Students seeking scholarship support for study abroad should plan to apply in the fall quarter, 2017, for travel in the spring, 2018.  Evergreen students have had good success with the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. Information about the Gilman Scholarship and other scholarships to support study abroad is available at Contact Michael Clifthorne (clifthom at evergreen dot edu) for help.

Traveler, your footprints
By Antonio Machado

“Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
Caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace el camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino
sino estelas en la mar.”

Traveler, your footprints
are the only road, nothing else.
Traveler, there is no road;
you make your own path as you walk.
As you walk, you make your own road,
and when you look back
you see the path
you will never travel again.
Traveler, there is no road;
only a ship’s wake on the sea.


There are a lot of books, websites, blogs and other material to help you get started on your thinking, planning, dreaming, exercise, and walking.  I will add resources until the program begins. Everyone is invited to leave a comment that includes resources we should know about.


Request your free credencial (the pilgrim’s “passport”) from American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) ( and consider joining the organization (a student membership costs only $15 per year). 

Also spend time browsing APOC’s “Resources” page.  It is rich and deep.

From north of our border: is a great (Spanish language only, but you’ll get the hang of it) site with stage maps, including elevations (look for the arrow with “ver perfil de la etapa” “for the stage’s profile”), for almost all the routes.  It lists all accommodations in each town and gives you a chance to book in advance.  (The “book in advance” option is a mixed blessing.  It used to be that if you arrived at an albergue and there was a bed, you got it.  Now, an empty bed might be booked.)

* * *
For those not enrolled in the program who may be looking for a supported walk on part of the Camino Francés, see


The American Pilgrims on Camino website has a good list of books with brief comments on most of them:

Those with a (W) are recommended by Dave Whitson, author of the guidebook to the northern caminos.

Archibald, Elizabeth, “What tips for traveling have changed since medieval time?  Surprisingly few,” Washington Post, Sept 3, 2015.

Ashley, Kathleen, and Marilyn Deegan. Being a Pilgrim: Art and Ritual on the Medieval Routes to Santiago. Farnham: Ashgate/Lund Humphries, 2009.

Berry, Wendell, “A Secular Pilgrimage,” The Hudson Review 23 (3), Autumn, 1970: 401-424.

Boers, Arthur P. The Way Is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2007.

Ciszek, Walter J., The Way of the Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues his Way, New York: Image Books, 1985.

Coelho, Paulo, and Alan Clarke. The Pilgrimage: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom. New York: HarperOne, 2008.

Cousineau, Phil. The Art of Pilgrimage: The Seeker’s Guide to Making Travel Sacred. Anniversary Edition. Conari Press, 2012.

Currie, Jim. The Mindful Traveler: A Guide to Journaling and Transformative Travel. Chicago, Ill.: Open Court, 2000.

Davies, Bethan, Ben Cole, Daphne Hnatiuk, Walking the Camino de Santiago, Pili Pala Press, 2009.

Downie, David. Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James. Pegasus Books, 2013.

Eco, Umberto, Carlo Maria Martini, Minna Proctor, and Harvey Cox. Belief or Nonbelief?: A Confrontation. [S.l.]: Skyhorse Pub., 2012 (selection: pp. 80-102).

Edmundson, Mark, “Body and Soul,” The Hedgehog Review 17 (2), Summer, 2015.  Fascinating, provocative essay on what happens to the body when we’ve decided we have no souls.

Ehrmann, Max, “Desiderata,” 1927.

Fitzgerald, Janine, “Marx on the Camino de Santiago: Meaning, Work, and Crisis,” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine 67: 1, May, 2015: 52-61.

Fletcher, Richard, The Quest for El Cid, Oxford University Press, 1991, or The Cross and The Crescent: The Dramatic Story of the Earliest Encounters Between Christians and Muslims, Penguin, 2005, or Fletcher, Richard, St James’ Catapult: The Life and Times of Diego Gelmirez of Santiago De Compostela, Clarendon Press, 1984. (Others by this author) (W)

Forest, Jim, The Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2007.

