The Best Book on Walking the Camino

Walking the Camino

For anyone who has felt their heart skip a beat or their soul take a pause when hearing about walking one of the ancient Camino trails of the world, this book is for you. 

These days, there’s no shortage of information, journals, maps, photos and stories about this timeless pilgrimage tradition. With over 2,000 book listings for Camino de Santiago on Amazon, from famous walkers to extreme walkers – like those journeying barefoot… in silence… with no money – it truly is a noisy niche for such a silent and mindful place and hard to know exactly where to start in finding the best book on the Camino.

YouTube video

Listen in on my conversation with Ailsa

Well, let me make it easy for you. Start with a book that was not only written before everyone knew what the ‘Camino’ was, but that is well written in the type of language that causes you to stop, look away, read the paragraph again, and then exhale… slowly.

In language that is not only descriptive of the physical landscape and experiences, but somehow manages to put into words what I call, ‘the unwordable’. That place where the physical act of walking, connects to something outside of the natural and moves into the emotional and deeply spiritual space. Somehow, author Ailsa Piper has managed to make the unwordable, wordable.

Pausing to find the wordable [Pic: Ailsa Piper]
Smiling in the Pyrenees [Pic: Ailsa Piper]

I was stoked to finally meet Ailsa in Sydney, after connecting with her on social media many years ago. It was back in 2012 that I first heard her speak of her unusual journey on radio. Unusual, in that she decided to follow a little-known ancient tradition of walking the Camino by offering to ‘walk off people’s sins’. Her note (that subsequently went a bit viral!) went thus:

“I will walk off your sins. Pilgrim seeks sinners for mutually beneficial arrangement. Proven track record. Tireless. Result-oriented. Reliable. Seven Deadlies a specialty.”

A month later, she was walking in Spain.

What happened between writing that note and now, is woven into the pages, with words so rich, that you need to be forgiven for thinking you’ve been on the road with her, so vivid are the memories that she paints for us.

She’s recently issued a new version of the book, which adds more layers and depth, as she talks about returning to The Camino two years after suffering deep, personal loss and sadness.

Q: Have you walked your own Camino? Or is it something deep in you, that one day… you hope to experience?

Buy this book now from Booktopia. The perfect gift for friends, pilgrims and walkers.

The Way of The Snail [Pic: Ailsa Piper]
Happy Pilgrim on the Sin Walk [Pic: Ailsa Piper]

Writer, producer and content creator by trade, search and rescue volunteer by passion, Caro Ryan started to inspire, teach and encourage people to get into hiking and the outdoors safely.

It’s all about connecting people to wild places in meaningful ways, so they can look after themselves, their mates and these precious places we visit.

She teaches wilderness navigation, authored the book, ‘How to Navigate’ and hosts, ‘Rescued - an Outdoor Podcast for Hikers and Adventurers.

In the bottom of her pack you'll find coffee grounds, instant noodles past their used by date and an insatiable curiosity.

Bushwalking & Hiking Tips from an Unexpected Outdoors Chick

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