Book review: Two Steps Forward

Hiker approaching O Cebreiro on the Camino Frances | Gesine Cheung
Hiker approaching O Cebreiro on the Camino Frances | Gesine Cheung
Two Steps Forward to Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist
Are you thinking about walking the Camino? Then this book is a must read. Two Steps Forwardby Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist, is the charming tale written by an Australian husband and wife with two completely opposite personality types who both walk the Camino in their own way.
The two main characters are Zoe, who decided to walk the Le Puy Way and the Camino de Santiago  after the death of her husband, and Martin, a highly organised engineer who has set out with purpose to test his own walking cart design on the Camino after a messy divorce. These two characters really illustrate the diversity of the Camino traveller, and there are characters in the book that Zoe and Martin meet along 'The Way' that help to paint a picture of the huge range of people who tackle the Camino and the huge range of motivations that exist for doing so. 
Of the characters we are introduced to throughout the book, there are solo travellers and groups, wealthy and poor pilgrims, and people walking for religious and personal reasons. None of this seems to matter when you're on the trail - everyone binds together as a special community with the one same goal, to complete the journey to Santiago. At the start of their journey, a Camino Agent, Monsieur Chevalier, makes two predictions:
  1. you will get blisters; and
  2. you will cry when you arrive at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
I won't spoil anything by revealing if these predictions come true for the pair! One of the biggest takeaways for me was the first lesson Monsieur Chevalier teaches them:
Take what is offered. You will have chances to help others and you will take those chances also.
I loved this book for its charming page turning style. It was a very easy read - perfect for the flight over to the starting point of your Camino walk. 
This review was written by Hilary Delbridge, Active Europe Reservations Consultant for UTracks. Are you an avid reader? If you'd like to write a book review of a European travel book for us, get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!

Are you thinking about walking all or part of a Camino trail? 

>> Browse our active Camino trips in Spain 
>> Choose a section of the Portugese Way 
>> Discover the Le Puy Way in France 
>> Prefer cycling? View our Camino cycling trips 
>> Check out our active trips on the Italian Camino    
Book Club, Camino, Spain

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