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Apologies for snark

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I didn't see the thread or the comment but your intention is kind and thoughtful.

Let's all forgive each other for past and future comments and understand that virtually all of us can occasionally say something which might be taken wrong or be hurtful.

There is more than one reason I wear size 13 shoes.
 
Thanks @Richmond Gardner. Every now and then there seems to be an uptick in what you have described as snarkiness. When that happens, our moderator delete buttons get trigger happy. Maybe those posts are not actual rules violations, and often times I have no doubt that they are said in good faith jest, but if they are misinterpreted by others (particularly if the “other” is a new forum member and doesn’t know the personalities), it can cause hurt feelings. People have actually left the forum when they perceived themselves as the butt of these sarcastic comments.

We really want the forum to be a place where people can ask questions without feeling like someone is going to disapprove or make fun. I think we do a good job of that, and we are grateful that forum members can understand that we‘re not trying to be the official censors, we’re just trying to keep things civil. Buen camino everyone!
 
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I remember how I felt on my first Camino, cheerfully posting daily updates until someone got annoyed that I included a blog link rather than writing it all out again with images embedded, for time reasons.

I also nearly left, thinking I had outraged the community, but several other members let me know in no uncertain terms that I was very much welcome.

That's the strength of this fabulous forum.

One or two may stray from the path, but the Camino Family will reach out a helping hand and make it all good again.
 
I remember how I felt on my first Camino, cheerfully posting daily updates until someone got annoyed that I included a blog link rather than writing it all out again with images embedded, for time reasons.
As you can imagine, it would be easy for the forum to become overwhelmed with posts that do little more than link to other social media, including YouTube, Instagram and blogs. That's why we prefer that people provide some original content in their posts so that readers are not forced to go to the external sites to get value. The forum should be more than a referral site to other places.

External links can still be provided if they are relevant, but the link should be a secondary piece of further information. The signature is a useful way to provide such a link under every post.

It is easy to understand how a new member might feel chagrined, when they innocently run up against a forum policy, and sometimes our explanations leave a lot to be desired! I hope this explains one such policy.
 
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As you can imagine, it would be easy for the forum to become overwhelmed with posts that do little more than link to other social media, including YouTube, Instagram and blogs. That's why we prefer that people provide some original content in their posts so that readers are not forced to go to the external sites to get value. The forum should be more than a referral site to other places.

External links can still be provided if they are relevant, but the link should be a secondary piece of further information. The signature is a useful way to provide such a link under every post.

It is easy to understand how a new member might feel chagrined, when they innocently run up against a forum policy, and sometimes our explanations leave a lot to be desired! I hope this explains one such policy.
Like any good club, you need to learn the rules when you join.
 
I would like to apologize for some snarky commentary on the now closed « Plans Cancelled » thread. There is no really good reason for humor or any commentary at someone else’s expense.
I hope « docdiamond » finds an acceptable path
There is no reason, good or bad, for such commentary.
However, the number of members who chose to like the post by @Walkerooni speaks volumes.
A sage in my teenage years appeared in the guise of Bob Dylan: "you can please all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. Abraham Lincoln said that. You can be in my dream if I can be in yours. I said that."
If I misquote, let it pass!
The point is, this virtual encounter forum can never provide what face to face encounters do. So it is incumbent on me - you choose for yourself - to try to remember that and not to hit the send button too early.
I am thankful for the variety of gifts shown through the kaleidoscope of contributors. It offers a mainly civilised space for old and new alike to explore the phenomenon that is "The" camino.
Dust off, and keep on walking...
 
As a new member of this forum, I must say some of the snarky comments / gatekeeping / ganging up on "unpopular" opinions is very off-putting. I am re-evaluating my participation, lurking to gain information may be a better option.

It seems like some may have brought their home-country style of "political discourse" to what should be a place of peace.
 
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There is no reason, good or bad, for such commentary.
However, the number of members who chose to like the post by @Walkerooni speaks volumes.
A sage in my teenage years appeared in the guise of Bob Dylan: "you can please all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. Abraham Lincoln said that. You can be in my dream if I can be in yours. I said that."

I am thankful for the variety of gifts shown through the kaleidoscope of contributors. It offers a mainly civilised space for old and new alike to explore the phenomenon that is "The" camino.
Dust off, and keep on walking...
One of my favourite Dylan lines. ❤️
And I need to own that there are times when I wait for another to share some of my frustrations so my reputation stays clean. Very much my bad - as they say.
On a lighter note - some might enjoy this type of ‘Hunting of the Snark’
 
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A metaphor, from the paper I read, The Irish Times.
It - whatever it is that assails us - is not restricted to this forum!
If this is regarded as irrelevant, just report it.

