Published: June 2008
Filled with fascinating observations and anecdotes about the nature of contemporary Spain, this intriguing account tells the story of Tony Kevin, an overweight 63-year-old former diplomat who set off on an eight-week trek across the country armed only with a small rucksack and a staff. Rich with the history, politics, and culture of the region, this travel narrative follows two of the many pilgrim trails that crisscross Spain and Portugal and lead to the cathedral city of Santiago de Compostela, Europe's most famous center of pilgrimage. By retelling Kevin's journey, it delves into what drives tens of thousands of people of all nationalities and creeds to make long, exhausting walks across the cold mountains and hot tablelands of Spain. Beautifully capturing the flavor of both the past and present experiences of walking the camino, this chronicle depicts the concept of pilgrimage as not only having the potential to unlock hidden memory and conscience but also as a profound meditation on the nature of modern life. In addition to cultural and spiritual discussions, this diverse exploration also offers practical advice for would-be pilgrims--from packing and training to walking techniques and navigation. By addressing all of these aspects of the pilgrimage, this is the perfect book for religious pilgrims and armchair travelers alike.