Book Review: Planning Your Camino: Preparing “The Way”

Trish Clark's picture

As the author so aptly states, ‘This book is a complete preparation guide for your Camino’. When embarking on an 850 kilometre walk, meticulous preparation is crucial to success and the author’s own, self-guided walking adventures and research has resulted in a thoughtful, easy to read, and detailed guide to planning this extraordinary journey on the Camino de Santiago.

The author, Beverley A. Robson,  has undertaken Caminos in both Spain and Portugal so she writes from personal experience. The factual information she succinctly provides goes far beyond just what to pack. Of course a list of what to take is included but she also delves into important details such as safety, first-aid, money, drinking water, footwear, pilgrim etiquette, dogs on the Camino and choosing a starting point.  Some pages are devoted to the ever present pilgrim’s problem, ‘blisters’ and how to prevent and treat them. The author’s novel but effective method of treating a ‘hotspot’ with duct tape actually works – I tried it when I walked the Camino in 2011.

Black and white photos are scattered throughout the book and the table of contents is arranged in chronological order. The first chapters cover the actual experience of walking the Camino with notes about the people, the route, the pros and cons attached to various starting points, followed by a chapter on how to get there. A well thought-out and practical list of what to pack is included.  Among other items the author suggests taking 3 sets of shirts and trousers. However, I wonder if 2 sets might also do the trick? The information on what to expect when overnighting in albergues and hostels is invaluable coming from someone who has been actually been there and done it. Much of the advice in the book also applies to cyclists and campers. The author quite rightly points out that with the cost of a bed in an albergue ranging from ‘free to 3, 5 or 7 Euros a night’ why struggle with the hassles of camping out.

A glossary contains a shortlist and explanation of common words associated with Spain and the Camino, such as ‘Credential’, ‘Hospitalero’, ‘Bocadillo’, ‘Refugio’ and the friendly pilgrim’s greeting, ‘Buen Camino’.

‘Planning Your Camino’ is a useful, practical and well thought-out resource for anyone thinking about walking the Camino and I wholeheartedly recommend it to prospective pilgrims, especially the first-timer. Start planning now and Buen Camino!

PLANNING YOUR CAMINO: Preparing “The Way”                                
by Beverley A. Robson                                                  
Pub: Author House, 2011  65 pages                                        
Amazon Price:$18.00 Kindle Edition: $7.69                                

ISBN: 9781456733209


Review copy supplied to Wandering Educators  

Trish Clark, our Travel With a Spiritual Twist Editor, is the author of the Good Night and God Bless series of guides to convent and monastery accommodation in Europe and recently walked the Camino Frances from St-Jean Pied de Port in France to Santaigo de Compostella.  Find her at