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A Guide to the Various Caminos

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Since the forum seems to be lacking controversy at the moment, I thought I'd offer my take on some of the Caminos and those who love them. All in fun, I hope I won't offend...and please add or correct, I only wrote about the ones I visited...

A Quick Guide to the Caminos de Santiago

1. Camino Frances: This is THE ONE. The 800-pound gorilla in the room. The one from, you know, from the movie. Unless you are too old to have seen the movie, then you read the book by that crazy actress no one remembers. This is a non-stop, 24/7 walking party from SJPdP (OK, maybe from Zubiri, once everyone is over the shock from climbing over the Pyrenees) until you reach SdC. Making friends with new BFFs, it’s like summer camp all over again—but you know, with middle-aged Koreans, naked Italian bicyclists, lapsed Catholics, and a complete assortment of New Age crazies. Otherwise, totally like summer camp. Frances fans were always voted ‘most popular’ in high school.

2. Camino del Norte: admit it, all you Norte fans, you came for the food, the sand, and because you are afraid of competing for beds and babes on the Frances. You want to send home pictures of your feet in the water, instead of someone walking ahead of you with their underwear pinned to their back packs. Norte fans from the US drive Priuses, and cut class to surf in high school. Bicigrinos love the Norte because there are fewer walking pilgrims to yell “use your bell,” and more spots to camp. They also take joy in the fact that there aren’t as many albergues for walking pilgrims, who must instead pay for pensions and hostals, while they –the bicigrinios--are are wild-camping and burying their poop in the woods. On the Norte, “I’m on a spiritual quest” is code for “want to hook up?” In high school Norte fans threw the epic parties.

3. Camino Primitivo: Primitivo enthusiasts chuckle and high-five each other when Norte lovers complain about the first step on their route. They trade bear stories, and post pictures of skeletal remains. They may consider themselves the best company they’ve ever had. When they hit the Frances at Melide, they are the ones everyone hates because they say things like “hey, only 40km to the next albergue.” In high school, Primitivo fans were the ones who stole the rival mascot and climbed to the top of the local water tower with it, not out of school spirit but well, just because.

4. Camino Finisterre/Muxia: Pilgrims who claim this as their own wore flowers in their hair to college, and changed their name to Cricket, or Sunbeam, or Thor. Don’t ask them about space aliens, the pyramids, or their current medication.


N.b. below this point I only walked one step, so admit I might be a bit off….


5. Camino Ingles: If you are ever in a jam, you want to call on someone who loves this Camino. In college, they rowed 6*. Happy to leave the party to the Frances, and the macho to the Primitivo, they walk their own way and hope no one notices how cool it is up there. Reliable, resourceful, even-tempered. These fans are the men and women your parents wish you would marry.

6. Cami St. Jaume: even the name says it—the brooding art major that gave your mother a heart attack when you brought him or her home for the holidays. They wear avant-garde clothing, and have unpronounceable names…you’d follow them to the end of the earth, but not on some camino that doesn’t even have an adequate number of albergues.

7. Via de la Plata: You can spot one of these pilgrims from a mile away; they have sun burns under their noses and a stiff neck from looking for some stupid frog in the sun for like a thousand hours. They will then insist you look at the picture they took once they found it. You will not see it, but will agree to make them happy. They are like this because they spent a fair amount of time walking by themselves in brutal heat, and overpaying for lodging. In high school they won National Merit scholarships. These pilgrims offer to translate all of the Latin inscriptions they see; they also argue with each other over the proper declension.

8. Camino de Levante: I don’t know if it’s the mystics who lived along this route, or the long periods pilgrims go without seeing others, but hanging out with these pilgrims is kind of like a visit to another dimension …in high school you would bring home a Levante pilgrim to make your mother stop complaining about the guy from the Cami St. Jaume, and urging you to give that Ingles guy another try.

9. Camino Portugues: these pilgrims are the ones who always fell into the right teachers and classes in high school and college: you got the guy who assigned a 40-page paper, and their professor in the same subject held class outside on nice days, and graded on how pleasant your smile was. Portugues pilgrims buy one lottery ticket and win five million dollars. They also share it with the sick and poor, which makes you really mad somehow.

