Horseshoes and Holy Water: On the Hoof from Canterbury to Santiago de Compostela


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The lure of a long-distance ride leads Mefo Phillips to team up with her sister Susie and their spotted Appaloosa horsesLeo, a flirt with a passion for Mars Bars; and affectionate, gluttonous Apollofor a pilgrimage down the medieval way of St. James from Canterbury to Spain. The lure of a map of European golf courses entices Mefo's husband Peter to follow them in a rickety old horsebox. Slowed by thunderstorms, vertigo, worn-out horseshoes, and a variety of eccentric farmers, it's boiling midsummer by the time they reach the Castilian plains after a meander across lush springtime France. With 1,700 miles, four mountain ranges, and encounters with galloping goats, nude pilgrims, rampant donkeys, and a fountain of red wine behind them, horses and humans are inseparable by the time they reach Santiago and the suddenly daunting prospect of a trundle in the horsebox back to England and a normal life.

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