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Camino Snobs

Eibhlís

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000 I walked 300km of the Camino Frances.
2020 I plan to walk the whole 800km.
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
There are so many people walking nowadays that I'm sure you will find EVERYTHING on the caminos. Including snobs - I have myself encountered a man who thought I couldn't be a real pilgrim since I didn't wear heavy boots.

Live and let live, say I.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
Ooooh, serious question 🤭. Of course, there are these labels floating around! People want to impose their ideas of the world on you and they want you to follow their ideas and conceptions; their way is the only way to salvation, or at least to finding your real inner self or keeping some spirit alive or something like that. Don't fall for it, you are a free person.

Even I had to free myself eventually from these preconceptions: since I am avoiding mass accommodation and bunkbeds everywhere where they are not an absolute necessity and share my dinero with the casas rurales, hoteles and private albergue owners if they offer me a private room, I have sometimes referred to us coyly as "luxury pilgrims" when chatting with the public albergue lot. These days are long gone
🤣.

Just smile politely when you hear someone giving you their talk and don't disagree. It makes them happier. Goes both ways, btw, for the ones who are the Camino snobs and for the ones who call them Camino snobs.
 
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D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
Ignore it. If you happen to overhear such a comment (I haven't) do not waste energy being upset or perturbed; you cannot control the behavior of others, you can only control how you choose to react or respond. :)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
Oh yes, I jokingly referred to "Sarria Strollers" when talking to an experienced Caminante and was really surprised at her views on the "tourists", "cheats" and "day trippers". I did not remind her that I knew of at least two occasions where she'd taken a taxi (albeit once due to blisters and the other an upset stomach).
Perhaps we should all adopt John 8:7 as a maxim?
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
The Camino shows you the best and worst of human nature ;-) Just take the best and ignore the rest.
BC SY
So so true!
Thank you!

I stumbled upon a camino-snob in July and was surprised by him. But he did not upset me. I was too tired and exhausted to be upset ;-)
That killed him totally, he didn't get the reaction he wanted. So he talked to the next pilgrim. ;)
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
In general the camino reflects normal society, you will see the same things as in regular life. There is a difference though. A camino seems to be more than just a walking trek in Spain, ending in Santiago. The existence of this forum is a proof of this. The "specialness" is further stressed by awarding compostellas. Perhaps people feel the need to define what makes the camino special. Is it the religious motivation, the being a pilgrim? In this case the only "real" camino would be to walk from your home to the catedral in Santiago. For others things like living simple, meeting and sharing other people in albergues are the main aspects. Some have more performance goals, taking a bus or taxi is cheating. Some cling to the following the yellow arrows as being the real camino, taking shortcuts or asphalt is a real deviation for them. Everyone walks on the caminos with his/her own goals, of course it is not right to judge others on the base of your own goals/standards. But like I said the need to do so can spring from the need to safeguard the specialness of the camino.( I consider myself a walker, I walk on the caminos for reasons like : the walking pleasure, the good and affordable infrastructure, the easy way to contact other people combined with the many possibilities of being on your own when walking, the culture, language and history of Spain, and the camino. I have no religious or spiritual motivation to walk a camino, reaching Santiago or getting a Compostella is not important for me. In short I am not a real pilgrim, but that had no impact on my meetings with "fello-travellers"
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
I am not sure why this would perturbe you. The Camino is open to all and, as a result, all kinds of individuals walk, ride, stroll, and hike all while being themselves.
Some are purists and quite convinced of doing a Camino a certain way. Others are strictly tourists and are having the time of their lives.
The point is that the Camino is not about others and how they are doing their Camino. The Camino is about you and how you are doing it. Do the Camino in the way you feel led to do it and forget about the preferences of everyone else.
Bon Chemin
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Does such a thing exist?
Yes, and not just about how to do a camino.

I usually wear the kilt when walking.

I have been asked (twice in three years) was I born in Scotland? (no) followed by the instruction that you can wear the kilt only if you were born in Scotland.

Despite the advice above I asked where that instruction came from. The response "It stands to reason". Once I just shrugged my shoulders and resumed walking. The other seemed more open to chat so I said my father, born in Scotland, had given me advice on what to wear. This one still seemed captured by their reason.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
This is an excellent thread, and it serves to remind me of, and emphatically punctuate Camino Rule One:

"Everyone does their own Camino. No one else has the right or standing to judge, criticize, or condemn how another pilgrim chooses to accomplish their personal journey... PERIOD"

Of course, one can have a personal opinion. But, as with many other issues in life, we do not necessarily need to hear about it.

I too, have made sometimes sarcastic comments about the "Sarria Stroller Set." Sometimes, I felt with good reason. But, also at times, likely without good reason. But I, nonetheless, respect their reasons for doing a shorter walk, even if I may disagree strongly with some.

Having said this I still have an issue with those who seek to shave the minimum distance to qualify for a Compostela even further by endlessly debating where the exact 100 km threshold point is, and how they can get there without walking from Sarria or Tui. Both large towns, with good rail and bus connectors, are customary starting points for the final 100 km segment, but are several hours walk slightly outside the 100 km point.

Still and all, if you do not know the complete back story for each and every pilgrim, you cannot possibly have a fully informed opinion. This can be embarrassing when you find out the person who only walked a short distance, from Tui or Sarria. is suffering from a serious illness, or only has a two-week vacation, and who had to devote the entire time to getting to Spain from afar, and allowing enough time to get home.

Think about it. If you were flying from, say the US, you would need at least two full days and nights to get to your starting place. Then you walk for 5-7 days. After arriving at Santiago, you need another 2 - 3 days to return home. That consumes an entire two-week period. Coincidentally, this is pretty much the standard for an annual paid vacation in the US and Canada. Some occupations have more liberal vacation / holiday allowances, but rarely more than two or three-weeks.

I learned some years ago, and I continue to learn, how to prevent stuffing my booted foot in my mouth. Mostly, I learned how to keep it out of my mouth by having to extract it on so many occasions. The important thing is that I learned and evolved farther as a human being.

Sometimes, when you have a negative or adverse thought about something or someone, it is best kept to yourself. If you do feel the need to share it, make certain that the others will likely agree with your observation or opinion BEFORE you let 'er rip.

Stated opinions are like bullets fired from a gun. Once the trigger is pulled and the bullet leaves the barrel, there is no changing the trajectory...and you cannot call that bullet back.

Hope this helps.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
The sole tourist vs. pilgrim observation that I learned on my first Camino, and continue to believe is that: "tourists complain...pilgrims are grateful..." It is not so much of an opinion as it is a truism.

Once you spend a lot of time in and around the Camino...I do... you realize the truth of this. The nastier and more worn the tired pilgrim is, the more grateful they tend to be for even the slightest kindness or accommodation.

