Unholy PilgrimsWednesday, 4 May 2011
The Camino de Santiago de Compostela – the pilgrim trail across northern Spain, ending up in the north-west corner of the country – has become enormously popular in recent years. In fact it’s probably the country’s number one tourist attraction. Cover enough km on foot and collect enough stamps in your pilgrim’s passport and you too can qualify as a genuine pilgrim.
There are quite a few accounts of the long walk, but Tom Trumble’s tale is resolutely Australian (there’s a considerable emphasis on ending each day’s walk with a beer, OK with a few beers) and it’s equally firmly aimed at young walkers. You’d need to be young to survive the drinking, farting, snoring and generally questionable behaviour which the day’s walking occasionally interrupts. Fortunately I’ve already decided I’d like to walk the camino, Tom’s accounts of the horrors of life in the trail’s albergues (dormitory accommodation for camino walkers) didn’t put me off!