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2019 Brierley Guide Grumble

Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC (train) 1977; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta 19
#1
I see that it has become available, and I note that: "The guide is now smaller than previous editions and designed to fit easily into your pocket measuring only 12cm x 19cm and weighing a mere 287 grams."

IMHO, the last time the Brierley guide shrank, so did the usefulness of its maps.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC (train) 1977; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta 19
#3
Hey there, did you do the Lourdes walk?
Yes -- and wished every step of the way that I'd had a Brierley guide to it!

But -- now having done it -- I suspect that it would be impossible for Brierley to do a Lourdes-Somport-Aragones guide. Waaaay too complicated.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#4
I see that it has become available, and I note that: "The guide is now smaller than previous editions and designed to fit easily into your pocket measuring only 12cm x 19cm and weighing a mere 287 grams."

IMHO, each time the Brierley guide has shrunk, so has the usefulness of its maps.
The guide I used for our 2015 CF was published in 2015 and was the same 12x19 cm.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo
#5
IMHO, each time the Brierley guide has shrunk, so has the usefulness of its maps.
I love the new size - it fits much better in my cross-shoulder bag. The maps don't seem any different than the longer version. They were never to scale in the first place.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
#6
What am I missing? My 2017 14th ed. of Brierley is slightly smaller and weighs a bit less than the dimensions that you mentioned for the new edition, @rappahannock_rev . I do agree with @jsalt that smaller sizes are easier to fit into a shoulder bag or a convenient pocket. The Somport-Aragones route really was not too bad at all, except for some killer attack rocks. The one time that I was briefly lost (missed seeing the arrow), two friendly dogs indicated to me the correct path.

Perhaps we can persuade The Wise Pilgrim to do a printed guide for the Aragones. I volunteer to help research it!
 
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mlhhome

Really new member
Camino(s) past & future
Various (‘12, ‘13, ‘15, ‘16, ‘18)
#7
The Brierley Frances guides are pure genius. I have purchased two Brierley Camino Frances guides (‘12 & ‘13) and decided not to use any guide in ‘16 and this year; instead trusting my memory and conversations with other pilgrims. It was a different experience not having an instant answer to my questions (how many kilometers to the next town and what/how many albergues are in my destination town. I rather enjoyed the adventure on the very well marked and supported road to Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#8
I found the Brierley useful at home where it provided a relaxed read and a few answers ; albeit well hidden amongst other ' stuff' .
I did take the Wise Pilgrim's Guide , a little more succinct and pertinent to my mind and certainly superior in its accuracy of accommodation suggestions.
Once there and over my first few day's of uncertainty I happened across the Michelin Guide which then became my only guide book , truly a boon to the weary Pilgrim , strip maps that don't require reading glasses to decipher , no esoteric ramblings and stated distances that were far more accurate than others . Besides all that it fits into a shirt front pocket, weighs very little and at a pinch ;as it is not printed on clay paper, can serve as emergency toilet tissue:eek:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Plan on returning in 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
#9
What am I missing? My 2017 14th ed. of Brierley is slightly smaller and weighs a bit less than the dimensions that you mentioned for the new edition, @rappahannock_rev . I do agree with @jsalt that smaller sizes are easier to fit into a shoulder bag or a convenient pocket.
The Amazon description of the 2019 edition says "Now updated to include newer maps and photos, with height reduced by 20mm to make it even lighter in weight to support carefree traveling".

So hopefully it is 20mm shorter than the 2017 edition.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
#10
I don't even look at maps in guidebooks anymore (either on camino or other travels) given that maps on smartphones are so much better. Going one step further, I've used only guide apps/ebooks on my caminos so as not to have to carry a physical book.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017
#12
Hmm my 2012 CF guide was invaluable as a first time pilgrim and is well used with oodles of notes. The only disagreement I had was the decent to Molinaseca on the road. It shows a gentle maybe 2 turn winding road which turned out to be a multi serpentine descent that dragged on.

2015 the guide for the Camino Portuguese was useless.

So I am not a fan, but do acknowledge that others might be of a different opinion.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#13
Mr Brierley has not learned the efficacy of expanding each and every map to cover one page in the book, and for really large maps, like for a city, to spread over two adjoining pages when open. If he condensed the prose and expanded the factual information, the guide would be far more useful The reduced size to fit in a cargo pocket is much appreciated.

