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Chapter to read


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Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
I just re-found a chapter about the Camino in a book I have had for a while.

The book is called "Sacred Roads" by Nicholas Shrady, and there are chapters about different pilgrimage walks he has been on, associated with various religions. It includes a chapter on the St James pilgrimage. The version of the book I have is Penguin (Pub 2000) and it was originally published in Viking (1999).

I am not sure when he did the Camino, but he set off from Roncesvalles early one November, and was warned by the monk that he would 'freeze to death' in the mountains of Leon. He certainly encountered serious snows there. He wanted a more solitary experience and it seems like he was one of the few and far between on the road then.

He reflects thoughtfully on his experience and I found this chapter well worth reading.
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
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Sounds interesting, KiwinN, I just ordered it from Amazon. Thanks for the info. Here's a review. Best, xm 8)

From Publishers Weekly

A born-and-raised Catholic whose faith "was, and remains, full of profound doubts," American travel writer Shrady describes the events of his sometimes harrowing journeys to six of the world's best-known religious destinations: the Catholic shrine to Mary at Medjugorje, Bosnia; the Hindu holy river Ganges; Buddhist sites in India and Nepal; the 500-mile medieval pilgrimage path to the tomb of St. Peter in Santiago de Compostela, Spain; the Jewish and Islamic holy sites of Jerusalem; and the Turkish tomb of the Sufi mystic Rumi. Taken together, the trips bring Shrady to conclude: "The notion that God, or the Absolute, can be approached while journeying, I discovered, is all but universal." Shrady unites incisive, often humorous writing (the wall of his "soggy" Medjugorje boarding-house room "was decorated with a poster of the Virgin, and another with an image of Sylvester StalloneAa source of inspiration, no doubt") with thoughts on the religious faiths he seeks to understand ("One may choose to become a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, or a shamanist, but one cannot become a Hindu.... That is why Hindus do not go about proselytizing"). Along the way, the author describes adventures that include being left out in the cold by Catholic priests; traveling the Ganges in a "decrepit vessel of dubious seaworthiness"; being held hostage by bandits in India; and, finally, witnessing "a clandestine Sema ceremony" of Sufi dervishes whirling in ecstatic prayer. In this sincere narrative, Shrady wonderfully combines travelogues with spiritual ruminations. (June)

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