A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Camino Forum Store

Advertisement

Are camino tours causing 'our' overcrowding?

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#1
A few years ago when the albergue was full it was almost always a given that one could find a room in a pension or hostal. It seems now that a lot of available accommodation in the mid to higher price range is booked in advance by tour companies. Even self organised groups of 10 or so book the cheaper rooms that are available for fear of being split up or turned away from albergues. Considering almost 1000 pilgrims are queuing for their Compostelas each day( this EXCLUDES the tourist on the Camino) - It leaves little left for the traditional CF SJPDP to Santiago Pilgrim. When we do get these waves of humanity .............there IS no other place to go?
 

Advertisment

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Portugues 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#2
Yes there is. There are many, many pilgrim ways allover Europe that are not crowded at all. And every single one of us that decides to walk the CF during "main season" contributes to its over-crowdedness ... Buen Camino, SY
 
#3
A few years ago when the albergue was full it was almost always a given that one could find a room in a pension or hostal. It seems now that a lot of available accommodation in the mid to higher price range is booked in advance by tour companies. Even self organised groups of 10 or so book the cheaper rooms that are available for fear of being split up or turned away from albergues. Considering almost 1000 pilgrims are queuing for their Compostelas each day( this EXCLUDES the tourist on the Camino) - It leaves little left for the traditional CF SJPDP to Santiago Pilgrim. When we do get these waves of humanity .............there IS no other place to go?

I think the Camino Francis has lost its soul. I was in ages 2 weeks ago. Ok for coffee. After 7 trips from sjpdep many people think they can turn up in sjpdep and walk themselves fit, most don't get past Pamplona. Switched to Irun and now on Norte. Lots tougher but a Camino experience. No bed problems . Albergues open later 1500 or 1600 hrs so no early risers. Bit of heaven. No over crowding. Seldom see top bunks occupied. Near Oviede and doing Primitivo to Lugo. Buen Camino
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#4
Ahhh , but my point is , once on the CF , Viana - Say all the Albergues are full , all the higher priced accommodation is taken. I am refering to a sernario rather than a planed alternative route.;):) Me a tad dyslexic , sometime explain not so good
 
N

nathanael

Guest
#5
I think the Camino Francis has lost its soul. I was in ages 2 weeks ago. Ok for coffee. After 7 trips from sjpdep many people think they can turn up in sjpdep and walk themselves fit, most don't get past Pamplona. Switched to Irun and now on Norte. Lots tougher but a Camino experience. No bed problems . Albergues open later 1500 or 1600 hrs so no early risers. Bit of heaven. No over crowding. Seldom see top bunks occupied. Near Oviede and doing Primitivo to Lugo. Buen Camino
I did the Camino Norte last year and in 2010, maybe once I arrive in SJP will determine if it's worth staying on before switching to Norte if CF too crowed. I am starting in Lourdes so should be a 8-10 trip before arriving in SJP.Buen Camino everyone.
 

Advertisment

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#8
Yeah. IT's the people who keep coming back all the time that cause all the trouble and complain about the newbies! Go home, you repeat pilgrims, and stay home!
Hahahaha. Great post.

Well. I take groups and we book higher end hotels and apartments for the most part. We do book some private rooms above albergues. But as our taxi driver said when we asked him, "Peregrinos ARE the economy, and before them, there was none in many dying villages." So I refuse to feel guilty. :p
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#9
I'm not sure what the answer is. The CF I am seeing today is different in many ways to the CF I saw in Apr 2010, or the CI in 2014. And perhaps its soul is different in some ways. But underneath the changes, there lurks much the same camaraderie among pilgrims from so many different nations, similar generosity of spirit of the Spanish people one meets, and a wonderful willingness of hospitaleros from both Spain and elsewhere to help.

I have been seeing it with others, and today that generosity was expressed in so many practical ways when my wife and I had to return to Burgos to get her to see a doctor. So many people went out of their way in both large and small ways to help - - fellow pilgrims who offered consolation and their prayers, the hospital staff who found an English speaking doctor, the couple at the bus stop who made sure we got on the correct bus and the man who helped us get off at the right place.

I didn't expect this pilgrimage to be the same, and it isn't. But the spirit of pilgrimage is still there, and has bubbled up when we most needed it.

As to the question posed in by the OP, it's not clear to me how one would be able to tell the extent that accommodation that can be booked is taken up, for example, by someone who has used an agent, or by the individual themselves. And it's not clear to if knowing that would make a difference. People running private albergues, hostels, etc are meeting a demand, and if that demand exceeds the available supply, some people will need to contemplate more costly accommodation options.
 
Last edited:

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#10
Yes there is. There are many, many pilgrim ways allover Europe that are not crowded at all.
This morning I arrived in Trondheim at the end of a 560km/17 day walk along the S:T Olavsleden from Sundsvall in Sweden. I met 3 other pilgrims in total along the way: one couple, one young man. I am the twelfth pilgrim recorded to arrive in Trondheim so far this year and only the second who walked the Sundsvall route. I love the Camino Frances but I also enjoy quiet and solitude in my walking. For me that means looking elsewhere at this time of year.
 

Wokabaut_Meri

merely labeled
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP - Santiago (April/May 2015)
#11
I think that the question that the OP asks is about the (seeming) proliferation of organised Camino tours this year pre-booking pensions and hotels and therefore absorbing the previous overflow buffer for pilgrims into mid to higher price accommodation. A definite possibility. As I have observed in other posts, every travel or adventure tour company that I get an email from these days now includes or usually features the Camino Francés and quite a few are offering the complete experience from SJPdP to Santiago. One of all their main selling points is guaranteed accommodation to a selected standard each day.

It's found its Way onto a lot of bucket lists and I nearly choked on my coffee last week reading about a local company specialising in cheap flights featuring it as #2 in its 'hot destinations'. Think that it's the hundredth monkey phenomenon and suddenly the Camino is the latest 'hot property'.

I'm off to an information session next Tuesday with one such tour company looking for inspiration for a short trip this year and see that they are featuring the Camino for the first time so will ask questions and report back.

Edit: this is posted as an observation of an increase in Camino tours being offered and often strongly marketed among tour companies across all fields of travel e.g. adventure, luxury (glamping), gourmet (wining & dining Hmmm :)), over 50s, families etc and NOT as a condemnation of anyone choosing to use these services.
 
Last edited:

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#12
Yeah. IT's the people who keep coming back all the time that cause all the trouble and complain about the newbies! Go home, you repeat pilgrims, and stay home!
@Rebekah Scott:
I am wondering what you would do for hospitaleros if there were no repeat pilgrims. We do try to find ways to be useful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Fisterra and Muxia (June 2016)
#13
I'm not sure what the answer is. The CF I am seeing today is different in many ways to the CF I saw in Apr 2010, or the CI in 2014. And perhaps its soul is different in some ways. But underneath the changes, there lurks much the same camaraderie among pilgrims from so many different nations, similar generosity of spirit of the Spanish people one meets, and a wonderful willingness of hospitaleros from both Spain and elsewhere to help.

I have been seeing it with others, and today that generosity was expressed in so many practical ways when my wife and I had to return to Burgos to get her to see a doctor. So many people went out of their way in both large and small ways to help - - fellow pilgrims who offered consolation and their prayers, the hospital staff who found an English speaking doctor, the couple at the bus stop who made sure we got on the correct bus and the man who helped us get off at the right place.

I didn't expect this pilgrimage to be the same, and it isn't. But the spirit of pilgrimage is still there, and has bubbled up when we most needed it.

