Even though it’s been three years since I finished my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, I still think about it regularly. Of all the trips and treks I’ve been on, the Camino was by far the most influential and life changing. With all of the great hiking I’ve enjoyed this summer, I haven’t written any posts related to Camino de Santiago. It’s been a few months now, and that’s just way too long! You can imagine my excitement when I received an email from a fellow pilgrim about her newly released book, The Art of Walking.
What made me so excited about The Art of Walking, was the new and fresh take on what’s become a crowded Camino book market. There are many books with compelling personal narratives, preparation books with gear lists and accommodation, and there are even books on the food and wine of the Camino. What sets Kari Gale’s book apart from the rest is that it’s a compilation of her daily illustrations from the Camino Frances. Each day is beautifully displayed with Kari’s art accompanied by her thoughts and notes.
As I’ve said before, being a pilgrim isn’t just something you do, it’s what you are. Each and every day along the way, is it’s own pilgrimage in and of itself. Much like a time lapse picture, we can only see the changes in ourselves when comparing the entirety of our journey. You can see this in Kari’s illustrations, as each sketched out page delivers the narrative for the day.
I’ve read through this book a few times, and it strikes a different chord in my pilgrim spirit each time I take in the drawings. So many lasting memories come flooding back behind my eyes, and the emotions I felt along The Way storm back as if they were formed just yesterday. That’s another beautiful theme underlying the personal progression on the Camino. Each location is merely a backdrop and a prompt for your journey within, it’s up to you as a pilgrim to capture that moment. Some of us take photos, others fill journals, Kari made illustrations. I’m very thankful that she decided to share them with us. I would highly recommend this book for all fellow and prospective pilgrims, as it’s a lens on the Camino that provides a view that you simply can’t get anywhere else.
If you would like to purchase Kari’s book, you can find information here.
About the Author:
“In the spring of 2013, Kari Gale walked the Camino de Sanitago. During the 500 miles journey, she documented each day in her journal with ink and paints, resulting in over forty watercolor illustrations. The simple prose and sketches found in The Art of Walking provide an intimate perspective that captures the sweeping landscape of Spain, the beauty of ordinary moments, and the profound simplicity and delight of walking. “