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The wild-west days of the camino

Ungawawa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Hey pilgrim-readers, I'd really like to read something about the early wild-west days of the modern camino. You know, back before all the camino infrastructure got put in place and it became this huge international thing for everyone to aspire to do.

Does anyone know of books which are about doing the camino back the 90s, 80s, or possibly even... gulp.. the 70s?

Thanks!
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Shirley MacLaine. Originally published in 2000, so her trip would have been in the 1990's. This is the work reputed to have set the English-speaking world on the pilgrim path. haven't read it myself, so can't comment further.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Shirley MacLaine. Originally published in 2000, so her trip would have been in the 1990's. This is the work reputed to have set the English-speaking world on the pilgrim path. haven't read it myself, so can't comment further.
I've read enough about this book to know that it in no way truly represents the Camino.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hidden here is a fine French account/diary available on line of a young man, Dominique Paladilhe, who walked just after WW2 in 1948; he later became a distinguished historian. Be sure to follow the instructions posted here by mla1 on how to read this as a pdf file.



For additional accounts of the good old days on the CF check out some of links cited below.


Happy research and Buen camino.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2013.2014..SJ/SDC ....2015.PORTO/SDC..2017.18.19.20.BURGOS/P.FERRADA
The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Shirley MacLaine. Originally published in 2000, so her trip would have been in the 1990's. This is the work reputed to have set the English-speaking world on the pilgrim path. haven't read it myself, so can't comment further.
Do not bother to read.Some of it is realistic Camino experience,the rest is comic book fantasy IMO at least.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Don't waste your time.
Nor on Paolo Coelho's book.
Unless you want to read mythology.
Why VNWalking; you don’t wish to visit or rather revisit your past lives while fighting or running from dogs in Foncebadon, then looking for that sword.

My, my; where’s your sense of adventure?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
Does anyone know of books which are about doing the camino back the 90s, 80s, or possibly even... gulp.. the 70s?
Edward F. Stanton's Road of Stars to Santiago was published in 1994 and, due to COVID-19, online access to this book has temporarily been made available to all by the University of Kentucky. The list price is $70 (yes) and it sells on Amazon for about $35. So, currently, it is free. It's a proper no-frills report of his walk from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago but you can see that the writer has solid knowledge of Spain and her history and culture.

The majority of the books and reports from the 90s, 80s, or earlier are not in English and have not been translated into English; they are mainly in French, Spanish, German, Dutch and other languages. There is a long list here: http://xacobeo.fr/biblio.html - look for the links to Récits/Romans in a number of languages including English (look for "anglais").
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
VNWalking; you don’t wish to visit or rather revisit your past lives while fighting or running from dogs in Foncebadon, then looking for that sword.

My, my; where’s your sense of adventure?
Hey, I cut off the handle of my toothbrush to save a few grams and you want me to lug a sword??
Sheesh.
Just...out of the question.

But I will carry everything I need to charge my phone. Just being pragmatic, right? I have to blog my very special pilgrimage journey after all.
🙃

And dogs schmogs. The fierce dog stories all seem to have migrated over to the Invierno. And who goes there? Oh, wait. Come to think of it, that sword would be a good deterrent.
🤔😜
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
Some days ago someone published the link (I am sorry but I don´t have the link) to the book "The way of Saint James" by Georgiana Goddar King. The book was published in 1920 by the Hipanic Society of America (if I remember well).

If you are interested, may be you can find it in internet.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Shirley MacLaine. Originally published in 2000, so her trip would have been in the 1990's.
This is a definite MUST read . . . so you know what everybody else is talking about!

I picked it up in an albergue - left behind by someone else.

After I read it, I left it at another albergue. It's probably still kicking around out there somewhere 🤣 .
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Some days ago someone published the link (I am sorry but I don´t have the link) to the book "The way of Saint James" by Georgiana Goddar King. The book was published in 1920 by the Hipanic Society of America (if I remember well).

If you are interested, may be you can find it in internet.

Here is that recent link to GGK from rappahannock rev.

 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
There is a long list here: http://xacobeo.fr/biblio.html - look for the links to Récits/Romans in a number of languages including English (look for "anglais").
Here is what I pulled out of this website as to pilgrim reports published before the year 2000 and in English. Shirley MacLaine's book is not in the list because it was published in 2001. Paul Coelho's book is not in the list because it is listed under "fiction". I marked those books in colour that are frequently mentioned.