As to the question posed in by the OP, it's not clear to me how one would be able to tell the extent that accommodation that can be booked is taken up, for example, by someone who has used an agent, or by the individual themselves. And it's not clear to if knowing that would make a difference. People running private albergues, hostels, etc are meeting a demand, and if that demand exceeds the available supply, some people will need to contemplate more costly accommodation options.
I hope your wife is doing better and that the combination of Doctor and positive energy offered along the way helped!
Buen Camino
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#14
Yeah. IT's the people who keep coming back all the time that cause all the trouble and complain about the newbies! Go home, you repeat pilgrims, and stay home!
Waaaaa! Hehe Reb!:p:D;)
You may have to open your own bodegas to cope with the overflow and watch out for your chickens with all those hungry pilgrims around ..........Waaaaaaaaaa Haha!
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
#15
Hi.all. What I think is the Camino succes is killing it. Maybe if we stop talking about it to our relatives and friends...o_O
 
Last edited:

MichaelB10398

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
#16
I think it is obvious that tour groups are adding to the congestion - demand for beds - but so what? I know many individuals on this forum that assist tour groups and they are providing a service that some pilgrims desire in order to feel comfortable on Camino.

Who are pilgrims, where they come from, or how they do their Camino is irrelevant. The Camino is attracting a lot of world wide interest and will continue to do so. As the CF gets more congested more people will switch to other routes and they also will become more congested. Eventually the numbers will moderate, but this is a slow process and there will still be waves of people going at a given time. Supply of beds will increase and individuals will also begin to be more concerned about staying in locations where demand is high.

More importantly, the Spirit of the Camino will always remain because it is personal and individual. No one will take a step for you and the Way will always be before you. The more things seem to change the more they remain the same - the Camino is one of those things.
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#17
Waaaaa! Hehe Reb!:p:D;)
You may have to open your own bodegas to cope with the overflow and watch out for your chickens with all those hungry pilgrims around ..........Waaaaaaaaaa Haha!
The chickens may have to watch out--they may find tired pilgrims sleeping in their coop! (Fresh eggs for breakfast anyone?!) :D:p:D
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
#18
The "problem" with groups is their groupness. If everyone walked alone or in groups of two/three/four it would be easy to spread out. But get a few groups of 10 or 12 on the path and that just increases the odds that they'll move in synch at some point and increases the possibility of bottlenecks.

I imagine that tours and marketing being what they are the peaks will get peakier and the shoulder seasons will see increased traffic but not in proportion to the peaks.

Now if someone with real authority could just move the feast of St. James to mid-March.....
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#20
Yeah. IT's the people who keep coming back all the time that cause all the trouble and complain about the newbies! Go home, you repeat pilgrims, and stay home!
Hee hee ha ha ha.
OK. (Yeah, right....);)

More importantly, the Spirit of the Camino will always remain because it is personal and individual.
The CF I am seeing today is different in many ways to the CF I saw in Apr 2010, or the CI in 2014. And perhaps its soul is different in some ways. But underneath the changes, there lurks much the same camaraderie among pilgrims from so many different nations, similar generosity of spirit of the Spanish people one meets, and a wonderful willingness of hospitaleros from both Spain and elsewhere to help.
I think the Camino Francis has lost its soul.
In all due respect for your experience, as gaillimh, but is that really possible? I think not. As Michael and Doug said so well...it's inside, not outside. We've been talking about that here:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...xpectations-and-other-petty-annoyances.40743/

Very practically, though it's a good question. What to do if it's 6PM and you've arrived somewhere and everything's booked out? Well, if you have a sleeping bag, there's always the church porch. Not so comfortable, maybe, but we are pilgrims, after all.
No doubt there will be someone to help. It's the Camino.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#21
I think it is obvious that tour groups are adding to the congestion - demand for beds - but so what? ................
Not for one moment do I want to put any blame on anyone - What I am saying or suggesting is that right now there has been a fundamental change over the last few years that leaves 'bedless' pilgrims in a difficult position on the CF when they are stuck without a place to stay - It is as if they are in a compression zone? Once the lower budget end is taken ......... there is no other option , not even up.
In essence I am trying to establish why these waves of pilgrims cannot accommodate themselves the way they did in the past when there was congestion?
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#22
The "problem" with groups is their groupness. If everyone walked alone or in groups of two/three/four it would be easy to spread out. But get a few groups of 10 or 12 on the path and that just increases the odds that they'll move in synch at some point and increases the possibility of bottlenecks.

I imagine that tours and marketing being what they are the peaks will get peakier and the shoulder seasons will see increased traffic but not in proportion to the peaks.

Now if someone with real authority could just move the feast of St. James to mid-March.....
As long as the groups don't encourage gropes, then the people in the groups are happy campers, I think. Or , erm, happy hotelers? Happy B&Bers? Happy Groupers?! :):):):):)

(Groupers are fish, right?! Fish tend to swim in schools. Groups of Camino people would be schools of pilgrims?.... Hmmmm. My puns today are really bad. I'd better stop while I'm ahead...)
 
Last edited:

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#23
Hee hee ha ha ha.
OK. (Yeah, right....);)




In all due respect for your experience, as gaillimh, but is that really possible? I think not. As Michael and Doug said so well...it's inside, not outside. We've been talking about that here:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...xpectations-and-other-petty-annoyances.40743/

Very practically, though it's a good question. What to do if it's 6PM and you've arrived somewhere and everything's booked out? Well, if you have a sleeping bag, there's always the church porch. Not so comfortable, maybe, but we are pilgrims, after all.
No doubt there will be someone to help. It's the Camino.
And you don't have to worry about the windows in the dorms being closed. No, opened. No, closed. No, opened. NO, CLOSED. NO, OPENED!!!! Lots of fresh air under the church porch, with no need to open or close windows or curtains or worry about any of that stuff! :)
 
Last edited:

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#24
:DIndeed Heather...no window wars, or plastic bag symphonies... Let 'em have the albergue!
And lots cheaper than the 3 star laces the groupies get.
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#25
:DIndeed Heather...no window wars, or plastic bag symphonies... Let 'em have the albergue!
And lots cheaper than the 3 star laces the groupies get.
Hmmmmm....I'm getting an idea, Viranani....
I'm going to advertise and get a group together to walk the Camino a la Fresco... These pilgrims would sleep under the stars the entire way; they'd have to ask permission of farmers to sleep outside in their (bare) fields or under their trees... Have to carry tarps or tents... Have to carry port-a-potties and their own coffee mugs. That would free up the alberques, B&Bs and hotels for the other people who want to sleep indoors and not rough it! And by the end, these pilgrims would be pretty rough themselves!
Do you think it would fly? Hahaha! (Nope, neither do it...especially when each person comes to the packing list: must carry own port-a-potty!)
 
