Book Review: Camino Chronicle by Susan Alcorn

Many of us remember clearly where we were on September 11th, 2001.  Author Susan Alcorn and her husband Ralph were on the Camino de Santiago when they heard the tragic news, fourteen years ago today.  Susan’s book, Camino Chronicle: Walking to Santiago, has a day-to-day account of walking the Camino Francés, which they had just started on September 1st of that year.  
Camino Chronicle: Walking to SantiagoIn Chapter 6, 9/11 in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, she writes, “It was difficult being in a foreign country, unable to speak the language beyond the simple phrases to order a meal or ask directions, when our own country was under attack. We wondered what we should do next. Should we sit by the TV awaiting further developments (as many at home did, as it turned out), or should we continue on our journey as planned?”
I enjoyed the entire book, but this part in particular was a real page-turner. I felt the worry they must have had about their friends and family back home. Fortunately they decided to continue their walk to Santiago.

The heart of Camino Chronicle is based on Susan’s travel journal, so it shows details of the daily life as a pilgrim. It is interspersed with side notes on history, legends and random tidbits about things like Spanish wine, olives and bull fighting.  The book includes chapters on post-Camino reflection, preparation, and pilgrim statistics.  I appreciated the research that went into this book and thought it was an honest and thorough introduction about the Camino. It was my favorite of the books I read for a research paper on planning for the Camino, which ultimately led to my decision to walk the Camino. Indeed, the Camino provides.

Camino Chronicle is available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle formats.

Susan Alcorn, aka Backpack45, is the author of several books including We’re in the Mountains Not over the Hill: Tales and Tips of Seasoned Women Backpackers, and  Patagonia Chronicle: On Foot in Torres del Paine. Susan writes about regional hiking for at–alcorn and has a blog at


Camino Chronicle is a travel/adventure book,  yet my local library has it nestled between Papal Sin and Christianity!

Do you have a book to recommend? I love to read and review Camino books to feature on this page. Dígame in the comments below, or email me.

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Camino Chronicle by Susan Alcorn

  1. I really enjoyed Susan’s post. It is an amazing account. Laurie, thank you for sharing it.
    I can’t imagine being in another country and hearing that kind of news. Not knowing what to do,
    As long as my loved ones were safe I’d have continued on as well.
    You invest too much into getting there to leave early and there wasn’t anything to be done back at home anyway. Have a good Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being on the Camino just seemed like one of the safest places in the world to be at that moment, too.
    As a matter of fact, I usually feel like I am in sort of a cocoon and surrounded by supportive people when on the Camino.
    Obviously bad stuff can happen on the trail (notably the recent murder of the young woman on the Camino Frances) , but that is a rare event.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Camino and Hiking Events in September 2019 | The Camino Provides

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