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A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago

Steffy86

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino in Sept/Oct/Nov 2022 (via the French route)
Dear all,
I'm making my 1st Camino via the French route in Sept/Oct this year. I have with me John Brierley's guidebook (title above) which I think was beautifully written and so helpful. However, I'm wondering if much has changed post-Covid, in terms of accommodation and infrastructure. Would you recommend a more updated guidebook, or not to carry a guidebook at all, to save space in the bag?

Thank you,
Stephanie
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
It is a good guidebook, but some albergues will have closed and others opened. He usually puts out out a new one each year or you can look at the Gronze.com website for albergues currently open. It is usually up to date. If you open it in Google it should translate if you don't speak Spanish.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
In the age of apps I still carry my guidebook. The little bit of extra weight is inconsequential and I find it very useful. As far as updated accommodations available no doubt since the covid and the now reopening of sorts that's bound to be very fluid. Even gronze could be not up to date.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Gronze is usually very well updated.
If you view it in the Chrome browser it will automatically translate to English or the language that you choose.

 

wisepilgrim

Guidebook Author
Past OR future Camino
Many
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Past OR future Camino
2019
Dear all,
I'm making my 1st Camino via the French route in Sept/Oct this year. I have with me John Brierley's guidebook (title above) which I think was beautifully written and so helpful. However, I'm wondering if much has changed post-Covid, in terms of accommodation and infrastructure. Would you recommend a more updated guidebook, or not to carry a guidebook at all, to save space in the bag?

Thank you,
Stephanie
Hello Stephanie
I bought this year's book and I returned to the UK 10th June. I have some guide books from 2013 and 2018. In my opinion too much of the information is lifted wholesale from previous issues and is not accurate today. For example there is mention of the monument at Monte del Gozo looking towards the cathedral. It is not there anymore, was removed a couple of years ago and is not being returned. What is in this year,s book is a straight lift from 2013.
Hope this helps.
Buen Camino
Vince
 

motero99

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
Camino Portugues (2022)
One thing to remember is that all guidebooks are a guide, not a bible. You do not have to follow the stages exactly. In other words, a majority of the people walking will be following one guidebook or another. Those daily endpoints get crowded. I ended up often stopping at the town before or after the guidebook daily stopping point. This resulted in less crowding and stress as to whether an albergue would have space. For what it is worth, most of the Europeans I met tried to limit their daily walk to 20K or so. If you have the time, that is a pleasant distance. One thing for sure is that unless you pre-booked your nightly lodging, your itinerary will change from your plan. Even the daily routine can change. At the beginning, I tended to leave the albergue around 7:30 in the morning. As the Camino progressed, I grew to enjoy leaving around 5:30. It was very peaceful and I really enjoyed watching the storks returning to their nests in the predawn after making their deliveries.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Would you recommend a more updated guidebook, or not to carry a guidebook at all, to save space in the bag?
As a general rule, it is worth getting a current guide, whether it is John Brierley's or anyone else's, if you are going to rely on it for accommodation in particular. Information on cafes and restaurants can also become outdated quickly.

The information about the route itself is unlikely to change as quickly, and could probably be relied upon if you are careful about following the way markers. I have recently walked the CP using JB's guide, and the route changes were generally well signposted.

You might want to supplement Brierley with online resources with much more current information, when the age of your current edition is less important.

As an aside, I have used JB's guides for the CF, walking to Finisterre and Muxia, and most recently the CP. Should you ever wander off the marked path, his guides have never had enough information to allow one to navigate back onto the path without having to backtrack. I have always carried a GPS or smartphone with local maps already downloaded. That gives me enough information to allow me to navigate back on track without backtracking where that might be possible. I use OSMAnd+, but there are many other quite competent mapping apps available these days, including some Camino specific apps which don't rely on downloading the required mapping information using your mobile data.
 
Last edited:

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
You might want to supplement Brierley with online resources with much more current information, when the age of your current edition is less important.
I have not carried a printed guidebook for many years. I find up to date information on accommodation, distances and elevations from Gronze. For historical and cultural notes I read the commentary sections of the Eroski site but their accommodation information is very out of date. Combined the two sites make a very effective guide without Brierley's personal mystical commentary which I find irritating.
 

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