Hope he sees this constructive advice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča 2017; Norte Mar’18; Ingles Nov’18; VDLP Mar’19
#14
I see that it has become available, and I note that: "The guide is now smaller than previous editions and designed to fit easily into your pocket measuring only 12cm x 19cm and weighing a mere 287 grams."

IMHO, each time the Brierley guide has shrunk, so has the usefulness of its maps.
Yes I now need a magnifying glass 🤣
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#15
That is a problem. As you shrink the size of the book the typeface necessarily has to get smaller. The only options are to reduce the volume of text, OR change the typeface.

The most recent versions of the Wise Pilgrim Guides have an improved typeface to enhance readability. These guide were always pocket-sized.

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC (train) 1977; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta 19
#16
The dimensions given, once converted to metric, match my 2015 edition; 12x19 cm.
You may be right, my friend! I admit that I haven't actually seen a 2019 edition yet, and that I don't speak metric....

I took the advertising blurb to say that the 2019 books were being shrunk yet again, to something even smaller than the size of the more recent editions, and I could easily have misunderstood.

I'm a curmudgeonly Anglican Catholic and the Anglican Catholic motto is "Change is bad!" ;) I look back nostalgically to the pre-2015 editions, where both the the books and the the maps were noticably larger and more useful.... (For that matter, I look back nostalgically to the day when I was noticably larger and more useful, too!)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
St. Jean to Santiago (Apr to June 2014); St. Jean to Finisterre (Apr to May 2016); Via Francigena - Lausanne to Rome (Sep to October 2016)
#17
I love the new size - it fits much better in my cross-shoulder bag. The maps don't seem any different than the longer version. They were never to scale in the first place.
I use the maps only cut down version. Ideal for ‘how long to the next stop’
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča 2017; Norte Mar’18; Ingles Nov’18; VDLP Mar’19
#18
I will always cherish my Brierley’s 2017 CF guidebook as it guided me, reassured me, coaxed me, encouraged me and yes even unsettled me a bit on my first Camino. It sits in my bookcase tattered and marked up and is like a photo album when I feel nostalgic.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#19
I see that it has become available, and I note that: "The guide is now smaller than previous editions and designed to fit easily into your pocket measuring only 12cm x 19cm and weighing a mere 287 grams."

IMHO, each time the Brierley guide has shrunk, so has the usefulness of its maps.
I agree!
The last one I got, 2018 I think, I can barely read the text it is so small :(:(
No longer worth carrying for me............
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
#20
Any Raimond Joos fans? I really like his books. No stages, but lots of information. English editions for the CF are now available in print form.
 
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago (a combination of own way, voie de Tours and Camino Frances)
#21
You may be right, my friend! I admit that I haven't actually seen a 2019 edition yet, and that I don't speak metric.... I took the advertising blurb to say that the 2019 books were being shrunk yet again, to something even smaller than the size of the more recent editions, and I could easily have misunderstood.
  • All this talk in this thread made me get out my 2015 edition and measure it: as @Rick of Rick and Peg already pointed out, it has the same dimensions as the 2019 edition, in particularly the same height, namely 19 cm.
  • Amazon still offers the 2017 edition, with the following blurb: Now updated to include newer maps and photos, with height reduced by 20mm to make it even lighter in weight to support carefree traveling ... 11.4 x 1.3 x 19 cm.
  • Amazon again: 2019 edition Now updated to include newer maps and photos, with height reduced by 20mm to make it even lighter in weight to support carefree traveling ... 11.8 x 1 x 19 cm
I guess they just copy-pasted this from previous editions, with no change of the dimensions since 2015, and that includes the new 2019 edition. And please everyone don't get worked up about perceived differences of 3 or 4 mm as to the width. 🤓
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
#24
I will always cherish my Brierley’s 2017 CF guidebook as it guided me, reassured me, coaxed me, encouraged me and yes even unsettled me a bit on my first Camino. It sits in my bookcase tattered and marked up and is like a photo album when I feel nostalgic.
As will I Colette Z.....my 2012 guide and the subsequent updated one I purchased in 2014, stood me in good stead the entire way of my walks. I appreciated his little notes at the bottom of each page and, all his maps....it does not matter if they were or are completely Not to Scale or as accurate as everyone seems to have a moan about......the bottom line is: Mr Brierly's Guides, are only Guides, they are not the Camino Bible... my Brierly's will always hold a special place in my heart and on my Camino Bookshelf. Thankyou J.B. for all the work you put into these. Susanawee
 
