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A Million Steps by Kurt Koontz is a compelling recounting of the author’s physical and interior journey on the Camino de Santiago. In the forward, Mr. Koontz quotes the Camino saying, “The first third of the trip is for the body, the second third for the mind, and the last third for the soul.” It was all that for him, and he wrote it down to share; we’re lucky he did.
It took Mr. Koontz 28 days to walk the almost 500 miles. The book describes the daily trials and routines; making friends, and then saying goodbye; appreciating the simple joys in life like having clean clothes; and learning to live in the present–all standard fare for books about the Camino. What distinguishes this work from others of its kind is Mr. Koontz’s open and frank retelling of the trip–he is a good story-teller.
As in the adage, there are three stages to the book. The beginning explains the Camino and the daily pilgrim’s rituals. Further on, the writer is more introspective as he reflects on his life and problems with his girlfriend. At the end, he discusses how he has changed both physically and emotionally.
I recommend this book. Those who are new to the Camino will learn about its beauty, challenges, and charm. Those who have already walked the way will be reminded of why the Camino is important and the individual lessons learned.