Welcome to the website of author Robert Ward
Read excerpts from Robert’s travel writing, listen to spoken word audio recordings, catch up on pilgrimage info and check out articles from his blog.
Robert is the author of All the Good Pilgrims: Tales of the Camino de Santiago, and Virgin Trails: A Secular Pilgrimage, an agnostic’s guide to the worship of the Virgin Mary.
His writing has appeared in newspapers and journals including the Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Queen’s Quarterly. He has lived in Japan, traveled widely in Europe and Asia, and can muddle along in several languages. When he isn’t on pilgrimage, he lives quietly in Toronto and works as a teacher trainer.
Feel free to contact Robert with comments on his books, questions about the Camino, subjects for his blog, or requests for personalized copies of All the Good Pilgrims and Virgin Trails.
Book: All the Good Pilgrims
Robert Ward has always enjoyed travelling, especially on foot. When he discovered the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago in Spain, he felt compelled to walk and experience this historic road. From his first journey along the Camino de Santiago, Ward fell in love with the pace, landscape, history, art, and romance of this old pilgrimage path. Above all, however, Ward fell in love with the people of the Camino – both the welcoming Spaniards and the pilgrims who come from all over the world to find out what it means to travel five hundred miles, one step at a time.
In All the Good Pilgrims, Ward returns to Spain to walk the Camino for the fifth time. He thinks he knows what he’s getting into but, as his many Camino journeys have taught him, the Camino never runs out of surprises. Each day brings new lessons, friendships, questions, memories, gifts and challenges, reminding Ward that it isn’t the pilgrim who walks the Camino – it’s the Camino that walks the pilgrim. An engaging travel narrative, All the Good Pilgrims is a personal and insightful tour of the Camino de Santiago, as Ward takes readers on a secular pilgrimage in which he reflects on his past journeys and contemplates the mysterious and enduring allure of this ancient and historic road.
Book: Virgin Trails
Virgin Trails is a fascinating, colourful and often mesmerizing journal of one man’s quest to understand the sacred and profane. It is a story that takes us along thousands of miles of streets, roads and alleyways, following the routes taken by thousands of devout travellers each year to the legendary shrines of the Virgin Mary in Paris, Lourdes, along the Camino de Santiago to Barcelona and Rome. Why do they do this? What is it that propels so many people each year to forsake the comforts of home, to face inclement weather and the travails of travel? Writer Robert Ward takes to the hills to answer that very question, encountering pilgrims, priests, sages and sightseers. His journey is a ceaseless series of epiphanies — probing the shadowy reaches of his own soul and the lives of his fellow travellers — ending where all roads lead: Rome.