Camino(s) past & future
January 2019, French Camino
#25
To be honest, I don't see how a paper guide will survive for more than another few years. A digital guide is always smaller, lighter, has no limitations in terms of volume (you can make it as brief or extensive as you want), is easier to maintain and, most importantly, it's much cheaper to produce.
 

Sam - AU

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 2018
#26
My 2019 version arrived in the post yesterday, and I can confirm for everyone the size, number of pages and weight is EXACTLY the same as my last 2018 version (and based on other comments in this thread many years prior to that as well).
I think the only thing they are updating in the guidebook descriptions is the published year and just copy paste the rest from year to year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
#27
I still appreciate a physical, paper guidebook. I take little notes in it as I do my research that cooresponds to the various stages. Before I leave for my Camino I take pictures of the guidebook on my phone, then leave the book at home, which works well for me. It's mostly about having the book handy to grab during my research, and they become cherished momentos of my walks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
St. Jean to Santiago (Apr to June 2014); St. Jean to Finisterre (Apr to May 2016); Via Francigena - Lausanne to Rome (Sep to October 2016)
#29
My 2019 version arrived in the post yesterday, and I can confirm for everyone the size, number of pages and weight is EXACTLY the same as my last 2018 version (and based on other comments in this thread many years prior to that as well).
I think the only thing they are updating in the guidebook descriptions is the published year and just copy paste the rest from year to year.
The 2014 map version was bigger and went to Muxia and Finisterre. The 2017 version (same as 2019?) ended in Santiago. Also, when I walked in May and June this year there were many newer albergues missing.
1545453312960.jpeg
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#30
:mad: But the 2019 edition is 3.5% wider than the 2017 edition! I'll have to buy a new shirt with a bigger pocket! ;)
Most of us carry these books in our pants cargo pockets. The newest dimensions of the Brierely Guides FINALLY reflect this need. It also means you can easily toss the guide into a one liter / 1 quart ziplock bag in the event of rain.

The Wise Pilgrim Guides were always cargo pocket-sized. I had a hand in influencing that decision when Michael first published his guides a couple of years ago. We met at Pilgrim House and were discussing his new business. This is one of the practical IMHO suggestions I made.

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Muxia-Fisterra, March/April 2017
Portuguese, March 2018, ( Lituano 2019, VdlP 2020)
#31
What a bunch of whiners. In my opinion, Brierley can do no wrong. I used his guides for CF and CP without any problems. I'm hoping to do Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres soon, and wish that there was a Brierley guide to keep me sure-footed on the Way.
 

KariC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho portugûes (2016)
#32
I see that it has become available, and I note that: "The guide is now smaller than previous editions and designed to fit easily into your pocket measuring only 12cm x 19cm and weighing a mere 287 grams."

IMHO, each time the Brierley guide has shrunk, so has the usefulness of its maps.
De acuerdo. I actually printed out enlargements of the pages, so I wouldn't need to locate reading glasses to see them - then could toss them after that day without wincing at tearing up a book. But even the earlier editions were too tiny to read.
 
#34
What am I missing? My 2017 14th ed. of Brierley is slightly smaller and weighs a bit less than the dimensions that you mentioned for the new edition, @rappahannock_rev . I do agree with @jsalt that smaller sizes are easier to fit into a shoulder bag or a convenient pocket. The Somport-Aragones route really was not too bad at all, except for some killer attack rocks. The one time that I was briefly lost (missed seeing the arrow), two friendly dogs indicated to me the correct path.