With too many tourists, the opposite appears to me, to be largely true. Not having suffered many of the weather, terrain, environmental, and other challenges or privations of the Camino, many tourists or 'tourigrinos' tend to have much "thinner skins." Just sayin..and this is MY OPINION.

Everything else is just hyperbole and opinion...in other words...oral flatulence... that is why it is sometimes best kept to oneself.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
I have had the good fortune to meet pilgrims that have walked from Paris, then Rome and back, then Jerusalem and back, then down to Cadiz and back on the VDLP and didn't say word about what they had done. Others told me. Comparing ones life journey to another seems counter to really living gratefully.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Yes, and not just about how to do a camino.

I usually wear the kilt when walking.

I have been asked (twice in three years) was I born in Scotland? (no) followed by the instruction that you can wear the kilt only if you were born in Scotland.

Despite the advice above I asked where that instruction came from. The response "It stands to reason". Once I just shrugged my shoulders and resumed walking. The other seemed more open to chat so I said my father, born in Scotland, had given me advice on what to wear. This one still seemed captured by their reason.
This point of view annoys me to no end as a Canadian who has walked the Camino; or parts thereof, on five occasions, wearing a kilt. I even had a women advise me that I had better move along before her husband arrived as they had "heard" of me and as I had no right to the kilt, he was threatening to "rip it off me".

I spoke to both of them and advised that I had traced my family, from parents, back to 16th century Scotland. My question as to what was the statute of limitations on being proud of ones heritage, seemed to stump them.

As a country of immigrants, we see a variety of "national dress" at various festivals throughout the year. Yes my country's original inhabitants have traditional dress. However, their pre-colonial attire would make for an uncomfortable walk I suspect. 😉
 

Bash On!

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Next year perhaps?
Sure there are snobs that think the Camino should be done in a given fashion. Check out the bad reviews I got on my book - as if walking in solitude and mindfulness is not spiritual. Like Zen Buddhism isn't spiritual? Also got hammered for choosing to sleep in the better accommodations to insure a good night's sleep!

One of the distinctions learned while walking the Camino is "Are You a Pilgrim?" or "Are You a Tourist?". For Mr. Callery, he seems to be more in the tourist category. There is some nice historical background provided, but the journey and the flow of the trip seem disjointed. Mr. Callery seems to resist the idea of a spiritual journey. There's a lot of "I" and "Me", "Zen" and "Chi" - the simple Camino lesson of gratitude is less evident. Staying in private rooms, eating most meals alone and walking a faith-less journey is just one way to walk the Camino.

I found the author to be a bit arrogant and snobish regarding the typical shelters where pilgrims have been welcomed and cared for for hundreds if not thousand of years. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford five star hotels at every turn.

Although the author indicates this is not another Camino book, it really is another account of a person finding meaning and describing the journey on foot. Many private rooms, which is fine, but this makes it seem more a vacation and less a pilgrimage. One section which describes the author's struggle with alcoholism makes this book worth a read near the end of the journey.
These make me want to read your book!
 

Bash On!

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Next year perhaps?
Yes, and not just about how to do a camino.

I usually wear the kilt when walking.

I have been asked (twice in three years) was I born in Scotland? (no) followed by the instruction that you can wear the kilt only if you were born in Scotland.

Despite the advice above I asked where that instruction came from. The response "It stands to reason". Once I just shrugged my shoulders and resumed walking. The other seemed more open to chat so I said my father, born in Scotland, had given me advice on what to wear. This one still seemed captured by their reason.
Offer to remove the kilt immediately. If these folks know so much about kilts, they may have heard what's worn (or not) underneath. ;)
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Over the last week, I read Guy Stagg's The Crossway and Timothy Egan's A Pilgrimage to Eternity in tandem (Stagg in print, Egan on audiobook, while walking). I suppose what follows could be considered spoilers, so take that into consideration.

I loved Stagg's account of his pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem; I found it utterly engrossing. He stayed in basic religious accommodation almost every night, partook of charity regularly, walked every step of the way (aside from a detour to Meteora that even he can't explain, but probably added kms in the end), and had a remarkable set of experiences.

Egan drove me up the wall. He never intended to walk every step of the way, but it seemed like he spent 3/4 of the Italian portion of the Via Francigena in a car or on a train, due to blisters. He had a comfortable budget--perhaps due to a book advance?--and slept comfortably and ate well. He stamped his credential regularly while driving and (perhaps jokingly--my annoyance might have gotten in the way) asked for a pilgrim discount on the dent he inflicted in his rental car when turning it in.

The thing is, Egan's journey seems, on the surface, to be healing. He brings a complicated and traumatic relationship with the Church to the walk; when he arrives at St. Peter's, he seems to be in a much better place. Stagg, meanwhile, acknowledges that his walk was actively harming him at many points, and there are some moments in which he literally places his life in harm's way.

My internal pilgrimage compass tells me that Stagg was pushing himself towards meaning, that his sacrifices were verging towards the sacred, and that resonated with me. Meanwhile, I bemoaned Egan's loss, the possible opportunities he lost by not pushing himself harder, by not enduring. And yet, if we take them both at their word, the outcomes ran entirely contrary to what I would assume.

Shocking, that--it turns out my own assumptions and expectations about pilgrimage can't be applied to others' pursuits! I suppose I should listen to that. It's a funny thing, though, how the more I walk, the more I can simultaneously feel more open-minded than ever and more affixed to my own personal orthodoxy.
 

Donaldclive

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata/Portuguese (2017)
Camino Sureste (2019)
Hope to do Portuguese from Tavira in 2020.
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?


If there were such a thing as a Camino hierarchy (which there isn't) then the camino snob would be at the bottom of the pile because he/she doesn't know the simple rule: your Camino is YOUR Camino. If that weren't so then there would be thousands of different classes of Compostela.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
That's mostly nonsense, including because of but especially despite of the "full Camino" being from home, and not from SJPP.

And it's also because, among many reasons, of the fact that those walking that far and further to Santiago generally speaking not only are not in the slightest bit at all judgmental of others on the Way, but because we also tend to be so grateful to be back in simple, ordinary, friendly human company after reaching SJPP that we think nothing but the best of those we may meet who have walked smaller distances than we have ... 😍
 

Jean Ti

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
I am currently walking the Camino Portuguese in November in other way they should call him the Camino swiming-pool... We're we are all very humble under the rain doing it. Nevertheless you need some courage to do it in these circumstances.

We don't see the snob's or the baloney's pilgrims at this period of the year!!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
As you can see by my profile, I've done a number of different Caminos, several times at 1000km-plus. In all of those pilgrimages, I've only very rarely encountered camino snobs (who've made their displeasure plain to me). The cathedral, who are the only rule-makers around on this, are quite clear that as far as they're concerned, 100km on foot to the tomb of the Apostle, or 200km on bicycle/horseback is all that's needed. More than that, good for you, but it's not necessary. That's what makes a full Camino. They're firm believers in the parable of the labourers in the vineyard (Matthew 20).