10. Le Puy: These are the types who hang out at the opening of art galleries, wearing black skivvies and boho jewellery, pretending to be culture vultures but really there for the free wine and cheese. They smatter their conversation with bon mots and insider jokes, making clear their superior status to those not in the know. Prepared to do serious time at the gym, as long as there are luxury showers, good conversation and decent coffee afterwards.[thanks @Kanga]

11. Camino de Madrid: If one word describes the fans of this camino, it is "insistent." First, they will insist that theirs 'is too' a real camino. Several times. Just agree, even if you suspect they chose it just to hang out at the Puerta del Sol and drink hot chocolate at 4 in the morning. You can find them studying something really weird and esotheric, insisting on telling everyone about it at parties, and insisting that really, it's the subject that makes sense of the Universe? [thanks @HeidiL, with a few additions of my own, don't blame her]

*for those wondering, I rowed 7 in a light-weight eight, bow in a varsity four…says it all I think.
 
Last edited:
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Smallest_Sparrow absolutely love it!

I would add:

10. Le Puy: These are the types who hang out at the opening of art galleries, wearing black skivvies and boho jewellery, pretending to be culture vultures but really there for the free wine and cheese. They smatter their conversation with bon mots and insider jokes, making clear their superior status to those not in the know. Prepared to do serious time at the gym, as long as there are luxury showers, good conversation and decent coffee afterwards.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Ooh @Smallest_Sparrow : had a good chuckle. Thanks.Haha from all the Caminos I walked ,the Ingles and the Portugues I " liked " the most. What does that say about me?;) Especially the Ingles : I began to read about reliable ( check ) and resourceful ( check ) and then even -tempered...Moi?

So great post...made me laugh ( very early in the morning, getting ready to join my workmates in a 24 walking/jogging marathon/fundraising ).
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
Ooh @Smallest_Sparrow : had a good chuckle. Thanks.Haha from all the Caminos I walked ,the Ingles and the Portugues I " liked " the most. What does that say about me?;) Especially the Ingles : I began to read about reliable ( check ) and resourceful ( check ) and then even -tempered...Moi?

So great post...made me laugh ( very early in the morning, getting ready to join my workmates in a 24 walking/jogging marathon/fundraising ).
Have a great 24 walking/joggingmarathon/fundraising.
Wish you well, Peter.
 
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Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
Since the forum seems to be lacking controversy at the moment, I thought I'd offer my take on some of the Caminos and those who love them. All in fun, I hope I won't offend...and please add or correct, I only wrote about the ones I visited...

A Quick Guide to the Caminos de Santiago

1. Camino Frances: This is THE ONE. The 800-pound gorilla in the room. The one from, you know, from the movie. Unless you are too old to have seen the movie, then you read the book by that crazy actress no one remembers. This is a non-stop, 24/7 walking party from SJPdP (OK, maybe from Zubiri, once everyone is over the shock from climbing over the Pyrenees) until you reach SdC. Making friends with new BFFs, it’s like summer camp all over again—but you know, with middle-aged Koreans, naked Italian bicyclists, lapsed Catholics, and a complete assortment of New Age crazies. Otherwise, totally like summer camp. Frances fans were always voted ‘most popular’ in high school.

2. Camino del Norte: admit it, all you Norte fans, you came for the food, the sand, and because you are afraid of competing for beds and babes on the Frances. You want to send home pictures of your feet in the water, instead of someone walking ahead of you with their underwear pinned to their back packs. Norte fans from the US drive Priuses, and cut class to surf in high school. Bicigrinos love the Norte because there are fewer walking pilgrims to yell “use your bell,” and more spots to camp. They also take joy in the fact that there aren’t as many albergues for walking pilgrims, who must instead pay for pensions and hostals, while they –the bicigrinios--are burying their poop in the woods wild-camping. On the Norte, “I’m on a spiritual quest” is code for “want to hook up?” In high school Norte fans threw the epic parties.

3. Camino Primitivo: Primitivo enthusiasts chuckle when Norte lovers complain about the first step on their route. They trade bear stories, and post pictures of skeletal remains. They may consider themselves the best company they’ve ever had. When they hit the Frances at Melide, they are the ones everyone hates because they say things like “hey, only 40km to the next albergue.” In high school, Primitivo fans were the ones who stole the rival mascot and climbed to the top of the local water tower with it, not out of school spirit but well, just because.

4. Camino Finisterre/Muxia: Pilgrims who claim this as their own wore flowers in their hair to college, and changed their name to Cricket, or Sunbeam, or Thor. Don’t ask them about space aliens, the pyramids, or their current medication.


N.b. below this point I only walked one step, so admit I might be a bit off….