Francis, John, Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking, 17 Years of Silence, Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2009.  A wonderful tale of a man who earns three university degrees (and teaches a few university classes) while walking in silence across the United States and north-south across South America on behalf of the Planet.  Eventually Francis was named a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Environment.  John still leads walks:

Frey, Nancy Louise, Pilgrim Stories: On and Off the Road to Santiago, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

Gitlitz, David, and Linda Davidson, The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook, St. Martins Griffin, 2000.

Gros, Frédéric, A Philosophy of Walking, Verso, 2014.  A huge popular hit by a young professor of philosophy in France.  A hit with the public because it is just a set of short essays and comments on walking, all simply and elegantly written.  Not heavy French philosophy.

Hibbert, Christopher, Corunna, Macmillan, 1971. (W)

Hitt, Jack. Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain. 1st Edition. Simon & Schuster, 2005.

Hlavsa, David, Walking Distance: Pilgrimage, Parenthood, Grief, and Home Repairs, Michigan State University Press, 2015. A human and humane book by a theater professor at St. Martin’s University.  His Camino is just a slice of life that helps him understand a bit more about Life. 

Hoinacki, L. El Camino : Walking to Santiago de Compostela. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996.

Kelly, Gerald. Camino de Santiago – Practical Preparation and Background. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.

Kelly, Gerald. Walking Guide to the Camino de Santiago History Culture Architecture: From St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre (Volume 1). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012.

Kevin, Tony. Walking the Camino: A Modern Pilgrimage to Santiago. Melbourne: Scribe, 2008.

Kujawa-Holbrook, Dr. Sheryl A., Pilgrimage–The Sacred Art: Journey to the Center of the Heart, Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths Publishing, 2013.

Kurlansky, Mark, A Basque History of the World, Penguin Books, 2001.

Mahoney, Rosemary. The Singular Pilgrim: Travels on Sacred Ground. Boston: Mariner Books, 2004.

Manning, Robert and Martha, Walking Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People, Oregon State University Press, 2013.

Masters, Edgar Lee, “Father Malloy,Spoon River Anthology, Macmillan, 1915, p. 177.

Melczer, William. The Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela. New York: Italica Press, 1993.  Contains a good introduction to the cult of relics and saints, commentary on the history of pilgrimage and of the Way of Saint James, even a little essay on the question few think to ask, “Why would Santiago himself be characterized and actually described as a pilgrim?” hmmm….  The heart of the book is a translation of the fifth book of the Liber Sancti Jacobi, also known as the Codex Calixtinus, the first guidebook to the Camino which was published sometime between 1139 and 1173 CE.  Melczer’s book ends with a 40-page Hagiographical Register, the stories of the many, many saints one meets along the Way to Santiago, and a Gazetter of place names in the Codex and along the routes.

Mullins, Edwin.  The Pilgrimage to Santiago. Interlink Books, 2001.  First published in 1974, before all the fuss, a time when a question about where the old road is would be answered by dispatching village children to take the pilgrim through the woods and fields to where he might regain his footing and find his path.

Nilsen, Sylvia, and Greg Dedman. YOUR CAMINO – a Lightfoot Guide to Practical Preparation for a Pilgrimage. EURL Pilgrimage Publications, 2011.

O’Donohue, John, “For the Traveler.

Odifreddi, Piergiorgio, and Sergio Valzania, La via Lattea (in Italian, title translates as The Milky Way.  Recommended by Tom Cooks ( “Atheist Italian mathematician  travels with Catholic journalist and they discuss the history and values of the walk from both  scientifical and religious sides. Italian television network also followed them and filmed a small series.”
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Reveries of the Solitary Walker, first published in 1782, multiple editions available now.

Rudolf, Conrad, Pilgrimage to the End of the World: The Road to Santiago de Compostela, University of Chicago Press, 2004.  A little history, some stuff on sensibilities, a few pictures, and some how-to advice.

