A comprehensive guide to walking the 740km Way of St James Pilgrim Road from Le Puy-en-Velay in central France to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the Pyrenees. This is the first volume of the only guide to the whole route written in English.
Completely rewalked and updated in time for the next Holy Year in 2010.
A companion volume, The Way of St James (Pyrenees-Santiago-Finisterre), continues the route through Spain from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostella (or Finisterre).
As well as giving step by step directions the book also provides information on places to visit along the way, the history of the pilgrimage and details of the facilities such as shops, bars, restaurants and accommodation. An outline of the route along the Célé valley (53km) is also included and, new to this second edition, route descriptions from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Pamplona and also St Palais to Irun to join the Camino del Norteand. Unlike existing guides (in any language), a comprehensive listing of St James and other pilgrim references along the way is provided.
Alison Raju is a former teacher of French, German and Spanish to adults and the author of four pilgrim guides for walkers published by Cicerone Press: Way of St James: Le Puy to the Pyrenees (2nd edition 2003), Way of St. James: Pyrenees-Santiago-Finisterre (3rd edition 2003), Vía de la Plata: Seville/Granada-Santiago (2nd edition 2005) and the Pilgrim Road to Nidaros (Oslo-Trondheim, 2001). At present she is preparing a walker's guide to the Via Francigena, the 1970km pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome, following in the footsteps of Sigeric, the tenth-century Archbishop of Canterbury. The guide will be in two volumes: Canterbury to the Great St Bernard Pass and the Great St Bernard Pass to Rome.
A chance viewing of a television programme in the early 1970s lead to Alison’s interest in the Pilgrim Road to Santiago, at that time barely known in Britain. A walker most of her life she had the opportunity to walk the 1000-mile camino from Le Puy-en-Velay to Santiago all in one go in 1990, a time which coincided, fortuitously, with Cicerone Press looking for an author to write an original guide in English to the Spanish section of the route. Since then Alison has walked and explored many of the pilgrim roads through Europe (France, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal) as well as those she has written about.
Her other interests include music and she plays the French horn.