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What would you like to ask John Brierley?

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JohnLloyd

Author of "Go Your Own Way"
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - SJPDP to SdC - Autumn 2018
Portugués - Porto to SdC - Spring 2019
Francés again - ASAP
Firstly, allow me to offer my thanks for his amazing guidebooks, which led me well on my first two Caminos.

When did you realise that your first Camino would not be your only Camino?
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Sometimes John B. gets a bad rap on the forum for his spiritual content or the kilometers being a tad off, but I personally enjoy his guidebooks, especially the simple, easy to read at a glance maps and book layout.
I have no questions...just tell him they have been extremely helpful and are appreciated.
I know there are now many online guidebooks and resources, but I still enjoy taking notes in the margins and underlining certain things important to me during my planning stages. I do now take screenshots of the guidebooks and leave them at home.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I buy his guides but don't take them with me. I leave them at home and my wife uses them to follow my footsteps. I rarely use his "stages" but that's no big deal. You could tell him my wife thanks him!
I too, rarely use Brierley (or anyone elses) stages...I do my own thing.
 

goldie from aus

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning 2020 either may or oct
Ivar, interested newbie here. Was planning first camino before all this began. What would you ask JB??
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I have sent for the Maps only guide of the Francés in (the hypothetical) case I will walk this route again...
I like the slimness and the simplicity of this concept.
I usually buy trousers where pockets will contain this size....
- Will he continue this line of guide service, or are they not selling ??
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Which Camino guidebook did he first come across and use personally ?
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
I have always used and enjoyed your Guide Books, John Brierly, thank you, giving myself license to decide each day's end point. With a guess at the effects of our future economy, I am wondering if you are thinking ahead and planning to establish a list of those albergues that will be able and willing to be up and running when the Caminos officially welcome us back as pilgrims. Or Ivar, is that something you might get involved with? Thanks to you both, our confidence is a direct result of the great information you provide us with. Fondly sandi, in Vancouver, west coast Canada.
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (12-15); Muxia (15); Portuguese, Primitivo (17); Norte, Ingles, VF partial (18), Le Puy (19)
He's still the best for me!

But even an old troglodyte like me has gone mostly digital, so I'm wondering whether he'll ever issue his main guidebooks (and his upcoming one on the Invierno) in app. form or as kindle books?
 

PeteAJ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (May/June 2018),
Portugués (May/June 2019),
Inglés (June 2019)
Brierley's books feel made with love and thoughtfulness I've found missing in a few other hiking books I have. I like the formatting, the spiritual ideas and that they're personal (or idiosyncratic depending on who you ask). Since we're talking about it, I'd be curious how (and if) he felt Covid-19 will change the way. & If there was news on a Camino Invierno book.
 

evanscl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016
We should have been on the vdlp too and would have really liked a Brierly guide to it - is there a reason why he hasnt written one for it and has he walked it?
I would like to thank him for his alternative routes on the Frances which we always took if we could to be more alone, and enjoyed them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
in my second Camino, 2012, I found Brierley guide cumbersome, discarding the previous days pages, one at a time. An April 2021 just might be in the offfing and I shall be 76, with 76 year old knees and bones, and every bit of gear and clothing shall be ultra light. I am investigatting other route options than the CF, although I would appreciate an online Brierley guide.
 

Ian L

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Camino Frances summer 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
Where was his CF guidebook cover photo taken? Some of us have wondered about that for years, here on the Forum.
Last summer I searched between Terradillos and Moratinos, where some believe it was taken. This area does appear to be very similar, but it's hard to say for sure. I also would love to know the answer to this great mystery.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
He's still the best for me!

But even an old troglodyte like me has gone mostly digital, so I'm wondering whether he'll ever issue his main guidebooks (and his upcoming one on the Invierno) in app. form or as kindle books?
That's my question too. It's strange that his maps only book is available on Kindle, but not the guidebooks.
 