Last edited:

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#26
And you don't have to worry about the windows in the dorms being closed. No opened. No closed. No opened. NO, CLOSED. NO, OPENED!!!! Lots of fresh air under the church porch, with no need to open or close windows or curtains or worry about any of that stuff! :)
No worries about bedbugs or fleas, snoring people or bag rustlers either!
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#27
A few years ago when the albergue was full it was almost always a given that one could find a room in a pension or hostal. It seems now that a lot of available accommodation in the mid to higher price range is booked in advance by tour companies. Even self organised groups of 10 or so book the cheaper rooms that are available for fear of being split up or turned away from albergues. Considering almost 1000 pilgrims are queuing for their Compostelas each day( this EXCLUDES the tourist on the Camino) - It leaves little left for the traditional CF SJPDP to Santiago Pilgrim. When we do get these waves of humanity .............there IS no other place to go?
I think that we on the forum are also contributing to it by recommending that people book ahead. This bypasses a vast majority of the parochial/municipal beds (and many confraternity beds) and then hammers the smaller, upscale private albergues. Thus, the very frenzy reported here focuses greater volumes of traffic on a minority of resources, which further accentuates the perception of scarcity and feeds the frenzy.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Portugues 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#28
...'m going to advertise and get a group today to walk the Camino a la Fresco... These pilgrims would sleep under the stars the entire way; they'd have to ask permission of farmers to sleep outside in their (bare) fields or under their trees... Have to carry tarps or tents... Have to carry port-a-potties and their own coffee mugs. That would free up the alberques, B&Bs and hotels for the other people who want to sleep indoors and not rough it! And by the end, these pilgrims would be pretty rough themselves!
Do you think it would fly? Hahaha! (Nope, neither do it...especially when each person comes to the packing list: must carry own port-a-potty!)
I would join such a group in a heart beat! SY
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#29
Good point, Koilife--that may explain the apparent dissonance between what some folks are reporting, and Kanga's experience of 'no problem'--was well as what Ivar just posted yesterday, which was the same.
And it may just be the wave penenomenon.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#30
Do you think it would fly? Hahaha! (Nope, neither do it...especially when each person comes to the packing list: must carry own port-a-potty!)
I backpack with a 17 gram titanium cathole trowel, a 30 gram bottle of hand sanitizer, and a 21 gram packet of tissues. At 2.4 oz, I'll join your little soiree!
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#31
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (July 2016)
#32
Sorry if this is a stupid/naive question, but I'm really curious about whether alternative routes are accepted for the offivial Compostela at the church in Santiago... Like, if I'm coming from the Primitivo, and Sarria to Santiago on the Frances is too crowded for me, and I forge my own parallel route (like through O Pino and across to Formaris, then South to Santiago), will that still be considered officially valid? Assuming I can get stamps along the way...
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#33
Provided you can show that you have walked at least the final 100km to Santiago you will qualify for the Compostela. The choice of route is up to you. The signposted routes are popular because they have useful things like albergues, bars and yellow arrows to stop you getting badly lost. You don't have to follow one though.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#34
Sorry if this is a stupid/naive question, but I'm really curious about whether alternative routes are accepted for the offivial Compostela at the church in Santiago... Like, if I'm coming from the Primitivo, and Sarria to Santiago on the Frances is too crowded for me, and I forge my own parallel route (like through O Pino and across to Formaris, then South to Santiago), will that still be considered officially valid? Assuming I can get stamps along the way...
From the cathedral website (http://peregrinossantiago.es/eng/pilgrimage/the-compostela/):

To be awarded the Compostela:
  • You need to have made the pilgrimage for religious reasons or for a similar motivation such as a vow.
  • You need to have walked or travelled on horseback at least the last 100kms, or cycled the last 200kms, to arrive at the tomb of the Apostle in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
  • You should collect at least two sellos (stamps) each day on your credencial. This will usually be where you sleep and one other place such as a Church, ayuntamiento, café etc. You must ensure that you do this at least in the last 100 kms from the Cathedral of Santiago if you are walking or on horseback and 200 kms if you are travelling by bicycle.
There is no requirement that it be on a specific pilgrimage path (Frances, Primitivo, etc.). You have to arrive, having walked the last 100km and collected two sellos a day. The distance should be readily obvious to any local. I suspect that the harder part is, if the places you stop don't have stamps, I'm not certain how the cathedral would look on five days' worth of handwritten notes from hostels/bars/etc. Thus, you probably have to balance going completely off the beaten path and staying proximate to more traveled paths.

EDIT: If you come in to arrive in Santiago during the first half of the week (M - W) you'll probably have no issues with overcrowding. It will still feel very busy by comparison, but even in a really high-volume season, you shouldn't be in a situation of pasture-busting at night.
 
Last edited:

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#35
It's fun to walk off the beaten track--and even getting lost can be a blessing.
Most places have some kind of an address stamp, which is as good as any fancy sello. Not as pretty, but it functions as needed!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (July 2016)
#36
Thank you so much bradupus and koilofe! :D You have put my mind at ease. I couldn't find any specific reference to this subject when I searched myself, but didn't know if it wasn't mentioned because because it didn't matter or if "everybody knows this." (ie except me!) Didn't want to go all that way and miss out on a Compostela due to a technicality! Thank goodness for this forum!!!
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#37
An opinion, not information thread....I'll bite ;)
I'm sure there is no way for sure to know, but I'm sure that the tour groups do cause a ripple or domino effect on accommodations. They take up the pensiones, hostels and private albergue space and that ripple effect causes those pilgrims actually walking the Camino who wanted to stay in private accommodations to now have to seek a place in the municipals etc.
I'm sure the tour groups are here to stay and will only increase. As long as there's a way to make a buck off the Camino there will be a tour guide doing it. I haven't seen it yet on the CF, but have seen it in Asia and Europe at popular tourist spots. Tour groups following their guide, like a line of baby ducks whilst the guide spews out fun facts and holds a pole with a flag on top so the members of the group can stay together. None of that my cup of tea for sure.
Walking the Camino is too much of a religious, spiritual, emotional and physical high for me. Arriving in Santiago 10 kilos lighter, fit in both mind and body. Can't buy or rent that anywhere.
 

fraluchi

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
#38
We'll always have difficulty to estimate the level of unsatisfied demand for accommodation, by "market" sections, during the short May to September season.
Groups of school children can often be accommodated in sports centers. Seasoned Camino Travel Organisers mostly book their (marketable) requirements of accommodation well ahead of time. Tendency of individual walkers who book accommodation as they walk is increasing. More people are changing their choices of Caminos, or simply skip. And many who live "nearer" to the Caminos have better alternative choices.
Where (and when) will be the point of saturation?:(
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#39
A few years ago when the albergue was full it was almost always a given that one could find a room in a pension or hostal. It seems now that a lot of available accommodation in the mid to higher price range is booked in advance by tour companies. Even self organised groups of 10 or so book the cheaper rooms that are available for fear of being split up or turned away from albergues. Considering almost 1000 pilgrims are queuing for their Compostelas each day( this EXCLUDES the tourist on the Camino) - It leaves little left for the traditional CF SJPDP to Santiago Pilgrim. When we do get these waves of humanity .............there IS no other place to go?
From what I saw last year, I would agree that yes, definitely they are, but......who are any of us to say each individual in the group should not his or her have their own experience. I was behind a tour group with over 60 people; apparently a tour opr who combined Spanish with Americans and most everything got backed up, including the loo lines at the cafes
But what the heck, go with the flow. I did finally find a pension and stayed 2 days. After that, I was solo much of the time and loving it.
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#40
But what the heck, go with the flow. I did finally find a pension and stayed 2 days. After that, I was solo much of the time and loving it.
Maggie, you're an inspiration, as usual! I love that 'what the heck' attitude.
One day one side or the other in such a case and it's a completely different experience. That's why flexibility's so important--it would have been a pity to have to stay in the crowd because of bookings or time constraints.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#41
Pilgrims to Santiago were never promised a bed at the end of each stage of their walk - whether it be in an albergue or private accommodation - especially if they hope to walk until they tired and then find a convenient bed waiting for them each day! Why should there be one? This is especially true today when everyone knows that there is crowding on the Camino Frances.

Huge numbers of medieval pilgrims walked in the safety of groups. Many were organised by the confraternities in their home towns or regions. Some of these, like St Bona of Pisa who led groups of pilgrims from her home town to Santiago 10 times in the 12th century, were made one of the official guides along this pilgrimage route by the Knights of Santiago. Saint Bona was canonized a saint in 1962 for her dedication to St James and pilgrims. (Perhaps Annie and I will soon receive the same accolades after leading our 10th groups? ;) )

In the early 20th century, Cardinal José María Martín Herrera encouraged the return of organized pilgrim groups to Santiago. A medal replaced the 'Compostelana' in Holy Years (which saved printing costs and earned them some money). These were only issued in the Holy Years of 1909, 1915, 1920 and 1926.

