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Bus and taxi pilgrims

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:
#1
It is enough to have rain, mud, sleet and stone on the camino but how do you beat these guys?

"I didn't see a lot of Spaniards, until after Sarria, when there
were lots doing the Camino without backpacks. We were in the bar just
before Ribadiso, and a crowd of Spaniards came in and picked up their
rucksacks there and walked the last 100 metres to the albergue with
their backpacks. My gripe was not that they walked without a backpack; it was that they collected their backpacks 100 metres before the albergues and walked in as though they had carried them the full way - taking up beds that other pilgrims could have had. That is not fair."
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#2
Yes, pretty dire.... though, you do get many Spanish doing just a couple of days when they can so they don't carry much - and then, wouldn't it be awful if those you saw had all arrived earlier and dropped off their packs while they went and celebrated a special Mass, or visited a venerated elderly relative?

Be at peace Sillydoll - at least they are there!

Bon Camino
 
#5
religion...

Br David is on to something.
What if they are deeply religous and we walk up to the door at the albergue at the same time.
Who is the pilgrim and who is the touregrino? I who have walked or they who have the faith?
Tricky questions, huh?

I will use this path not because of it's holyness or even the cultural heritage, but the fact that someone took the time to mark it and build refugios.
I'm an atheist, but I remember something like this from my religious uppbringing:
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
I'm new to this forum and don't want to offend anyone, but remember there may be more behind the story than the eye can see.

:wink:
 

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:
#7
I don't think anybody minds that a pilgrim might need to have a backpack carted now and then. There are hundreds of pilgrims that, for one reason or the other (like our member Eleanor) can't carry a heavy pack. (I don't think carrying a heavy backpack makes one pilgrim more worthy than the other anyway). Hundreds of pilrims with limited time walk part of the camino, bus a section, walk some more and so on. Nothing wrong with that either. Most of these will walk the last 100kms to earn their Compostela.
As regards groups and vehicle back-up, the Confraternity of St James states that:
"Pilgrim records/credenciales are made available only to walkers, cyclists, and pilgrims on horseback who are travelling without vehicular backup. Priority is given in the summer months to individual walking pilgrims with no vehicular support. Groups of more than 5 or 6, and cyclists, may be asked to wait for admission until early evening; at other times discretion will be used. Bear in mind that if you make use of a support vehicle you may have difficulty in gaining access to some refugios, and/or in obtaining your compostela at the end."
 
#8
hey, i need to get a gripe off my chest too. I am sick of a group of 'pilgrims' who send one of their group ahead on a bus with the packs, that member is then first in line at the alburge who pays for the lot of them and proceeds to then reserve all the bottom bunks for her friends.. im young and dont mind taking a top bunk but when me and my fiancee must have seperate bunks it gets on my wick AND one of them snores so loud, iv never heard anything like it lol oh well, im hoping iv managed to get 1 village in front now haha
 

Ulysse

Active Member
#9
Bear in mind that if you make use of a support vehicle you may have difficulty in gaining access to some refugios, and/or in obtaining your compostela at the end."
Two years in a row I have witnessed people using vehicular support without ever being denied or delaid access to an albergue, let alone refused a Compostela.

I put my feelings aside and tried to ignore these people because it was late September and there was always room (except in Sarria) in the refuges.
But I think I would blow my top if pilgrims would be refused access because that sort of human being took their places. :twisted:

Nice to get it off my chest :oops:
 

Minkey

Active Member
#11
Is it therefore equally as unacceptable to have you pack sent up to O Cebriero? Lots of people seem to do that... Can't really see the point to be honest. It's not meant to be easy!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#12
Is it therefore equally as unacceptable to have you pack sent up to O Cebriero?
I view it as a personal decision. Times I haven't done it, times I wish I would have done it, times I thought about doing it, times I forgot, times I didn't feel the need, and I'm still me, no matter what I would have done or did, a relatively nice, decent, guy. I mean, what's acceptable/unacceptable behavior, as long as no one (else) is harmed, let each one walk his/her road as they see fit... xm 8)
 
#13
My pack had to become a taxigrino because it was too heavy, but by the time I got to Estella, it was the right weight. Let´s just say I sent a bunch of stuff home. :oops: I will probably send it on ahead at O´Cebreiro as well, since I´m not so swift on ascents like that. On edit for Minkey: even if I do send my pack ahead at O´Cebreiro, the ascent will not be a walk in the park for me. I know the Camino isn´t supposed to be easy, but it´s also not supposed to take the form of a forced march either.