Anthony Rickaby

Anthony
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (September 2019)
Finisterre/Muxía (October 2019)
Camino del Norte (October 202?)
Though the books do more than just hint at this, if you were master of the universe what would your 'wish list' be for the camino?
  • Re-routing a specific section?
  • Improved signage for the various alternative paths, options and spurs?
  • An extra albergue at a specific spot?
  • More/less donativo?
  • Different controls over albergue usage (standardisation, de-standardisation, booking, no-booking, leave as is)?
  • More formal pre-camino registration process?
  • Changes to the 'governance' or processes such as the compostela?
In truth, I like the variability, options and differences that the camino offers you.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Sadly after Covid-19 many albergues will have been affected and may have possibly shut down long term. Will he have to re-write his guide books?
 

CaryB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020
Hi all,

If (hypothetically :) ) I would be interviewing John Brierley next week, what should I ask him?

Thanks!
Ivar
What a “wishful” opportunity. So many have posted good things. Ask him to speak about getting to know his body and how a body performs over the distance. How best to prepare. I just don’t see enough information about the physical in the walk.

Thanks!
 

DanielH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2015 (SJPP to Burgos)
September 2016 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
May 2017 (Villafranca del Bierzo to Santiago de Compostela)
Hi all,

If (hypothetically :) ) I would be interviewing John Brierley next week, what should I ask him?

Thanks!
Ivar
I would ask him if walking the various Caminos felt like working vacations, given all of the time that he spent researching, documenting and photographing for the books
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
My questions: What are your favorite foods while on Camino? Where were the places that you thought served the best tortilla de patatas? Tarta de Santiago?

Yeah, I know. . shallow :)
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
I would like to know what his favorite restaurants were on the French and Portuguese Route!

Also I would like him to know that I ripped up both his French and Portuguese guide books!
It was because I love his maps (usually a day's walk on a page). So I got in the habit of ripping out
the map for the day and placing it in a Ziplock baggy so I could keep a map (and a pair of reading glasses)
in my vest pocket for easy reference! Mr Brierley should not feel too bad since I had purchased a second copy of each of those books for reference in my work as an author which stayed here in Maine in their original pristine condition.
 

mlhhome

Really new member
Camino(s) past & future
Various (‘12, ‘13, ‘15, ‘16, ‘18 & ‘19)
Ivar, personally I believe the design of the guidebooks is genius - the size (fits in front pocket), durability (rain/food/rain can’t destroy) and readability - how many prototypes did he endure before he found ”it”?

plus.... what’s coming next in guidebook?

Thanks
 

Walton

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Thank you for your books John. We appreciate them enormously.

I'd like to ask him to include, a little more history along the route. It would be interesting to know when one is walking through ancient battlefields, or where significant local historical events took place.

Thanks John
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (Sept-Oct 2015)
Camino Portugués (Sept-Oct 2017)
Camino de San Salvador (Oct 2020???)
I would like to know what his favorite restaurants were on the French and Portuguese Route!

Also I would like him to know that I ripped up both his French and Portuguese guide books!
It was because I love his maps (usually a day's walk on a page). So I got in the habit of ripping out
the map for the day and placing it in a Ziplock baggy so I could keep a map (and a pair of reading glasses)
in my vest pocket for easy reference! Mr Brierley should not feel too bad since I had purchased a second copy of each of those books for reference in my work as an author which stayed here in Maine in their original pristine condition.
The paper could be lighter. I feel terrible about ripping the pages out, but i need to lighten up the load :)
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@ivar, thank you

And I would thank Brierley for entering a note on page 23 of his 2014 edition headed Monumento de los Caidos. I have a recollection of my mother telling me my father would have liked to enlist in the International Brigade back in the day, so it was special for me to pause there for a mid afternoon break and reflect on my father and his priorities for the world, many of which I have seem to have inherited.

And knowing there are two sides to most events, ask him to consider in the entry for Azofra Centro at page 110 of the 2014 edition adding after the words "... at 1900" the following: " - with a list of parishioners who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country over the entry door."

