• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Favorite Pilgrimage Memoir *Not* Set on the Camino Francés?

Dave

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Hi all,

I'm looking for some new pilgrimage books to read. What are your favorite memoirs or other pilgrimage books that are not set on the Camino Francés?

Thanks,
Dave
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
My two personal favourites are the late 4th/early 5th Century narrative of the Mother Superior Egeria from likely Galicia to the Holy Land, and the 16th Century Travel Journal of Montaigne including his devout votive and vicarious pilgrimage to Loreto and his less pious and more intellectually critical one to Rome.
 
Be part of the Camino Cleanup team! Help us pick up litter from Ponferrada to Sarria.
There's certainly Robert Lewis Stevenson's 1879 Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. Great fun! (But was he a pilgrim...?)

One I'm absolutely passionate about is Hilaire Belloc's 1902 The Path to Rome. It still astonishes me that Belloc could walk (as a pilgrim!) across the heart of Europe at the dawn of the 20th Century and never encounter an automobile!

.
 
Last edited:
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Not what you're looking for but you may enjoy the book and a chance to break things up a bit: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard.

You can find a preview here:

 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Tony Kevin, ´Walking the Camino, a Modern Pilgrimage´
I read this before my first Camino, and it appealed to my interest in the southern routes, even though I eventually walked the Camino Frances first. I enjoyed the book a lot, although I tended to skip over his extended philosophical/sociological diversions toward the end.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
My contribution;

'The Way of 88 Temples' - Robert C Sibley
'Along the Templar Trail' - Brandon Wilson
'Like a Tramp, Like a Pilgrim' - Harry Bucknall
'A Sense of Direction' - Gideon Lewis-Kraus (incls the CF but not solely about it).

Sinning across Spain by Ailsa Piper is a memoir of her walk on thé Mozarabe. I haven’t read it but I know others who’ve enjoyed it. 😎
I have read it & found it (her) annoying! 😄 The whole concept behind her walking, her obsession with her own hair colour (I wanted to hurl the book each time she said she was a blonde in Spain) & everyone she met seemed to be either a musician or able to quote passages of poetry at length... 😫
The book was very put-downable IMHO 😉 but hey, each to their own & she did well out of it.
👣🌏
 
There's certainly Robert Lewis Stevenson's 1879 Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. Great fun! (But was he a pilgrim...?)

One I'm absolutely passionate about is Hilaire Belloc's 1902 The Path to Rome. It still astonishes me that Belloc could walk (as a pilgrim!) across the heart of Europe at the dawn of the 20th Century and never encounter an automobile!

.
I always thought RLS's description of the Trappist monks, their contemplative silence and austere monastery to be particularly astute and evocative.

"A stern simplicity, heightened by the romance of the
surroundings, spoke directly to the heart. I recall the whitewashed
chapel, the hooded figures in the choir, the lights alternately occluded
and revealed, the strong manly singing, the silence that ensued, the
sight of cowled heads bowed in prayer, and then the clear trenchant
beating of the bell, breaking in to show that the last office was over
and the hour of sleep had come"


Be sure to listen for that "clear trenchant beating of the bell"
if you follow anew Stevenson's footsteps!
 
have read it & found it (her) annoying! 😄 The whole concept behind her walking, her obsession with her own hair colour (I wanted to hurl the book each time she said she was a blonde in Spain) & everyone she met seemed to be either a musician or able to quote passages of poetry at length... 😫
The book was very put-downable IMHO 😉 but hey, each to their own & she did well out of it.
That’s so funny Kaz 🤣 . As I said, I haven’t read it. But others have recommended it to me. Some years ago I heard a radio interview with the author and immediately knew it was not a book for me. 🙄 But I thought I must have been the odd one out. 🥹
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
@Tassie Kaz if some northern hemisphere-ers hadn't chimed in, I would have said maybe our response is somehow on account of our antipodean location! Totally agree with you.
In terms of non-camino pilgrimages, I really enjoyed "Chasing Francis" by Ian Morgan Cron. Maybe take a look at the reviews on goodreads before committing - it may really not be to your liking!

"The Way of the 88 Temples" by Robert C. Sibley - made me want to walk it!

"Where the Feet Fall" edited by Duncan Minshall
Twenty essays, each by a different author about a walk they have taken.

Marilynne Robinson indirectly takes the idea of migration/movement in her novels "Home", "Gilead" and "Lila".

Not exactly pilgrimage per se, and not aimed at adults, but loosely related and an interesting book nonetheless:
"Refugee" by Alan Gratz

"A long walk to water" by Linda Sue Park is another novel for young people - and as C. S. Lewis said, "No book is really worth reading at age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty."
 