ALVEY Ada - In search of St James. Cornwall to Compostela (1989)
BENTLEY James - The Way of St. James (1992): photographs by John MILLER
CURRY Neil - Walking to Santiago (1992)
DENNETT Laurie - A hug for the apostle (1987): on foot from Chartres to Santiago
FEINBERG Ellen O. - Following the Milky Way A Pilgrimage Across Spain (1989)
FOOT Judy - Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela (1997/2003): pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
FREY Nancy Louise - Pilgrim Stories (1998)
GARCIA OSUNA Alfonso - Incidents of Travel on the Road To Santiago (1998)
HANBURY-TENISON Robin - Spanish pilgrimage. A canter to St James (1990)
HITT Jack - Off the road (1994)
HOINACKI Lee - El Camino (1996)
LAYTON T.A. - The Way of St James or the pilgrims' road to Santiago (1976)
LUARD Nicholas - The Field of the Star. A Journey to Santiago de Compostela (1998)
MULLINS Edwin - The pilgrimage to Santiago (1974)
NEILLANDS Robin - Road to Compostela (1989)
NELSON Howard - Trust and Tears (1998): "Poems of Pilgrimage"
NOTEBOOM Cees - Roads to Santiago (1997): "Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Spain"
POË Emma - Diary of a Pilgrim (2000): in 1992, three women pilgrims start from St Jean Pied de Port
ROBBERSTAD Knud H. - The Road to Santiago (1996)
SELBY Bettina - Pilgrim's road (1994)
SLADER Bert - Pilgrim's footsteps (1989)
STANTON Edward E. - Road of stars to Santiago (1994)
STARKIE Walter - The Road To Santiago (1957): "Pilgrims of St. James"
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2013.2014..SJ/SDC ....2015.PORTO/SDC..2017.18.19.20.BURGOS/P.FERRADA
This is a definite MUST read . . . so you know what everybody else is talking about!

I picked it up in an albergue - left behind by someone else.

After I read it, I left it at another albergue. It's probably still kicking around out there somewhere 🤣 .
Hope you left in recycling bin and not on bookshelf
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
Whether you like Shirley MacLaine's book or not - I have not read it but I've watched an interview she gave - for someone who wants to know what the modern camino was like during its early history, is it of interest or not at all?

Or let's say, of less interest than the other books written about the camino during that time? :cool:
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
LUARD Nicholas - The Field of the Star. A Journey to Santiago de Compostela (1998)
A wonderful read - but have the tissues ready!
SELBY Bettina - Pilgrim's road (1994)
At times a delightfully funny read
SLADER Bert - Pilgrim's footsteps (1989)
I have only read a little of this (it sits on my bookshelf waiting for me to reach it - but this Irish writer has a sense of humour

On Foot to the End of the World by Rene Freund (1990) is about a journey from le Puy-en-Velay, originally in German I think, but beautifully translated.

I also enjoy reading the works of the Canadian (I think) author - Robert Ward. Virgin Trails - A Secular Pilgrimage was published in 2002
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Hidden here is a fine French account/diary available on line of a young man, Dominique Paladilhe, who walked just after WW2 in 1948; he later became a distinguished historian. Be sure to follow the instructions posted here by mla1 on how to read this as a pdf file.



For additional accounts of the good old days on the CF check out some of links cited below.


Happy research and Buen camino.

Oh merci @mspath ! This will keep me occupied.
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Thanks everyone. I knew you'd come through on this!
@Kathar1na, you're as thorough as always - much appreciated!

I'd read most of the common suggestions here like McClaine and Hitt, but many of these books were completely unknown to me, so it's going to be fun tracking them down. Time for reading is at least something there is lots of right now.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances,(Sarria to Santiago) 2016, 2017 April, SJPdP TO Logrono, Sept.-Oct. Logrono to Sarria
Hey pilgrim-readers, I'd really like to read something about the early wild-west days of the modern camino. You know, back before all the camino infrastructure got put in place and it became this huge international thing for everyone to aspire to do.

Does anyone know of books which are about doing the camino back the 90s, 80s, or possibly even... gulp.. the 70s?