5. Camino Ingles: If you are ever in a jam, you want to call on someone who loves this Camino. In college, they rowed 6*. Happy to leave the party to the Frances, and the macho to the Primitivo, they walk their own way and hope no one notices how cool it is up there. Reliable, resourceful, even-tempered. These fans are the men and women your parents wish you would marry.

6. Cami St. Jaume: even the name says it—the brooding art major that gave your mother a heart attack when you brought him or her home for the holidays. They wear avant-garde clothing, and have unpronounceable names…you’d follow them to the end of the earth, but not on some camino that doesn’t even have an adequate number of albergues.

7. Via de la Plata: You can spot one of these pilgrims from a mile away; they have sun burns under their noses and a stiff neck from looking for some stupid frog in the sun for like a thousand hours. They will then insist you look at the picture they took once they found it. You will not see it, but will agree to make them happy. They are like this because they spent a fair amount of time walking by themselves, and overpaying for lodging. In high school they won National Merit scholarships. These pilgrims offer to translate all of the Latin inscriptions they see; they also argue with each other over the proper declension.

8. Camino de Levante: I don’t know if it’s the mystics who lived along this route, or the long periods pilgrims go without seeing others, but hanging out with these pilgrims is kind of like a visit to another dimension …in high school you would bring home a Levante pilgrim to make your mother stop complaining about the guy from the Cami St. Jaume, and urging you to give that Ingles guy another try.

9. Camino Portugues: these pilgrims are the ones who always fell into the right teachers and classes in high school and college: you got the guy who assigned a 40-page paper, and their professor in the same subject held class outside on nice days, and graded on how pleasant your smile was. Portugues pilgrims buy one lottery ticket and win five million dollars. They also share it with the sick and poor, which makes you really mad somehow.

*for those wondering, I rowed 7 in a light-weight eight, bow in a varsity four…says it all I think.
Love it, great fun to read. :D
Wish you well, Peter.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Love it! Currently on levante as bicigrino. Because I don't walk that far in a day and don't have a donkey any more to carry the tent and the gin and tonic. Not that warm gin and tonic is that good. Seems like most towns (relative term) sell Estrella Galicia, so that is good for starters. I would suggest starting at Toledo except for real masochists. Must say, the profiles are close to what I have found! :)
 

Levi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
Madrid September 2018
Love this! Currently walking the Via de la Plata. Spent an inordinate amount of time yesterday investigating a small turquoise (dead) lizard and then talking to an upside down cardboard box I found on the path because it had a 'friendly face'. Help!
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Love this! Currently walking the Via de la Plata. Spent an inordinate amount of time yesterday investigating a small turquoise (dead) lizard and then talking to an upside down cardboard box I found on the path because it had a 'friendly face'. Help!
well, I initially also wanted to make mention of the great length of the VdlP, and staying power (oh stop it, I mean to walk that far), and the willingness of adherents to entertain themselves, but I'm learning to be circumspect.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Love it! Currently on levante as bicigrino. Because I don't walk that far in a day and don't have a donkey any more to carry the tent and the gin and tonic. Not that warm gin and tonic is that good. Seems like most towns (relative term) sell Estrella Galicia, so that is good for starters. I would suggest starting at Toledo except for real masochists. Must say, the profiles are close to what I have found! :)
hmmm, bicigrino because the donkey wasn't available to carry the tent and tonic....
even with your admitting it, it would be clear you are on the Levante...quick question, any esoteric reading material in your packs?
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
@Smallest_Sparrow absolutely love it!

I would add:

10. Le Puy: These are the types who hang out at the opening of art galleries, wearing black skivvies and boho jewellery, pretending to be culture vultures but really there for the free wine and cheese. They smatter their conversation with bon mots and insider jokes, making clear their superior status to those not in the know. Prepared to do serious time at the gym, as long as there are luxury showers, good conversation and decent coffee afterwards.
added!
 
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alansykes

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
A Quick Guide to the Caminos de Santiago

7. Via de la Plata: You can spot one of these pilgrims from a mile away; they have sun burns under their noses and a stiff neck from looking for some stupid frog in the sun for like a thousand hours. They will then insist you look at the picture they took once they found it. You will not see it, but will agree to make them happy. They are like this because they spent a fair amount of time walking by themselves in brutal heat, and overpaying for lodging. In high school they won National Merit scholarships. These pilgrims offer to translate all of the Latin inscriptions they see; they also argue with each other over the proper declension.