That’s so funny Kaz 🤣 . As I said, I haven’t read it. But others have recommended it to me. Some years ago I heard a radio interview with the author and immediately knew it was not a book for me. 🙄 But I thought I must have been the odd one out. 🥹
I wish I'd heard that radio interview before I tested my endurance reading it! To this day when I see her name on any credits (FYI to others; Ailsa Piper is an Aussie writer, director & actress), I still groan & it clouds anything else she may do. 😏
So fear not Jenny...you're not alone! 🤗
👣🌏
Edited to correct career.
 
Last edited:
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
@Tassie Kaz if some northern hemisphere-ers hadn't chimed in, I would have said maybe our response is somehow on account of our antipodean location! Totally agree with you.
Could be @Kiwi-family, perhaps we're more critical of our own or the mileage (haha 🤭) she got from it is because she's an actress & falls into the local 'celebrity' (shudder 🥴) set?
"The Way of the 88 Temples" by Robert C. Sibley - made me want to walk it!
Excellent! Do walk it if you can...or at the very least, put it on your List of Possibilities. To this day, it is far & away my favourite walk & I still miss Japan now, some 6+ years down the track.

I'll look into the other books you listed...& maybe check a review prior... 🤭😇

Love the CS Lewis quote. 🥰
👣🌏
 
Belloc was better known as a poet. I assume he wrote this on the same journeyÑ

Tarantella (1929)​

Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark verandah)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
Who hadn't got a penny,
And who weren't paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the Din?
And the Hip! Hop! Hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the twirl and the swirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Glancing,
Dancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of a clapper to the spin
Out and in --
And the Ting, Tong, Tang, of the Guitar.
Do you remember an Inn,
Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?

Never more;

Miranda,

Never more.
Only the high peaks hoar:
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the Halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground
No sound:
But the boom
Of the far Waterfall like Doom.

Hilaire Belloc

Apparently written in Canfranc, which would have had a splendid new railway station opened just up the road. Belloc and Chesterton were mates and both had a talent for dynamic rhyming, but Belloc was probably more nuanced in his stance on social issues, and wrote much better children’s poetry, although a poem entitled ‘Matilda’ sub-titled ‘who told lies and was burnt to death’ might struggle to find a publisher nowadays.
DSC05766 (2).JPG
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
I had to learn this at school when I was very young - in a class elocution lesson!
I hope they weren´t trying to get rid of your Kiwi accent. There are recordings of Belloc´s voice. You´d expect to be a fruity baritone but in fact, I think you´d describe it as thin and reedy.

Returning to the theme, Laurie Lee´s ´As I walked out One Midsummer Morning´. Not camino, but walking in Spain at an interesting time.
 
Tony Kevin, ´Walking the Camino, a Modern Pilgrimage´. Written in 2006 after his career as a public servant collapsed when he blew the whistle on the Australian government. He walked the Mozarabe from Granada and then the Plata/Sanabrés.
This is the one that got me started. I read a review in the Sydney Morning Herald, bought it, read it and the Camino reeled me in.

Prior to reading this, I only knew about the CF and wasn't attracted because of the numbers. I had seen a short doco about the CF on tv. Interestingly, one person I met on this my first Camino told me that I should consider the CF. He thought it important. I came to agree with him.
 
Be sure to listen for that "clear trenchant beating of the bell"
if you follow anew Stevenson's footsteps!
Lovely quote @mspath As an aside, for anyone who's interested, I highly recommend le chemin du Stevenson (The Stevenson Way). Excerpts from his book are dotted on tableaus along the Way. A beautiful and challenging path, starting in Le Puy en Velay, - spectacular scenery, delightful small towns and villages and a warm welcome from all we met along the path.
 

Attachments

  • Stevenson Way 3.jpg
    Stevenson Way 3.jpg
    57.4 KB · Views: 28
  • Stevenson Way 4.jpg
    Stevenson Way 4.jpg
    74.4 KB · Views: 21
  • Stevenson Way 1.jpg
    Stevenson Way 1.jpg
    83.6 KB · Views: 24
  • Stevenson Way 5.jpg
    Stevenson Way 5.jpg
    177.2 KB · Views: 23
  • Stevenson Way 6.jpg
    Stevenson Way 6.jpg
    167.7 KB · Views: 22
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
Assume you wanted an English version. If so, this one fits the bill

Bifil that in that seson on a day,
In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay,
Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage
To Caunterbury with ful devout corage,
At nyght were come into that hostelrye
Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye
Of sondry folk, by áventure y-falle
 
I hope they weren´t trying to get rid of your Kiwi accent. There are recordings of Belloc´s voice. You´d expect to be a fruity baritone but in fact, I think you´d describe it as thin and reedy.