Thanks!
hahaha. I thought you were asking about the 1800's
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Edward F. Stanton's Road of Stars to Santiago was published in 1994 and, due to COVID-19, online access to this book has temporarily been made available to all by the University of Kentucky. The list price is $70 (yes) and it sells on Amazon for about $35. So, currently, it is free. It's a proper no-frills report of his walk from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago but you can see that the writer has solid knowledge of Spain and her history and culture.

The majority of the books and reports from the 90s, 80s, or earlier are not in English and have not been translated into English; they are mainly in French, Spanish, German, Dutch and other languages. There is a long list here: http://xacobeo.fr/biblio.html - look for the links to Récits/Romans in a number of languages including English (look for "anglais").
Fabulous, thanks. Downloaded that one and it's now queued up behind Kevin Codd's book, which I'm about half-way through.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Here is what I pulled out of this website as to pilgrim reports published before the year 2000 and in English. Shirley MacLaine's book is not in the list because it was published in 2001. Paul Coelho's book is not in the list because it is listed under "fiction". I marked those books in colour that are frequently mentioned.

ALVEY Ada - In search of St James. Cornwall to Compostela (1989)
BENTLEY James - The Way of St. James (1992): photographs by John MILLER
CURRY Neil - Walking to Santiago (1992)
DENNETT Laurie - A hug for the apostle (1987): on foot from Chartres to Santiago
FEINBERG Ellen O. - Following the Milky Way A Pilgrimage Across Spain (1989)
FOOT Judy - Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela (1997/2003): pilgrimage from St Jean Pied de Port
FREY Nancy Louise - Pilgrim Stories (1998)
GARCIA OSUNA Alfonso - Incidents of Travel on the Road To Santiago (1998)
HANBURY-TENISON Robin - Spanish pilgrimage. A canter to St James (1990)
HITT Jack - Off the road (1994)
HOINACKI Lee - El Camino (1996)
LAYTON T.A. - The Way of St James or the pilgrims' road to Santiago (1976)
LUARD Nicholas - The Field of the Star. A Journey to Santiago de Compostela (1998)
MULLINS Edwin - The pilgrimage to Santiago (1974)
NEILLANDS Robin - Road to Compostela (1989)
NELSON Howard - Trust and Tears (1998): "Poems of Pilgrimage"
NOTEBOOM Cees - Roads to Santiago (1997): "Detours and Riddles in the Lands and History of Spain"
POË Emma - Diary of a Pilgrim (2000): in 1992, three women pilgrims start from St Jean Pied de Port
ROBBERSTAD Knud H. - The Road to Santiago (1996)
SELBY Bettina - Pilgrim's road (1994)
SLADER Bert - Pilgrim's footsteps (1989)
STANTON Edward E. - Road of stars to Santiago (1994)
STARKIE Walter - The Road To Santiago (1957): "Pilgrims of St. James"
For what it is worth, Laurie Dennett's book has recently come back into print in a nice new edition. Another option to see what the Camino was like back then would be to pick up a guidebook from the time. The quinetessential guidebook was that written by Elias Galiña Sampedro and his team. He is perhaps best known for introducing the yellow arrows to the Camino. If you don't speak Spanish, there were English language guidebooks in the late 80s, early 90s (pre-Brierley). One that I have (that I purchased through AbeBooks) is called The Pilgrim Route to Compostela: In Search of St Jame:s: A Practical Guide for Pilgrims and Walkers and was written by Abbe G. Bernes, Georges Veron, and L. Laborde Balen, published by Robertson McCarta.
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
For what it is worth, Laurie Dennett's book has recently come back into print in a nice new edition. Another option to see what the Camino was like back then would be to pick up a guidebook from the time. The quinetessential guidebook was that written by Elias Galiña Sampedro and his team. He is perhaps best known for introducing the yellow arrows to the Camino. If you don't speak Spanish, there were English language guidebooks in the late 80s, early 90s (pre-Brierley). One that I have (that I purchased through AbeBooks) is called The Pilgrim Route to Compostela: In Search of St Jame:s: A Practical Guide for Pilgrims and Walkers and was written by Abbe G. Bernes, Georges Veron, and L. Laborde Balen, published by Robertson McCarta.
I'm very interested in the newest edition of Laurie Dennett's book, but has anyone got a tip on how to get it in the UK or Europe? The only places I've found it for sale are in Canada, which isn't looking very feasible currently.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I'm very interested in the newest edition of Laurie Dennett's book, but has anyone got a tip on how to get it in the UK or Europe? The only places I've found it for sale are in Canada, which isn't looking very feasible currently.
I'm in Canada and I suspect the publisher is a small Canadian publisher. That may be the source of the problem. I can pick one up and ship it to you, when things calm down.
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
I'm in Canada and I suspect the publisher is a small Canadian publisher. That may be the source of the problem. I can pick one up and ship it to you, when things calm down.
Thanks, that's most kind!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
Edward F. Stanton's Road of Stars to Santiago was published in 1994 and, due to COVID-19, online access to this book has temporarily been made available to all by the University of Kentucky. The list price is $70 (yes) and it sells on Amazon for about $35. So, currently, it is free. It's a proper no-frills report of his walk from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago but you can see that the writer has solid knowledge of Spain and her history and culture.