I can't remember meeting you ...
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I can't remember meeting you ...
I was the short one, black clothes, black and green backpack in front of the university. I kept complaining about how hot this camino was, and that if I didn't see that stupid frog in the next five minutes I was going to find some shade? Still no?o_O
well, I got you right, no?
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
of course now I had to google to learn all about rowing and the numbers....:)
don't take every google post to heart. Some make six sound like a push-over that seven abuses. I think, from my years at seven, that six is a gentle, even-tempered soul that adsorbs and blocks the abuse to protect the rest of the crew. So actually, if you crossed the Ingles with the Portugues you'd get a six, smiling when others are ...er, strongly complaining and criticising, walking their own path, and giving to the less fortunate.
tell your BF that I say he's a lucky man:)
and he should do the dishes tonight
 
Last edited:

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
don't take every google post to heart. Some make six sound like a push-over that seven abuses. I think, from my years at seven, that six is a gentle, even-tempered soul that adsorbs and blocks the abuse to protect the rest of the crew. So actually, if you crossed the Ingles with the Portugues you'd get a six, smiling when others are bitc...er, strongly complaining and criticising, walking their own path, and giving to the less fortunate.
tell your BF that I say he's a lucky man:)
and he should do the dishes tonight

I am lost in translation here ... SY
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I am on a loose boat heading towards the waterfalls here ... SY
on this forum you are the stroke, leading the rest of the crew, wisely ignoring the chit chat coming from the bow, and the incessant critical mutterings of seven
 

Older Guy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis -May 2016 by bike---Loved it
Since the forum seems to be lacking controversy at the moment, I thought I'd offer my take on some of the Caminos and those who love them. All in fun, I hope I won't offend...and please add or correct, I only wrote about the ones I visited...

A Quick Guide to the Caminos de Santiago

1. Camino Frances: This is THE ONE. The 800-pound gorilla in the room. The one from, you know, from the movie. Unless you are too old to have seen the movie, then you read the book by that crazy actress no one remembers. This is a non-stop, 24/7 walking party from SJPdP (OK, maybe from Zubiri, once everyone is over the shock from climbing over the Pyrenees) until you reach SdC. Making friends with new BFFs, it’s like summer camp all over again—but you know, with middle-aged Koreans, naked Italian bicyclists, lapsed Catholics, and a complete assortment of New Age crazies. Otherwise, totally like summer camp. Frances fans were always voted ‘most popular’ in high school.

2. Camino del Norte: admit it, all you Norte fans, you came for the food, the sand, and because you are afraid of competing for beds and babes on the Frances. You want to send home pictures of your feet in the water, instead of someone walking ahead of you with their underwear pinned to their back packs. Norte fans from the US drive Priuses, and cut class to surf in high school. Bicigrinos love the Norte because there are fewer walking pilgrims to yell “use your bell,” and more spots to camp. They also take joy in the fact that there aren’t as many albergues for walking pilgrims, who must instead pay for pensions and hostals, while they –the bicigrinios--are burying their poop in the woods wild-camping. On the Norte, “I’m on a spiritual quest” is code for “want to hook up?” In high school Norte fans threw the epic parties.


*for those wondering, I rowed 7 in a light-weight eight, bow in a varsity four…says it all I think.

I debated between Del Norte and Francis. I opted for Francis for my first Camino. It is hard not to party when the typical pilgrim meal I was offered included a choice of one beverage. The choice was usually 1 bottle of water, one beer, or one bottle (or half bottle if they were cheap) of local red wine. Usually I chose the bottle of wine (for medicinal purposes only) to go with the dinner. It really made falling asleep at night easier. There were nights were I would raise my glass of wine and toast the next table a Buen Camino. They usually asked me to pull my table over to them. If they were ladies, I usually bought a bottle of wine for the table and we talked of our adventures late during the night. So yes partying, but also not quite summer camp.

What appealed to me about El Norde, was that my time in San Sebastian and other Spanish coast cities was the resort like atmosphere, the killer tapas, and the beautiful resort people. My feeling is that El Norde would have been much more expensive, flirty, but less of a religious pilgrimage.

So yes to CF and sharing what you are experiencing with others. It provides more opportunity to bond with others, but it also has the big Cathedrals with the formal Masses to feed your soul.
 
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HeidiL

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
Would us Camino de Madrid fans be something like this, perhaps?