Perhaps we can persuade The Wise Pilgrim to do a guide for the Aragones. I volunteer to help research it!
I have done the aragones route twice and never had a good map or guide , its hard to recommend this route as it is ,Darrell
 

Katyb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#35
The Brierley Frances guides are pure genius. I have purchased two Brierley Camino Frances guides (‘12 & ‘13) and decided not to use any guide in ‘16 and this year; instead trusting my memory and conversations with other pilgrims. It was a different experience not having an instant answer to my questions (how many kilometers to the next town and what/how many albergues are in my destination town. I rather enjoyed the adventure on the very well marked and supported road to Santiago.
I like the sound of the feeling of freedom that offers if a little scary.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2018) SJPP to SDC
#36
Any Raimond Joos fans? I really like his books. No stages, but lots of information. English editions for the CF are now available in print form.

I used Joos' Camino Frances book in late 2018. A mixed review:

Joos has a light touch and I - usually - liked his personal interjections where most writers would have taken a more detached voice. For example, his review of an albergue based on second hand reports when the owner refused him entry ("again I was comprehensively screamed at"). It did not come across as complaining and there was something humorous in the "comprehensively." Joos came across as just another grappling pilgrim even as it reminded the reader that authors do a tremendous amount of unseen work in writing books like this one.

Joos puts an economical amount into a small space and the book is light and compact. Yet at times more would have been helpful. For example he did not review any place where the price for bed plus breakfast came to more than 15 Euros, intended to help those on the tightest budget but incomplete for others.

Joos' stages are deliberately much shorter than those of other authors and much shorter than anyone would ever walk so as to prevent pilgrims bunching up at the same stage-end every night. This was an excellent idea but the written passages and especially the maps became so segmented that it was hard for me to piece these bits together to make the personalized day plan Joos intended me to make. It would be easier to look at a big map and mentally break it down than to mentally combine three mini maps spread over 10 pages of constant flipping. A worthy experiment, but it did not work.

The single biggest thing about Joos' book - I do not know if this goes to the author, translator or editor - is that while the words are all correct English words they just don't seem to have been assembled right. The words are English but the word order - or thought order - appears to still be German. If this is indeed the case, then it made for an incomplete translation. This does not quite convey what I mean but I don't know how else to put it.

One issue, and this is common to all Camino guide authors, is that when it comes to route directions they will say it instead of show it. If a picture is worth a thousand words surely a map is worth the same. Please: fewer words, more maps - or even photographs of junctions where the correct turn is simply not clear no matter how it is described.

Finally, the latest issue for sale at Pamplona, where I bought it, and where choice was limited, was 2015 and it was surprising how much was already out of date. This part was my own fault for thinking I could wing the Camino based on waymarks and following the crowd, a fallacy I learned the hard way fast.

In the end, this was a likeable, original, economical work but not always easy to follow or fathom, at least not in this translation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#37
Thanks for the review of Jobs. As for me, I heard good things about Brierley and I was given a chance to look at one on the train to Pamplona. It looked like it had everything I wanted and so I picked up a copy.

Now about your statement:
One issue, and this is common to all Camino guide authors, is that when it comes to route directions they will say it instead of show it. If a picture is worth a thousand words surely a map is worth the same. Please: fewer words, more maps - or even photographs of junctions where the correct turn is simply not clear no matter how it is described.
Peg had a task for a job where she had to go to a fast food restaurant and ask the customers to show where they lived on a map. Even though the restaurant was in their neighbor many were not able to do it.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#38
Thanks for the review of Jobs. As for me, I heard good things about Brierley and I was given a chance to look at one on the train to Pamplona. It looked like it had everything I wanted and so I picked up a copy.

Now about your statement:

Peg had a task for a job where she had to go to a fast food restaurant and ask the customers to show where they lived on a map. Even though the restaurant was in their neighbor many were not able to do it.

Not surprised...many folks...have a terrible sense of direction...
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago 2017
TDMB 2016
Cotswold Way 2018
#39
I like Brierley. He’s got his ideas, and that is fine, but his guidebook inspired me to take on the CF. His was the only paper book I carried, and I used a number of ebooks and camino apps along the way. I am one of those who tears the map out for the day and keeps it handy in my pocket for quick reference as I went. In my opinion the value of all the guidebooks is that they take this awsome undertaking and offer it up in small chunks to make it feel doable. None of them are perfectly complete, but they are useful. If I could only pick one, it would be Brierley.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1995), Via de la Plata (1996), Camino Frances (2017 x2), Camino Frances (2018 plan)
#40
I see that it has become available, and I note that: "The guide is now smaller than previous editions and designed to fit easily into your pocket measuring only 12cm x 19cm and weighing a mere 287 grams."

