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Wise Pilgrim Guide - Comparison To Brierley's Guide

Discussion in 'Pilgrim Books' started by BROWNCOUNTYBOB, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    John Brierley's Guide was the first camino book I purchased five years ago and I found it invaluable. I read it cover to cover and brought it with me during our 2015 camino and have referred to it many times since then. So parts were very helpful, particularly the maps, topography, photos and brief comments on albergues. Some parts I didn't care for such as sections on "mystical path" and "personal reflections" for each stage. These were kumbaya-like and I could do without.

    Since then, I've used the on line "Wise Pilgrim Guide" to help plan our next camino frances. It seems that the website was retired and has been replaced by a booklet. Since I love all things camino, I went ahead and purchased the book. The format is quite different from Brierley's guide and I really like it. Some differences:
    • Very concise symbol / cold guide at beginning
    • No history of camino, how to prepare, statistics, what to pack, key phrases. This is like a "Cliff's notes" of the camino and just jumps right in.
    • Then follows the camino map, but flows from town to town. It does not break into suggested stages. At the bottom of these maps is a creative way to show the altitude and distance between towns.
    • Brierley's guide only includes maps of major towns / cities. The Wise Pilgrim guide includes of each town! And the town maps show locations of albergues, pharmacies, ATMs, groceries. The maps also show the hiking path of camino frances through each town and city.
    • Wise Pilgrim shows number of beds, services available, cost and phone number of each albergue, only a portion of which is available in the Brierley guide.
    • By comparison, I used the 9th edition of Brierley's guide for our first camino and it was 288 pages long. The Wise Pilgrim is 178 pages so more than 100 pages shorter. And the first print edition of Wise Pilgrim is March 2017 so very current.
    So for my next camino, I'll bring the Wise Pilgrim guide with me. Less weight and more targeted information, particularly if you are not a newbie pilgrim. Bob
     
  2. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Hi Browncountrybob, thank you so much for the information about this guide book. Even though I am a newbie this is exactly what I've been looking for :) I have removed alot of pages from my Brierley guide but it is still heavy. I wish I would have read this thread yesterday before I purchased Brierleys kindle version of "Maps only" book. I also purchased Leslie's book on kindle, which I am still happy that I purchased :) Do they happen to have an e-book version of this guide book?
     
  3. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info Bob

    I've used both the Brierly guide and Sergi Ramis's guide and both have strengths and weaknesses. Brierly was the first guide I used and I agree it is a very useful read for first timers and gives a pretty good idea of what to expect.

    The Ramis guide is shorter and gives some very good descriptions as to what to expect along each "stage" (he doesn't automatically follow the Brierly stages). What I do like about the Ramis guide is that he gives an idea of distance/elevation and walking time whereas as Brierly gives distance and elevation. While I accept that people walk at different paces I think it is useful when planning how far you might walk over a set period of time (e.g. a day or a week) to have some idea of how much you might wish to walk each day. For example a distance of 28 kms on the Meseta will be totally different to 28kms in and around the Pyrenees.

    To try to avoid weight I have on my last Camino left both guide books behind and used the Buen Camino and Wise Pilgrim (Camino Frances) apps on my Iphone. Both have advantages but it is not the same as having the paper guides.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  4. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Greg. I agree that preferences may change as one's experience with the camino evolves. I also have a strong preference for having a paper guidebook.

    Rainyday woman - yes, there is a Kindle Version of Wise Pilgrim's Guide for Camino Frances.
     
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