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"Walking Guide to the Camino de Santiago..." by Gerald Kelly


Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
"Walking Guide to the Camino de Santiago History Culture Architecture from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre(sic)" By Gerald Kelly
A new guide which promises so much. Mr. Kelly does present a short explanation and quick description of the various villages, towns, and major sites along the Camino, some albergues and some restaurants, some history and some architecture. However, he is far too concise in his descriptions, gives no recommendations, no real maps, and is frankly disappointing. Brierley is much better as a Camino guide and if one is looking for a book concerning history and architecture "The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago" by David M. Gilitz and Linda Davidson is the better option despite its cumbersome size. "The Road to Santiago de Cpmpostela" The Architectural Guide by Michael Jacobs is less comprehensive than Gilitz and Davidson but is much much better than Kelly and will fit easily and lightly into your knapsack. My recommendation for those interested in the amazing and often overwhelming history and architecture met on the Camino would be Gilitz and Davidson for those concerned about size and weight I would read the Gilitz/Davidson (husband and wife) book and transfer those parts of interest into Jacob's book. Kelly is simply badly copied lecture notes and not worth the price or the minimal effort required to carry it.
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Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(Oct3-Nov3 2012)
(Oct1-Oct29 2014)
May 1-? 2017
As someone who carried this book loaded onto a Kindle during my Camino, I have to say that I was happy with it. It gave us the information we needed in terms of albergues in all the towns, as well as distance inbetween them all.
Now, we did not feel the need to know the history of everything we saw or were coming to, so if that's what you're looking for then I'd advise anyone to look for another guide. However, there were many times when we would look at each other and say "I'm so glad we're not carrying the Brierly book." But to each their own! For us, the Kelly guide worked, and we didn't have our noses stuck in a book each night and day which was nice! And there were several occasions when we had a tidbit of info that other people didn't which sometimes led us to a better albergue.
Everyone will carry different books, it's all about finding what works for you! I look forward to NO book when I walk the Frances again someday ;)


New Member
Past OR future Camino
April (2013)
I carried the Brierley MAP book (just the stage maps) and had the Gerald Kelly on my Nook and this was perfect for me. I don't know what the physical book is like (weight) so I can' speak to that but I found that Kelly gave me better albergue descriptions than my friends with the full Brierley, and I loved having some (but true, not exhaustive) information about the history of the places I was walking through. For the actual walking having the Brierley maps was important, although really whoever the cartographer was should be utterly embarrassed because there is no scale and often glaring discrepancies between the plan and profiles of some of his maps.


Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
I used the 2017 version of this book (on kindle for iPhone) for my first camino last year and I was quite happy with it. Perhaps a lot of the things the OP mentioned about the first edition in 2013 have been improved or perhaps we were just looking for different things.

What I liked most about it was that there are no listed stages but that it's very easy to create your own stages because all villages/towns with at least one albergue are listed with distances. As for the lack of maps, I didn't really notice this or even think about it. When waymarking is so simple as it is on the Camino Francés, maps just don't seem important. Maybe it's just me, but distances is what I really want.

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