The majority of the books and reports from the 90s, 80s, or earlier are not in English and have not been translated into English; they are mainly in French, Spanish, German, Dutch and other languages. There is a long list here: http://xacobeo.fr/biblio.html - look for the links to Récits/Romans in a number of languages including English (look for "anglais").
Thank you for that link to ROAD OF STARS TO SANTIAGO! Indeed, the link does work and I shall settle down this evening to read it. Gracias!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
Do not bother to read.Some of it is realistic Camino experience,the rest is comic book fantasy IMO at least.
I read Ms MacLaine's book, noted the 'bit in the middle' and sensed her attempt to convey something vibrantly real from former lives was guiding her to make this pilgrimage, especially where Ms MacLaine founds a piece of jewelery she used to own in a past life. Does the reader have only her word for this experience? Indeed. And does our destination to a cathedral whose construction was inspired by a monk whose midnight angels instructed him to 'dig here'? Indeed. So as a 'new age' American, I happened upon a pilgrim I shall call "Squaddie'. As we shared a table at a cafe, he took his boots off and we obeserved his superating bleeding blisters, but not a word of complaint. As he told me, post-demobbing from the British Army, his life and prospects were at loose ends. He wandered into a bookstore and Ms MacLaine's book toppled off a shelf and landed on his head! To the 'shock and awe' of family and friends, he grabbed his boots (thus the bleeding bisters), booked a flight, and, here he was, knowing with absolute certainty Ms MacLaine's account, for all some portions did raise his eyebrows, inspired his Camino. He knew without a trace of a doubt he was on the Camino for purpoose and good. And many along my 2002 pilgrimage said much the same; they read Ms MacLaine, raised their eyebrows at the middle bit, admired her determination and pluck and noted her account as one more beacon lighting the way to their own Caminos.
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
MacLaine's Camino is a pretty wacky book for sure, and will stretch many people's credulity, but it's by no means the worst camino-based book out there. No names. :)
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
Hey pilgrim-readers, I'd really like to read something about the early wild-west days of the modern camino. You know, back before all the camino infrastructure got put in place and it became this huge international thing for everyone to aspire to do.

Does anyone know of books which are about doing the camino back the 90s, 80s, or possibly even... gulp.. the 70s?

Thanks!
Spanish Pilgrimage: A Canter to Saint James; Robin Hanbury-Tenison; Arrow Books, 1990.
 

Nan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
. April 2016. April 2017
Do not bother to read.Some of it is realistic Camino experience,the rest is comic book fantasy IMO at least.
The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Shirley MacLaine. Originally published in 2000, so her trip would have been in the 1990's. This is the work reputed to have set the English-speaking world on the pilgrim path. haven't read it myself, so can't comment further.
The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Shirley MacLaine. Originally published in 2000, so her trip would have been in the 1990's. This is the work reputed to have set the English-speaking world on the pilgrim path. haven't read it myself, so can't comment further.
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Shirley MacLaine. Originally published in 2000, so her trip would have been in the 1990's. This is the work reputed to have set the English-speaking world on the pilgrim path. haven't read it myself, so can't comment further.
I have read it.... I do not recommend anyone else read it... Not so much "off the Road" as "Off the Planet..."
 

sal777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I'm very interested in the newest edition of Laurie Dennett's book, but has anyone got a tip on how to get it in the UK or Europe? The only places I've found it for sale are in Canada, which isn't looking very feasible currently.
It was published in Canada, but distribution has proved a big problem. Once the COVID lockdowns are over you should try again, it's a cracker!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
IMHO, one of the finest is "The Great Westward Walk," a journey by a young Basque man who harks back to his walks and bike-rides on the Via de la Plata, too. Mystical, historical, and sometimes very funny.