I inflamed the road rage situation with a taunt​


The catalyst for the plot of Beef, one of the recent bingeworthy shows to appear on Netflix, is a beeping car horn.
A character backs out of a parking space, unaware of an approaching vehicle. The driver of said vehicle leans on the blower – a long and aggressive sound – and launches an episode of road rage that evolves into all-out war.
The creator of Beef, Lee Sung Jin, says the incident was sparked by his own experience on a highway in LA. He didn’t react immediately when a light turned green and the driver behind him leaned on his horn, pulling up alongside him, effing and blinding.
Lee says his immediate blood-boiling instinct was to follow the man home.
He didn’t, but found the interaction intriguing – that both drivers thought they were in the right, or at the very least thought that the other was in the wrong or deliberately causing harm and hindrance.
Beef feels extremely post-pandemic. The simmering, often irrational ire begins between two characters furious at each other from within their sealed metal boxes.
It might read a little obvious, but just as the driver inside the car is a metaphor for the individual sequestered in their home because of Covid, the roads feel like a symbol for the release of pent-up energy when the pandemic “ended”.
Increased aggression
I’ve remarked to friends that, since Covid, everyone is in more of a race than ever to get where they’re going.
Drivers seem more aggressive, more likely to tailgate and bully you out of the way, quicker to give up in traffic and three-point turn their way to a less congested route.
Attempting to give cyclists the required wide berth – one metre when passing cyclists on roads with a speed limit under 50km/h and 1.5 metres on roads of 50km/h or above – can result in a puce face in your rear-view mirror, fuming that you’re adding 15 seconds on to their journey.
I first thought the increased aggression was down to frustration over the return to gridlock after months and months of near-empty streets.
I know I felt irritation about sitting in traffic after the freedom of sailing around deserted roads. Commuters were also returning to the office after often preferable working from home set ups, and nothing breeds resentment like a long and tailed-backed commute.
Literal changes to the driving environment aside though, it’s important to acknowledge that the pandemic brought with it loss, disruption and huge emotions.
Hopes of greater harmony
Initially, the “all in this together” mantra fostered hopes for a future of greater understanding and harmony.
But as Covid dragged on and any novelty wore off, anger set in. Masks, vaccines and restrictions caused rifts in society and the mental health impact is probably still immeasurable.
Online spaces like Twitter have become battle grounds for ideological and political wars. And on the roads, people are gunning for a fight.
A friend recently had an experience in Dublin where a driver, after a very minor interaction, followed behind her for so long and so aggressively that she had to call the gardaí who advised her to drive to the closest station.
I recently beeped my horn – bipped, in fairness, rather than a full beep – at a car that lazily rolled into the yellow box at a busy junction, blocking the only chance I, and the vehicle behind me, had to cross during rush hour traffic.
The two men in the car were instantly furious at my cheek. I inflamed the situation even more by doing my go-to move for instances such as this: pretending to rub my eyes in a “boo hoo poor me” taunt.
The passenger flew into such a rage that he opened his door to get out.
My hand flew to double-check that my own doors were locked and I cursed myself for beeping in the first place.
Luckily, traffic began to move and soon there was a chorus of horns bleating at the car to move. I worried that they were going to follow me, especially after they stalled again to perform a few obscene hand gestures in my direction.
My legs were still shaking when I reached my destination, not a victim, but a participant. The beep, the taunt, the whole incident was unnecessary and unproductive.
Can I curb my own road rage? Maybe. Can I curb anyone else’s? Not a hope.
 
@Richmond Gardner , thanks for the sympathetic comment. There seems to be a number of folks on this forum who are eager to adamantly defend the Camino without regard to the fact that the Camino really is not perfect. Is anything perfect? I would counsel my good friends to be good to each other, and be tolerant of people's opinions. It's ok to disagree, but let's treat each other well. Love to all and Buen Camino!
 
At the risk of being seen (or read) as confrontational, as I read all of the recent thread, all I could see were fellow pilgrims saying is what you see (when you get there) is what you get. Any amount of reading and talking with others may be helpful. But will probably be mostly unhelpful when your feet hit the road - the situation will have changed.

As a tramper (hiker) of old I learnt very quickly to adapt to changing circumstances (weather, rivers rising or falling, snow fall not forecast, and track unwalkable, etc, etc)

So, how to understand the image (real or confected) of not long ago showing the traffic jam near the top of Everest, after all the planning and hard work beforehand of those just joining the queue.

I am sure trampers on the Appalachian Trail will have similar experiences, especially near resupply locations.