An attempt was made to reanimate el Camino de Santiago in the mid-1950's aimed at tour groups and vehicle pilgrimages - along the lines of similar Christian pilgrimage tours to Rome, the Holy Land, Lourdes, Fatima etc. No mention whatsoever of pilgrims on foot. A guide called the 'Guia moderna Peregrinos y Turistas' was designed which included a credencial with squares where people could get stamps at the places they stayed. The guia contained a list of hotels, restaurants, gas stations and so on. Five road routes were laid out similar to the routes we now walk. Once the pilgrims arrived in Santiago they were issued with a diploma which was funded by the Ministry of Information and Tourism and signed by the Archbishop of Compostela.

Don Elias Valina Sampedro was put in charge of accommodation for pilgrims at the AMIGOS conference in Jaca in 1989. In his guide book he included a long list of hotels, pensiones, hostales, fondas and habitaciones in private homes right across the Camino Frances. The intention was that pilgrims who could afford to support the established hospitality industry would do so and for those who couldn't, a few traditional donativo albergues would be established to accommodate them. I doubt very much it still works like that as so many people feel entitled to a bed in an albergue simply because they are walking to Santiago.

Fortunately, most tour groups only stay in private accommodation leaving the over 450 albergues to the poor pilgrims who can't afford alternative accommodation.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#43
I was watching a tv programme a few weeks ago which said that in medieval Europe sometimes up to 10% of the population (or more) was walking to or from a pilgrimage.

In the 10 century, authorities were complaining that people were walking for the adventure or to escape their life back home. :cool:

It was really interesting but sadly can't remember the name of the programme but it was funny to see that a thousand years later and not a lot has changed... except less people walk these days. :eek:
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#44
I doubt very much it still works like that as so many people feel entitled to a bed in an albergue simply because they are walking to Santiago.
This went in, sillydoll, thank you...that's a very good point and an assumption that I hadn't really been aware of before.
On one hand, albergues are there for our use--but what you're pointing out so accurately is that staying in one is not a right but a privilege.
Fortunately, most tour groups only stay in private accommodation
Good thing, indeed!
I have no problems at all with groups per se--and actually think it's great that so many people on this crazy planet want to do the Camino. I've walked in the midst of groups twice after Sarria--in each case they were school groups, not commercial ones, so it was easier to be magnanimous...even though it made for noise and full albergues! Where I get pretty annoyed is when paying groups taking over albergues, leaving individual pilgrims to scramble. I've only had this happen once and fortunately there was space elsewhere.
But as Maggie jsut said...one day on either side of the gang makes for much quieter conditions.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#45
"I think none of them complained about the Camino losing its spirit or the conditions on the road hampering their spiritual growth or spiritual enjoyment."

Ah.. the rot 600 years ago was far worse that what we. modern pilgrims are experiencing today. Had you been around then you could have been spat on, not allowed entry into the towns, no beds available to you and even Compostela closing its gates to you.

"In 1475 the town of Erfurt was faced with such insurmountable problems in housing and feeding the mass of pilgrims streaming from central and southern Germany towards Wilsnack that the town council saw no way out other than barring them from the town. Pilgrims by choice or by constraint met up with swarms of unemployed or seasonally employed vagabonds and a veritable horde of beggars. It became ever more difficult to distinguish between the motives of pilgrims on the road.
In 1523 the city council of Bern, which lay on the pilgrim route from Einsiedeln to France decided, to direct away all beggars, be they from the country, returning from the wars or on the road to St. James, pedlars, heathens... and such like and not to house them or give them shelter.
Local by-laws throughout Europe, eg in Douai and in Compostela itself (1503) reflected the same tendency. The oft quoted decline and decadence of the pilgrimage to Compostela started here.
The circumstances of the age also contributed to this: too few jobs for a rising population, unemployment, robber bands preying on the French routes, criminal acts by pilgrims and, from the 15th century onwards increasing criticism of the peregrination itself. Without exception these symptoms were all visible long before the Reformation.” Robert Plotz
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#46
It is interesting to read the words of Don Elias, taken from his guide book. He writes that in small towns pilgrims should visit the Tourist Offices for information on families that let out rooms as accommodation is scarce.

“Do remember” he warns, “that some hotels, fondas and refugios that appear in the relevant section of this guide may operate for only part of the year. For this reason, and to avoid unpleasant surprises, it is best to telephone ahead if travelling out of season.”

Why have people chosen to ignore him? Book ahead.
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#47
My goodness. We've gotten soft, haven't we? Complaining about crowds and no hot water! :D
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#48
There must be a reason why we don't sleep every day on a piece of cardboard in our living rooms or under a tarp in our backyards.
It's partly because most of us have grown up amid what is amazing luxury as compared with most people on this crowded planet--and cannot imagine life without a soft bed, running water, and a hot shower.
But plenty of people have to live this way, even now--if they even have a living room or backyard.

In the old days as well as now, pilgrimage (if that's what we're doing and I'm assuming that, not wanting to reopen the perennial 'what makes a real pilgrim' non-discussion...) comes with some basic tenets--make do with simplicity, don't complain or be demanding, and learn to go with the flow if that's needed.
We have different ideas of what is acceptable, though, than people once did--and much cushier expectations. So for us it's probably not a bad thing to learn that sleeping on the floor won't kill you--nor will the myriad of other petty discomforts that peregrinos 1000 years ago took as 'normal.'
It's the simplicity of the Camino that's a great relief. So that Camino al fresco? Not a bad idea. Minus the port-a-potty.:)
 
P

Pabloke

Guest
#49
Maybe we should expect an official reaction.

I love the references to the Middle Ages, and it comes to mind several names of towns founded by kings expressly to help and hold the 'hordes' of pilgrims.

Sangüesa, Estella, Sto. Domingo de la Calzada...

They built bridges and hospitals and gave privileges and exemptions to some towns to receive the pilgrims.

Now the Camino is overcrowded and we must suffer the consecuences untill the accommodation supply is sufficient.
 
P

Pabloke

Guest
#50
Hahahaha. Great post.

Well. I take groups and we book higher end hotels and apartments for the most part. We do book some private rooms above albergues. But as our taxi driver said when we asked him, "Peregrinos ARE the economy, and before them, there was none in many dying villages." So I refuse to feel guilty. :p
This is a dangerous statement. Some might think everybody on the Way works for the pilgrims.

And nothing further from reality. Bars, hotels, hostels, taxies, groceries may be happy with this overcrowdedness, but those whose lifes and jobs are not related with the Camino may get tired easily. Specially if this lack of beds drives pilgrims into "wild" solutions.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#51
Maybe we should expect an official reaction.

I love the references to the Middle Ages, and it comes to mind several names of towns founded by kings expressly to help and hold the 'hordes' of pilgrims.

Sangüesa, Estella, Sto. Domingo de la Calzada...

They built bridges and hospitals and gave privileges and exemptions to some towns to receive the pilgrims.