However, my caminoholicism is such that I was always able to take a most unpilgrimlike pleasure in trumping them with tales of crossing the Pyrenees at Liebana, or walking at dawn out of Mont Saint Michel--- indeed, they couldn't shut me up-- and after about a quarter hour of my impressive and detailled accounts, with pursed lips they began to look about for ways to leave the table. I also noted that most of these voices were male, and women onlookers appeared to be greatly amused by their predicament.

I referred above to the parable of the labourers in the vineyard-- some of the toughest and most difficult and most impressive pilgrimages I have seen had nothing to do with the kilometres walked, and their quality rarely noticeable to the passerby.
 
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Bogong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First, March 2014
Just explain that after walking barefoot from home in sackcloth and ashes on your last camino, you are taking it easy time this time round
But that surely would be the ultimate in snobbery! You have to also do it on your knees and constantly flagellate with a cat o' nine tails.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2 Camino Frances, next: April 2020 Primitivo
Does such a thing exist?
Oh yes! We had our share because we walked only Sarria-Santiago, only 10-18 km a day, and carried so small backbags people thought they were daybags 😄 AND we made the grave deeper by booking a hotel room! Noooo good, real or true pilgrims, no no. It's ridiculous, waste of time to reply to them.
 

Nick B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - May/June 2018
Portugese - (2019)
Norte - (2020)
""Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner" LaoTzu

I have more important things to care about on the Camino, where I will rest for the night, seafood or chicken for dinner, how to avoid the person tonight with the body odour that slept in my room last night and whether the five pints of beer this afternoon will impact the following day's walk so will stop at four.



 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
There are no "rules" on the Camino, (except maybe "a pilgrim is entitled to NOTHING") so I take exception to people saying "It's MY camino and no one else's." The camino is a traveling family. You are not alone, not even if you feel alone, or you wanna be. It is not YOUR camino, ever. It is ALL of ours. Your joy, discomfort, snobbishness or humility rubs off on the people around you, just like your bedbugs or viruses do. The choices you make affect other people, just as theirs affect you. The whole point of the trip is to show you how strong you are, and that it's not all about you.
So treat other people, and the trail around you, with kindness and dignity.
And pie.
 

Paul Corrin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2017)
Santiago-Muxia-Fisterra (2017)
Porto-Santiago (2018)
Ferrol-Santiago (2019
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
Having read the thread, there are a lot of good points made and humorous comments. Two things that have not been mentioned. 1) The competitive nature of people in general. 2) The Chinese lady I saw downstairs in the waiting area of the Compostela queue. She had a pile of credentials (~50), that she was annotating with dates alongside the stamps? Watched her for 30mins thinking and thinking???? Kept mouth shut 😇😇😇
 
Camino(s) past & future
Ponferrada to Santiago (2019)
Seville to Zafra (2020)
Porto to Santiago (2020)
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
Hello. This is my first post. I can see there might be “Camino snobbery” I looked down on myself! This year aged 72 I undertook my first Camino from Ponferrada to SDC (alone). I was unsure of my ability to take on a longer distance and also had my luggage sent ahead and pre- booked accommodation. I certainly looked up to the Peregrinos with huge backpacks clearly walking much further and staying in alburgues and could perfectly understand why some would consider themselves the ‘real deal’. Having said that I LOVED every second of my Camino (even the tough day from Villafranca to O Cebreiro higher route). With the benefit of hindsight I wish I had started further away and walked further but “Who knew?” Anyway I am hooked. Next year Portugues from Porto and more of the Frances.
I love the forum. Thank you. Trish.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
I have been asked (twice in three years) was I born in Scotland? (no) followed by the instruction that you can wear the kilt only if you were born in Scotland.
Haha. Love it. One would think that the physical evidence of a person not born in Scotland, wearing a kilt would cause them to question what they thought to be true but some people prefer to ignore facts than to question their preconceptions.
I expect they’ve heard about restricted or copyrighted tartans that can only be used by one company or organisation and wrongly assumed that kilts themselves are somehow restricted. Or perhaps they think that wearing a kilt is cultural appropriation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Haha. Love it. One would think that the physical evidence of a person not born in Scotland, wearing a kilt would cause them to question what they thought to be true but some people prefer to ignore facts than to question their preconceptions.
I expect they’ve heard about restricted or copyrighted tartans that can only be used by one company or organisation and wrongly assumed that kilts themselves are somehow restricted. Or perhaps they think that wearing a kilt is cultural appropriation.
*Tartan tangent alert* I've been reliably informed (individuals in the Canadian Heraldic Authority, and the Honours Secretariat of the Governor General) that anyone in Canada or with a valid affiliation to Canada can wear the national tartan, anyone from a particular province or affiliation thereto can wear the respective provincial tartan, and ditto with those cities and localities with their own tartan. For others, that they bear the name of a clan or an affiliation to it is justification enough. Undergarments, I was unofficially informed, are the business of the individual involved and the Crown has no interest.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
There are no "rules" on the Camino, (except maybe "a pilgrim is entitled to NOTHING") so I take exception to people saying "It's MY camino and no one else's." The camino is a traveling family. You are not alone, not even if you feel alone, or you wanna be. It is not YOUR camino, ever. It is ALL of ours. Your joy, discomfort, snobbishness or humility rubs off on the people around you, just like your bedbugs or viruses do. The choices you make affect other people, just as theirs affect you. The whole point of the trip is to show you how strong you are, and that it's not all about you.
So treat other people, and the trail around you, with kindness and dignity.
And pie.
I can't 'like' this enough!
"It's not all about you" is undervalued these days. And it's a huge lesson of the camino.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
The Chinese lady I saw downstairs in the waiting area of the Compostela queue. She had a pile of credentials (~50), that she was annotating with dates alongside the stamps?
As I've posted elsewhere in reference to this:
Nothing wrong with that. She was certainly a group leader, and the credentias had been handed to her by the group she'd led. The dates she was adding next to the stamps would be added to assist the office workers to assess the progress of the group. She'd then take the pile of credentias upstairs to the group office which is on the right after you enter the building, and leave then there to be processed. She'd be told to return the next day and pick up the compostelas for the members of her group. She was probably using that area downstairs because it's the only available place for her to do it. (If she was cheating she'd do it somewhere private.)
Processing groups in one go is done in the mornings by the pilgrim office staff, before the queues start to build. It's a way of dealing efficiently with large numbers of people who have all walked the same route at the same time. That's why there's an office especially for that purpose.

(I'd also add that she probably wasn't Chinese but probably from South Korea, which sends many pilgrims and is quite a religious country. Roman Catholics don't have an eaay time in China.)
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
1) The competitive nature of people in general. 2) The Chinese lady I saw downstairs in the waiting area of the Compostela queue. She had a pile of credentials (~50), that she was annotating with dates alongside the stamps? Watched her for 30mins thinking and thinking???? Kept mouth shut 😇😇😇
Why didn't you talk to her and either asked her straight away what she was doing or shared your obvious concerns? The thread is less about whether it's right or wrong on a universal absolute scale what people are doing. It is more about what people are thinking about what others are (supposedly) doing and whether we all have to regard it as right or wrong ☺.