I don´t think that *occasionally* using a taxi service to haul your bags disqualifies you from a place at an albergue. Your pack could be too heavy & it´s a day or two to the next post office. You could end up wrenching an ankle (me) or get a really bad cramp in one leg (me again) that makes it impossible to carry a pack & walk at the same time. For those with limited time constraints, stopping is not an option.

As for the group that KiwiRich is dealing with, I think you should only be allowed to check yourself into the albergue & no one else. I primarily travelled with 2 others on this section of my trip, but we each were responsible for getting our own places & one time, we ended up in different places because the municipal albergue was full.

I think if someone pulls the "my friends get all the lower bunks" stunt on me, I´d blow my stack as well. That´s bs, and I´m being polite when I say it.


dg
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#14
...Cebreiro, the ascent will not be a walk in the park for me.

dg: suggestion: stay at La Faba, just before the Cebreiro, it's a nice way of breaking that etapa in two. Besides, that albergue is really nice.

My pack ...a taxigrino...too heavy...sent a bunch of stuff home.

Good for u!

Buen Camino, xm 8)
 

Minkey

Active Member
#15
Oh, I'm not being funny, btw... I just think it's one of those things I'll never do unless I'm ill. My pack tends only to be about 6kg anyway (plus water) so don't tend to notice it that much.

Not trying to be judgemental in any way, shape or form!

Everyone has the right to choose their own path. If people want to miss the Meseta, then so be it, if they want to send their pack on, so be it. The only people who truly irritate me are the people who will take a train or a bus to somewhere, then book themselves into a refuge before the walkers/bikers/horsey types come along... That's out of order.

Right! Hope I've cleared that up! Buen Camino! :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#16
Good points, Minkey, and I'm sure most folks agree with u, I for one understand them. Me, I don't know, guy, after some time of being what some people refer to as a "Camino junkie" (for some reason I don't like that term, but...), I've gotten over thoughts like those, though, very importantly, I respect them. I just chose to dismiss the unnecessary aggravation and negativity that they caused me. Seems that the old saying, "winning the battle is more important than winning the war " (or the other way around?), has intellectually/spiritually, seemingly, finally sunk in. The ones we're talking about have ceased to bother me. (Though am sure a lot of other Camino-related gripes r still lurking there within the darkness of my mind...). Best, xm 8)
 

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:
#17
#18
Hey Minkey & xm! On my next trip, I will start in Logrono. I won´t take a spot at the municipal albergue there that night, but will find a hotel, since I didn´t walk to Logrono that day. I think that´s polite. The albergues should be for those who´ve earned a spot either by walking, biking, or horseback. A woman starting in Pamplona did the same, although she came by the convent to check out the "real" pilgrims. :lol:

And I do think folks should realize that there is no prize for being El Mero Mero Peregrino, so they should stop killing themselves with heavy packs & horrific kms/day (several young men were putting in 40+ from SJPdP on & their feet were horrors). My friends & I enjoyed the Camino much more when we started going 10-15k per day instead of the 20-25 k recommended stages.

dg
 

Minkey

Active Member
#19
DG, that's cool... I see no problem with you staying in the albergue, just so long as other people who've walked get the chance to bag a bed!

Re: Distances... Everyone's camino is their own, do it as you feel (with a lighter pack next time!!)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#20
dg, this thing about "earning it..." I mean, according to what/whose parameters? What do we do with pilgrims who start/stay at the albergue in Roncesvalles? The one in Oviedo for the C Primitivo? Are they (we) an exception? I don't know, I think old age has creeped in, am over earning things :lol: ! Buen Camino peregrina, xm 8)
 
#21
xm, roncesvalles & SJPdP are traditional starting points & as they (especially Roncesvalles) have little else in the way of accomodation, I think they should be an exception. Certainly more were starting in Roncesvalles than were coming over the mountains the day I was there.

I know I know, once you start making rules you have to police them. :lol: I would say that at those traditional starting places where there is no other alternatives, the municipal albergues are fine for newbies. Pamplona is another starting point, but there are plenty of hotels & hostals for newbies to stay without taking up room from the veterans.