Now the Camino is overcrowded and we must suffer the consecuences untill the accommodation supply is sufficient.
The Camino was overcrowded long before the modern era. That is why, in the middle ages, at the height of the Santiago popularity, the town with the highest number of albergues was Burgos which in the 15th-c boasted 32 hospices, and even as pilgrimage declined, still supported 25 into the late 1700’s.
Astorga had 21, Carrion de los Condes had 14 and at one time there were 7 in Castrojeriz. Even small villages like Obanos and Viana had 'several' pilgrim shelters. A register dating1594 at the hospice at Villafranca de Montes de Oca recorded 16,767 pilgrims that year, over 200 on some days.
There would not have been so many shelters if there wasn't a demand for beds.
http://amawalker.blogspot.co.za/2008/10/back-to-past.html
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
#52
Hi all. I have been thinking about this subject for a long time. Sometimes looks like nobody want to be judged like judgmental, looks like we need to say everything its O.K.
Well, I think not everything is OK, and I dare to say it.
The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage. Its not a tourist thing. You can walk it like a tourist, of course, and it could be correct to do it this way but with conditions. And the main condition is : You never will interfere, annoy or disturb the pilgrimage of PILGRIMS. The Camino is hard enougth itself whithout anybodys "help", thank you!
If any pilgrim CAN´T do it the correct way ( said it, with physical effort) because their age, their injuries, or ealth conditions, is perfect to take a taxi, a bus, to submit their backpacks etc.
But if what you want is to THINK you ARE a pilgrim, walking ten kilometers to the next bus stop, where the travel agency´s staff have your credential sealed, your stuff packed, your meal served, only to take you twenty more kilometers on the way to the next town, where they will take care again of sealing your credential, etcetera, for four more days, you are a damm FAKE. It is like to say "I´m a war veteran" but never going to figth. I never sealed credentials this way when serving like a Hospitalero, and I will never do it. (Please comrades hospitaleros if you are reading this considerate , don`t do it neither, and deny the sello the way the tourist know why you are denying it, politely but firmly)

You knowing fake pilgrims, you tourist-grinos : Do not expect for my understanding, my help, my respect.

Maybe it is not their fault, but the travel agency, but I think we need to say it with high voices in order nobody can do it naively. Those travel agencies always can rent hotels outside the Camino. They can take those comfortable buses full of touri-grinos where they dont disturb, dont interfere, do not annoy. Please, RESPECT the Camino, RESPECT the pilgrimage.
Buen Camino to you, all honest people.
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
#53
The Camino was overcrowded long before the modern era. That is why, in the middle ages, at the height of the Santiago popularity, the town with the highest number of albergues was Burgos which in the 15th-c boasted 32 hospices, and even as pilgrimage declined, still supported 25 into the late 1700’s.
Astorga had 21, Carrion de los Condes had 14 and at one time there were 7 in Castrojeriz. Even small villages like Obanos and Viana had 'several' pilgrim shelters. A register dating1594 at the hospice at Villafranca de Montes de Oca recorded 16,767 pilgrims that year, over 200 on some days.
There would not have been so many shelters if there wasn't a demand for beds.
http://amawalker.blogspot.co.za/2008/10/back-to-past.html
Yes, but we are talking about 20.000 maybe 30.000 pilgrims yearly. At the end of this year perhaps we shall speak about 300.000. And for sure, there were not tour companies, no tourist those years.
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
#54
At mediaval era, many of the pilgrims were taken like "servants", suggested or compelled, to emigrate to the south, to the borders of islamic kingdoms, to populate those dangerous lands like pioners. Maybe we can abduct a bunch of those buses, to populate the Moon? :p:rolleyes:
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#56
The world's most visited religious shrines are:
1) The Meiji and the Sensoji Temples in Japan with about 30 million pilgrims/visitors ever year.
2) Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Varanasi, India with 21,9 million pilgrims/visitors each year
3) Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City with 20 million pilgrims/visitors

There are many other shrines in India and Japan that draw up to 10 millions pilgrims/visitors each year
St Peter's in Rome has about 7 million per annum, Lourdes about 6 million, Jerusalem about 5 million, the Haj has about 3 million pilgrims per year.

What is interesting about pilgrim figures as that very few pilgrims walk to these sites yet they are all considered pilgrims in the true sense. However, of the 3 - 5 million that visit the tomb of St James each year (double that for Holy Years) only about 2.5% actually walk there. [The Pilgrim office only keeps records of those who collect a Compostela, not those walking the path.]
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#57
This is a dangerous statement. Some might think everybody on the Way works for the pilgrims.

And nothing further from reality. Bars, hotels, hostels, taxies, groceries may be happy with this overcrowdedness, but those whose lifes and jobs are not related with the Camino may get tired easily. Specially if this lack of beds drives pilgrims into "wild" solutions.
Yes, perhaps. But those we most often come in contact with in a daily basis are those you listed. And that is in one skinny line through the north of the country. A few blocks either way in MOST places and no pilgrims to be seen. I haven't seen many wild solutions in my ten years walking the Camino. What are those???
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#58
"Yes, but we are talking about 20.000 maybe 30.000 pilgrims yearly. At the end of this year perhaps we shall speak about 300.000. And for sure, there were not tour companies, no tourist those years.[/QUOTE]

Statistics are often hard to pin down and some historians have claimed over half a million pilgrims per year in the 12th and 13th centuries whilst others have pooh-poohed this figure and say only 250 000 per year walked to Santiago.

In her classic book, Linda Davidson writes that:

“As late as the 17th-c, well into the decline of the pilgrimage, the Roncesvalles hospice was hosting 25, 000 pilgrims per year.”

In a post on Facebook, the Camino-Nerd estimated that about 41 pilgrims from further north register at St Jean each year. The pilgrim office recorded in 2015 that 31.053 pilgrim started in St Jean and 7.414 in Roncesvalles.

That makes the 25 000 pilgrims per year in the 1600's impressive.
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#60
Hi all. I have been thinking about this subject for a long time. Sometimes looks like nobody want to be judged like judgmental, looks like we need to say everything its O.K.
Well, I think not everything is OK, and I dare to say it.
The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage. Its not a tourist thing. You can walk it like a tourist, of course, and it could be correct to do it this way but with conditions. And the main condition is : You never will interfere, annoy or disturb the pilgrimage of PILGRIMS. The Camino is hard enougth itself whithout anybodys "help", thank you!
If any pilgrim CAN´T do it the correct way ( said it, with physical effort) because their age, their injuries, or ealth conditions, is perfect to take a taxi, a bus, to submit their backpacks etc.
But if what you want is to THINK you ARE a pilgrim, walking ten kilometers to the next bus stop, where the travel agency´s staff have your credential sealed, your stuff packed, your meal served, only to take you twenty more kilometers on the way to the next town, where they will take care again of sealing your credential, etcetera, for four more days, you are a damm FAKE. It is like to say "I´m a war veteran" but never going to figth. I never sealed credentials this way when serving like a Hospitalero, and I will never do it. (Please comrades hospitaleros if you are reading this considerate , don`t do it neither, and deny the sello the way the tourist know why you are denying it, politely but firmly)

You knowing fake pilgrims, you tourist-grinos : Do not expect for my understanding, my help, my respect.

Maybe it is not their fault, but the travel agency, but I think we need to say it with high voices in order nobody can do it naively. Those travel agencies always can rent hotels outside the Camino. They can take those comfortable buses full of touri-grinos where they dont disturb, dont interfere, do not annoy. Please, RESPECT the Camino, RESPECT the pilgrimage.
Buen Camino to you, all honest people.
I think I will stamp Credentials and let God sort out who is a 'true' or a 'fake' pilgrim.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#61
Surely that was 12,500 pilgrims going south or south-west and 12,500 pilgrims going north? ;)
We'll never know for sure! But, many pilgrims took different routes home. Domenico Laffi, an Italian priest from Bologna, made three pilgrimages to Santiago in the 1600's and was quite a successful travel writer. Each time he included visits to other cities - Madrid, Valencia etc, on the way home.