Many posts I read on this forum are someone's opinion, however determined. Understanding that, I apply my own feet on the ground understanding of the world we talk about.

If my understanding is really at variance with that of another contributor, I may take one (or more) possible actions. The most common action I take is to mentally note the variance and who wrote it: and move on.

For example, this week I read a contributor write a particular guide was rubbish (or words to that effect). This is a guide I treasure because of the "big picture" it gave. But no matter what I think, I will not convince the contributor because our perspectives (the way we look at things) are differently focused.

Another example: recently a contributor wrote how much they treasured their puffer jacket and listed what else they wore/carried. I was bemused. I added a counterpoint by listing my apparel and how I used it to the same effect (no mention by me of puffer jackets or their earlier cousins, polyester fleece) .

Even though my post was quite late in the sequence I was gratified by the "likers" as they were contributors whose contributions I have generally come to respect (some of whom I understand have tramped the Appalachian).

So, @docdiamond, as always, be like the millers of old and sort the wheat from the chaff (my doodlings included).

And Kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (take care, be strong, confident and patient)
 
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I certainly don't want to spend thousands of dollars to do a hike/pilgrimage just to sleep outside, eat bland food, and be cheek to jowl with thousands of people (some who have done the Camino over ten times). That is what the Frances route sounds like to me. I am considering some other routes or even other non-Camino hikes/pilgrimages that don't have all of these issues. Now I will brace myself for more negative responses. Folks, it really isn't perfect, no matter what you say. It's my opinion, and it probably won't change.
 
I certainly don't want to spend thousands of dollars to do a hike/pilgrimage just to sleep outside, eat bland food, and be cheek to jowl with thousands of people (some who have done the Camino over ten times). That is what the Frances route sounds like to me. I am considering some other routes or even other non-Camino hikes/pilgrimages that don't have all of these issues. Now I will brace myself for more negative responses. Folks, it really isn't perfect, no matter what you say. It's my opinion, and it probably won't change.

I entirely agree with docdiamond when they talk about sleeping outside and bland food.
I would not want to spend thousands of dollars on 'bland food', sleeping 'cheek to jowl' or even 'just to sleep outside.

This is why I always book ahead, take time to walk a slow, beautiful Camino Frances, enjoying every minute. I have also discovered so much amazing and sumptuous food along the Camino just by ordering a la carte or a menu de degustacion, or even the wonderful menu del dia from many places. Perhaps, docdiamond has not been advised about all these other fabulous possibilities. The wines across the Way are truly first rate and decidedly remarkable in value.

Perhaps docdiamond was not prioritising the amazing history, the energy from millions of previous pilgrims, the stunning churches, the wonderful local people, the changing environments or the process of personal transformation that walking the Camino affords. The priority appears to be on some type of accommodation with food that caters to docidiamond's personal taste.

Thus, I do agree 100% with docidiamiond that thousands of bucks on a hike to sleep outside, eat bland food and be cheek to jowl with others would certainly not be for me either. I wholeheartedly thank docidiamond for pointing this out in case I ever come across something similar. Most fortunately, I have never experienced this on any one of the many Caminos I have so far walked.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I have not walked the Frances. But I have read many posts, personally met with people who have walked the Frances, and watched scores of videos documenting the Frances. There are whole videos on the bland food alone. I am not saying that it isn't a great walk, with lots to offer. It just isn't a good time to walk the Frances. So the snark continues. It's not perfect, there are better options, at least for 2023.
 
Read my post again. My opinion is based on thorough investigation. And many people agree with me, even some who have actually walked the Frances. Why not wait a year or two? Or walk an alternative route? Things are definitely not great on the Camino right now, there will probably be better opportunities in the future. I am sure that you had a great experience, but that doesn't mean that it is perfect forevermore. Why can't people understand any of this? Does my opinion not count because I haven't hiked the Camino? For example, I have hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc. I wouldn't walk it again if I found out that it had many of the problems associated with the Frances. Why would I?
 
Read my post again. My opinion is based on thorough investigation. And many people agree with me, even some who have actually walked the Frances. Why not wait a year or two? Or walk an alternative route? Things are definitely not great on the Camino right now, there will probably be better opportunities in the future. I am sure that you had a great experience, but that doesn't mean that it is perfect forevermore. Why can't people understand any of this? Does my opinion not count because I haven't hiked the Camino? For example, I have hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc. I wouldn't walk it again if I found out that it had many of the problems associated with the Frances. Why would I?
Nobody has said your opinion doesn't count.