I´m coming up with some "rules of the road" (not really, but my observations) for my blog, & will certainly address this issue in terms of being a good, polite peregrino.

dg :arrow:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#22
dg, ok! Now we're getting down to business: traditional starting points... should be an exception...rules police them...those traditional starting places where there is no other alternatives...Pamplona is another starting point...coming up with some "rules of the road" (not really, but my observations) ...being a good, polite peregrino.

Reckon we'd have to reach a multicultural consensus of the term, tradition and what may go with it, and compile a list of traditional places to start from-I for one had never thought of Pamplona in terms of being a trad. place to start walking...which is something else to have in mind, who/thinks/what, is traditional?

Why don't we leave it like it is, people choosing where they want to start from, freely? Freedom is one of the key things we enjoy about the Caminos...we start putting rules, guidelines, etc., other than the ones we've had for centuries, and pop!, there goes the Camino!

I'd nix them all, really -hate rules- one could be a good/polite (human being) peregrino without rules, or not?! Got to think about that one.

And then, we'd have to establish a cross-cultural committe to decide on a trans-cultural common denominator for what should be all of the above :shock:

Who'd fund such a project :shock: ?

Is this for real? That important?

I mean, I could think of taking (serious) stands re: the conservation/preservation of the physical Camino & watching out that pilgrims r treated decently (Rabe is an ex)...

But then on the other hand there's room for everyone's interests re: this passion of ours, be it one, another, the other... :)

Buen buen Camino (u on the Road, dg?)

xm 8)
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#24
In both my camino, I stayed at the pension on day 0 so as not to take up precious space from another deserving pilgrim.

Like in real life, not everything is fair. We can only control what we can, and accept that such things do happen. Be at peace with the world, and especially yourself. And remember the lessons from the camino.

http://camino.wificat.com
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#25
It's commendable to stay somewhere else besides an albergue with the thought of "freeing" a bed, in the event that one bed would be needed-we don't know that, as one initiates the Road. Nonetheless, to the best of my knowledge, it isn't a prerequisite to have walked x amount of miles, translatable as: being worthy of, earning the right to, deserving, a bed
at an albergue. How purist/obsessive can we get :roll: ? Staying overnight at a refuge as one starts the Camino is a great way of integrating onself to the experience at the beginning of this most spiritual adventure by partaking fellowship with pilgrims from the very onset. Best, xm 8)
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#26
WolverineDG said:
And I do think folks should realize that there is no prize for being El Mero Mero Peregrino, so they should stop killing themselves with heavy packs & horrific kms/day. My friends & I enjoyed the Camino much more when we started going 10-15k per day instead of the 20-25 k recommended stages. dg
I think I should put these quote at the front of a trip notebook so I remember it and don't feel guilty if I decide 10km is enough fora day! I want to go slowly and take in all the details.
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
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#27
Xm, you got me! It is not really for altruistic reason that I stayed elsewhere on the night before the journey. :wink:

There are 2 other more compelling reasons for me to do so.

1. I did not have a pilgrim passport to allow me to stay there. I got them on the day itself in Roncesvalles (CF) and the day before in Oviedo (CP).

2. Personally I just like to have certain parameters for my camino. I am a pilgrim only from the morning of the first day till the moment I leave the pilgrim office in Santiago. Before or after that period I am a tourist.

That said, this time round I got myself an extra pilgrim passport at the pilgrim office in Santiago for my next camino. (only 0.50 euro). So even with the pilgrim passport I would probably still stay out as a tourist before the first day of my next camino.

http://camino.wificat.com
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#28
Hi evanlow, good that u know that u can stay at an albergue from the onset and not "at a pension on day 0 so as not to take up precious space from another deserving pilgrim." I also keep an extra credencial with me for my next Camino, even though I've been saying for some time that the last one was going to be "it!" Best, xm 8)
 
#29
Kiwi, it's easy not to feel guilty once you take a look at the feet of those really pushing themselves too hard. :shock: All you can do is pray that their feet will hold out & they won't suffer any long-term consequences.

dg
 

evanlow

Active Member
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#30
Interesting point WolverineDG,

I am just wondering how those ancient pilgrim does it? Certainly they don't carry the same weight we do now, and some of the stages varies from 20 km to over 50 km! I guess they do short stages in more built-up areas and long stages in places where facilities are scarce.