The ones studying something really weird and esotheric, insisting on telling everyone about it at parties, and insisting that really, it's the subject that makes sense of the Universe?
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

gollygolly

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2000/13/14/15/16/17/18/19/2021
7. Via de la Plata: You can spot one of these pilgrims from a mile away; they have sun burns under their noses and a stiff neck from looking for some stupid frog in the sun for like a thousand hours. They will then insist you look at the picture they took once they found it. You will not see it, but will agree to make them happy. They are like this because they spent a fair amount of time walking by themselves in brutal heat, and overpaying for lodging. In high school they won National Merit scholarships. These pilgrims offer to translate all of the Latin inscriptions they see; they also argue with each other over the proper declension.

Made me chuckle, and reminded me of the final descent approaching Ponte Ulla, where we came across these lovely little ones...

that was last year, walking the final stretch of the Camino Sanabres, though when we passed the same spot this year, we were saddened not to see any of these little frogs.
 

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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Would us Camino de Madrid fans be something like this, perhaps?

The ones studying something really weird and esotheric, insisting on telling everyone about it at parties, and insisting that really, it's the subject that makes sense of the Universe?
done, and thanks!
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
Since the forum seems to be lacking controversy at the moment, I thought I'd offer my take on some of the Caminos and those who love them. All in fun, I hope I won't offend...and please add or correct, I only wrote about the ones I visited...

A Quick Guide to the Caminos de Santiago

1. Camino Frances: This is THE ONE. The 800-pound gorilla in the room. The one from, you know, from the movie. Unless you are too old to have seen the movie, then you read the book by that crazy actress no one remembers. This is a non-stop, 24/7 walking party from SJPdP (OK, maybe from Zubiri, once everyone is over the shock from climbing over the Pyrenees) until you reach SdC. Making friends with new BFFs, it’s like summer camp all over again—but you know, with middle-aged Koreans, naked Italian bicyclists, lapsed Catholics, and a complete assortment of New Age crazies. Otherwise, totally like summer camp. Frances fans were always voted ‘most popular’ in high school.

2. Camino del Norte: admit it, all you Norte fans, you came for the food, the sand, and because you are afraid of competing for beds and babes on the Frances. You want to send home pictures of your feet in the water, instead of someone walking ahead of you with their underwear pinned to their back packs. Norte fans from the US drive Priuses, and cut class to surf in high school. Bicigrinos love the Norte because there are fewer walking pilgrims to yell “use your bell,” and more spots to camp. They also take joy in the fact that there aren’t as many albergues for walking pilgrims, who must instead pay for pensions and hostals, while they –the bicigrinios--are are wild-camping and burying their poop in the woods. On the Norte, “I’m on a spiritual quest” is code for “want to hook up?” In high school Norte fans threw the epic parties.

3. Camino Primitivo: Primitivo enthusiasts chuckle and high-five each other when Norte lovers complain about the first step on their route. They trade bear stories, and post pictures of skeletal remains. They may consider themselves the best company they’ve ever had. When they hit the Frances at Melide, they are the ones everyone hates because they say things like “hey, only 40km to the next albergue.” In high school, Primitivo fans were the ones who stole the rival mascot and climbed to the top of the local water tower with it, not out of school spirit but well, just because.

4. Camino Finisterre/Muxia: Pilgrims who claim this as their own wore flowers in their hair to college, and changed their name to Cricket, or Sunbeam, or Thor. Don’t ask them about space aliens, the pyramids, or their current medication.


N.b. below this point I only walked one step, so admit I might be a bit off….


5. Camino Ingles: If you are ever in a jam, you want to call on someone who loves this Camino. In college, they rowed 6*. Happy to leave the party to the Frances, and the macho to the Primitivo, they walk their own way and hope no one notices how cool it is up there. Reliable, resourceful, even-tempered. These fans are the men and women your parents wish you would marry.

6. Cami St. Jaume: even the name says it—the brooding art major that gave your mother a heart attack when you brought him or her home for the holidays. They wear avant-garde clothing, and have unpronounceable names…you’d follow them to the end of the earth, but not on some camino that doesn’t even have an adequate number of albergues.

7. Via de la Plata: You can spot one of these pilgrims from a mile away; they have sun burns under their noses and a stiff neck from looking for some stupid frog in the sun for like a thousand hours. They will then insist you look at the picture they took once they found it. You will not see it, but will agree to make them happy. They are like this because they spent a fair amount of time walking by themselves in brutal heat, and overpaying for lodging. In high school they won National Merit scholarships. These pilgrims offer to translate all of the Latin inscriptions they see; they also argue with each other over the proper declension.