Saramago, José, The Stone Raft, Editorial Caminho, SARL, Lisboa, 1986 (Portuguese), 1995 (English), Harcourt, Brace & Company, A fanciful novel with a premise made for our times: What if a country or two broke away from Europe?  Not just, for example, “left the euro-zone,” but broke away starting with a slice right down through the Pyrenees mountains between Spain and France, a fracture that sends, in Saramago’s imagination, the Iberian peninsula on a wandering, spinning voyage into the Atlantic Ocean eventually to settle between Africa and Central America.  The magical writing of the Nobel Prize winner Saramago brings together a small group of friends for a sort of “reverse Camino,” a trip north through Portugal to Galicia and across the north of Spain, up the western side of the mountains for a look down the sheer side of the Pyrenees into the sea, and on from there.  One reviewer said, “It is as if one large chunk of the earth, sick of or feeling sorry for its becalmed and deadened humanity, had decided to get the human faculties of imagination, generosity and discovery moving again–by moving itself. Saramago’s lovely and original questing story, in a lineage of such others as ‘Don Quixote’ and Kipling’s ‘Kim,’ is a journey of the spirit told as a journey of the feet” (Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times, May 28, 1995).  Ranges from the pedestrian and the all-too-human to heady questions in epistemology.  Especially suited for lovers of magnificent sentences.

Sibley, Robert C.  The Way of Stars: Journeys on the Camino de Santiago.  University of Virginia Press, 2012.  A journalist and searcher.  “The real gift of the Camino, the one that has lingered with me over the years since my pilgrimage, was to have found a place I could return to imaginatively over and over, recreating that heightened awareness of the world.  It was as though my pilgrimage had been a preparation for other journeys, both inward and outward…”

Stokstad, Marilyn, Santiago de Compostela in the Age of Great Pilgrimages, University of Oklahoma Press, 1979. (W)

Solnit, Rebecca. A Field Guide to Getting Lost. New York: Penguin, 2006.

Solnit, Rebecca. Wanderlust: A History of Walking. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Penguin Books, 2001.

St. Germain, Randall. Camino de Santiago in 20 Days: My Way on the Way of St. James. Wolf Shield Publishing, 2011.

Strayed, Cheryl. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Vintage Books, 2013.

Sumption, Jonathan. The Age of Pilgrimage: The Medieval Journey to God. Hiddenspring, 2003.  The best introduction to mediaeval spiritual life and the cult of saints and relics.  Many anecdotes.  Nicely readable.

Sweet, Victoria. God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine. Reprint. Riverhead Trade, 2013.  A book by a physician working in the last almshouse in the US.  Mostly about the dysfunctions of modern medicine and what can be learned from the “inefficiency” of care permitted by the fact that Sweet’s patients are exceptionally poor, ignored and forgotten.  Her 1,200-mile pilgrimage from Le Puy, France, which she completed in four stages over four years, informed her work as a physician.  Comments on her Way begin on p. 206, but read the whole thing.  “The pilgrim leaves home in order to experience being a stranger…, to experience otherness as the other.  The thing about a pilgrimage is that there is no way to experience it except to do it.  In that way it is very much like life.  No armchair reading, no movies, no virtual photo albums can substitute.” …

“The [pilgrim] passport averred that having decided to leave our home to take ourselves to Saint James in Compostela, we would respect the spirit of pilgrimage, the other pilgrims, our hosts, and the nature we would walk through.  In return, the bishop confided us to the care of all we met and asked them for the love of God, to receive us with charity, pray for us, and help us in our needs….
“The Way was always an adventure, he added, always a proving.  Many were the reasons that put a pilgrim on the path: They were inscribed in the depths of one’s heart.  But no matter what the interior quest, the Way was a way of life, and what he wished for us was that, with the sound of our footsteps, whatever we were seeking would fill us to overflowing.
“Rosalind and I looked at one another.  This was way deeper than we’d expected…” (pp. 208-9)

Tone, John Lawrence, The Fatal Knot, The University of North Carolina Press, 1995. (W)

Yates, S., and Daphne Hnatiuk, Pilgrim Tips & Packing List Camino de Santiago: What you need to know beforehand, what you need to take, and what you can leave at home,
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.


Brierley, John. 2012. A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino Portugués: Lisboa, Porto, Santiago. Fourth Edition, Fourth edition edition. Forres, Scotland: Camino Guides.

Brierley, John. 2014a. A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean • Roncesvalles • Santiago. Tenth Edition, Tenth edition edition. Camino Guides.