I read from materials in the pilgrim museum at Santiago that in the beginning the pilgrims are probably rich, travelling on horseback. After the 15th century more common folks started to walk the camino. I will be really interested to find out how these common folks do it. Without the deep pockets of the rich, do they have to stop and work to get more money to continue their journey?

At least they don't have bus and taxi pilgrims back in those days. But they probably have to watch out for robbers and con artist...
 
#31
To pack or not to pack

Just returned from the Camino, I sent at least part of my pack on several times, using good sense when my 64 year old body told me too. I did not find many pilgrams who had not at least walked the path in any places I stayed. There have been two deaths that I know of this May, 2007, and prehaps if all of us would not feel this is an endurace test or a race we would all really enjoy our journey much more. And I agree, please make part of journey about accepting others, not leaving litter, and slowing down to enjoy the Camino. It is already very busy and crowded in May!
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#32
evanlow said:
I read from materials in the pilgrim museum at Santiago that in the beginning the pilgrims are probably rich, travelling on horseback. After the 15th century more common folks started to walk the camino. I will be really interested to find out how these common folks do it. Without the deep pockets of the rich, do they have to stop and work to get more money to continue their journey?
Hi evanlow, I got a fascinating book secondhand called "The Pilgrimage to Santiago" by Edwin Mullins. The author does not actually walk much of the pilgrimage, but he has researched a lot about the history of it. I skimmed a bit but couldn't see anything jump out at me to answer your query. But I am sure to reread this book several times as it gives such interesting background to the whole history of the pilgrimage (starting from Paris.)
 
#33
evanlow said:
I am just wondering how those ancient pilgrim does it? Certainly they don't carry the same weight we do now, and some of the stages varies from 20 km to over 50 km! I guess they do short stages in more built-up areas and long stages in places where facilities are scarce.
if there's no accommodation, you sleep under the stars

evanlow said:
I read from materials in the pilgrim museum at Santiago that in the beginning the pilgrims are probably rich, travelling on horseback. After the 15th century more common folks started to walk the camino.
wealth in medieval times was measured more by land than by money, though one of the changes was the gradual rise of the towns, of trade and merchants, and hence the money economy. Given the sparsity of any records (the only people who could write were mainly churchmen), it's hard to tell what sort of people pilgrims were, but probably Chaucer's characters were typical of the time: churchmen, skilled craftsmen, assorted officials - what nowadays we would call middle-class, and wealthy enough to stop in inns. There were also the royal/noble pilgrimages, where a king or nobleman went to a shrine, with a large retinue of hundreds of people - most of the documentation we have is linked to these. It's unlikely there were many peasant pilgrims (the majority of the population), as most of them were tied to the land under the feudal/manorial system. By the 15th century, we have far more pilgrim accounts from merchants and other townsmen, though it's hard to tell whether that's because there were more of them, or because more of them could write. :)

evanlow said:
I will be really interested to find out how these common folks do it. Without the deep pockets of the rich, do they have to stop and work to get more money to continue their journey?
there won't have been any work - everyone had their fixed position in society, and vagabonds were not welcome. If pilgrims did not have any money with them, they will have been reliant on charity - which was why the various hostels were set up.

evanlow said:
At least they don't have bus and taxi pilgrims back in those days.
there are numerous complaints in the records about false pilgrims - vagabonds pretending to be pilgrims. So things don't change very much :)
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
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#34
Great insights Peter,

From what has been discussed, and if everyone back then has it's place, wouldn't that make a pilgrim during the middle ages a kind of proto-tourist? A pilgrim (tourist) looking for authenticity in their travels whether be it spiritual or a sense of adventure.

Just a thought...
 
#35
I think the motivation is/was very different. The pilgrim seeks out the holy, whether that be living holy people or, once dead, their bodily remains or places associated with them. That's just as true of the modern pilgrim visiting Lourdes as of the medieval one visiting Santiago. The tourist may visit such places, but their inspiration is not the holy; perhaps curiosity, or a detached interest in those beliefs, or in the history or the art/architecture they inspired.

As for the albergues, most of them these days are municipally run and funded out of the tourism budget. Those running them don't really care what people's motivation is (or how far they have walked or how heavy their pack is).
 

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