8. Camino de Levante: I don’t know if it’s the mystics who lived along this route, or the long periods pilgrims go without seeing others, but hanging out with these pilgrims is kind of like a visit to another dimension …in high school you would bring home a Levante pilgrim to make your mother stop complaining about the guy from the Cami St. Jaume, and urging you to give that Ingles guy another try.

9. Camino Portugues: these pilgrims are the ones who always fell into the right teachers and classes in high school and college: you got the guy who assigned a 40-page paper, and their professor in the same subject held class outside on nice days, and graded on how pleasant your smile was. Portugues pilgrims buy one lottery ticket and win five million dollars. They also share it with the sick and poor, which makes you really mad somehow.

10. Le Puy: These are the types who hang out at the opening of art galleries, wearing black skivvies and boho jewellery, pretending to be culture vultures but really there for the free wine and cheese. They smatter their conversation with bon mots and insider jokes, making clear their superior status to those not in the know. Prepared to do serious time at the gym, as long as there are luxury showers, good conversation and decent coffee afterwards.[thanks @Kanga]

11. Camino de Madrid: If one word describes the fans of this camino, it is "insistent." First, they will insist that theirs 'is too' a real camino. Several times. Just agree, even if you suspect they chose it just to hang out at the Puerta del Sol and drink hot chocolate at 4 in the morning. You can find them studying something really weird and esotheric, insisting on telling everyone about it at parties, and insisting that really, it's the subject that makes sense of the Universe? [thanks @HeidiL, with a few additions of my own, don't blame her]

*for those wondering, I rowed 7 in a light-weight eight, bow in a varsity four…says it all I think.
Many thanks. Great writing, I enjoyed that. I thought that humour was against some forum rule or other, great to see it is in such rude and witty health. BTW, my next Camino looks like being the Portuguese so according to your astute assessment, probably no likelihood that increased self-awareness might erode my rusted-on ego even a tiny bit.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Many thanks. Great writing, I enjoyed that. I thought that humour was against some forum rule or other, great to see it is in such rude and witty health. BTW, my next Camino looks like being the Portuguese so according to your astute assessment, probably no likelihood that increased self-awareness might erode my rusted-on ego even a tiny bit.
actually, I expect to you lose yourself there, helping the poor, but then luck into some sort of book deal out of it:)
 
M

Mike Trebert

Guest
Just hitting the "like" button wasn't enough! I must say, you seem to know me better than I know myself!! Frightening... and somehow, deflating.
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Esoteric reading material? Probably depends on what you call esoteric. Since I have my kindle with me I have a wide choice of reading, not to mention forum posts. And the levante has pretty decent wine, in addition to Estrella Galicia. Half bottle? Not yet had to be content with so little!
 

inmari

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy - Pamplona (2013)
El Camino de San Olav, Burgos - Covarrubias (2014)
Pamplona - SdC (2015)
Since the forum seems to be lacking controversy at the moment, I thought I'd offer my take on some of the Caminos and those who love them. All in fun, I hope I won't offend...and please add or correct, I only wrote about the ones I visited...

A Quick Guide to the Caminos de Santiago

1. Camino Frances: This is THE ONE. The 800-pound gorilla in the room. The one from, you know, from the movie. Unless you are too old to have seen the movie, then you read the book by that crazy actress no one remembers. This is a non-stop, 24/7 walking party from SJPdP (OK, maybe from Zubiri, once everyone is over the shock from climbing over the Pyrenees) until you reach SdC. Making friends with new BFFs, it’s like summer camp all over again—but you know, with middle-aged Koreans, naked Italian bicyclists, lapsed Catholics, and a complete assortment of New Age crazies. Otherwise, totally like summer camp. Frances fans were always voted ‘most popular’ in high school.

2. Camino del Norte: admit it, all you Norte fans, you came for the food, the sand, and because you are afraid of competing for beds and babes on the Frances. You want to send home pictures of your feet in the water, instead of someone walking ahead of you with their underwear pinned to their back packs. Norte fans from the US drive Priuses, and cut class to surf in high school. Bicigrinos love the Norte because there are fewer walking pilgrims to yell “use your bell,” and more spots to camp. They also take joy in the fact that there aren’t as many albergues for walking pilgrims, who must instead pay for pensions and hostals, while they –the bicigrinios--are are wild-camping and burying their poop in the woods. On the Norte, “I’m on a spiritual quest” is code for “want to hook up?” In high school Norte fans threw the epic parties.