I also like Jack Hitt's "Off the Road," and Cees Nooteboom's "Roads to Santiago."
 

Nan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
. April 2016. April 2017
Thank you for that link to ROAD OF STARS TO SANTIAGO! Indeed, the link does work and I shall settle down this evening to read it. Gracias!
Thank you for the link. Have downloaded Road of Stars etc. Looking forward to a good read.
 

CaminoGuy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked (2015) Planning (2016) 7337
Downloaded - thank you so much!
Hello. I want to thank you for mentioning this book. I am about one hundred pages into it and am enjoying it immensely! Has anyone mentioned the part of the book that tells of the author’s encounter with Ramon? I can’t help but believe that this is the source of the infamous Ramon in Sheen’s movie “The Way.” Too many similarities to not have a connection. Buen Camino, eventually.
 

tjb1013

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017)
Portugués (2019)
Thanks for a (new) book suggestion, for me at least, although at first glance I read it as On the Road by Jack Kerouac :D :D :D

Could've been done in El Camino though ;)
“Off the Road” is the book that introduced me to the Camino, and seeded my desire to walk one. Took 23 years to get to it.

A good suggestion for the original question - he describes a much-different Camino than the one that exists today.
 

sillydoll

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:
Some days ago someone published the link (I am sorry but I don´t have the link) to the book "The way of Saint James" by Georgiana Goddar King. The book was published in 1920 by the Hipanic Society of America (if I remember well).

If you are interested, may be you can find it in internet.
Georgiana Goddard King was an academic who established the department of the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College in 1913. She published a 3 volume work in 1917 tracing the pilgrimage trails and describing the most important art and architecture on the roads Santiago. These could not really be described as the Wild West days of the Camino!
 

sillydoll

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:
Does anyone know of books which are about doing the camino back the 90s, 80s, or possibly even... gulp.. the 70s?

[/QUOTE]

There wasn't a 'Camino' as we know it, to follow in the 1970's or early 1980's. The "Father of the Camino", Don Elias Valiña Sampedro wrote: “In the 1970’s there survived only a remote memory of the Jacobean pilgrimage”.

Many of the books written after the revival of the Camino (after 1885) were by academics not everyday pilgrims, such as the classic by Walter Starkie, "The Road to Santiago: pilgrims of St James" (1957)

In 1974 Edwin Mullins published a book “The Pilgrimage to Santiago”. In it he recounts how it was for a pilgrim on foot in the early 1970’s: “It was more often a question of dropping into village bars and inquiring politely where the old road might be.” In 1972 only 6 pilgrims were awarded the Compostela.

In 1975 there were 74. The next few years, until the Holy Year, were very lean, 1977 - 31: 1978 - 13 : 1979 - 231 : 1980 - 209 : 1981 - 299 : (They could've all been locals!) 1982 Holy Year - 1868. 1983 - 146 and so on.

It wasn't until the formation of AMIGOS (Federation of Friends of the Camino) in 1987 that numbers started to increase. This coincided with the introduction of the Internet and the World Wide Web. A few pilgrim's stories started to emerge in the late 1980's and 1990's.

Stanton, Edward (1994) Road of Stars to Santiago.

El Camino: Walking to Santiago de Compostela by Lee Hoinacki (1996)

Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela - Judy Foot. (1997).

On Pilgrimage. - Lash, Jennifer (1998)

On Foot to the End of the World (Armchair Traveller) Hardcover by Rene Freund (1999)

The Road to Santiago: a Journey to Santiago de Compostela - Knud Helge Robberstad. 1996. A beautifully illustrated account of a walk from le Puy to Santiago, made in 1995 by two photographer pilgrims, one Norwegian, the other English.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
THE classic book of the early days, the mother of all camino pilgrim accounts to come: Priez-pour nous à Compostelle - Pray for us in Compostela. By Pierre Barret and Jean-Noël Gurgand.

