Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago-Susan Alcorn

  • Title: Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago
  • Author: Susan Alcorn
  • Released: 2006-06-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 256
  • ISBN: 0936034033
  • ISBN13: 978-0936034034
  • ASIN: 0936034033

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Review When Susan Alcorn together with her husband Ralph leaves her Californian home to walk the Camino Francés from Roncesvalles to Santiago in September 2001, she does so with the intention of having an interesting vacation with the added benefit of improved physical fitness. ... [Camino Chronicle] is also a direct result of her Camino experience. Initially thinking it hadn't affected her much at all, her outlook changed greatly between the time of walking and writing the book in 2005/2006. Susan shares her experience by using her journal entries from the walk. These are divided into regional sections. Each section begins with a map of Spain and the Camino, highlighting the relevant part, plus a list of towns and the mileages between them. With the first-timer in mind, she adds very useful information on how to prepare for the Camino. Among them are a packing list, and a comprehensive action plan of preparing for a longer stay away from home. Answers to frequently asked questions, a short chapter with statistics about the modern day pilgrims, and a comprehensive bibliography complete the book. The result is a book that will mainly appeal to (American) people who haven't walked the Camino as it provides practical information combined with the experience of Susan's walk, and it details the rich history of the pilgrimage. Angelika Schneider --Confraternity of Saint James, London, England Bulletin 95, September 2006

From the Author In some respects walking the Camino is much the same as any other long hike: there are both physical demands and mental challenges, but walking the Camino is also quite different from other hikes because of its unique history and its cultural setting.

Long-distance hiking is not just about the blisters and the uncertainty of where you'll find food each day, it's also about the motivation and self-discipline to keep going when you'd just as soon not roll out of bed. But as I was learning to deal with the everyday challenges of where to find shelter and so forth, I took comfort in the fact that millions had traveled along the path before--that anything that is part of the human experience had occurred there: birth, death, war, crime, compassion, bravery, love….It was a strange juxtaposition: my immediate needs and sense of their importance and the knowledge that I was no more significant than one of the millions of rocks along the way (or stars above).

Walking the Camino de Santiago was an empowering experience. I learned that I could set, and attain, goals far beyond what I had ever before considered. And, in the five weeks of walking, I had ample time to consider the oft-said, oft-ignored phrase "live in the moment." I learned that when I followed that advice, the trail provided all that I needed to succeed.

The mystique behind the ancient trail is based on this reality: it has changed the lives of millions.

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