3. Camino Primitivo: Primitivo enthusiasts chuckle and high-five each other when Norte lovers complain about the first step on their route. They trade bear stories, and post pictures of skeletal remains. They may consider themselves the best company they’ve ever had. When they hit the Frances at Melide, they are the ones everyone hates because they say things like “hey, only 40km to the next albergue.” In high school, Primitivo fans were the ones who stole the rival mascot and climbed to the top of the local water tower with it, not out of school spirit but well, just because.

4. Camino Finisterre/Muxia: Pilgrims who claim this as their own wore flowers in their hair to college, and changed their name to Cricket, or Sunbeam, or Thor. Don’t ask them about space aliens, the pyramids, or their current medication.


N.b. below this point I only walked one step, so admit I might be a bit off….


5. Camino Ingles: If you are ever in a jam, you want to call on someone who loves this Camino. In college, they rowed 6*. Happy to leave the party to the Frances, and the macho to the Primitivo, they walk their own way and hope no one notices how cool it is up there. Reliable, resourceful, even-tempered. These fans are the men and women your parents wish you would marry.

6. Cami St. Jaume: even the name says it—the brooding art major that gave your mother a heart attack when you brought him or her home for the holidays. They wear avant-garde clothing, and have unpronounceable names…you’d follow them to the end of the earth, but not on some camino that doesn’t even have an adequate number of albergues.

7. Via de la Plata: You can spot one of these pilgrims from a mile away; they have sun burns under their noses and a stiff neck from looking for some stupid frog in the sun for like a thousand hours. They will then insist you look at the picture they took once they found it. You will not see it, but will agree to make them happy. They are like this because they spent a fair amount of time walking by themselves in brutal heat, and overpaying for lodging. In high school they won National Merit scholarships. These pilgrims offer to translate all of the Latin inscriptions they see; they also argue with each other over the proper declension.

8. Camino de Levante: I don’t know if it’s the mystics who lived along this route, or the long periods pilgrims go without seeing others, but hanging out with these pilgrims is kind of like a visit to another dimension …in high school you would bring home a Levante pilgrim to make your mother stop complaining about the guy from the Cami St. Jaume, and urging you to give that Ingles guy another try.

9. Camino Portugues: these pilgrims are the ones who always fell into the right teachers and classes in high school and college: you got the guy who assigned a 40-page paper, and their professor in the same subject held class outside on nice days, and graded on how pleasant your smile was. Portugues pilgrims buy one lottery ticket and win five million dollars. They also share it with the sick and poor, which makes you really mad somehow.

10. Le Puy: These are the types who hang out at the opening of art galleries, wearing black skivvies and boho jewellery, pretending to be culture vultures but really there for the free wine and cheese. They smatter their conversation with bon mots and insider jokes, making clear their superior status to those not in the know. Prepared to do serious time at the gym, as long as there are luxury showers, good conversation and decent coffee afterwards.[thanks @Kanga]

11. Camino de Madrid: If one word describes the fans of this camino, it is "insistent." First, they will insist that theirs 'is too' a real camino. Several times. Just agree, even if you suspect they chose it just to hang out at the Puerta del Sol and drink hot chocolate at 4 in the morning. You can find them studying something really weird and esotheric, insisting on telling everyone about it at parties, and insisting that really, it's the subject that makes sense of the Universe? [thanks @HeidiL, with a few additions of my own, don't blame her]

*for those wondering, I rowed 7 in a light-weight eight, bow in a varsity four…says it all I think.
OMG! I've done Le Puy-en-Velay to SdC (spitting it in Pamplona) over two seasons, but I really hope that I'll never fit in any of the above mentioned categories! And even worse - my plans for my first retirement year is to be a bicigrino from Frederikshavn, Denmark, to SdC, going El Norte. Do not say "HI!" if you see me! :)
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
OMG! I've done Le Puy-en-Velay to SdC (spitting it in Pamplona) over two seasons, but I really hope that I'll never fit in any of the above mentioned categories! And even worse - my plans for my first retirement year is to be a bicigrino from Frederikshavn, Denmark, to SdC, going El Norte. Do not say "HI!" if you see me! :)
Ok. I promise to ignore you;) I won't even yell "use your bell" when, well...:)
 
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