I recently ended up walking for a while on the last 100 km in a loose group of two dozen or so South Koreans (I suppose that's what they were, I exchanged only smiles and Buen Caminos with them). I stopped paying attention to the waymarkers and just followed the direction they took. Then all of a sudden there were two huge buses parked on the road and they entered them. My thoughts? I thought "yikes, I hope I haven't followed them and I'm now off camino". Nothing more, nothing less. OK, I admit that I also had made the observation earlier that some didn't look as if they could walk long distances but so what.

Sometimes when I follow threads I think "woah, you (generic you) don't know much about pilgrimage, all you know is Camino walking as described, or even prescribed, in Camino guidebooks and Camino talks and Camino narratives". Nothing wrong with going on a foot pilgrimage in large groups, nothing wrong with logistics and organisation for large foot pilgrimage groups, nothing wrong with being picked up in a bus and transported to the group accommodation and brought back to the same location the next day, nothing wrong with the group leader having all the credencials stamped and dates added ...
 
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Paul Corrin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2017)
Santiago-Muxia-Fisterra (2017)
Porto-Santiago (2018)
Ferrol-Santiago (2019
Why didn't you talk to her and either asked her straight away what she was doing or shared your obvious concerns? The thread is less about whether it's right or wrong on a universal absolute scale what people are doing. It is more about what people are thinking about what others are (supposedly) doing and whether we all have to regard it as right or wrong ☺.

I recently ended up walking for a while on the last 100 km in a loose group of two dozen or so South Koreans (I suppose that's what they were, I exchanged only smiles and Buen Caminos with them). I stopped paying attention to the waymarkers and just followed the direction they took. Then all of a sudden there were two huge buses parked on the road and they entered them. My thoughts? I thought "yikes, I hope I haven't followed them and I'm now off camino". Nothing more, nothing less. OK, I admit that I also had made the observation earlier that some didn't look as if they could walk long distances but so what.

Sometimes when I follow threads I think "woah, you (generic you) don't know much about pilgrimage, all you know is Camino walking as described, or even prescribed, in Camino guidebooks and Camino talks and Camino narratives". Nothing wrong with going on a foot pilgrimage in large groups, nothing wrong with logistics and organisation for large foot pilgrimage groups, nothing wrong with being picked up in a bus and transported to the group accommodation and brought back to the same location the next day, nothing wrong with the group leader having all the credencials stamped and dates added ...
I was only ‘thinking’, how other pilgrims proceed, use the credential, have their Compostela granted is their concern, not mine 😊. The same for their reasons for pilgrimage. Having seen groups of wheelchair users arriving in the square with their ‘minders’, I already feel very humble. No one needs to tell anyone how to act or react to anyone else. Just a touch of humble mindfulness is required. I find Caminos walked with my friend an opportunity to relax and meditate. Trying to be helpful, without being intrusive, keeping non-judgemental is a useful skill 😃 Buen Camino
 

NancyLee

Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Camino Mar-April 2018
This is definitely ‘a thing’ having just completed Camino Frances in September. A few of us adopted a saying ‘My Camino, My Way’ much like Donaldclive alluded to.
Too many assumptions- did you ever hear that assume means ‘ass (out of) you and me’? I started in Logrono this time and you wouldn’t believe the responses from folks who assumed that to be my starting point. The year prior, I stated in SJPDP and went home in a wheelchair due to injury on day 7. Then the reply was ‘good for you for coming back, Nance!’
It is what it is!! People will always judge - we just have to carry the intrinsic purpose, value and motivation in our backpacks that cannot shatter any negativity or judgement. Walking the Camino, no matter how, is truly a privilege not to be treated lightly or be judged how it is done! Buen Camino to all my friends on this forum,
NancyLee from Canada 🇨🇦
 

Paintboy2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP-Coastal Route(2016), CdN (2017) CP-Senda Litoral (2018), Way of St. Francis (2019), CPVS (2020)
Ooooh, serious question 🤭. Of course, there are these labels floating around! People want to impose their ideas of the world on you and they want you to follow their ideas and conceptions; their way is the only way to salvation, or at least to finding your real inner self or keeping some spirit alive or something like that. Don't fall for it, you are a free person.

Even I had to free myself eventually from these preconceptions: since I am avoiding mass accommodation and bunkbeds everywhere where they are not an absolute necessity and share my dinero with the casas rurales, hoteles and private albergue owners if they offer me a private room, I have sometimes referred to us coyly as "luxury pilgrims" when chatting with the public albergue lot. These days are long gone
🤣.

Just smile politely when you hear someone giving you their talk and don't disagree. It makes them happier. Goes both ways, btw, for the ones who are the Camino snobs and for the ones who call them Camino snobs.
"Luxury Pilgrim" here. While I do and have enjoyed the occasional alberque, especially for the opportunity to meet other pilgrims, I prefer private accommodations, good wine and great food. I dont take the pilgrims meal discounts because I appreciate the gesture of kindness and I can afford the regular price. I'd rather the discounts go to those who really need it.
 

TheSparrow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2019) Walked Tomar to Coimbra - Porto to Ponte Vedra - Spiritual Variant to Santiago
from the Codex chapter 6 - bold print mine
"Pilgrims, poor or rich, whether coming or going to the place of St James, must be received charitably and respected by all peoples. For whoever will take them in and diligently procure hospitality for them, will be hosting not only St James but even the Lord Himself. For the Lord himself said in the gospel, ‘He who receives you, receives me’."
It is more about "heart" than feet anyhow?
 

Jim Michie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Norte 2016
As in the past I disagree with everyone else on this topic. It is not an issue of Camino Snob, but one of character. If you have it, you are considerate of other Pilgrims and don't take advantage of a system that is without structure. I personaly don't care if you transfer your luggage, take taxies to alburgues with sufficient accommodations, only walk from Saria, as everyone has previously mentioned it is you Camino. I take exception to those who abuse the system at the detriment of other Pilgrims. I have seen a LOT of inconsiderate/selfish people on the Camino. To those who have previously commented did you consider the effect of your actions on others when you took the taxi or train, or other actions that you "really" knew would be detrimental to others but justified it as "is is my Camino and i will do as I please".

I can hardly wait for the usual backlash on my comments. Last time someone responded on a purported religious fourm with profanity. Talk about some one with NO character.