Returning to the theme, Laurie Lee´s ´As I walked out One Midsummer Morning´. Not camino, but walking in Spain at an interesting time.
Again not a Camino but a great book nevertheless; The Bible in Spain by George Borrow.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Hi all,

I'm looking for some new pilgrimage books to read. What are your favorite memoirs or other pilgrimage books that are not set on the Camino Francés?

Thanks,
Dave
If you define pilgrimage broadly, consider Seven Pilars of Wisdom by T.E.Lawrence, Motoring With Mohammed by Eric Hansen (don’t assume the title is indicative), or Full Tilt by Durvla Murphy.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
A selection of Camino Jewellery
"A Pilgrimage to Eternity" by Timothy Egan - Canterbury to Rome. Great writing and a compelling readI
Exactly the one I was going to recommend. I loved it because of the strong focus on the history of Christianity in Europe (and its outward effects via colonialism), and how Egan ties all of that into his own family's story. It's not a lightweight read: I'm usually a fast reader, but I needed time to digest each chapter before moving on to the next.
 
Last edited:
Two books I really enjoyed about North American Thru-Hikes (and hikers) are:
1. Where's the Next Shelter by Gary Sizer
2. Thirst 2600 Miles to Home by Heather Anderson

The first is set on the Appalachian Trail and highlighted (for me) the importance of trail families and support from loved ones who aren't traveling with you. The second is set on the Pacific Crest Trail and is more about the power of an individual: determination, grit, and sheer force of will.
 
Another interesting pilgrimage read is "Walking to Canterbury" by Jerry Ellis. It is a contemporary memoir of walking from London to Canterbury. He seamlessly blends history and stories of the modern-day people he meets along the way.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
Two books I really enjoyed about North American Thru-Hikes (and hikers) are:
1. Where's the Next Shelter by Gary Sizer
2. Thirst 2600 Miles to Home by Heather Anderson
And then there's Wild by Cheryl Strayed, my copy of which I actually found along the Way of my 2014 (though I didn't actually read it 'til after I returned home).
 
The Great Westward Walk: From the Front Door to the End of the Earth, by Antxon Gonzalez Gabarain.

He does eventually end up on the Frances, but he starts from his home up north in Basque country. A different kind of camino book. It's translated into English by forum member Rebekah Scott.

Rebekah Scott's book A Furnace Full of God isn't exactly a camino memoir but is from the perspective of someone who lives on the camino (in Moratinos) and offers their home to pilgrims.

So neither are typical pilgrim memoirs but both enjoyable and inspiring.
 
Be part of the Camino Cleanup team! Help us pick up litter from Ponferrada to Sarria.
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
A modern pilgrimage.
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.

Beautiful book. If you get the chance, listen to Saltlines, this Raynor reading extracts from her book, supported by Gigspanner. I have also heard her supported BT Peter Knight and John Spiers - magic
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
It's not on pilgrimage, per se, but if you haven't read On Trails by Robert Moor, I think you will like it. I've been a walker my whole life, a wilderness hiker and backpacker for much of my life, and a pilgrim these last years, and I found it a fascinating read.
 
My contribution;

'The Way of 88 Temples' - Robert C Sibley
'Along the Templar Trail' - Brandon Wilson
'Like a Tramp, Like a Pilgrim' - Harry Bucknall
'A Sense of Direction' - Gideon Lewis-Kraus (incls the CF but not solely about it).


I have read it & found it (her) annoying! 😄 The whole concept behind her walking, her obsession with her own hair colour (I wanted to hurl the book each time she said she was a blonde in Spain) & everyone she met seemed to be either a musician or able to quote passages of poetry at length... 😫
The book was very put-downable IMHO 😉 but hey, each to their own & she did well out of it.
👣🌏
A similarly annoying book is Camino Wandering, by Tara Marlow - which is semi-fiction about Camino Frances, and frustrating for a male reader. Some women might enjoy it, but I suspect you, Tassie Kaz, might not. It's like a moving Days of Our Lives.
 
Last edited:
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
There's certainly Robert Lewis Stevenson's 1879 Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. Great fun! (But was he a pilgrim...?)

One I'm absolutely passionate about is Hilaire Belloc's 1902 The Path to Rome. It still astonishes me that Belloc could walk (as a pilgrim!) across the heart of Europe at the dawn of the 20th Century and never encounter an automobile!

.
Belloc wrote a (pretty bad) poem about a wild night's drinking and dancing in Canfranc pueblo, home to the new Albergue Elias Valina. When I go walking along the noisy river there, I think of him, and wonder what became of that lowdown, big-fun tavern!

EDIT: That poem, "Tarantella," is quoted above! That's Canfranc!
 