Just for interest, Father Laffi disliked the pilgrim hospices and avoided them at all costs. He preferred taverns with rooms, inns or monastic houses. He also disliked pilgrim food and preferred to dine on better fare. He was a devout Catholic but, by today's standards might have been called a 'turogrino' for not wanting to stay in hospices and (horror of all horrors!) he didn't have a backpack!! He talks about his "bundle" which was often inspected at city gates or at monasteries.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#63
I've nothing more to add but wanted to say I love these threads that give a glimpse into the history of the Camino. .. Thanks ladies and gents

P.s the programme I watched I think was Griff Rhys Jones tracing Britains Lost Routes.
 

fraluchi

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
#64
[...] Father Laffi disliked the pilgrim hospices and avoided them at all costs. He preferred taverns with rooms, inns or monastic houses. He also disliked pilgrim food and preferred to dine on better fare. He was a devout Catholic but, by today's standards might have been called a 'turogrino' for not wanting to stay in hospices and (horror of all horrors!) he didn't have a backpack!! He talks about his "bundle" which was often inspected at city gates or at monasteries.
I can well identify myself with father Laffi:cool: Except that nowadays my bundle is inspected several times before I reach city and/or monastery gates, such as airports.:eek:
Apart from that, even the "limited number" of pilgrims similar to father Laffi, notwithstanding tablet/phone toting and not afraid of using pack forwarding services, are finding it ever more difficult to secure beds at inns or monastic houses unless they arrive on the right day at the right time with the right story. :(
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#65
I was kidding, Albertagirl.
@Rebekah Scott:
I know. I hoped that the tone of my response would indicate this. However, I do believe that it is the responsibility of returning pilgrims to try to assist first-timers, who may be disoriented in what is a very new experience for many of them. I hope to do so on my upcoming camino.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#66
While we all may love Camino Frances, we also knew that it would get extremely busy come Spring.

I have noticed lately that while some of the more sunshiney members of the forum are interjecting posts with customary cheer, there have also been some rather gloomy posts. Overcrowding. No rooms. Being "kept back" in SJPP.

My next pilgrimage in Spain will be--again--off-season, in very early Spring (rain, oh no!) or October and November (more rain, oh no!). If you don't want to deal with others, choose a different time of year, or a different route! It's the only way to make pilgrimage, unless you can either a) adapt or b) adapt.

Buen Camino!
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#67
Quite right, Deb.
t's the only way to make pilgrimage, unless you can either a) adapt or b) adapt.
And even then we have to a) adapt or b) adapt!
If it's not one thing it's another, and we just have to somehow learn to get over the idea that perfection is out there, somewhere else. It's in here, always and regardless.
Dang. It's so much easier to complain.:D
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#68
there is a completely different mindset between the two types of walkers.
I appreciate that there are differences in people and some generalities can be made, based on the observer's perspective. (Understatement alert)! However, I don't think people or pilgrims fit into those two categories so clearly. For example, I'm not sure if I am a pilgrim or a tourist. How would I know? Are we that simple?
 

Nanc

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#69
, I think none of them complained that the Camino was losing its spirit .......were hampering their spiritual growth or spiritual enjoyment. I don't think they were concerned about this or even knew of such a concept as the Camino spirit. This is new. It's a modern concern.
Isn't that the fallacy? That we do something and expect to be immersed, given, feel, the "spirit"? It totally is an inside job. Those in extreme circumstances whose spirit triumphed, did it despite circumstances. Those who took ordinary moments and made them beautiful, did it through the spirit of their act and thought.
One who enters a Camino and feels cheated had missed the opportunity to have a different experience. The internal dialogue , attitude, point of view, dare I say, conversation with self and god (lower case to infer all higher being ) is the starting place for that spiritual experience . Or spirit
I know that on any given day, my experience of the same event is changed based on fatigue, hunger, buttons being pushed, spiritual centered-ness. I think that is why so many Canino veterans recommend those of us ready to drop out to stop, rest eat and wait for that interval change before making a decision
I hope on my Camino I can remember gratitude and my own words
Nanc
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#70
this EXCLUDES the tourist on the Camino
The difficulty in trying to distinguish between tourists and pilgrims is that the only pilgrims who aren't tourists are the Spanish pilgrims. Everyone else is travelling away from their own country on a non-business related activity, and as such is a tourist. Some of us also consider ourselves pilgrims.

I know that attempting to make a distinction gives some people a warm feeling about their pilgrimage being in some form more worthy than what are often parodied as the excesses of tourist behaviour, but that doesn't seem to me to be sufficient justification for misusing the word the way we regularly do here.
 
Last edited:

koilife

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#71
The difficulty in trying to distinguish between tourists and pilgrims is that the only pilgrims who aren't tourists are the Spanish pilgrims. Everyone else is travelling away from their own country on a non-business related activity, and as such is a tourist. Some of us also consider ourselves pilgrims.

I know that attempting to make a distinction gives some people a warm feeling about their pilgrimage being in some form more worthy than what are often parodied as the excesses of tourist behaviour, but that doesn't seem to me to be sufficient justification for misusing the word the the way we regularly do here.
So, what you're saying is that we can malign the people all we want, so long as we use the correct words . . .

;)
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#73
Makes me wonder…..centuries ago, what was the word used to describe a tourist? Many travelled from different countries to Santiago. Was there a distinction then between Spaniards and 'visitors'?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#74
Makes me wonder…..centuries ago, what was the word used to describe a tourist? Many travelled from different countries to Santiago. Was there a distinction then between Spaniards and 'visitors'?
Tourism as we know it today seems to have it's origins in the mid-19th century, although the Grand Tour as an active leisure activity for the well-heeled was well established before that.

@C clearly asked how one might know whether one is a tourist or a pilgrim. I know I am a tourist and hope I am also a pilgrim.
 

LizC-S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May 2016
#75
To be pedantic even Spanish pilgrims are considered tourists :) Unfortunately, what I was trying to get across didn't and reading it back I do sound like an arse. I don't think anyone's Camino is more worthy than anyone elses. (I will delete the post but obviously have ignited an interesting debate). Buen Camino to ALL.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#76
I found that when I was on camino unlike other holidays, I was not really interested in the sights. I spent time in the churches whenever I could get into them: to pray or attend mass or other worship. But I spent very little time looking at the buildings. In Burgos, I attended Terce and mass in a chapel of the cathedral, then decided not to pay to see the rest of the cathedral, but just to get on the camino and continue my pilgrimage. I somehow felt that that was what I was being called to do. I cannot generalize my experience to apply it to others, but I suggest that if you have been on pilgrimage before you may know the feeling that says, "This is a pilgrimage. I must respond to what I am being called to do." Of course, there are those who may find inspiration in contemplating the details of religious buildings. These wonderful churches were built for that purpose. Others may receive the pilgrimage call very differently than myself. But I think it is reasonable to say that, if you identify for yourself an experience that you see as a call to pilgrimage, and if you respond to that call when you feel it, then you are on pilgrimage.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#77
(I will delete the post but obviously have ignited an interesting debate). Buen Camino to ALL.
It's a perennial, even perpetual debate on the forum. You didn't ignite anything. You merely threw a cup of accelerant at a forest fire---spectacular in the localized perspective, but utterly unremarkable in the grand scheme. Leave the post and warm your hands by the fire.
 
Last edited:

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#78
Oh dear. Here we go again - real pilgrims, tourists, turo-grinos etc etc..... How boring.
Pious indignation about people who book accommodation or send luggage ahead is so passé. Surely there are more pressing issues to criticize or debate on the Camino than the way your fellow peregrinos decide to do their pilgrimage?

Has anyone ever heard turo-grinos (like me - or those who choose to walk with a group) pass judgement on those self-righteous pilgrims who claim to be more authentic because they have a bigger backpack on their back or because of where they choose to sleep?

