|The Only Way is West by Bradley Chermside|
The Only Way is West by Bradley Chermside
Having just returned from a few days in St Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrénées, sharing my review of this fabulous travel memoir about the 500-mile walk from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela in Spain seemed appropriate. Many thousands of ‘pilgrims’ make this journey on the Camino every year, following the ancient route over the Pyrénées and across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, where the bones of St James are said to rest.
Bradley is one such person and this memoir tells of his journey, from the planning, his arrival in France, his blisters and sleepless nights along the way, the people he meets and the mysterious girl he hopes will be waiting for him. His writing style is funny, his descriptions and observations, especially of those he shares his Camino with, bring his journey to life, and I enjoyed every page. He certainly fanned the flame of fire within me to make my Camino dream a reality one day.
This book is mostly his account from the journal he kept, but also includes some of the emails sent to friends and family and their words of encouragement, that always seemed to arrive just when he needed them most. The Camino is tough on the body; the grueling terrain and nights spent in large hostels with shared dormitories and basic facilities. Plus, with long, hot days, often walking alone, there is time outside of your normal routine for your head to think and make decisions. I really enjoyed the experience of following Brad and couldn’t wait to see if he found what he was looking for at the end of his journey and also discover how the Camino changed him and shaped his future.
This book would be a great read for anyone planning their own Camino, or for those who like adventure and travel memoirs written with honesty, emotion and humour.
The Only Way is West is available in ebook and paperback format and links to Amazon can be found below.