Jim Michie
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 CF;
Hospitalera, Zamora 2017, Hospitalera Grañón 2018, Hospitalera Estella 2019
The conflict arises more when a pilgrim traveling by foot and carrying a pack arrives to find accommodations full of pilgrims supported by transport. It is easy to "let it go" until you are hot and tired and just want to lie down. I thought some pretty unkind things at times and later felt guilty.
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2008 09 14
Del Norte 2011. Portuguese 2015, 2017Ingles 2015 Fisterre 2015.
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
Having a different viewing point on the OP’s comment and those that follow I can only offer this...My first Camino included thoughts and conversations about what I thought to have been a proper pilgrimage to Santiago. Nine Camino’s later my views have been turned inside out. For me it was about learning what the Camino meant to me after experiencing it. Most walk the Camino once and their single experience informs their opinions. I think frequent and repetetive lessons have altered my initial view.
Having said that I think this thread is in some posts dangerously close to the judgemental.
Regards
Jim
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
The conflict arises more when a pilgrim traveling by foot and carrying a pack arrives to find accommodations full of pilgrims supported by transport.
Any accommodation or albergues that are exclusively for pilgrims and where foot pilgrims have priority? I think it would be useful for the discussion to make that distinction.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
The conflict arises more when a pilgrim traveling by foot and carrying a pack arrives to find accommodations full of pilgrims supported by transport. It is easy to "let it go" until you are hot and tired and just want to lie down. I thought some pretty unkind things at times and later felt guilty.
I have generally felt sympathy for pilgrims who don't carry their packs. Their choices of routes to walk are limited, and they have left the less busy routes to those of us with the health, or the imagination, to walk them with our packs (no available luggage service). Thanks very much.
 

TinaPEI

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hopefully sometime....
I met a set of retired sisters (meaning siblings not religious) who were doing at least some portion of the Frances. They called themselves the princesses because they booked fancy hotels all along the way and shipped their bags ahead carrying day packs. One ever carried a big DSLR camera. They were lovely and I loved their attitude!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
As I've posted elsewhere in reference to this:
Nothing wrong with that. She was certainly a group leader, and the credentias had been handed to her by the group she'd led. The dates she was adding next to the stamps would be added to assist the office workers to assess the progress of the group. She'd then take the pile of credentias upstairs to the group office which is on the right after you enter the building, and leave then there to be processed. She'd be told to return the next day and pick up the compostelas for the members of her group. She was probably using that area downstairs because it's the only available place for her to do it. (If she was cheating she'd do it somewhere private.)
Processing groups in one go is done in the mornings by the pilgrim office staff, before the queues start to build. It's a way of dealing efficiently with large numbers of people who have all walked the same route at the same time. That's why there's an office especially for that purpose.

(I'd also add that she probably wasn't Chinese but probably from South Korea, which sends many pilgrims and is quite a religious country. Roman Catholics don't have an easy time in China.)
As every pilgrim must present their own credencial in person to obtain a Compostela, the ONLY way this Asian lady could submit multiple credencials would be if she was the group leader. In short, there is no way a single person could obtain several dozen Compostelas, for pilgrims not present, unless a group process was involved.

Also, given the recent weather, and relative lack of dry areas to complete the credencials, doing it in the large pilgrim waiting room downstairs in the adjacent building makes perfect sense.

So, I do not suspect cheating in this instance...

I have seen many, and varied cheating efforts over the years. But, I have never seen someone actually doing it at the office, in full view of staff. They might present bogus credencials there, but they have usually been competed off site before coming to the office.

I have also seen groups of "pilgrims" get out of cars and taxis right next to the office and jump into the queue. But these folks had previously completed credencials too.

When this this silliness is seen to occur, we usually identify these folks for "special handling." First security gives them the "stink eye" and a thorough going over before they are permitted into the office area. Then once at the counter, their credencials are scrutinized very closely, and multiple questions are asked. Sometimes the good guys win, sometimes they don't but it livens up the day...

It can be very much a cat and mouse game at times.

Hope this helps.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
When this this silliness is seen to occur, we usually identify these folks for "special handling." First security gives them the "stink eye"....
@t2andr sums it up perfectly. It's hard to describe but sometimes there is simply *something* about a credentia....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Leon - Santiago (2015); Ingles (2016); Baiona - Santiago (2018); Pamplona - Burgos (2021? 2022?)
As you can see from my list, I'm one of those who's walked shorter Camino segments. I carry a daypack, my husband is my roadie (he has a bad back and can't walk any distance) and we stay at casas rurales or smaller hotels in general. So, yes, I've heard from those people who tell me I'm not a real peregrina. The first couple of times I tried to explain myself, but then I realized that their opinion of my Camino doesn't actually matter. so I smile politely and ask them what the Camino has taught them. :) It generally gets the message across.
 

cecelia

Wandering for the love and growth of it
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPP - 2003, 2005, 2009, 2013. 500 km on Le Puy 2013. Future - Vezelay-Santiago
Offer to remove the kilt immediately. If these folks know so much about kilts, they may have heard what's worn (or not) underneath. ;)
I'd be careful with this advice if I were you. You might find a whole lineup of us standing around - hoping - cheering - to see if you really would take it off. ROFLOL
 

Matthew Merten

What yellow arrow?
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances (2021)
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?

Hiya!

Oh, I must confess, I have acted like a Camino snob on occasion.

After a long, arduous ascent on a particular part of the Camino Frances, I looked before me and saw the most wonderful sight: a paved path, at least two meters in width, winding down the mountain toward a picturesque town below. Between myself and this town were four peregrinos hiking two by two in a leisurely manner, chatting away and seeming to be having a grand old time. As I approached this group to pass them, I noticed that not one of them had a backpack. Instead, they all carried tiny camel backs and had cameras dangling from around their necks. At this point I just shrugged my shoulders and wondered what kind of stories they’d tell the folks back home of how difficult it was on the Camino.

As I drew within ten feet of this group I called out, “I’m passing on your right side,” loud enough for anyone within a hundred feet to hear. Suddenly all four of the people before me spread out, four abreast and blocked my advancement. My forward momentum was too great to stop in such a steep downhill direction, thus I was forced off the concrete path and into a ditch with large rocks, real ankle breakers. Thankfully, I had a set of strong walking sticks at hand and was able to get out of the ditch without injury, although the event did nothing to improve the swollen right knee and swollen left ankle I’d been dealing with for the previous 50 kms.

Out of the ditch and back onto the concrete path, I turned back to see what these four peregrinos were up to. Why had they so rudely put me in a ditch? The answer was complicated. They saw the town down below them and just had to spread out, stop walking, block the entire path and take a picture. Okay, I’m a little miffed at this point. The word “tourists” came to mind. I walked on a couple more steps and then heard one of the folks behind me yell at me, “Hey, get out of the way!”

Apparently I was robbing them of an award winning photo, or something. I stopped, turned around and looked at the man that had yelled at me. I could deal with his rude behavior when he forced me off the trail, some folks are just unaware of their surroundings. I could deal with the fact that this man carried a tiny water pack and about 120 lbs of MacDonald’s burgers and fries under his skin. I could even deal with the fact that he yelled at me. What I couldn’t deal with was the fact that his accent was just like mine, an American. The thought crossed my mind, “No wonder the world thinks we’re a bunch of ethnocentric jerks.”