I can only bid you and yours (as Queen Elizabeth bid her peoples in New Zealand a week ago), kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui (Be strong, confident and patient).
 

Walkerooni

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
Interesting how his books get a bad rap and griping about being expected to walk in stages as set out in books, although he makes it very clear upfront these are not necessarily meant to be walked this way. Also interesting that other books like Ciceroni lay them out in stages as well. Found Brierley CF book set out incredibly well with incredible info available at-a-glance. Not so with other books I’ve looked at. All that was a long detour to my question for him: Will he be writing a CN book anytime soon?
 

Lizremedy

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycle (2020)
Hi all,

If (hypothetically :) ) I would be interviewing John Brierley next week, what should I ask him?

Thanks!
Ivar
I would like to hear his take on cyclists using the same pathway as walkers. We cycled last October, took every effort to slow down, ring bells, etc and never had any issues, but there are a lot of aggressive comments by walkers about cyclists on forums.
I would hate to be forced to use a different path and miss the whole point of camino, the churches, cafes, shared meals, etc. I felt cycling was at least as tough as walking and a good solution for those of us with limited leave.
What is his opinion?
 

mai

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF
Pamplona-S 4/18
SJPP-S-F/M 4/19
SJPP-S. 4/21
I would like to express my deepest thanks for John Brierley!

Brierley's guidebook provides so many local history, even a small village or town, which helps me a lot to understand the significance of the Camino from the medieval time. With his guide, it is the Camino; without it, it is merely a hiking or adventure.

My question: Does he have any plan to write another camino route?
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
1. What is The Camino?
2. Have you ever calculated
- the tonnage of paper bearing your name that has been hauled by foot from St Jean to SdC?
- the total mileage your volumes have covered on foot - has any book travelled further in this fashion, other than the bible?
3. Can I have some of your eyebrows please? as you have more than enough and mine have all but disappeared now
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Last summer I searched between Terradillos and Moratinos, where some believe it was taken. This area does appear to be very similar, but it's hard to say for sure. I also would love to know the answer to this great mystery.
Hi all,

If (hypothetically :) ) I would be interviewing John Brierley next week, what should I ask him?

Thanks!
Ivar
Unhelpfully I have no questions, but I would be grateful if you would convey my thanks for his ‘maps only’ option.

I confess to a tendency towards a little spirituality from time to time, so don’t object to his thoughts in the ‘full’ versions, but it’s nice to have the option.

Perhaps he might consider standardising the horizontal and vertical axes on the days distance and height plots? Each is fine in itself, but taken together they are inconsistent.
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I would like to hear his take on cyclists using the same pathway as walkers. We cycled last October, took every effort to slow down, ring bells, etc and never had any issues, but there are a lot of aggressive comments by walkers about cyclists on forums.
I would hate to be forced to use a different path and miss the whole point of camino, the churches, cafes, shared meals, etc. I felt cycling was at least as tough as walking and a good solution for those of us with limited leave.
What is his opinion?
You sound like a great example of reasonable bicycle usage in the presence of pedestrians. If most cyclists had your courtesy and concerns, there would be few complaints about cyclists from pedestrian pilgrims. :)
 

Paladina

old woman of the roads
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
I would like to hear his take on cyclists using the same pathway as walkers. We cycled last October, took every effort to slow down, ring bells, etc and never had any issues, but there are a lot of aggressive comments by walkers about cyclists on forums.
I would hate to be forced to use a different path and miss the whole point of camino, the churches, cafes, shared meals, etc. I felt cycling was at least as tough as walking and a good solution for those of us with limited leave.
What is his opinion?
Brierley's 'take' on cyclists is one of gentle dissuasion, claiming that 'you may miss some of the beauty of the outer landscape and the spirit of the inner journey'. I had to rummage around in my box of camino cuttings - the superfluous advice and information that add weight without substance for the outer journey - extracted, in this instance, from my old edition of his CF guide. And, yes, cycling is not a soft option.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
If the subject of maps come up you could ask what his maps would look like if he wasn't writing his books for newbies.
I'd like it if he'd publish a pared down version of all the other routes he's covered, like the one he has for the Frances. With all the other information available in apps, those of us who travel with our mobile phones don't need all the extra information that makes a guidebook so heavy, just a quick reference where we can jot down our own notes and phone numbers.
 

