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Pilgrim

By: Carolyn Gillespie
Narrated by: Carolyn Gillespie
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Publisher's Summary

When faced with an empty nest, Kari decides to spread her own wings. Giving up a job she loves, she sets off to walk across a whole country. A big one. 

A contemporary take on an ancient experience, Pilgrim is an entertaining and moving memoir of Kari’s 900-kilometer walk to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. In classic pilgrim fashion, she meets and befriends an array of companions along the way, from all walks of life, united by a common sincerity of purpose. Battling through sun and snow, mud and mountains, blisters and bedbugs, her real destination turns out to be "deep peace".

Initially unsure of the difference between a long walk and a pilgrimage, Kari and her friend are not sure what to expect as they embark on the Camino de Santiago. Sleeping in hostels and carrying all their belongings on their back takes some getting used to, and they are sorely tested by the unrelenting physical challenge of the "great trudge". In the early days, they are preoccupied by the external journey.

But soon, like a modern-day Canterbury Tales, Kari and Ali find themselves swept along by a motley band of pilgrims whose stories touch the heart and awaken the soul. Pilgrim brings to life, in vivid detail, the kindness of strangers, the warmth of village hospitality, and the sisterhood of the Sturdy Girls. With San Miguel adopted as their patron saint, the Camino becomes filled with beer, laughter, and a return to the carefree joy of childhood. There is an unburdening, a sloughing off of the things that don’t matter. Only what counts is left behind. 

Pilgrim celebrates communitas, friendship, and the resilience of the middle-aged women who keep going when those around them buckle, who bandage the broken, make them dinner, and get them back on their feet.

Encouraged by the ghosts of pilgrims who have walked the Way for a thousand years, and with no real choice in the matter, she finally slows down, and the pilgrimage becomes a journey to the interior. As she walks, her defenses are broken down and her heart opens. 

On a transformational journey that takes her from the snowy mountains of the Pyrenees, through the dry winelands of Rioja, the mysticism of the Meseta, to the green farmland of Galicia, a spiritual reawakening occurs. She revels in the utter joy of a frosty sunrise with shadows 100 meters long, the frogs, and the cuckoo that follows them for miles. The body may be broken, but nature has the cure. 

Pilgrim is a coming-of-(middle)-age tale. The story is ultimately one of transformation, of rebirth and redemption. Written with warmth and honesty, Pilgrim shows what can happen when we jump off the path we are on and step onto a new one where nothing looks the same. The question is no longer "What do I want to do with the rest of my life?" The question is: "Who do I want to be?"

©2021 Carolyn Gillespie (P)2022 Carolyn Gillespie

What listeners say about Pilgrim

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Beautiful

Thoroughly enjoyed listening to heartfelt account of the sturdy girls journey as I prepare for own. Thank you for sharing. I had laughs and tears throughout.

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Right up there with the best!

I’ve listened to quite a number of Camino stories. This is the best so far.
Genuine, insightful and at the same time entertaining.

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Such Grace

Thank you for I hadn’t known of such things. Now I do I would like to learn more.

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Terrific

This is a wonderful book for anyone contemplating walking the Camino and also for anyone who has walked the Camino and wants to relive the Way. It is such an honest and open account of Kari’s Camino and I enjoyed reading about the friends and family she travelled with, the people she met along the way, how she coped with her feelings of elation, frustration, hurt and pain and how she conquered them all. I felt I was walking with her along the Way. Highly recommend as one of the best memoirs of the Camino Frances

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Memories

You took me on a beautiful walk. I relived my own Camino through your story. I remember the places, the faces and the funny names we attributed to the many pilgrims we met along the way. Thankyou thoroughly enjoyable.

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Loved this book, honest, tender, insightful

Truly loved this book, the raw honesty,
Beautifully written and read
A story of friendships,, kindness, disappointments, burnout, faith, acceptance, Forgiveness , renewal and , love
And a window into the the true Camino and life of a pilgrim ,

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Wonderful

I loved every second of this book. Thank you for letting me come along with you and the sturdy girls, Carolyn! I am starting my own journey on the Camino in a month, at a similar crossroads, having just left a 27 year teaching career. I am excited and not a little daunted to see what the Camino has in store but buoyed by your book.

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Excellent Camino Memoir

I own many camino memoirs and audio books. This is now my new favourite.
Well written with humour, kindness and compassion for human frailty. Kari it was a pleasure to read and I was taken back to my own caminos.
Such a talented writer hope to read more of your writing.
Enjoyed your reading of the book as well.

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Excellent

Well told, day to day walking.
A remarkable story, with all the trials and struggles and the joys.

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Incredibly inspiring 🌹

So very blessed to have been read to me this totally inspiring account of Carolyn’s pilgrimage 🌹 Very much hoping to do the same one day🌹Raw, honest, and real🌹 No words really🌹 She does that for us🌹 Thank you so very much for allowing us to come with you on your journey… I’m so very inspired 🌹🌹🌹

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