IMHO, the last time the Brierley guide shrank, so did the usefulness of its maps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1995), Via de la Plata (1996), Camino Frances (2017 x2), Camino Frances (2018 plan)
#41
The hand-drawn maps in Brierley are very poor anyway. Not only do the scales differ between maps, they also vary across different parts of the same map depending on how much detail he is trying to squeeze in.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#42
For over 10 years Miam Miam Do Do has shown places to stay that no one has got near.
In relation to the way ......you can't get lost.
 

lunna

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances; portugues, lisboa-muxia; norte + to bayonne; vdlp; chemin du puy; voie d'arles/ aragones
#43
Hmm my 2012 CF guide was invaluable as a first time pilgrim and is well used with oodles of notes. The only disagreement I had was the decent to Molinaseca on the road. It shows a gentle maybe 2 turn winding road which turned out to be a multi serpentine descent that dragged on.

2015 the guide for the Camino Portuguese was useless.

So I am not a fan, but do acknowledge that others might be of a different opinion.
Couldn’t agree more regarding his CP guidebook, particularly the Lisboa-Porto stretch.

After Porto, his guide improves slightly, although his pontificating commentaries remains annoying as all get-go.
Hmm my 2012 CF guide was invaluable as a first time pilgrim and is well used with oodles of notes. The only disagreement I had was the decent to Molinaseca on the road. It shows a gentle maybe 2 turn winding road which turned out to be a multi serpentine descent that dragged on.

2015 the guide for the Camino Portuguese was useless.

So I am not a fan, but do acknowledge that others might be of a different opinion.
 

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
#44
My 2019 Brierley guide for CF just arrived. It weighs 273g. I also have the 2017 & 2014 CF versions. They weigh 272g & 296g respectively. Haven’t gone through the 2019 version line by line to see what is different. I see the “stages” are exactly the same as 2017 though.
 
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Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#45

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
#46
Always will be , the rabbit run for spots.
The stages in the 2014 version are slightly different than the 2017/19 book at the onset. One of the main reasons I bought the 2019 version was to see if there were any changes to the stages, so I could know where NOT to stay.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#47
One of the main reasons I bought the 2019 version was to see if there were any changes to the stages, so I could know where NOT to stay.
It always surprises me how many people stick rigidly to Brierley's stages. On my last Camino Frances I met an English woman who asked me where I intended to stop for the night. When I mentioned a village a little beyond Brierley's next stage town she looked at me with huge surprise and said - apparently quite seriously - "Oh! Are you allowed to do that?" :rolleyes:
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#48
slightly different than the 2017/19 book at the onset.
Example please Alex

"Oh! Are you allowed to do that?" :rolleyes:
** In 2007 , 11 years ago we saw a group of Spanish girls [ 4 ] throw their JB books in the bin @ Pamplona.
They then only used the Tourist offices who were miles /years ahead of books printed or on the way with accommodation .
When you could not book ahead as in those years his book controlled where everyone stayed .....until you looked outside the box as these girls did ...........their age 18-22 yrs.
Yet we still have mature aged people using his $$ as the ""Gospel""..........i guess thats why we are in a bit of trouble.
Always be a doubting Thomas my Grandfather said.......seek answers , don't accept verbatim ever
Never assume , never believe , check everything .......The Law of Senior Homicide Detectives.

Brierely was obsolete years ago in every facet of the Frances .
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May-June 2015
#49
I found the Brierley guide to be inaccurate, poor map detail and too much fluff. I suggest reading the Brierley guide at home and highlight any interesting items in the much more detailed Michelin guide.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#50
I was curious about the size of the Brierley Guides as I thought from the comments above I must have been imagining the difference in size.........

The larger one is 11th edition 2014. 11.5 x 21 cm
The smaller one is 15th edition 2018. 11.5 x 19 cm
I find the smaller text in the 2018 harder to read........ (pic below)

I have to say though, I love his maps. Perhaps better described as 'sketches', as they are not to scale.
But they have just the right information on them and are very clear.
I like MMDD too, but the map shading makes them almost impossible for me to read..... (partially colour blind)

I just added an MMDD page below for those who have never seen it. As a comparison.