Then I did something rare in my life: I swore. I looked at the eyes of that man and said, “Shut up you a$$hole.” I stood there, staring that American down, waiting to see what he, or any of his group would do. Slowly a look came across his face that told me he was frightened. That was good enough. I had put a bully in his place. I turned and walked on. When I told my Camino companions (one from Italy and the other from Germany) about this incident later that day, they wished that they could have been there. The only thing they couldn’t believe from that story was that I swore.
 

Duane

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Camino Frances
“Camino Snob”? One thing is certain, no one can walk your camino for you. Everyone has to walk their own Camino and as many of you have pointed out that makes it intensely personal. I celebrated my 68th birthday walking the French Way in May of this year and did not encounter snobbery or I didn’t notice it. In fact when I fell ill more than one pilgrim urged me to taxi to Leon. I stuck it out because it was important to me to walk every inch but that fact made me no more virtuous than the taxiing peregrino. It was simply my choice. It could be argued that a wiser pilgrim would have taxied.

I also confess that a year previous to my walking the French Way I joined a tour group that cherry picked the best parts of the Camino Frances, Primitivo , Norte and Finisterre. It focused on the food, wine of each region and five star accommodations. I loved it and I offer no apology for it. It inspired me to walk the French Way this year and I will be doing it again in May of 2020.

If I become concerned about how you do your camino I will have to ask myself what is wrong with me that I have a need to tell you how to do it? It’s your camino, you are invested in it and however it turns out, you own it. Do it your way with no apology! Buen Camino
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
After reading about your experience, perhaps the term, Camino Snob, applies to the person pointing out others due to their actions, compared to his own. It sounds like such a small mind, sadly. Personally, I have tried twice to walk the Camino but due to injuries, both times, I had to stop and go home. The second time, I fell in Paris, before making it to SJPP ending up with contusions and broken fingers, but refused to go home before I started.

Addressing the Peregrinos who do it in a week or so at a time, it is what it is. At least they are devoting vacation time to Pilgrimage. My hat is off to them for any effort, every step they make on the Path.

For me, I will return and start where I had to finish last, at Mañeru, Navarre, Spain, 16 km East of Estella. When this will happen as I have some medical issues to resolve before I go.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
When the time is right
After reading about your experience, perhaps the term, Camino Snob, applies to the person pointing out others due to their actions, compared to his own. It sounds like such a small mind, sadly. Personally, I have tried twice to walk the Camino but due to injuries, both times, I had to stop and go home. The second time, I fell in Paris, before making it to SJPP ending up with contusions and broken fingers, but refused to go home before I started.

Addressing the Peregrinos who do it in a week or so at a time, it is what it is. At least they are devoting vacation time to Pilgrimage. My hat is off to them for any effort, every step they make on the Path.

For me, I will return and start where I had to finish last, at Mañeru, Navarre, Spain, 16 km East of Estella. When this will happen as I have some medical issues to resolve before I go.
Dear Michelle, sending some positive energy and thoughts your way to heal so that you may continue your journey. I commend you for your fortitude and serenity in accepting that even though you had a goal, goals can be reached in many different ways and in time frames we had not otherwise considered. Wishing you a speedy recovery. ❤
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
I'd be careful with this advice if I were you. You might find a whole lineup of us standing around - hoping - cheering - to see if you really would take it off. ROFLOL
I am 76. If I took mine off, they wouldn't cheer for very long:eek:
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
I've run into a few Camino Snobs lite on my Caminos. Not the "I'm better than those that haven't done the whole 800 km" type, more the "I did 800 km, which they didn't" type - a slight difference, but a difference nonetheless. And, I have to admit, I took advantage of my distance upon entering O Pedrouzo when bunks were in short supply (but there were some reserved for the long-distance walkers)

I always felt awed by those that did more, starting out in Switzerland, Paris, Denmark, or other places. It always served to keep me grounded, that despite the fact that (on my second Camino) I started in SJPdP, it still wasn't the distance they had covered.

Having done my first Camino with my wife, who was still recovering from a near-fatal auto accident, and could barely make 12-15 km a day on an ankle that had previously been shattered (and that was only one of the many broken bones), perhaps my attitude was a bit more accepting of the Sarria Strollers than some of my longer distance Peregrino companion on my second Camino. When they would comment on the short-distance Peregrinos, I would simply say, "Hey, they're out here doing a pilgrimage. It's their Camino. They could be doing something else, but they're here." I think many of the ones I spoke to came to that realization. We're all on the Camino, just some of us were on it longer. That doesn't make our Camino any better, any more special (all my Caminos have been special, in their own way), or any more spiritual, it just makes it longer :).

I take pride in the fact that I completed a fairly lengthy Camino. I consider the first, short Camino, to be one of the most uplifting things I ever did in my life (despite being only 117 km and 10 days or so). I could only hope that others get that same feeling, regardless of the length of their Camino.

So, if somebody's a snob, gently remind them of the purpose of the Camino (it ain't about length!). If they don't get it, move on.

And if somebody "cheats" on their Camino, does that lessen your experience? I know it didn't affect mine. I did my Camino for me (well, technically, In Vicare Pro for my parents, but you probably know what I mean)

Buen Camino (regardless of how long or short).
 

longwayhome

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJpdP to Santiago ( Sept-Oct 2018)
It may be helpful for prospective pilgrims to remember that, romantic as it sounds, being a Pilgrim has no automatic association with being kind, thoughtful, generous, honourable, humble , valiant or steadfast. Yes pilgrim stories about camino Angels, and the goodness of fellow peregrinos abound..but we are all just humans out here and some of us are liars, cheats and generally judgmental blaggards!!! Removing our rose tinted eyewear and expecting to meet a few of all types we won't be disappointed as long as we don't invest in anyone else's opinion.
 

Botaivica

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May - July 2016
SJPP - Santiago - Finisterra
May 2017
Caminho do Tejo
June 2017
Fatima - Santiago
HI everyone
my pilgrimage was; sleeping in municipal albergue, private alberge, hostel, fire station, casa rual, church accommodations.......

Am I a snob?

I ate sandwiches, lunch or dined at restaurants, used the pilgrim menu, drank wine tinto, in breaks beer,.....

Am I a snob?

I walked with a backpack on my back, I didn't use a taxi, I had a blister, I was happy to hang out with other pilgrims, especially women☺.....

Am I a snob?

To this day I have kept in touch with several pilgrims, in Croatia I hang out with those who have passed Camino, I am spreading the story of Camino ....

Am I a snob?

I deliberately made one thing, I did not carry a shell until I came to Finisterra. My decision.

Am I a snob?