People have questioned the value of your "thorough investigations" which seem to all be online.
People have offered you alternatives.
On a discussion forum that seems perfectly appropriate to me.

It's your decision not to do a Camino after wanting to do one for years.
Perhaps that disappointment has driven the tone that I interpret in your correspondence here.

I'd suggest doing a bit more thorough investigation of the history of the Camino Frances and understand that it is a living, organic thing, one that was barely alive a few decades ago. Like all of us it changes, sometimes for better or worse. Bedbugs might be an occasional problem these days but murder was in the past.
It has outlived many Pilgrims and Want-to-Be-Pilgrims and will do so again.

There are many, many people who through circumstances of life get one shot at doing a Camino. Perhaps rather than spending time ranting (your word) some inner peace and calm might come from thinking about how fortunate you have been, and are, to be able to choose where and when you hike.
Indeed, one of the great experiences of participating on a well known Camino route is seeing so much humanity. It can be humbling. And we can learn a lot about ourselves.

There are lots and lots of things that I choose not to do. I don't sign up to fora for enthusiasts of those things to rant (your word). I think that would be rude.
On a side note, as much as I hate to nitpick on language, the word "hike" is used a lot. The Camino can be so much more than a hike. Perhaps if you investigated the non-hiking side you might better understand the bigger picture.

Walk, don't walk. It's your call.


@Richmond Gardner , don't be so hard on yourself.
 
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Read my post again. My opinion is based on thorough investigation. And many people agree with me, even some who have actually walked the Frances. Why not wait a year or two? Or walk an alternative route? Things are definitely not great on the Camino right now, there will probably be better opportunities in the future. I am sure that you had a great experience, but that doesn't mean that it is perfect forevermore. Why can't people understand any of this? Does my opinion not count because I haven't hiked the Camino? For example, I have hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc. I wouldn't walk it again if I found out that it had many of the problems associated with the Frances. Why would I?
Perfectly valid point of view. All of the things you describe certainly exist on the Camino Frances; some at specific times of year.

I’ve more free time than most; and there are many things I’m not inclined to do, but I’ve never previously considered seeking out a forum dedicated to their pursuit to declare my intention to not do them.

It’s a rainy bank holiday in the UK; can anyone recommend a good morris-dancing forum?
 
Read my post again. My opinion is based on thorough investigation. And many people agree with me, even some who have actually walked the Frances. Why not wait a year or two? Or walk an alternative route? Things are definitely not great on the Camino right now, there will probably be better opportunities in the future. I am sure that you had a great experience, but that doesn't mean that it is perfect forevermore. Why can't people understand any of this? Does my opinion not count because I haven't hiked the Camino? For example, I have hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc. I wouldn't walk it again if I found out that it had many of the problems associated with the Frances. Why would I?

Your opinion is valid, but that doesn't mean that those who do not agree must be wrong.

If you believe the Francés is too crowded, the food is bad ect., and that you wouldn't enjoy it, that's okay. You're entitled to your opinion. But yours is not the only valid one, and you can't expect everyone else to agree with you.

I am truly sorry that you were looking for something in the Camino that it apparently can't give to you, or at least not at the moment. That must be frustrating and disappointing, especially because you have waited a long time to do it. I hope you find something else that fills that gap and makes you happy.

Reading through the forum maybe you find information about a different route that might work for you.

We all need different things, and we all like different things. I do love the Francés, as it is, with all its flaws, and my reasons to love it are as valid as your opinion not to. Is the Camino perfect? No. But does something have to be perfect to enjoy it or love it? I don't think so.

So I kindly ask to consider the fact that the Camino, and especially the Francés, is a very important thing for many in this forum, despite it not being perfect. Telling people how awful something they love is, and that they basically somehow just haven't realized that their opinion is wrong, is not exactly respectful nor kind.
 
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I noticed a few other things going this weekend. I thought you were a traditionalist!
I am - but in my hamlet of only seven houses both of my neighbours (otherwise fine people) are enthusiastic morris dancers. One can have too much of a good thing!
 
Wait a minute, how did this thread start to turn into another high-horsed debate about the topic that the last thread was closed for?

People, come on. There are differences of opinion, so be it. Disagree with those opinions if you want to, offer the other side, but don’t fight about it, don’t make it personal, it’s so silly. For some unfathomable reason there are some people on this forum who equate expressing an opinion with a pronouncement of the truth.

It is a good thing for people to offer their experiences and their opinions. In my opinion, our goal should be not to convince anyone, but rather to give a full smorgasboard of varying perspectives so that the person asking the question can make his or her own decision. I don’t think this is hard to understand.

I think it’s time to close.
 
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