Book Review: Behind the Albergue Door: Inspiration Agony Adventure on the Camino de Santiago
Dean is back with another great travel book – this time about the Camino de Santiago hike he and his wife did last fall. (You may remember his previous book, Random Acts of Travel which I had previously reviewed) While I love to travel, I’m not physically able to hike, so I will have to live vicariously through Dean on this one.
I loved that they have little passport books and you can get stamps along the way on the hike. It’s kind of like a real-life foursquare and I’m sure if I was there I’d be on a mission to get all the stamps I could… and in turn probably all the blisters I could as well.
Dean gives tips on what to pack and what not to pack if you’re thinking about doing the hike yourself. Lots of useful tips from someone who has done it before. And he even gives you some pick up lines you might want to use (or not!) if you find yourself looking for love with a fellow pilgrim while on your trip.
Dean also creates a handful of people who write about their travels on the Camino hike. He also then has real reports from some real people he met on the hike as well. I think I liked the made up ones more. (They were emails home – and one was a twitter feed. Funny!)
The book is a bit of fact, fiction and exaggeration. And of course the writing style that I came to know and love on his last book is still there. It was a fun read and I think whether you are planning to do the hike or not, you’ll find this book interesting and humorous.
I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.
About the Book
The Camino de Santiago – an 800 kilometre hike across Northern Spain spanning two mountain ranges, one barren wasteland, four different provinces and, most daunting of all, five weeks sharing dorm rooms with exhausted snorers, and bathrooms with enthusiastic wine drinkers. The whole concept sounds absurd and unbearable. But Dean and his wife did it anyway, and nothing was more surprising than how much they enjoyed it. The camaraderie, the sense of community, the satisfaction that accompanied each day’s debilitating fatigue. Fascinating, excruciating, inspirational, interminable – they are already making plans to tackle it again.
Behind the Albergue Door is the perfect primer for anyone considering hiking the Camino, a stroll down memory lane for those who have already hiked it, and simply a riotous travel chronicle for everyone else. Join Johnston and friends on their hilarious journey of fun and fellowship, pain and suffering, nature and culture, with just enough practical advice thrown in to make you think about starting a pilgrimage of your own…