A Different View of the Camino de Santiago
by Bill Watson
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The Camino de Santiago is a walk across northern Spain. No one is quite sure of its origins which predate the Christian era. Today the majority of walkers are Catholics who regard it as a pilgrimage which is the main reason why it attracts people from all over the world.
The minority are a mixed bag of people who follow other religions and some with no set beliefs which includes the author. Historically the Camino has been walked by a spectrum ranging from Kings and Generals to petty criminals. For the latter it was a penance they were sent on for minor offences similar to the ones committed by the people England once sent off to populate their colonies.
There are many wonderful buildings along the walk, steeped in history which has inspired other authors. Many of these left Bill Watson cold. His thoughts were about the sacrifices made by so many people who needed schools, libraries and hospitals far more than buildings to perpetuate the class structure which dominated their lives.
The topography and wildlife along the way is a constant theme in this book. The description of the man catching frogs and the encounter with German shepherd dogs is something few people will have seen but any future Peregrinos who read this book can look out for.
Many of the views expressed in this book are controversial but anyone with even a slightly ‘open mind’ will find it to be a fascinating ‘different view of the Camino.’
- Fast Print Publishing, September 2011
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