Book Review: The Art of Walking – An Illustrated Journey On The Camino De Santiago

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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.

Camino de Santiago Book The Art of Walking Kari Gale
The Art of Walking by: Kari Gale

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.

Camino de Santiago Book The Art of Walking Kari Gale
Illustration of Navarette

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.

Camino de Santiago Book The Art of Walking Kari Gale
Sitting on Steps, Soaking Feet

If you would like to purchase Kari’s book, you can find information here.

Make sure to visit Kari’s website, and take a look at her portfolio. Most importantly, take a look at her store to get your hands on some of these incredible illustrations.

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. “

Camino de Santiago Book The Art of Walking Kari Gale


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6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Art of Walking – An Illustrated Journey On The Camino De Santiago”

  1. It seems to be beautiful book and very original. It remains me the Paris Letters (something completely different from El Camino de Santiago). El Camino has been in my bucket list for long time, I did already the El Camino Inca or Inca trail that was very special for me. An you know, since I saw your documentary about El Camino de Santiago, I’ve been thinking to do it, probably in two years.First I’d like to go to Chile and/or Argentina. Have you been at the end of the world (Patagonia) ?


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