Never translated into English but into Dutch, German, Spanish and Galician, and a success in France. An inspiration for hundreds if not thousands who read the book or heard about it and then walked themselves.

In 1977, these two journalists, Barret and Gurgand, walked for 50 days from Vézelay via Roncesvalles to Santiago, from April to June, 1700 km. If I remember correctly, they sent articles to their newspaper while they walked - the Nouvel Observateur, a non-religious progressive weekly news magazine. They reached an audience that went beyond the scholars and historians and those interested in medieval history and Romanesque art. The following year, 1978, their book was published.

I've not read the book but I've read comments and interviews by the two walkers/pilgrims. Roncesvalles was apparently not very welcoming for pilgrims in those days ...

Here's a photocopy of a page from the Nouvel Observateur of 11 July 1977 with a grainy photo of the two pilgrims. Evidently in Spain but I can't make out where.
 

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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
THE classic book of the early days, the mother of all camino pilgrim accounts to come: Priez-pour nous à Compostelle - Pray for us in Compostela. By Pierre Barret and Jean-Noël Gurgand.

Never translated into English but into Dutch, German and Spanish, and a success in France. An inspiration for hundreds if not thousands who read the book or heard about it and then walked themselves.

In 1977, these two journalists, Barret and Gurgand, walked for 50 days from Vézelay via Roncesvalles to Santiago, from April to June. If I remember correctly, they sent articles to their newspaper while they walked - the Nouvel Observateur, a non-religious progressive weekly news magazine. They reached an audience that went beyond the scholars and historians and those interested in medieval history and Romanesque art. The following year, 1978, their book was published.

I've not read the book but I've read comments and interviews by the two walkers/pilgrims. Roncesvalles was apparently not very welcoming for pilgrims in those days ...

Here's a photocopy of a page from the Nouvel Observateur of 11 July 1977 with a grainy photo of the two pilgrims. Evidently in Spain but I can't make out where.

Oh thank you!

Found it! At the Slegte in Antwerp.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
Don't waste your time.
Nor on Paolo Coelho's book.
Unless you want to read mythology.
Coelho is one of my favorite authors. He doesn't right biographical about the Camino but fiction just as in most of his writings.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
I have read it.... I do not recommend anyone else read it... Not so much "off the Road" as "Off the Planet..."
I thought it was both! Shook my head a bit, definitely inspirational, but then, I'm a New Age, tree-hugging, crystal-wearing baby-boomer peregrina!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPP-Fisterra (2014_18). Burgos-Astorga (2019). Sarria-Santiago (Jan 2020). CF 2020
Edward F. Stanton's Road of Stars to Santiago was published in 1994 and, due to COVID-19, online access to this book has temporarily been made available to all by the University of Kentucky. The list price is $70 (yes) and it sells on Amazon for about $35. So, currently, it is free. It's a proper no-frills report of his walk from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago but you can see that the writer has solid knowledge of Spain and her history and culture.
Many thanks @Kathar1na for link. Just finished reading it and things sure have changed a lot since then! Fascinated by his description of Galicia especially.
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
I certainly never thought I would defend reading McCLaine (walked 1994) or Cohelo (walked 1986), as they are not my cup of tea. I read them, plus Hoinacki (walked 1993) before my first Camino in 2005. Read them please: I believe that they are watershed books for the tone of the modern Camino resurgence. I could visualize the wild dogs and wolves roaming Foncebadon!

Pilgrims and hospitalaros I met then made frequent mention of both --McClaine more frequently. One café owner after Molinaseca called her the ‘crazy lady with the big hat’. Their publicity set off new Camino growth via appeal to new-agers and us hippies! And by far and away, the most ‘characters’ I encountered on any of my walks. Other pilgrims I met early were inspired by their Catholic history—mostly central Europeansicluding Spanish. Compostela in 2005 were 2047 for Americans and 1420 for Canadians—a population 1/10 the size but more heavily Catholic.

I would designate from Holy year 1993 to 2004 as the ‘Early New Age’ of the Camino, and make Mcclaine and Cohelo mandatory period reading.

