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Spanish Steps - Tim Moore

Old news, Im sure but has anyone read this book? Im half way through so dont give away the ending if you have!
This is the fourth novel about the Camino that Ive read and so far is definitely the best. Recommended!



Active Member
I found it a bit on the edge of acceptability at times, but it's one of those books I read, that I read and I think and I remember and I frown, then I laugh.

He's got a magical way with words. Funnily enough I'm reading it again at the moment


Hey guys, first time I hear about this book. Haven't been too lucky in searching it via Internet. What is it about? Any cyber-links? best, xm 8)


Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Jul-Aug 05, Frances, Jul-Aug 06, Portugues, Oct 2010
Don't do it yet, but when you finish it, turn back to the front and see who he's dedicated the book to!
Camino(s) past & future
Via Podiensis 2002, Camino Frances 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012, Via de La Plata 2005, 2006. 2013, Camino Ingles 2013, Camino de Madrid 2008, Camino Salvador 2008, Camino del Norte 2010, Camino de Levante 2012,
Camino Mozarabe 2015, Camino Salvador 2015, Camino Primitivo 2015
Best book I've read was hardly about the actual Camino really. Claes Nooteboms "The road to Santiago" He journeys across Spain meditating on the Spanish ethos and finishes up on the Camino as a sort of sideline.
The other good one is by an Irish guy who first walked from Arles to Santiago with a donkey and a violin in 1925!! I haven't got it here ( oil platform) but I can send you all the details when I get home on Thursday.
Buen Camino
Kevin (The Croc)



Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
Spanish Steps

He didn't get a good review on the Travel Writers website. I could identify with sme of the crits - that "his ascerbic humour was tiresome and relentless, as though he was trying to find a crutch to hang every one of his satirical barbs onto, including fellow pilgrims"
The CSJ also did not give it a good review feeling that he was unkind, not only to their members (who he met at one of their meetings) but also to other pilgrims he met along the road.


Active Member
I can totally understand that... Although I still found it funny... I think he's incredibly witty, at times he might've been cruel, but... Well... I guess it's just my sense of humour.
yes he is a bit acerbic but I started out reading Paolo Cuelhos Pilgramage and that (in my humble view) is a load of twaddle. That guy took himself far too seriously so it was nice to have a change.


Paolo Cuelhos Pilgramage... load of twaddle
Ditto. I'd put Shirley McL's book in the same category. Nonetheless, my respect to both of them. A lot of people have walked and will walk the Caminos because of their work. Best, xm 8)

William Marques

Staff member
Donating Member
I liked it. It is a little irreverent and judgemental but it is an amusing read and much better than may other journals.

The book thet Kevin was thinking off was the Walter Starkie one which is still my favourite Camino book. (Check my profile for the details.)
Spanish steps

I really enjoyed it, howled with laughter. I had some communication with Tim Moore as I purchased some copies off him with written dedications and he told me he still thinks about the Camino.

It was great to encounter a donk last week near Carrion on the roman road. She was called Princess and had been no trouble at all.

I too read the Paulo Coelho Pilgrimage and there were a couple of good quotes in it but otherwise it was complete rubbish, sorry but it was.

I read the Alchemist and liked that though.

I guess it is all down to choice.
Spanish Steps - Tom Moore

This was the last of about six books I read in preparation for El Camino, which I undertook Sept/Oct 2006, and which I very much enjoyed perhaps more so as I already had a good idea of what the walk entailed from my previous reading. While making my pilgrimage I often felt for El Burro especially a few hours out from Leon where we had some complicated roading to to cope with. I can well understand why he got the "sulks" from time to time!

Buen Camino!

Mgt N


Active Member
I saved Tim Moore's book for a post-Camino reflection (did mine July - Aug 07), and I'm glad I did. After going through a bunch of serious Camino books before I left, reading his after my return was a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed his humor, and being able to identify with his Camino trials, places, and people made it even funnier and more compelling. I'd say it's one of my favorite Camino books.

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Re: Spanish Steps - Tim Moore - and other books

I just finished Spanish Steps and enjoyed it thoroughly. Sure there were things to criticize, but not many books are perfect! The main thing that puzzled me throughout was WHY? Why did he do it with a donkey? The only answer (since he didn't give any, except that he didn't want to carry his pack!) I can think of is that he planned to write a book and this made a more interesting story. That's an OK reason for me, given that he acted responsibly with respect to the animal.

I am hoping to walk just a portion of the Camino Portugues next year, and the book made me feel that I should REALLY walk a longer distance! However, I will resist that temptation until (and if) circumstances are appropriate for me!

I have Cees Nooteboom's "Roads to Santiago" at my bedside too. As another post mentioned, it is not generally about El Camino. I found the chapter on Velasquez to be quite interesting. I first went to El Prado 35 years ago as an ignorant 20-something, and was surprised to be so impressed by Velasquez's paintings. A year ago I went again. Then I found Picasso's variations on Las Meninas at the Picasso museum in Barcelona. I loved comparing them, but have no idea why they give me such pleasure!

I started Paulo Cuelhos Pilgrimage... and didn't get far. The "load of twaddle" description resonates with me. I laughed at Tim Moore's asides about Shirley Maclaine's book. I don't know when El Camino first crept into my consciousness a few years ago, but hers was one of the first things I ever read about it. The idea of doing El Camino had appealed to me instantly, but her book was so weird and dreary that I was discouraged. I even went back and read it again a year later, to see if it was so bad as I thought the first time. It was!

Now, thanks in part to this forum, walking El Camino is firmly entrenched in my plans!

- Clare
There is a class of book, 'Round Ireland with a fridge,' by Tony Hawks is an example. Where the author sets out to do something unusual in order to gave a focus to their work.
I think Tim Moore deliberately decided to go on the Camino with a burro because he knew the inevitable trials and tribulations would make for good reading.
The book is funny but also in some places needlessly cruel. Still, it's worth reading.

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