A rollicking travel memoir that invites the curious, the initiated, and even the skeptics to tag along on the ever-changing landscape of “The Way”
For many, walking the Camino is a decision predictably triggered by death, divorce, or a career crisis. It’s not Everest and it ain’t no walk in the park, but the Camino ‘family’ continues to inexplicably grow. In 2018 alone, 327,342 pilgrims were received at the pilgrim office in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Pilgrims worldwide are attracted to the gilded mystery and hope of the Camino. Like the Ouija board, magic 8-ball and Ann Landers, it surreptitiously provides answers.
There is snoring. Sleep apnea. Threadbare patience. Frayed nerves. Sour socks. A lot of salami. Shifting from a walk-in closet to a walking closet of just 10 pounds, Jules and Kim decided to walk the historic Camino before their lower backs (or any other body parts) decided otherwise. Jules learned all the essential Spanish they’d need — luckily everything that was necessary ended in ‘o’: vino tinto (red wine), queso (cheese), corto (small beer), chorizo (sausage), baño (bathroom).
Trail Mix is the open, frank, and funny story of one Canadian couple voted most unlikely to agree to such a daunting social experience.
About the authors
Jules Torti is the former Editor-in-Chief of Harrowsmith magazine. She has been published in The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail, Our Homes, FASHION, Canadian Running and is a columnist for Massage Therapy Canada. After looking at 88 houses and living in a barn for a year, she unexpectedly found her home on the 45th parallel: halfway to the North Pole and better yet, halfway to the equator. She lives with her wife on the Saugeen Peninsula in Lion's Head, Ontario. Torti is the author of Free to a Good Home: With Room for Improvement (Caitlin Press) and Trail Mix: 920 km on the Camino de Santiago (Rocky Mountain Books). Despite outward appearances and an affection for kale and 12-grain things, she still believes that strawberry Pop-Tarts make for a well-balanced meal (and day).
JANE CHRISTMAS is the author of several bestselling books, including What the Psychic told the Pilgrim, about her mid-life pilgrimage along Spain’s famed Camino trail; Incontinent on the Continent, about a six-week road trip through Italy with her elderly and opinionated mother in the hopes of finding a rapprochement in their relationship; as well as And Then There Were Nuns, which chronicles Jane’s discernment about entering religious life, and was a finalist for the 2014 Leacock Memorial Award for Humour. She has been published in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Germany. Born and raised in Canada, Jane Christmas is the mother of three wonderful adults and the ex-wife of two kind-hearted husbands. In 2012, she moved to the UK, where she lives in southwest England with her current husband.
Praise for Trail Mix: 920 km on the Camino de Santiago:
“Jules Torti embodies a common type of delusional pilgrim – upbeat, quirky, naïve, game for adventure – who doesn’t quite grasp the hardship ahead until her feet are firmly on the path. That’s part of the fun, and Jules is wonderful company. If you have dithered over walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, she just might have you lacing up hiking boots by the end of this delightful book.” —Jane Christmas, author of What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on Spain's Camino de Santiago de Compostela and Open House: A Life in Thirty-two Moves
“Jules Torti walks the Camino without map, compass, or mobile phone, but with her true love by her side. Even to this devout non-hiker, her account is mesmerizing, meditative, and sometimes hilarious. Stay for the surprise ending.” —Jan Wong, author of Apron Strings: Navigating Food and Family in France, Italy, and China
“A magician of merriment, Jules Torti brings her keen wit, sharp eye, and unquenchable delight in challenge to a famously rigorous journey.” —Rona Maynard, former editor of Chatelaine and author of My Mother’s Daughter: A Memoir
“Jules Torti’s Trail Mix is exactly what the post-pandemic doctor ordered, the ultimate leg stretch along the Camino Way. For anyone who loves a well-told tale from the trail, this engaging travelogue has something for everyone: the challenge of a trek, personal healing, quirky humour, and the simple satisfaction of pursuing a goal.” —Bill Arnott, bestselling author of Gone Viking: A Travel Saga and Gone Viking II: Beyond Boundaries
“Jules Torti doesn’t just tell you about her month-long pilgrimage across Spain; she invites you to share in all of its joy. Trail Mix captures the Camino magic that’s familiar to every person who’s walked the Way of Saint James, and that will surely be a magnet to anyone considering it – the interesting and international community of people, the satisfaction of a good day’s walk, and of course the food! Jules and Kim’s story will make you smile, and then strap on your pack and hiking boots.” —Beth Jusino, author of Walking to the End of the World: A Thousand Miles on the Camino de Santiago
“In the tradition of every great travel memoir, Jules Torti takes the reader on an adventure with Trail Mix and awakens the wandering spirit in all of us that simply wants to get out there and roam.” —Jamey Glasnovic, author of Lost and Found: Adrift in the Canadian Rockies and A Few Feet Short: An Uncommon Journey to Everest
"Reading Jules Torti is like finding a new best friend, one who tells you all her secrets and convinces you to come along on spontaneous, life-changing road trips." —Emily Taylor Smith, author of No Thanks, I Want to Walk: Two Months on Foot Around New Brunswick and the Gaspé