Tim Moore, an English journalist, walked Spain’s Santiago de Compostela trail in 2001 with his companion, a donkey named Shinto. The two were an unlikely pair since Moore had set out on this 500 mile journey with negligible experience in the handling of equines. As man and donkey made their way over sun-scorched highways, precipitous bridges, dirt paths shaded by leafy trees and vineyards occasionally lashed by downpours, Moore and Shinto passed through some of northern Spain’s oldest towns and cities in the companyof a colourful cast of fellow pilgrims.
With warmth and (much) wit the author shares experiences shaped in great part by the wiles and curiosities which make up life with a donkey. By journey’s end, Moore finds himself to be a better person and this transformation, he realizes, has as much to do with Shinto as it does with any latent environmental spirituality.
During their trek Moore alternately pushed, pulled, wheedled, cajoled and threatened Shinto who, nevertheless, set the pace each day. There were moments when I laughed out loud at the author’s antics in the face of the donkey’s stoicism. This delightful travelogue made the miles pass much too quickly and at its end Moore and his reader are almost tearful when the time comes to bid farewell to Shinto. With great pleasure, this book is highly recommended.
Sandra Pady, Executive Director