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Fantastic Guidebook

Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Year of past OR future Camino
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
I'm sure this will provoke many opinions! But I would like to put an enthusiastic recomendation for the guidebook we used, after looking at several others people were using along the way. John Brierley "A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago Camino Frances". ISBN1-84409-069-8.

I think it also comes in languages other than English. We found it amazingly useful. detailed, comprehensive and interesting and with excellent little maps. Most of all, accurate (except for some information about which albergues are open in winter). It was an exceptional companion for us.
 
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santos

Member
i found this book today at CAA (canadian autobile...) called le chemin de st-jacque it comes in a plastic case and has 3 maps whit all the Gité on route and the book it else give you all the info you need i mean STEEP BY STEEP all you see around you walking!it tell you what it is for each STEEP you take it about 500pages wit all 31+ days. BUT the price is alot they want 60$canadian for it :?
 

Magnara

Maggie Ramsay
Year of past OR future Camino
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
Hello Endless9
We did the camino in December and January this year, starting from SJPdP and ending in Santiago (although we drove to Finisterre to put shells on the beach there).
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William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
The Brierley guide great though it is and with maps in the book is not the one with the pull out maps, there are two of this kind:

BRAVO LOZANO, Millan. A practical guide for pilgrims: the road to Santiago. - León: Editorial Everest SA, . - 261 pp. with maps in a separate waterproof pocket. [Regarded as the best of the heavyweight (literally) guide for walkers]

ANGUITA JAEN, Jose Maria. Pilgrim's guide, the road to Santiago - Leon: Editorial Everest SA, - 360 pp. with maps in a separate waterproof pocket includes Finisterre and Padron. [Sometimes issued free by Spanish Tourist Offices]

I would always take the CSJ guide myself which does not have much route detail and no maps but is always as up to date as possible.
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
Very easy to convert the Brierley maps by just pulling out the pages with height diagrams, outline maps and detailed town plans - say 80 pages in all
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I've been using the (Spanish language) Guias de "El Pais/Aguilar," "Anton Pombo's," and the one published by the Xunta re: the Camino to Fisterra. So far so good. In my experience there are no perfect guidebooks, they all compliment one other. Add in hospitaleros for info + people we meet along the roads, townfolk & fellow-pilgrims.

Buen Camino :arrow:

xm 8)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Guide Books

I photocopied the relevant pages of the Brieley guide and chucked them as we went along.

I found a small error in his latest guide and sent him an email to tell him. He has asked for any info on any other anomalies in the guide so if you find any, let him know.

What mistake?
Page 61 Map 02 Roncesvalles to Zubiri 27,7km - should be Roncesvalles to Larrasoana.
 
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klarita

Member
Guide

BRAVO LOZANO, Millan. A practical guide for pilgrims: the road to Santiago. - León: Editorial Everest SA, . - 261 pp. with maps in a separate waterproof pocket. [Regarded as the best of the heavyweight (literally) guide for walkers]

ANGUITA JAEN, Jose Maria. Pilgrim's guide, the road to Santiago - Leon: Editorial Everest SA, - 360 pp. with maps in a separate waterproof pocket includes Finisterre and Padron. [Sometimes issued free by Spanish Tourist Offices]

I am desperately seeking one of these two books (the second is actually an update of the first, if I understand correctly?). I know they can be ordered from Everest, but the shipping (to Czech Rep.) costs more than the book (almost twice as much)... Has anybody used this guide? My parents had it on their camino and said it was fantastic, unfortunately their friends lost it, otherwise I would be using that. Is it very heavy? We might want to take it along (on bike). Thanks!
 

klarita

Member
book

Yes. They don't have the newer edition, and the older one is currently unavailable. i assume i might be able to get it in Spain upon arrival, but i would prefer to have it in advance. i want to take the maps for sure, but as the book is apparently quite heavy, I might just want to study up a bit and then leave it at home, just taking some notes. I have tried to arrange with a friend to have it sent over from spain. The publisher ships to CR, but it's ridiculously expensive (like 35 EUR)... so I am trying to get a friend to buy it in spain and send it via regular post (for about 10 EUR max.). But thanks for the tips.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The "El Pais/Aguilar" guide book is easy to buy in Spanish bookstores, as r some others, Madrid's Casa del libro is one of them. This year am using "Anton Pombo's" guide. To me, an investment in an agreeable guide book, is essential. Also, it does make a nice remembrance of the experience. Best, xm 8)
 