Last edited:
I wish I'd heard that radio interview before I tested my endurance reading it! To this day when I see her name on any credits (FYI to others; Ailsa Piper is an Aussie actress, mainly TV), I still groan & it clouds her on-screen performance. 😏
So fear not Jenny...you're definitely not alone! 🤗
👣🌏
I'm curious as to what TV shows you have seen her in of late. I don't think she has done much TV work for the past couple of decades. I think she is more involved now in writing and directing. Personally, I really enjoyed the book!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Belloc wrote a (pretty bad) poem about a wild night's drinking and dancing in Canfranc pueblo, home to the new Albergue Elias Valina. When I go walking along the noisy river there, I think of him, and wonder what became of that lowdown, big-fun tavern!
See post 20. Belloc wasn´t the world´s greatest poet, but his ´Child´s Cautionary Tales´ are masterpieces of black humour (e.g. Matilda, who told lies and was burnt to death, and Jim, who was eaten by a lion) and you could argue that Raold Dahl shamelessly ripped him off with his take on Goldilocks (´then go upstairs´, the old bear said, ´your breakfast is open the bed, but as it´s inside mademoiselle, you´ll have to eat her up as well) and Little Red Riding Hood.
 
I'm curious as to what TV shows you have seen her in of late. I don't think she has done much TV work for the past couple of decades. I think she is more involved now in writing and directing. Personally, I really enjoyed the book!
Interesting...I thought I'd seen Ailsa in a mini-series recently but when I googled her, yep...as you state, nothing much comes up.
Also her face was not the one I was expecting to see & didn't think she was in that age bracket either. I'm wondering now who I was thinking of! 🤔
I'll edit my post to reflect Ailsa's occupations but it doesn't change what I think of the book or the associated groan with mention of her name...& still anything else with her is clouded for me. 🫢 🤭
Glad you enjoyed the book & as I said upthread, each to their own, she did well out of it so many others sit in your camp...I'm just not one of them!
Happy trails..& reading. 🌞
👣🌏
Edited to add about mistaken identity. 😉
 
Last edited:
All good… maybe you were thinking of Isla fisher?
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
All good… maybe you were thinking of Isla fisher?
Ooo..no...I love her! I can see the face in my mind so if I figure it out, I'll post. 😉

A complete derailment from the original topic...apologies @Dave; but hopefully you have enough book 📚 titles to satisfy your query!
👣🌏
 
Ooo..no...I love her! I can see the face in my mind so if I figure it out, I'll post. 😉

A complete derailment from the original topic...apologies @Dave; but hopefully you have enough book 📚 titles to satisfy your query!
👣🌏
I'm well stocked! Thanks to all for the suggestions. And what's the point in having a long thread on the forum without at least three substantial tangents?
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
We have enjoyed fiction especially “Two Steps Forward” by Graeme Simsion and his wife Anne Buist. It made us start our walk in Le Puy. Also the Harold Fry book is a particularly thoughtful read.
 
Hi all,

I'm looking for some new pilgrimage books to read. What are your favorite memoirs or other pilgrimage books that are not set on the Camino Francés?

Thanks,
Dave

Hello!

For those still looking for a non-Frances memoir, I have a Canadian treat published in 2022 about walking the Norte during August 2021. Current and engaging.

Reigniting a Creative Life On the Camino De Santiago: Toward Beauty by Dennis Garnhum

https://calgaryherald.com/entertain...director-finds-purpose-on-pilgrimage-in-spain

Check it out on Amazon... I've made it easy:)

https://www.amazon.ca/Toward-Beauty-Reigniting-Creative-Santiago/dp/1778265308
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
I also liked The Salt Path, by Raynor Winn
 
Hi all,

I'm looking for some new pilgrimage books to read. What are your favorite memoirs or other pilgrimage books that are not set on the Camino Francés?

Thanks,
Dave
I buy kindle books , keep it in a cloud library and read it with a kindle app. Sommer on my cellphone! Wont go on any long hike (RSA, ESP, FRA)
“without:
Backpacking with the Saints, BeldenC Lane;
The Solace of Fierce Landscapes Belden C Lane;
The Soul of a Pilgrim, Christine W Painter;
The Art of Pilgrimage, Phil Cousineau;
Along the Templar Trail, Brandon Wilson;
Ecological Intelligence; Ian McCullum
and some poems (translated) by Spanish poet Antonio Machafdo, and Afrikaans poet Breytsn Breytenbach.
“Like poetry, pilgrimage is beyond time and space”!!!
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-

Most read last week in this forum

My Camino Frances is booked for Aug-Sep. I’ll be spending my 6 week sabbatical walking from SJPDP to Finisterrrae. I feel good about travel logistics, what to pack, accommodations, etc, thanks to...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top