Mike Blackard

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -Sept.-Oct 2018 , CF Aug- Oct 2019
(CF or VdlP summer/fall 2020)
I love what John Brierley has created. I used his Camino Frances guide for my first camino in 2018 and again in 2019. Obviously my plans for 2020 are on hold.

How does he update each Albergues prices each year? Does he call all of them? Do they call/write him?

Has he ever considered selling a digital guide? It would be nice to have multiple pictures of every albergue, both, interior and exterior shots, pics of owners / hospitelaros, pics & prices of menus where possible. I can see where this would be extremely cumbersome in a printed book, but might be really helpful in a digital edition. Perhaps on an Amazon Kindle platform @ $25 (with no printing or distribution costs)

On my next camino, I plan on taking my time and only walking 10 kilometers per day most of the time. So all the intra stage information in current guide is fantastic, giving us lots of options.

I stopped at Orisson on both walks. Both times the dinner survey of 50 pilgrims yielded about 10-15% saying they were there for religious reasons. About 25 -35% said they were there for spiritual reasons. The balance, over 50% said for other reasons. I think the adventure, the learning experience, the exercise, the being a tourist, is becoming a major reason for the exponential growth of pilgrims. Within the next decade, the camino could easily represent a 1 Billion euro source of income! And the number of pilgrims will undoubtedly rise from 350,000 last year to over 400,000 in the next few years- retired baby boomers are surging.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I have no questions for Mr. Brierley, but would like to just say thumbs up for his guides. I own three of them, including a maps only version of the Frances which to me is a perfect compromise of information to weight and size. I have carried it in the cargo pocket of my walking shorts before and I love that it now has wear and tear, sweat and even beer and coffee stains on it.
 

ShaLaw

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Sept./Oct. 2015. Future Camino Portuguese in 2022.
I love his books and even though I don't stick to the stages in them, I definitely use them to plan where I will stop, and what sites I should venture off the path to see.

I would love to;

1. See his packing list; and
2. Hear his top 10 tips for a successful Camino

Thanks Ivar, for all you do and for running such an amazing Camino site!
Sharon
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (12-15); Muxia (15); Portuguese, Primitivo (17); Norte, Ingles, VF partial (18), Le Puy (19)
Firstly, allow me to offer my thanks for his amazing guidebooks, which led me well on my first two Caminos.

When did you realise that your first Camino would not be your only Camino?
This and many other questions are answered in Dave Whitson's podcast interview of Brierley. It's truly a fantastic interview, which will deepen everyone's appreciation of Brierley and what he's done for us and the Camino. Whitson, who is himself the author of one of the leading guidebooks on the northern caminos, has just the right touch as an interviewer. The second half of the podcast is devoted to Rebekah Scott, a legendary hospitaliera in her own right. Here's the link. It's Episode 31, entitled John and Rebekah. http://davewhitson.com/index.php/2019/11/24/the-camino-podcast-is-back/
 

Bisnick

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese "2015" missed one day. Portuguese "May 2016" ."2019" April/ May Portuguese Senda Litoral
John Brierly.jpg

I would just like to say thank you to John. I was in Fontoura just after Rubiaes on CP and leaving a cafe as he walked in. I had my guide open and was checking for the next refreshment stop. I looked up at him then back down to the little flap with his picture on and up again, he smiled and said "Yes its me". He was happy for a quick photo and I was lucky to keep meeting him at the end of each day into Santiago. We had many a good conversation and a few drinks along the way. The thing that impressed me was he asked my name and those on the way and he remembered every one and asked how every one was getting on. He was very happy to talk about the guide books. From memory he may have had 3 different forms of GPS on him to check distance elevation etc.
Have to say it was a great boost meeting him.
 
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