I know the Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage trail; why did people start traveling it?
What made you decide to turn your Camino walk into a book?
What audience is the book aimed at?
How difficult was it to arrange your Camino walk?
How did you communicate with people at home while you were hiking?
What was the most difficult part of the trip?
What did you most enjoy about the trip?
What was your favorite place that you visited?
Did you have reservations for lodging most of your nights?
How did your relationship with your husband (Ralph) fare with so much time together?
What advice do you have for others considering such a trip?
How do people get a copy of your book?
How far did you walk each day?
How did the Camino trip affect your life?
Shepherd Canyon Books
25 Southwood Ct. Oakland, CA 94611
E-mail: backpack45 at yahoo.com
Q and A:
Q.: How can I order the Pilgrim Guide that gives the town-by-town listings of hostels and restaurants along the Camino de Santiago?
A. It can be ordered from the Confraternity of Saint James based in London, England. The Confraternity is a non-denominational association of former and current pilgrims, and others interested in the history and culture of Spain. They offer guidebooks to all of the major routes in Europe to Santiago. At their website: www.csj.org . http://www.csj.org.uk/ , go to their bookstore to order their detailed, annually updated, guides.
Q. What is the passport you mentioned?
A. The pilgrim passport, the credencial, is very important to those wanting to stay in the refugio system along the Camino de Santiago as well as those who want to go to the Pilgrim Office when they arrive in Santiago de Compostela and receive their certificate of completion.
Q. How do I obtain the pilgrim passport?
A. You can obtain it in advance by ordering it from the American Friends on the Camino at www.americanpilgrims.com . Or, you can wait until you arrive in France or Spain and obtain it in LePuy (FR), St. Jean-Pied-de-Port (FR), Roncesvalles (SP) or in several major cities along the route.
Q. What if I do not have the time or inclination to walk the entire route?
A. The 500-miles of the Camino de Santiago goes through quite varied landscapes, so it's very difficult to answer this question without knowing more about your interests. If your primary interest is to have a taste of the Camino AND to obtain the certificate of completion, then you are only required to hike the last 100 kilometers (about 60 miles) of the route. Many people do just that: they start in the town of Sarria (population 12, 000).
Q. I am nervous about going on such a journey on my own. Are there tour groups I could join?
A. Of course whether you are going solo, with a partner, or with an organized group, you will have a different experience. If your nervousness is because you don't want to be on your own for several weeks, I can assure you that you will most likely find it easy to link up with others along the Camino if that's what you want to do. If you want to join an organized group, you can go to Google and find tons of information. Today we googled and came up with 6,000 "hits."
Please contact us at backpack45 at yahoo dot com if you have any further questions.
Susan Alcorn, Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago ISBN 0-936034-03-3
Emma Gatewood first hiked the entire 2160 mile Appalachian Trail at the age of 67. She last hiked it at the age of 76.