#37. The Best Way: El Camino de Santiago (Bill Walker)

Book: The Best Way: El Camino de Santiago, by Bill Walker

Genre and Year of Publication: Travel/pilgrimage; 2011

Where I got it: Free Kindle download (read in July; reviewed in October)

Length: 328 pages

Briefly, it’s another account of an American’s trek along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain

Comments: This is the second “Compostela” book that I’ve read in a couple of months, so obviously it’s a theme that interests me!  (My review of the other one is here).  Walker travelled this route in 2010, together with his 18-year old nephew.  His book follows the traditional day-by-day journal format, recounting the towns he passed through, the hostels he stayed in, the friends he made, the things he discovered about himself and others, and the final, triumphant arrival in Compostela.  I loved it.

A friend of mine is planning to undertake this pilgrimage next year.  The way Walker describes the daily battle for a place to sleep in the hostels along the way makes me realise that I will never do it myself.  The camino won’t cease to fascinate me, though.

Challenges: Non-fiction challenge, ebook reading challenge

#27. A Million Steps (Kurt Koontz)

Book: A Million Steps, by Kurt Koontz

Genre: Travel

Where I got it: Free Kindle download

Length: 212 pages

Briefly, it’s an account of the author’s pilgrimage on the Camino to Santiago di Compostela in Spain.

Comments: In 2012, American Kurt Koontz hiked about 500 miles of the ancient – and recently re-popularised – pilgrimage route to Santiago di Compostela, which he calculates comes to a million steps.  This book is not a day-by-day journal account of his pilgrimage as much as a series of reflections on various themes which formed part of his exterior and interior pilgrimage.  He writes of the people he met, the camaraderie, the various kinds of hostels, the scenery, the challenges and joys of the hike, and he shares with us his personal struggles, reflections on where he’s at in his life, and his hopes and fears for the most significant relationship in his life.  I enjoyed this book very much. 

Challenges: Non-fiction reading challenge; ebook reading challenge.