Book: All the Good Pilgrims: Tales of the Camino de Santiago by Robert Ward
“There’s the sacred side of the Camino… There’s the profane side… In between, there’s good fellowship, moments snatched sipping a vino tinto or quaffing cerveza with unexpected new companions. Bob Ward writes deliciously of these interludes.”
-The Vancouver Sun
“Ward writes with the exuberance and joy of a first-time pilgrim, and the insight and wisdom of an old-timer.”
-Dennis Bock, author of The Good German
From his first journey along the Camino de Santiago, Robert Ward fell in love with the landscape, history, art and romance of this old pilgrimage path. Above all, he fell in love with the people of the Camino, both the welcoming Spaniards and the steadfast pilgrims who come from all over the world to discover what it means to travel five hundred miles, one step at a time.
In All the Good Pilgrims, Ward returns for a fifth trip along the Camino, sharing the way with a Canterbury Tales cast of characters – a wizard from Brazil, a Bavarian Buddha, a repentant French legionnaire, a hard-drinking Quixote in a wheelchair. There are Spice Pilgrims, modern-day Templar Knights, and Saint James himself in the guise of a sturdy Dutchman.
Ward thinks he’s seen it all, but each day brings new lessons, questions, gifts and challenges. Reminders that it isn’t the pilgrim who walks the Camino; it’s the Camino that walks the pilgrim.
From the Author:
The title All the Good Pilgrims may sound sanctimonious, but really it’s meant to be cheeky. It echoes the words a Spanish pilgrim (Little Miguel, who appears in Virgin Trails) wrote in one of the pilgrim guest books: Buen camino a todos los buenos peregrinos… y a los malos también! Which is to say, “A good journey to all the good pilgrims… and to the bad ones as well!”
I took the inclusive spirit of those words to heart, even if Miguel meant them as a joke. I carry them with me every time I walk the Camino, fingering them like a stone in my pocket. One thing the Camino never lets us forget is that all of us – ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – are walking the same road to the same destination. We’ve got to share that road whether we like it or not. So we might as well like it.