In 1998 Catharina van Bohemen walked the Camino de Santiago – or the Way of St James – in the north of Spain. Medieval religious tradition suggests that the bones of St James, one of the twelve apostles, are contained in the cathedral at Compostela. People who walk to Compostela are called pilgrims and they scallop shells to their packs: the sign of a pilgrim to Compostela. When one pilgrim meets another they say, ‘Buen Camino.’
Walking is both physical and meditative – you hear the scrape of your boots on the track, feel the weight of your pack, and remember where you’ve come from.
Towards Compostela is the story of Catharina’s walk, glimpses of Camino history, and of her family, because even as you walk in a new and strange landscape, you always remember where you’ve come from, the places that formed you, and those you love and have left behind.
Towards Compostela is beautifully illustrated by New Zealand artist Gregory O’Brien and was long listed in the 2021 New Zealand Ockham Book Awards.
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