2019-01-06 17.00.06.jpg

2019-01-06 17.02.07.jpg

MMDD.jpg
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#51
I found the Brierley guide to be inaccurate, poor map detail and too much fluff. I suggest reading the Brierley guide at home and highlight any interesting items in the much more detailed Michelin guide.
I have to confess, that I :

  1. Cut off the small scale maps on the front cover and carry those. They are handy to glance at to see what towns are coming up and to make notes on. Where I plan to stay etc.
  2. The rest of the book I scan and carry on my phone. I use the stage maps a lot as I'm walking to see what villages are coming up, how far they are, where water fonts are etc. I really like those maps.
As for all the rest, I don't really read it.......:(

For accommodation ideas I use a combination of MMDD (also scanned onto my phone) Gronze, and Booking.com
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#52
I don't get this thing about stages and I must not be the only one, as Sahagun is right in the middle of one of Brierley's small maps and has a fair number of albergue spaces available for the significant number of pilgrims who stay there. They can't all have come off the Madrid. I have stayed in Sahagun twice. I walk my own pace, depending on the topography of the area. I may have to plan to find a bed for the night, but it would never occur to me to do so according to someone else's appropriate distance to walk. Aside from major cities, like Leon and Burgos, where I might spend a day or two, I just walk my own pace and look for accommodation when I am, or expect to be, tired of walking. Do any of you do anything different?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#53
I don't get this thing about stages and I must not be the only one, as Sahagun is right in the middle of one of Brierley's small maps and has a fair number of albergue spaces available for the significant number of pilgrims who stay there. They can't all have come off the Madrid. I have stayed in Sahagun twice. I walk my own pace, depending on the topography of the area. I may have to plan to find a bed for the night, but it would never occur to me to do so according to someone else's appropriate distance to walk. Aside from major cities, like Leon and Burgos, where I might spend a day or two, I just walk my own pace and look for accommodation when I am, or expect to be, tired of walking. Do any of you do anything different?
I agree @Albertagirl . Whilst I use stage 'maps' I often try to avoid the end of stage towns and villages........
So the stage maps are really useful. Where not to stay!! ;)

Many of the Brierley stages are too long for me anyway :(
He must be half Mountain Goat.........

I tend to look at the maps in the evening and decide how far I want to walk the next day.
Then I book my next days accommodation.
I kind of like to have a goal for the day in terms of the village/town I am heading for.

Maybe next time I'll try your approach..........and just see where I end up. ;)
 
Last edited:

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#54
I just added an MMDD page below for those who have never seen it. As a comparison.
Now the cats out of the bag , how will we enjoy those little "out of the way places";)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#55
I don't get this thing about stages and I must not be the only one,
Many of the Brierley stages are too long for me anyway :(
He must be half Mountain Goat.........
I think it has a lot to do with the prior walking experience of the individual and the level of confidence which comes with that. Many people walking the popular Caminos like the Frances and the Portugues are walking long-distance for the first time and rely heavily on the recommendations of their guide books concerning daily distances and stopping points. As Brierley's guides are now the de facto standard for English-speaking pilgrims inexperienced walkers quite naturally assume that his stages are normal and manageable. I've even heard and read his stages being called "the official stages" as if his books have some canonical authority. The same lack of experience or confidence may also lead less experienced walkers to pre-book accommodation and transport for the whole journey well in advance. Unfortunately a lot of people then find that some of Brierley's stages are too ambitious for them. If their time is limited and their accommodation and transport already arranged strictly according to the pattern suggested by the guidebook then the options are not ideal. Force oneself to walk daily distances beyond one's personal capacity and risk discomfort or injury? Skip stages using public transport now and again to put oneself back in synch with Brierley's scheme and the reserved accommodation? Or abandon the pre-planned stages altogether and possibly incur sizeable costs for lost accommodation deposits? Then one will be faced with the uncertainty and anxiety of choosing one's own daily stages and finding accommodation on a day-to-day basis - the very issues which following Brierley's ready-made scheme were meant to resolve in the first place.
 

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