Brierley, John. 2014b. A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino Finisterre: Santiago • Finisterre • Muxía. Fifth Edition, Fifth edition edition. Forres: Camino Guides.

Raju, Alison. 2005. The Way of St. James – Vía de La Plata: From Seville to Santiago. Milnthorpe: Cicerone.

Raju, Alison. 2008. The Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago): Pyrenees-Santiago-Finisterre : A Walker’s Guide. Milnthorpe: Cicerone.

Raju, Alison. 2010. The Way of St. James. Milnthorpe: Cicerone.

Whitson, Dave and Laura Perazzoli.  2013. The Northern Caminos: Norte, Primitivo and Inglés. 1 edition. Milnthorpe: Cicerone Press Limited.  For updates and other useful information, see


Good places to begin include the Pilgrims’ Office in Santiago de Compostela ( (their homepage includes today’s number of pilgrims arriving at the Office to receive their Compostela), the Cathedral in Santiago (, the Confraternity of Saint James in England (, the American Pilgrims on the Camino (, and Peter Robbins’s slightly dated but still informative site (  A remarkably helpful site for planning your trip is which includes this advice on planning: “Most likely your plan will change due to a variety of things: a blister on your foot, a tired knee, getting ill, falling in love with a hospitalero/a and deciding to stay there forever 🙂  Be prepared for everything.” has information on the Caminos Francés, Portugués, the Caminho Português Interior (starts from Farminhão, near Viseu, and crosses into Spain after Chaves to join the southern branch of the Camino Sanabrés at Verín), the Primitivo, Fisterra, and Muxía, and it has more information on blisters (←”blisters is a repeating theme; pay attention).  Outside Magazine intro: (  And don’t just ignore commercial, guided tour sites (e.g., Pilgrim House is a welcoming spot at 19 Rua Nova in Santiago.  All the hosts speak English.  An inviting space to leave your pack, have coffee, chat, use wi-fi, get a city map, get help finding local accommodations, and meet other pilgrims who may be able to help you find your way around town.  They also know the schedule of Pilgrim Masses and at which ones the Cathedral will fly the botafumeiro, the giant censer (for which, see, for example,

Northern Route: Dave Whitson and Laura Perazzoli
and, in Spanish,  Four or five ways to think about the calm that the Camino brings to many.  Why? “Men are fine and wonderful, of course, but I believe women and girls need to see more and more examples of mothers taking the lead and heading out there with their daughters. Alex, Sage, and I were the only mom-daughter team I saw on the Camino (we were on our own more than half the time, with Hugh flying in on occasion).  We were the only mom-daughter team I saw or heard of on the John Muir Trail in August 2014.  I don’t know of any other mom-daughter teams highpointing (with the daughters being under the age of 18).  Here in the Whites, I know of only two other moms who get out there with their daughters on any kind of regular basis.  There might be many mom-daughter teams I don’t know about, of course — but wouldn’t it be great to see their stories all over the blogosphere?  The mom-daughter hiking team niche is fairly empty out there in cyberspace.”  Patricia Herr aims to fill that niche.  Author of Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure.  Publishers Weekly calls Up … “a charming, uplifting account…a keen feminist fable for brave girls.”

There is the meseta for a long, flat walk, but there will be hills.  Look through sites like this for preparation for the ups and downs of El Camino.
You probably think, “The uphills … oh, the uphills, the Pyrenees…  So tiring…  Can’t wait to go downhill…”  You will think differently after the day you walk down from Roncesvalles or one of the up-and-down days of the Norte.  “Recent studies have shown that you spend three times as much energy walking downhill as walking up.  It just doesn’t feel as tiring.” To wit, a 2007 study in the Journal of Sports Sciences showed that 3 days after one 30-minute downhill run, subjects had shorter strides, less range of motion, and muscle damage.  The first exercise to get ready for downhill, which you should start sooner than later: “Bill Roberts, medical director for the Twin Cities Marathon and an avid backpacker: ‘I always work step-downs into my routine before I leave on a trip. They do wonders for soreness.’ Find a 6- to 8-inch step, box, or stair. (You can work up to 10 inches, but start smaller. Wear a pack for a bonus workout.) Stand with both feet on the step, facing ‘downhill.’ Keep your arms at your sides. Balancing on your left foot, bend your left knee and lower yourself until your right heel touches the floor, then push back up. Alternate sides, doing 3 sets of 15 reps per side.”