The Camino gives us the freedom to act on Camino as we please. Those who give their opinions to others, it is their choice, not mine. They have transferred their lifestyles on the Camino. They did not open, relax, and let the Camino enter their lives. No matter why they are on the Camino, religious or not.
Camino is special to me and no one and nothing can take it from me.
 

Tony Lenton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2018)
Camino Frances ( from Ponferrada 2019)
In general the camino reflects normal society, you will see the same things as in regular life. There is a difference though. A camino seems to be more than just a walking trek in Spain, ending in Santiago. The existence of this forum is a proof of this. The "specialness" is further stressed by awarding compostellas. Perhaps people feel the need to define what makes the camino special. Is it the religious motivation, the being a pilgrim? In this case the only "real" camino would be to walk from your home to the catedral in Santiago. For others things like living simple, meeting and sharing other people in albergues are the main aspects. Some have more performance goals, taking a bus or taxi is cheating. Some cling to the following the yellow arrows as being the real camino, taking shortcuts or asphalt is a real deviation for them. Everyone walks on the caminos with his/her own goals, of course it is not right to judge others on the base of your own goals/standards. But like I said the need to do so can spring from the need to safeguard the specialness of the camino.( I consider myself a walker, I walk on the caminos for reasons like : the walking pleasure, the good and affordable infrastructure, the easy way to contact other people combined with the many possibilities of being on your own when walking, the culture, language and history of Spain, and the camino. I have no religious or spiritual motivation to walk a camino, reaching Santiago or getting a Compostella is not important for me. In short I am not a real pilgrim, but that had no impact on my meetings with "fello-travellers"
Thanks for that, Antonio’s. You have summed it up wonderfully.
 

Tony Lenton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2018)
Camino Frances ( from Ponferrada 2019)
Sorry Antonius. Predictive text.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
What amuses me with people who take issue with you for staying in private accommodation is the fact that albergues were originally set up to accommodate pilgrims who could not afford private accommodation, those who could were and are supposed to use hotels, hostals, casa rural's and private albergues but is has become folklore that everyone has to stay in albergues or they are not doing their Camino properly, a bit like having to walk the Napoleon Route for an authentic Camino when in fact the Valcarlos Route was the original one.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Addressing the Peregrinos who do it in a week or so at a time, it is what it is. At least they are devoting vacation time to Pilgrimage. My hat is off to them for any effort, every step they make on the Path.
That is a sweet thought. However, and that goes not only for those who walk a segment at a time but also for many of those who have much of their stuff transported, who take taxis or buses, who stay in other accommodation than public albergues, who start in Sarria: there is no need to constantly come up with explanations or comments that express compassion for their lot or for their behaviour and appeals to others to show the same kind of understanding. Many on a Camino have made conscious choices about what matters to them and makes sense to them, and what doesn’t. This is how they want to do it, this is how they want to get to Santiago, from wherever they set out.
 
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Cynistra

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
I could deal with the fact that this man carried a tiny water pack and about 120 lbs of MacDonald’s burgers and fries under his skin.
This sort of judgment is what for me would qualify as a perfect camino snob to be honest.
If you were to stop for a second there and listen to your own reasoning - "only carrying a tiny water pack and about 120lbs of [body weight extra]".
Body weight is weight as well, and it needs to be carried just the same. Let's say you have a real hoarding habit, and your backpack weighs 25 pounds.
This person would still be carrying 95lbs more than a person of whatever weight you deem acceptable, and still be working a lot harder on that specific stretch of the road.

Having walked the Camino in March (SJPP-SDC) and then again in October after having lost 4 stone (56 lbs) (although I stopped at Leon that time for reasons irrelevant to this post)...
I can tell you it was much, much, MUCH easier the second time around. And I'm still obese, so people who actually are in perfect shape probably have it so much easier still!

In general I've shrugged of the people (and yes, there was more than one) making incorrect assumptions about my camino based on my weight, but I just wanted to point out the sheer irony to you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Does such a thing exist? A camino snob? If so, you are correct to call it a thing. A snob is a person. Please, Eibhlís, don’t spend another second worrying. Just mind your own business. Except when you are on the camino and you meet other pilgrims. All pilgrims. Even if they resist being called pilgrims! When you are on the camino, you just breathe in and out, and take what comes your way. Try not to whinge. I do. But when the pain goes, it is all wonderful again!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
This sort of judgment is what for me would qualify as a perfect camino snob to be honest.
This isn't addressed to you personally, @Cynistra, but more a general comment. Sometimes I find that the Never Judgers 🤭 are taking it quite far, at least in my opinion. Noticing that he is has long legs, that they walk very fast, that she carries an enormous backpack, that he is very overweight, that they look extremely fit, that she doesn't carry more than what fits into a handbag ... all this isn't judgment, it's just observing the world around you.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
This isn't addressed to you personally, @Cynistra, but more a general comment. Sometimes I find that the Never Judgers 🤭are taking it quite far, at least in my opinion. Noticing that he is has long legs, that they walk very fast, that she carries an enormous backpack, that he is very overweight, that they look extremely fit, that she doesn't carry more than what fits into a handbag ... all this isn't judgment, it's just observing the world around you.
Absolutely. But the way this particular observation was expressed came across as judgemental to me, as well. The weight was mentioned is a list of things that the observer "could deal with" as if they were failings but ones that could be borne. In addition, the comment that the extra weight came from McDonalds (when the observer had no idea where the extra weight came from) just carries the judgement further. To say that the description in this case was impartial observation may not be an impartial observation. Or, given that this is an international forum, if English is not your first language, perhaps you are unaware of the negative connotations of some of the word choices.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Or, given that this is an international forum, if English is not your first language, perhaps you are unaware of the negative connotations of some of the word choices.
I am aware of them and I agree with your assessment, of course. However, I also see the wider context of these word choices: the poster shared his thoughts and feelings with us, he tries to make us understand how he felt; he kept most of his thoughts to himself and did not direct them at the man; he starts his post with a "confession" of his short-comings. The post would have been a probably much shorter but also considerably more boring post had it been written in the non-judgmental style with carefully selected impartial word choices. ☺
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2020)
Ooooh, serious question 🤭. Of course, there are these labels floating around! People want to impose their ideas of the world on you and they want you to follow their ideas and conceptions; their way is the only way to salvation, or at least to finding your real inner self or keeping some spirit alive or something like that. Don't fall for it, you are a free person.

Even I had to free myself eventually from these preconceptions: since I am avoiding mass accommodation and bunkbeds everywhere where they are not an absolute necessity and share my dinero with the casas rurales, hoteles and private albergue owners if they offer me a private room, I have sometimes referred to us coyly as "luxury pilgrims" when chatting with the public albergue lot. These days are long gone
🤣.