Try telling my deeply religious, all-American-Catholic group of 13 peregrinos who walked with amaWalkers 8 months ago, staying in booked accommodation, sending their luggage ahead, that they were merely tourists. A more devout, spiritual, devotional group would be hard to find on the Camino.

If you do the Camino again, and again, and maybe again, you'll become more tolerant and less judgemental of other pilgrims.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#79
On my second walk along the Camino Frances a German lady told me very firmly that I was not a pilgrim because I walk alone: in her very definite opinion real pilgrims travel by bus in organised groups accompanied by a priest. I did not feel any need to defend myself or to challenge her concept of pilgrimage. In my occasional moments of sanity I remind myself (a) I do not make the rules and (b) there are no rules (apart from the 100km Compostela business...)
 

LizC-S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May 2016
#80
Try telling my deeply religious, all-American-Catholic group of 13 peregrinos who walked with amaWalkers 8 months ago, staying in booked accommodation, sending their luggage ahead, that they were merely tourists.
Doubt anyone would call people whose physical needs have to be catered for "tourists".
 
P

Pabloke

Guest
#81
Everybody judges everyone, not just on the Way. It's part of being humans. Not so bad.

I won't say if I'm more, less, better or worse pilgrim than others, but, as a long stages walker I would like to find a bed a the end of the day. It'd be hard (not impossible, but hard) to accept that beds are occupied by bus-pilgrims.

May be courteous if they book another type of accommodation. Courteous and fair, as albergues are supposedly made for the rest of walking pilgrims.

But, since they have the right to do it as they do, I will accept it as a part of the pilgrimage.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#82
Everybody judges everyone, not just on the Way. It's part of being humans. Not so bad.
In my own walking I am something of a traditionalist and a purist. If I were Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado and had carte blanche to "let the punishment fit the crime" there would probably be a trail of carnage right across Spain. All those who ride in taxis or buses to skip stages or use luggage transfer services would be forced to carry a blistered pilgrim and their rucksack piggy-back 20+km to the next albergue. Cyclists who venture off tarmac roads and onto footpaths would find themselves imitating St Catherine bound to their own front wheels. Everyone who walks with a pair of trekking poles would have them confiscated and made into a cross and the final 100km from Sarria to Santiago would look like the Appian Way after the Spartacus rebellion. Luckily so far I have kept sufficiently in touch with reality to see some distinction between my personal preferences/choices and absolute truth. I can concede there is a remote chance that others might disagree with me without them necessarily being mad, bad or just plain wrong. Those I have met along the Caminos have generally been very tolerant of the choices made by others. I hope that this continues to be true.
 

Nanc

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#83
Kathar1na
That's a fair comment. Thank you.
I too questioned my need to go Spain for my Pilgramige. Why couldn't I do this in my own back yard, doing part of the PCT?
For me, part of it was revisting Europe, where I hadn't been in 40 years.
But honestly? A bigger part is that I seem to need to be out of my environment to let go enough for the me inside to be fully sensed and emerge.
( yeah, I know, you'd think at this age I'd be fully integrated. Work in progress) In the states, there seem to be a lot of triggers that keep me mentally emotionally connected to things like family issues, my business etc even on vacation.
I don't need others around me, however, to do this, I had the best most simplistic spiritually enriching time by myself in Shang hai visiting temples over several days between a conference / tour and my delayed flight.
My comments were, in part, to the idea that some need a specific spirit to experience their own ( huh! Just realized I was saying I needed that (not near home) !
I DO. also agree that though I don't NEED others for a spiritual experience, having one in the midst of others having theirs can be very powerful
Nanc
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#84
Sorr
Hahahaha. Great post.

Well. I take groups and we book higher end hotels and apartments for the most part. We do book some private rooms above albergues. But as our taxi driver said when we asked him, "Peregrinos ARE the economy, and before them, there was none in many dying villages." So I refuse to feel guilty. :p
Sorry, I don't have time now to read through all the posts but Annie's struck a chord.

I was in Aljucen on the Vdlp and had just eaten a really horrible meal made and served by a local señora of advanced years. About four of us were grousing about the price/quality ratio when the Andaluz in the bunch said -- pero hombre , de que van a vivir si no es de nosotros? (What will these people live off of if not us?). That's what Annie is saying, I think.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Portugues 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#85
... What you say may be true but begs the question why people travel around the globe to Northern Spain. Could they not achieve this inside job closer to home or in fact anywhere? Apparently, the external conditions are important for the transformation process that many are seeking, and these external conditions seem to depend on the behaviour (and perhaps the number and the "quality") of those who share their space on the way to Santiago.
You can certainly have a spiritual experience outside Spain, but it is also, at least for some of us, a pilgrimage to a certain tomb. Which is in Spain, so yes, if I want to make a pilgrimage to the apostle's tomb I have to enter Spain at one point. Buen Camino, SY
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
#86
When Camino death reoccur again , maybe only a couple of dozens of true pilgrims should walk it yearly. Then an astute politician would think about make it a tourists thing. With a little bit of publicity, the help of a famous wold organization, and a little bit of luck...maybe...It will live back, only to die of succes many years later. And them only a couple of dozens of ....
 
Last edited:
P

Pabloke

Guest
#87
Luckily so far I have kept sufficiently in touch with reality to see some distinction between my personal preferences/choices and absolute truth. I can concede there is a remote chance that others might disagree with me without them necessarily being mad, bad or just plain wrong. Those I have met along the Caminos have generally been very tolerant of the choices made by others. I hope that this continues to be true.
Well, that's what's called cohabitation. We accept and respect other's acts and thoughts, but that doesn't mean we don't judge them.

Moreover, expressing those judgments is the best way to balance the cohabitation. That's how we know if something is accepted or not. That's how social (and finally, legal) rules are born and raised.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#88
Doubt anyone would call people whose physical needs have to be catered for "tourists".
These were strong, able-bodied Catholics walking to the tomb of Saint James to revere him, say confession, take communion and earn indulgences. How their clothing got there and where they slept was not number one on their list and I don't think they would have been rude to anybody who chose to walk it differently.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#89
There appear to be a lot more tour groups than in 2013. I see them in towns, but not so much on the trail.

In Navarrete, Joel and I were topic of a conversation by one of those groups. I'd seen them the prior night in Calle Laurel with their guide ordering all their tapas and drinks for them.

Joel and I had just put our packs on after lunch there in Navarrete. One lady said to the man next to her, "I can't imagine having to carry such large packs." The man replied in return, "They probably can't afford to do it any other way." I laughed out loud, and they looked embarrassed to realize they'd been overheard.

At 16lb and 14lb pack weight for each of us respectively, we suffer. Oh how we suffer.
 
Last edited:

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#90
On the road to Emmaus.
"What did he say?"
"He says we are not real pilgrims."
"Because we don't have backpacks?"

Backpack-pilgrims001.jpg
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#91
The difficulty in trying to distinguish between tourists and pilgrims is that the only pilgrims who aren't tourists are the Spanish pilgrims. Everyone else is travelling away from their own country on a non-business related activity, and as such is a tourist. Some of us also consider ourselves pilgrims.