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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
John Brierley Book

I got the latest edition of the John Brierley guide by ordering it through my local bookshop about a month ago. The info looks interesting about the walk, and with 'older' eyes, I think the maps of each stage are magnificent. (But I must admit, I find some of his spiritual ponderings a bit annoying, but maybe that's me...)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I've gone through both of them, dg, and they look excellent. Suggestion: bring down guide books, to one, for weight's sake, and more. Nix, list of albergues. Most of them r included in guide books (look out to see that they've been updated, u want one that came out this year :!: :!: ), u'll hear about the new ones through ur Caminos. Best, xm 8)
 

Minkey

Active Member
I've two copies of the El Pais guide and the second seems considerably more comprehensive. It's a handy guide to have as it shows refuges, approximate distances between towns, that kinda thing...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Is there an "El Pais/Aguilar" edition, updated, for this year, out (yet)? Best, xm 8)
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
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Minkey

Active Member
Dunno... I got an older in Castrojeriz that was a bit more comprehensive than my previous edition.

However, having read about the Brierley version on these here forums, I'd say maybe go for that.

Not entirely sure how much I'd need another guide though...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I buy a guide book every time I walk, a yearly event for some time now. I find that with all the new albergues popping up, and changes in Camino routes, among other things, it helps quite a lot. They make great souvenirs, btw. Best, xm
 

Minkey

Active Member
I hear ya. Although there were still many albergues not listed, such as the newish ones in Atapuerca, in my latest one... can't remember when it was published though.

To be honest, I have had very little negative feelings towards the albergues in which I've stayed... So I'm happy to stay in em again (assuming they're still there of course!!!) Ok, they might be handy, then.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I don't think there's a perfect guide, too many factors come up all the time. I think a combo of a guide one feels comfortable with (bottom line), + info gathered on the Roads from fellow-pilgrims, hospitaleros, town folk, etc., does the trick. Best, xm 8)
 
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vinotinto

Active Member
Yep, I heartily endorse Brierley's book. It was the only one I used during my July-Aug 2007 Camino trek from St. Jean to Santiago. I also brought the Conf. of St. James one, but I gave it away in Roncesvalles. I kept Brierley's in my front pocket for easy access, protected by a plastic bag, and it was indispensable to me.

Of course, like any guidebook it has obsolete or incomplete info (such as listings for old albergues that had closed, or new ones that had opened after the book had gone to print). But the maps were great for planning my daily distance, the packing list and English/Spanish phrases were helpful, and even his somewhat weepy spiritual musings were intriguing.

A cool bonus is the large number of color pictures - it's almost like having a supplementary photo album. He even includes lined pages to write your own reflections (since I had my own journal, I used them for stamps that I didn't want to put in my main credencial). Indeed, his book is a Camino souvenir on its own. Definitely recommended! :)
 

MermaidLilli

Active Member
My son last year walked with a group of young people that met and gathered as they walked, and one of them was John Brierley's daughter. Salvador told me she took notes as they walked and another one of the group will have his pics published in it. They have all stayed in touch so I wrote to her (love Facebook) and told her :

"...this is Sal's mom. On my camino forum people were saying they are having a hard time obtaining your dad's guides. Maybe you could pass this along to him? Or if you have a message I can pass on to the forum re: where are those books, anyway.... let me know.
Love your phonebooth picture, gypsy."

And she wrote:

"Haya.
Dad has just finished the latest rewrite of the book which is being printed now so will be on the shelves soon. The last version pretty much sold out already even though only printed last year so that will be why they are harder to get hold of now. New and improved print should be on shelves soon, although you can let people know it now has a new cover, although same name etc.
Hope everything is going well with you back in the states. All the best. xx"

Hope this helps.
Although soon can mean anything.
Lillian
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I really like the Jose M. Anguita guide, (Editorial Everest) with the blue cover. I´ve sent my battered old copy along with three beloved young pilgrims, and none of them ever got lost. It´s thick and a bit biggish but obviously not too heavy, else it wouldn´t have made it back to me all those times. Brierly is great, but a bit loopy for my taste.

It is listed on http://www.everest.es , phone 902 123 400 . I got my copy for free at the Tourist Office of Spain in New York City. (Or maybe Chicago.)

Reb
 

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