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Camino Chronicle Reviews:

"A most enjoyable tour," Midwest Book Review>, October 7, 2006
Camino Chronicle: Walking To Santiago is the travel journal of a wife who walked across Northern Spain in 2001, following a venerable pilgrimage trail called the Camino de Santiago, retracing the footsteps of such famous historical figures as Charlemagne, St. Francis of Assisi, King Fernando and Queen Isabel. Historical notes and personal experiences and inspiration blend into a highly readable day-by-day account, and numerous legends or cultural notes on Spain about everything from bullfighting to Spanish Olives are included, with their own quick-reference index. A most enjoyable tour especially recommended for armchair travelers, and the next best experience to flying to Spain and hiking the pilgrimage trail personally.

The Camino - A Call to Awaken," John Brierley, Author of the Pilgrim Guides to Camino de Santiago, Camino Portugués, and Camino Fisterra. June 14, 2006

The 'Camino Chronicle' is a courageously honest account of one pilgrim's walk to Santiago. Written in diary format it touches on her daily challenges along the path. From overcoming the physical pain of blisters and aching muscles to facing loneliness and self doubts. Will I find a bed at the end of the day? What is my intention for walking the Camino and will it be sufficient to obtain a Compostela? Coming to terms with the difficult decision to take a bus from Leon to Ponferrada and having to say good-bye to friends made along the way. The frustration of not being able to communicate in Spanish.

This highly personal account is interwoven with a sketch of the bloodstained history of the Camino from the beheading of St. James and his miraculous appearance to lead the Christian Reconquest of Spain from the Muslim's, earning him the ignominious title - 'Slayer of the Moors'. In between we have glimpses of yet more massacres of Charlemagne and Roland, the Inquisition, the Spanish civil war, Guernica, the ETA, the Madrid train bombing. Midway through the pilgrimage comes 9/11 and the agony of this American struggling to come to terms with this latest atrocity and the seemingly endless cycle of violence.

And then come the insights provided by fellow pilgrims, ' I don't go very fast; hurrying seems to be opposite of the lesson of the trail.' and her own pleasure in finding the opportunity, 'To go within and meditate on life.' These references remind me of 'Peace Is Every Step' by Thich Nhat Hanh which emphasises the need for all pilgrims to walk in a way that only prints peace and serenity on the Earth for then we work for all humankind and its healing. This makes a wonderful compendium and the 2 together warrant a 5 star read.

Not just great stories but .. the full essence of the Camino," Sue Kenney, author of My Camino. Sept 20, 2006

What I love about this book is the way Susan gives us raw insight into her personal Camino journal entries interspersed with factual information about distances, geography, history, architecture and culture, to name a few. This book offers not just great stories but it presents the the full essence of the Camino, providing a very effective guide-book for the body, mind and soul. After I read it, I felt like going for a long walk.

Experience the Camino de Santiago," Jim Clem, author of Buen Camino: Hiking the Camino de Santiago.  June 13, 2006

Camino Chronicle is the day-to-day narrative of Susan and Ralph Alcorn's hike across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago in 2001. I found the book to be well written, interesting, and enjoyable.
The book breaks the Camino de Santiago into five Regions, each of which starts with a map and mileage chart. It is an excellent book for anyone who is thinking of walking the Camino. It gives the reader a feel for what it is like to be on the trail and what to expect on a day-to-day basis.
In addition to the day-to-day narrative of the hike, Susan includes the history/legends of the Camino de Santiago, along with other interesting information and essays about this area of Spain.
Susan and Ralph Alcorn are experienced hikers/backpackers and the book provides a lot of good information on how to prepare for an extended trip of this type, and equipment needed. Susan also has a FAQ section in the book that will be helpful to anyone thinking of hiking the Camino de Santiago.
My wife and I hiked the Camino de Santiago from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago, Spain in 2003. We returned for a second trip in 2005. Camino Chronicle brought back the great memories we have of the pilgrimage.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of doing the Camino de Santiago, or the armchair pilgrim interested in a good adventure.

"Engaging and well-written narrative," Kathy Morey author or co-author, Sierra North; Sierra South; Hot Showers, Soft Beds, and Day Hikes in the Sierra; Guide to the John Muir Trail, and guides to each of the four major Hawaiian Islands (Wilderness Press, Berkeley, Calif.)

"Susan Alcorn’s engaging and well-written narrative carries readers along the Camino with her and her husband, Ralph, on their adventure. Also rich in the history and mythology of the Camino, the book leaves armchair readers longing to pop right through the page into Spain to take the trip themselves!"

Susan generously shares her experience with … long treks; the book is a valuable source of information for anyone contemplating such a trip."

"Put on a good pair of shoes and join Susan Alcorn," Melanie Rigney, "editor for you".

“Put on a good pair of shoes and join Susan Alcorn on the Camino de Santiago. Susan’s wonderful mix of narrative, journal entries, and travelogue are marvelous reading…and will have you thinking, ‘Hmm, I wonder if I could do this.”

"Alcorn doesn’t sugarcoat her experiences," Paige Lovitt for Reader Views. June 2006.

In 2001, Susan Alcorn and her husband Ralph journeyed to northern Spain to hike the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Trail.  This incredible journey took them over 400 miles through a vast array of landscapes and adventures.  What I really loved about this book is that while Alcorn is journaling her current experiences, she is also educating us on the history and culture of the areas that they pass through. This gives much richer detail to the story.  It is also interesting to read about how this part of Spain differs from the American culture. 

Initially, I wanted to read this story to learn about someone else’s adventure, however after having read it, I have gained the desire to do this pilgrimage myself.  Alcorn doesn’t sugar coat her experiences, there are some rough patches along the way.  Reading her journal, I learned about the positive and negative aspects of such a journey.  The personal growth that she gains from this experience seems to overcome everything.  She has also taken on much grander challenges since this one.

I highly recommend this book to armchair travelers and to those who are willing to take on an adventure like this.  The daily accounts of Alcorn’s experiences would prepare you for the journey and the historical information would really enrich your experience.  This would be the perfect piece of equipment to have in your backpack!

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Emma Gatewood first hiked the entire 2160 mile Appalachian Trail at the age of 67.  She last hiked it at the age of 76.

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