I know that attempting to make a distinction gives some people a warm feeling about their pilgrimage being in some form more worthy than what are often parodied as the excesses of tourist behaviour, but that doesn't seem to me to be sufficient justification for misusing the word the way we regularly do here.
NAaaaaaw Dougy! I really did mean Tourist, the four busses that pitched up at the Santiago Cathedral and paid their Euros to see the botafumeiro which I did not see on All saints day in all four masses that I attended at the end of my first Camino. Where do they stay? Still ,if it weren't for those tourists, I may have never experienced the camera and phone spectacle accompanied by theatrical applause.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#92
NAaaaaaw Dougy! I really did mean Tourist, the four busses that pitched up at the Santiago Cathedral and paid their Euros to see the botafumeiro which I did not see on All saints day in all four masses that I attended at the end of my first Camino. Where do they stay? Still ,if it weren't for those tourists, I may have never experienced the camera and phone spectacle accompanied by theatrical applause.
I'm always happy to use the plain English meanings of words, including 'tourist'. Inventing new meanings so that we can give ourselves a nice feeling about our status as pilgrims makes no sense to me at all.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#94
Dougy , Walking from Roncesvalles to Santiago IS a pilgrim. I will leave it as that and you may have the last say.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#96
IMHO there is a difference between St James pilgrims and Camino pilgrims.

Every year about 5 million people (mostly Catholics - double that in Holy Years) make a pilgrimage to venerate the relics of Saint James in Compostela. Some have saved for years to make this pilgrimage. They come in buses, trains, planes and automobiles. They often combine their pilgrimage tour with visits to Fatima, Lourdes, San Martin of Tours or even to Rome and the Holy Land.
They can earn an indulgence by complying with the requirements of attending mass, taking communion, saying confession, praying for the Holy Father and making a donation. These are the Sant Iago pilgrims.

Of these 5 - 10 million visitors to the Cathedral about 2 - 3% have walked to Santiago. Most of these are 'doing the Camino' and are not focussed on the tomb at the destination, or visit the cathedral in a religious sense (pietatis cause). They time their attendance at mass to when the Botafumerio swings. Many say that arriving in Santiago was an anti-climax, that their journey was more important than the destination. Some don't believe that the relics in the silver casket are those of the Apostle but they plan their next 'Camino' on a different route, in a different season. The journey has become the destination. These are 'Camino' pilgrims.

(Of course there are many St James' pilgrims on the Camino who are focussed on the destination but I don't think the stats of those collecting a Compostela are an honest reflection of the numbers who arrive at the cathedral in a religious sense!)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#97
Kathar1na is correct. They were depicted as pilgrims and were visited by Christ on their way to Emmaus. In some art Christ is depicted wearing a large pilgrim's hat.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#98
My apologies for brevity in the earlier comment; a phone keyboard encourages brevity with the occasional side of ambiguity.

With all due respect to the artist's licence for humor, the disciples and Christ were not actually pilgrims. By definition, a pilgrim travels to a holy place (arguably for a religious purpose). Had the disciples been en route to Jerusalem then it might have been arguable that they were pilgrims. Just because they were walking to Emmaus didn't make them pilgrims, unless you cout them as walking to the hot baths there, which might argue for them being tourists. ;)

The point of my comment is that there is something deeper than being a pilgrim. Encounter with Christ can occur anywhere and the accidentals of place and purpose are secondary. To be a person devoted with the totality of his or her life is far greater and deeper than simply to walk to a holy place. When I die and come before the throne of God, I would rather be known as a disciple for the sum of my life than for the miles I walled to Santiago. I suspect St. James would agree.
 

Wokabaut_Meri

merely labeled
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP - Santiago (April/May 2015)
#99
Seeking inspiration for my next short outing to trial my healed foot, I attended an information night held by an adventure travel company on hiking/biking trips in Europe. The Camino featured heavily with 24 options in France, Spain and Portugal - guided/self guided, walking, cycling. There's even the Full Spanish Camino of 36 days self guided The trip cost is Aus $5890 and includes:
  • 35 breakfasts, 34 dinners: Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad, followed by a chicken, red meat, fish or pasta dish & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes. Dinner is not included in Santiago.
  • 35 nights in guesthouses / 2‐3 star hotels / farmhouse B&Bs (Posadas), on a twin share basis generally with private facilities. Occasionally facilities may be shared with one or two other rooms. 1 walking guide, 1 map holder, 1 detailed day‐by‐day description of the itinerary for each room booked
  • 7 day service hotline
  • Luggage transfers (max 20kgs per person)
There was quite a bit of interest in the Camino trips even the full 36 day option which the presenter said was gaining in popularity, particularly for people who book their 'adventure travels' through agencies and I know of many. Not everyone has the ability or the inclination to venture out so far overseas and 'wing it'. Some need the security and/or convenience of pre-booked travel and the benefit of a knowledgeable guide.
And you are making this observation from Australia ...

I can make the same observation from here in Europe...

Now UK tour operators like Exodus and Explore Worldwide have self-guided or group Camino tours on offer, and I think the same applies for France with Terre d'Aventure and Allibert, also very large players in the adventure travel and walking tours business.

I, too, I'm neither approving nor disapproving this development, just making this observation.
So folks, I agree with@Katharina's observations and @Mark Lee that the tour groups and self-guided walks are here to stay and will only increase. It's happened to many other iconic treks around the World, including religious pilgrimages. Everest is now a mountain that 'real' mountaineers avoid due to commercialism and over-crowding.

Are the tour companies causing 'our' overcrowding? They're certainly adding to it but that could be said of everyone who walks the Way. How will this impact the Camino only time will tell. As to the question of whether setting out and arriving as tourist or pilgrim - only the travellers themselves will ever know.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
Maybe we are talking at cross purposes here. The original is a print from 1571. Underneath it says: P.BRUEGEL INVENTOR" and "CHRISTE PEREGRINI DIGNARIS SUMERE FORMAM,/UT FIRMA SOLIDES PECTORA NOSTRA FIDE. LUC.24, which means more or less "Christ, you deign to assume the appearance of a pilgrim in order to confirm our hearts in steadfast faith. Gospel of Luke 24".

All three figures wear pilgrims' garb from Bruegel's time. Each carries a pilgrim's staff. It was a tradition to represent Jesus and the two disciples as pilgrims on the road to Emmaus. As @sillydoll said already, there are also paintings where only Jesus is depicted as a pilgrim (on the way to Emmaus). I need to look it up but Christian pilgrimage is older than the way to Saint James. It's not walking to a holy place; it's walking on earth as a Christian, following Jesus. (I really need to look it up; it dates back to a time before the Middle Ages).

View attachment 26797
Yes, I think we are talking past each other. I'm not debating anything about the painting or its history. Nor am I debating the sketchy, albeit pious, theology that presents Christ as a pilgrim, though I'll accept "in the guise" as successfully threading the needle.

Yes, Christian pilgrimage dates back to Origin and appears to have already been established. It has Old Testament roots as well, and so can be assumed to have transferred fairly quickly into a Christian context of visiting Jerusalem and the surroundings for places relevant to Christ's life. As such, Christian pilgrimage has always been about visiting a holy place. It's a relatively modern adaptation to a more generic paradigm of life en route to heaven (e.g. Pilgrim's Progress, or the Church as the pilgrim people of God).

My only two points were that 1) the disciples on the road to Emmaus weren't doing so as pilgrims (nor was Christ), and 2) their discipleship has a far greater dignity than being a pilgrim (if it helps resolve the impasse, feel free to equate pilgrim with disciple in the context of walking on earth as a Christian).

Everything else about the history of the art or the comedic additions is completely irrelevant (even if correct), at least to the point I was attempting to make.
 
Last edited:

OLDER threads on this topic



Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 7 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 24 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 84 15.8%
  • May

    Votes: 141 26.5%
  • June

    Votes: 43 8.1%
  • July

    Votes: 12 2.3%
  • August

    Votes: 9 1.7%
  • September

    Votes: 143 26.8%
  • October

    Votes: 58 10.9%
  • November

    Votes: 6 1.1%
  • December

    Votes: 3 0.6%
Top