Then we get to the ‘Secular Camino’ (say 2005 to 2019): Kierkling (2001 walked, 2009 published)), Tim Moore (2004 book is my favorite ever Camino read), Kim Namhee (2004 exploded participation of Korean walkers). St Jacques Le Mecque (2005 French), and the huge traffic from English speaking countries after “The Way” (released fall 2010 in Santiago). Then a gargantuan expansion as the internet filled with forums, blogs, vlogs, youtube, and Facebook began to give voice to ‘influencers’. And when more guide books, more infrastructure/albergues, tour groups, pack services extended access --and of course more books and movies.

And now we enter the new “Post Pandemic Camino’ of 2020-???. I do not know how this will look. It will be chronicled by the Web—podcasts, vlogs, blogs, etc.
I do know that I have had the privilege to walk during a real Golden Age. Many changes of course, but walking was my life anchor for all the years of my Early Old Age. I am grateful for all the joy and friends and stories the Camino has given me, but I also fear that it will not be for my Granddaughters. May they find something even better!

Anyway, do read MacLaine and Cohelo even if that isn’t your ‘spirituality’. They are fully representative of a period of Camino—the ‘Early New-ager’ epoch.

“Between these extremes, the typical walker is a mildly troubled soul for whom the Camino is a mobile therapist’s couch” …………………….Tim Moore



PS: sillydoll has more/better timeline above. I think 1987 was also the designation World Heritage Site.
 

wjohnk

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugese Coastal (2019)
The Road to Santiago is in my local library. I have put in a reservation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
Herewith is what I consider to be the best opening sentence in a Camino memoir, amongst the twenty or so books I have read. Including my own! My thanks for another delightful Forum-inspired suggestion!

"I walked west on the road traveled by men and women for a thousand years, following a path of stars to the city of Santiago de Compostela where the apostle James is said to be buried, and beyond to the end of the world."

Edward F. Stanton. ROAD OF STARS TO SANTIAOGO. University of Kentucky Press, 1994.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
Its been 18 years since I was first on the Camino. Most prices were still quoted in both euros and pesetas and elderly peasants worked in the fields with wooden implements near Roncesvalles.
The only books I could find were those of Shirley McLaine and Paulo Coelho - I bought and read them both.
Although.............. I must admit that it was with trepidation that I neared Foncebadon.
A blizzard had started up and it was misty , Indeed Foncebadon WAS an abandoned town with a pack of about 6 dogs.
When I was just about there a massive Pyrenean Mountain dog broke through the mist and cantered towards little me ..............
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Its been 18 years since I was first on the Camino. Most prices were still quoted in both euros and pesetas and elderly peasants worked in the fields with wooden implements near Roncesvalles.
The only books I could find were those of Shirley McLaine and Paulo Coelho - I bought and read them both.
Although.............. I must admit that it was with trepidation that I neared Foncebadon.
A blizzard had started up and it was misty , Indeed Foncebadon WAS an abandoned town with a pack of about 6 dogs.
When I was just about there a massive Pyrenean Mountain dog broke through the mist and cantered towards little me ..............
Only 18 years? That's practically yesterday! When I first arrived in Santiago de Compostela from Roncesvalles I rewarded myself with a private room. It cost me all of 200 pesetas ($2 Canadian).
 
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RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
Only 18 years? That's practically yesterday! When I first arrived in Santiago de Compotela from Roncesvalles I rewarded myself with a private room. It cost me all of 200 pesetas ($2 Canadian).
Ahh , but I have not been gifted with immortality;) In many ways it was a blessing to experience a less exposed Camino Frances - there were mostly Europeans on the Camino.
 

Madidi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012 & 17: Fisterra Muxia 2013 & 2015: Ingles 2014: Madrid 2015: Salvador & Primitivo 2016

This is a lovely little book written by Bert in 1989 about his first camino walked in 1985. This, in turn, inspired a ten-day walk to Santiago to raise funds for multiple sclerosis, MS Ireland in 1990. He led 15 more parties of walkers from Ireland, north and south, on this charity walk, as well as walks along the Great Wall of China, Goa, India and the Drackensberg Mountains of South Africa.

Throughout his life Bert travelled extensively in Europe and Asia, mountaineered in Arctic Norway, the Alps and the Himalayas, and led expeditions to the mountains of Iran and the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan.