BLOGS (scroll down the sidebar and look for “Camino” entries, but look at other blogs as well; the “Solitary Walker” has lots of notes on several walks to Santiago, for example) “Camino de Santiago | Pilgrimage in Spain | “The Way of St. James” | The Way. and Camino story of best friends Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray.  Justin is in a wheelchair but wants to make his way on the camino; Patrick says, “I’ll push you.”  An especially moving entry involves the climb up O Cebreiro , a mountain crossing that tests everyone in some way, but in this case it tested “16 wonderful volunteers who decided to spend their sunny day pushing me [Justin], pulling me, and even carrying me up a steep rocky ascent into O Cebreiro” (

From Tom Cooks ( “I suggest getting in touch with the lady that runs La Casa do Raposito ( if you are looking for a quiet place to have a retreat” after your camino.


Strangers on the Earth. Dane Johansen, a cellist with the Cleveland Orchestra made a documentary film about his camino.  “It’s a slow, contemplative film, one that conveys with surprising efficacy the experience of walking the Camino, of spending endless days thinking while traveling by foot from one town to another. Along with excerpts of Johansen’s performances and interviews with travelers, the film dwells for long periods on windswept fields, open roads, and panoramic vistas. The hardest segments, Johansen said, weren’t the climbs but rather the long, flat stretches in the middle…  “In order to relate that feeling of walking, we kind of had to test the viewer a little bit,” filmmaker Tristan Cook explained. “We had to show the harsh reality. In the end, you’re trained to watch people walking. You almost become numb to it. If you had walked the Camino, it’s a feeling you would recognize.”

Oliver Schroer: Oliver Schroer: Camino. Solo Violin and Ambient Recordings from the Camino de Santiago (sound recording of “duets between violin and buildings”; Schroer walked the camino and recorded, where he could, in the churches along the way).  You can see him and listen on youtube.  The rabbit hole begins at OR

The Way.  Already classic with Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez and Deborah Kara Unger.  Stories from Jack Hitt’s book folded into a Hollywood “buddy” picture.  Based in part on Sheen’s own walk on El Camino.

Walking The Camino: Six Ways To Santiago.  2014 documentary that follows six pilgrims on their Ways.

El Camino a Santiago–Paulo Coelho by Kevin Aroca. .

The Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago): Temple of Stars,

Saint-Jacques … La Mecque (French, 2005), “Three siblings who detest each other and hiking must complete together a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in order to be eligible to inherit their mother’s wealth.”  Joining their group are two Muslim teenagers, brothers, one of whom thinks they are undertaking a pilgrimage to Mecca.  Fun and deeply touching.

Looking for Infinity: El Camino — An Introduction into the Journey of a Lifetime (Evergreen SAIL GV199.44.S7 L66 2017). A gentle, quiet film that encourages the traveler to pay attention to everything that is not in the guidebooks: nature, intentions, sensations, your baggage, what you really need and what you really don’t need, surprises and revelations.

Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain (Evergreen SAIL DP101.C58 2007)  Excellent overview of the time when Christians, Jews and Muslims lived together in Southern Spain in mutually enhancing, world-enhancing ways.  And how that ended.

The School of Life’s ( channel contains some useful, insightful remarks on travel.  See, for example, “The Point of Travel” ( and “An Advert for Staying at Home” ( to get some perspective on your impulse to travel.

THE BEST PILGRIMAGE FILM/PLAY EVER: The Wiz.  Either the 1978 version with Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, and Mabel King or the 2015 live stage version broadcast on NBC television with Shanice Williams, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, and Uzo Aduba.  The best thing you can do is watch them both, several times, so you will be a “most informed participant” in the many discussions you will have over which one is better.  And when the stage show comes to a stage within 500 miles of you, walk over to see that version too.

The Indonesians have a saying that when you walk idly on the beach you have no special form, but when you walk purposefully towards an important place you gather a shape around you which precedes you to your destination.

-Kathan Brown

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