Just smile politely when you hear someone giving you their talk and don't disagree. It makes them happier. Goes both ways, btw, for the ones who are the Camino snobs and for the ones who call them Camino snobs.
Practicing tolerance is my New Years resolution so I can face the rude and snob people. So sad some people just can’t leave others alone.
 

Gilles

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many caminos since 2009 !
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
I walk twice a year on caminos, more than 2000km every time, all walking and with a 5 kilos backpack. Yes there are camino snobs and I love this expression I never heard. But keep in mind that there are not only turigrinos and camino snobs. Sometimes you meet simple pilgrims, even simple walkers, of any kind !
 

longwayhome

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJpdP to Santiago ( Sept-Oct 2018)
What is Camino snobbery? I suspect there will always be those who demand their personal standards be adopted by others, who like to live by "rules" they set for themselves AND others , who feel they own the rights to how something "should" be done and who are very vocal in expressing these decisions.

Such persons tend to feel upset and off balance when others are openly flouting those rules by taxiing, pack transport, accommodation choice etc. They are feeling the weight of their own "shoulds" on their shoulders along with their regulation backpack , they feel cheated somehow when a taxi passes by bearing an unknown pilgrim and tend to externalise all that angst with finger pointing and camino snobbery..phew i feel exhausted even thinking it through.

Maybe it is the weight of their own judgments that they are carrying to Santiago?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
But keep in mind that there are not only turigrinos and camino snobs.
Characterizing people as turigrinos is snobbish. As far as I'm concerned, everyone who chooses to walk or cycle the Camino can consider themselves to be pilgrims if they wish, regardless of whether they walk a day, a week, a month or a year, carry their own pack or have it transported via sherpa or Jacotrans, sleep on church steps, in tents, albergues, pensions or 5 star hotels.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
I'm not a Camino Snob. I'm so much better than that... (God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men are... Lk 18:11).

What I am is a Camino Bore. Friends and relatives head for the hills whenever I say "You know, on my last trip to Spain...."
 
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Relume99

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan - Autumn 2014 or 15
Hi everyone,
This week I was introduced to the term "Camino Snob" by a friend's colleague who has done the Camino three times. He warned me about people who may judge someone because they are not doing the whole 800km of the Camino Frances or who might be sending their bags ahead or who might take a few days along the route to rest a while and stay in a hotel etc etc. I was very surprised and a little perturbed when he mentioned this to me. Does such a thing exist?
It sure does, and is best ignored. The "Camino Experience" brigade, particularly young North Americans, seemed to me to be very intolerant of older walkers, or those pushed for time, and the fitter walkers can be very competitive in distance covered/days taken. To some, it's almost a race. "What's your hurry?" I would ask!!
I think we all set our own standard for the Camino and that should be the end of it. Unhappily, it often isn't!!
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
When the time is right
I walk twice a year on caminos, more than 2000km every time, all walking and with a 5 kilos backpack. Yes there are camino snobs and I love this expression I never heard. But keep in mind that there are not only turigrinos and camino snobs. Sometimes you meet simple pilgrims, even simple walkers, of any kind !
I have no doubt we meet more of the latter.
 

Karien W

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues
Does anyone that is blogging along here know (at least in a simple matter of speaking) the language of the country in which they are making the 'kilometers"? In other words: is the Camino a fantasy. temporal out of context hippies and yups?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Does anyone that is blogging along here know (at least in a simple matter of speaking) the language of the country in which they are making the 'kilometers"? In other words: is the Camino a fantasy. temporal out of context hippies and yups?
???????
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
The Camino and discussion of the Camino is sadly not free of opinionated people. Best to just smile and stay clear of them!
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
Thank God I'm not a Camino Snob. I'm so much better... (God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men are... Lk 18:11).

What I am is a Camino Bore. Friends and relatives head for the hills whenever I say "You know, on my last trip to Spain...."
I can totally relate to this and it made me smile! Those that haven't walked mostly have zero interest in hearing about my Camino walks. Or they really don't see a Camino much different from a regular holiday. Or they think I am totally mad for having done such a thing more than once.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
What I am is a Camino Bore. Friends and relatives head for the hills whenever I say "You know, on my last trip to Spain...."
I had to co-found a chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino in order to have a fresh group of people tell my Camino stories to. 😊
 

Gilles

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many caminos since 2009 !
Does anyone that is blogging along here know (at least in a simple matter of speaking) the language of the country in which they are making the 'kilometers"? In other words: is the Camino a fantasy. temporal out of context hippies and yups?
excellent. Most of foreign pilgrims don't speak spanish. they don't even say buenos dias or gracias. so when a spanish starts talking to you he uses english. pathetic.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Does anyone that is blogging along here know (at least in a simple matter of speaking) the language of the country in which they are making the 'kilometers"?
excellent. Most of foreign pilgrims don't speak spanish.
Not sure what the knowledge of foreign languages, or lack thereof, has to do with the thread topic?

I can confirm, however, based on my personal experience, that both the Camino snobs and their critics can effortlessly elaborate about the thread topic in the four languages that I know well enough so that I can both understand their conversation and contribute to it.

Admittedly my Spanish, and a considerable range of other languages, isn't good enough for that kind of conversation. But surely you know that the Spanish people take pride in calling the Camino de Santiago the Calle Mayor de Europa? And that doesn't refer only to this century or the last one ...
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Does anyone that is blogging along here know (at least in a simple matter of speaking) the language of the country in which they are making the 'kilometers"? In other words: is the Camino a fantasy. temporal out of context hippies and yups?
I don't understand what you are asking
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Does anyone that is blogging along here know (at least in a simple matter of speaking) the language of the country in which they are making the 'kilometers"?
If you are asking if we speak Spanish (not sure I understood the question), many of us do. I speak fluent Spanish and Portuguese (writing from Australia here), and my husband did a basic Spanish course before our first camino.

In our three walks, we tried to immerse ourselves as much as we could into the local culture and history. At the same time, we understand not everyone has that approach to the camino, and that is perfectly fine. As long as people are respectful with each other, in whatever language, their camino is their camino and not my issue to judge.

BTW, yeah, we've met a few camino snobs on the way. Usually I just add them to my prayers, hoping they will have a different attitude once they know more about the camino. And I policy myself as well to not ever become one of them. (as I am probably already in the team of camino bores! 😅 )
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Does anyone that is blogging along here know (at least in a simple matter of speaking) the language of the country in which they are making the 'kilometers"? In other words: is the Camino a fantasy. temporal out of context hippies and yups?
Indeed, for many pilgrims from Canada (I will let others comment on their own compatriots), their Camino takes place in a country in their own mind. My Spanish improves enough after a week that I can make conversation with Spanish pilgrims (about a half of those on the route) and with the inhabitants of the area through which we walk and it is a great experience to be able to communicate with these warm and tolerant-of-us and hospitable people. The history and culture is fascinating and the more Caminos I do, the more I enjoy the place.

This, of course, is a form of Camino snobbery!!
 

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