He was also one of the driving force behind the creation of the Ulster Way, Ireland’s first way-marked way, which set the standard for the others which followed. A wonderful man, Bert passed away in 2016 at the age of 85.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
IMHO, one of the finest is "The Great Westward Walk," a journey by a young Basque man who harks back to his walks and bike-rides on the Via de la Plata, too. Mystical, historical, and sometimes very funny.

I also like Jack Hitt's "Off the Road," and Cees Nooteboom's "Roads to Santiago."
Yes!! Wonderful book!! Good job translating, Rebekah! I found it in English in Santiago, and bought it -- am about to start re-reading!

Personally, didn't care for the Hitt book even tho' I read it twice - just to give it a 2nd chance.
Nooteboom's is on my bookshelf, and will (finally) read it when I'm done with The Great Westward Walk!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
I certainly never thought I would defend reading McCLaine (walked 1994) or Cohelo (walked 1986), as they are not my cup of tea. I read them, plus Hoinacki (walked 1993) before my first Camino in 2005. Read them please: I believe that they are watershed books for the tone of the modern Camino resurgence. I could visualize the wild dogs and wolves roaming Foncebadon!
...
Anyway, do read MacLaine and Cohelo even if that isn’t your ‘spirituality’. They are fully representative of a period of Camino—the ‘Early New-ager’ epoch.
Thank you for this, @alhartman .
I never read MacLaine's book because of what I'd read about it before my first Camino. I'm now reading it, and after six Caminos of my own, I find that a lot of what she had to say resonates with me - can be thought-provoking even, but certainly not all of it!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
I first walked in early 2009....a slice of time that many here walked.

The differences over the past 5 years or so are so dramatic that I feel as if my first caminos were in the far past.
Pilgrim attitudes, albergues, and commercialism, etc are all worlds different now....at least in my personal experience.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I had a breakfast chat on my 2005 with an elderly priest (lovely man) who had let me sleep on his garage floor, and who had done his Camino in the 1950s.

What he described to me was quite similar to the French portion of my 1994 from Paris -- no waymarkers, no specific support infrastructure, DIY looking for churches, abbeys, monasteries, presbyteries along the way to look for stamps on the passport and hopefully somewhere to sleep, not always successfully so sometimes sleeping outdoors, and having constantly to keep a sharp eye out for watering and food supply opportunities.

That was what the Way in Spain was like for him.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
I had a breakfast chat on my 2005 with an elderly priest (lovely man) who had let me sleep on his garage floor, and who had done his Camino in the 1950s.

What he described to me was quite similar to the French portion of my 1994 from Paris -- no waymarkers, no specific support infrastructure, DIY looking for churches, abbeys, monasteries, presbyteries along the way to look for stamps on the passport and hopefully somewhere to sleep, not always successfully so sometimes sleeping outdoors, and having constantly to keep a sharp eye out for watering and food supply opportunities.

That was what the Way in Spain was like for him.
What a conversation that would have been ❤
I would imagine that in the 1950’s it would likely have been solo walking for him ( ie no camino family walking ) - but still not alone inwardly.

great memory for you. Certainly makes the heart feel full.

Buen camino
Annie
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
I first walked in early 2009....
The differences over the past 5 years or so are so dramatic that I feel as if my first caminos were in the far past.
I walked in 1984, probably closer to a medieval experience than that of todays pilgrimage

I had a breakfast chat on my 2005 with an elderly priest.... who had done his Camino in the 1950s.
no waymarkers, no specific support infrastructure, DIY looking for churches, abbeys, monasteries, presbyteries along the way to look for stamps on the passport and hopefully somewhere to sleep, not always successfully so sometimes sleeping outdoors, and having constantly to keep a sharp eye out for watering and food supply opportunities.
That was what the Way in Spain was like for him.
That's the way it was for me. I didn't even know anything about stamps, or even that you got a compostela. Water and especially food wasn't easy to come by.
 

GaTeach

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SdC 2017,
Considering same route in 2021 after swearing NEVER AGAIN.
I tried to download Stanton's book from UK library. I got a notice that only UK community members could access it. I guess the free period is over, darnit.
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
kirkie Pilgrim Books 19
Rebekah Scott Pilgrim Books 31
TammyLynn Pilgrim Books 12


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