Amazon paperback $12.95, Kindle $4.95
My nephew and niece have each taken a conventional trip to Europe, and both have done a pilgrimage on El Camino de Santiago. Each did their pilgrimage the summer after graduating from high school.
In each case, on the packaged tour their attitude was one of boredom, mixed in with mild amusement and flickers of interest. However, both were able at age 18 to immerse themselves in the unique culture of the Camino de Santiago. Incidentally, there are pilgrims as young as 7 and 8 years old, as well as pilgrims in their 70′s. Just as it was in the Middle Ages when 500,000 medieval pilgrims traipsed to Santiago de Compostela each year, the modern Camino is truly ecumenical.
I also think the Camino de Santiago would make a great high school or college graduation gift. When I got out of university in the 1980′s, it was very common for graduates to take a grand tour around the Old Continent on a Eurail Pass. Not to diminish that experience, but when a person walks the Camino de Santiago, he or she has the entire Continent at their feet. Better yet, it is much more economical, given that a pilgrim on average pays 5 to 7 Euros per night to stay in an albergue.
Think about it: El Camino de Santiago is not only the best way to see Europe, but the most economical way. No wonder it is seeing such explosive growth.
‘The Best Way–El Camino de Santiago’ is the newest book on the Camino de Santiago. Walker is also the author of Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail (2008) and Skywalker–Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail (2010). Walker, who is just shy of 7-feet tall, is now working on a book on the subject of height.