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First Bar Syndrome

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chillax7

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2019
maybe should be first "open" bar syndrome!

Hi all, I've been a long time lurker and finally signed up after walking St jean to Burgos the last 2 weeks of August with my wife. We're going back out to do the last part Leon to Santiago the last 2 weeks of September and now seriously regretting we didn't push harder to get these 2 middle weeks off work as well...

Anyway, does everyone else suffer from first bar syndrome? that is you walk for 7 to 12 km, go into a village and jump into the first open bar you see. We were usually desperate for a sit down with a coffee / coke / beer / food, and ended up a bit paranoid about whether there will be anywhere else. Especially as the opening times in Spain are hilariously random. Then as you walk out of the village you see other places that look really nice and quiet but by the time you get to the next place, that's all been forgotten and first open bar it is :)

Buen Camino
 

steve 217

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances planning via del la plata
Good suggestions all of these, some of my best times have been spent in bars on the Camino whether it was drinking with a nasa rocket scientist in Pamplona , a Chilean musician in Santa Domingo a Marxist welder in Redondela all great times and memories ,which i would never have had but for the Camino.
 

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)
It's not just bars. On the Invierno this year, I found a place to sit on an uncomfortable rock and ate breakfast, only to find not 50 meters down the camino and around the corner there was this: 20190605_111103.jpg
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Not a bar but you know that section of the CF at Villafranca Montes de Oca where you come off the highway and climb up behind the church? There's a fabulous view across the open valley and I was sitting there one year, having breakfast in the sunshine when another pilgrim who I knew came by.
Gesturing across the vista with a fist full of bread I said "how do you like my breakfast spot?"
He laughed and said there was a better place just a little further on.
When I'd finished I followed in his footsteps and, sure enough, there's that little rest area with the benches, BBQ and fuente (though I think that's now non potable)
When we met up again I asked him how he knew there was a better place - "there's always a better spot just a little further on!"
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
SJPdP- Meseta (28/09/2019)
after walking St jean to Burgos the last 2 weeks of August with my wife. We're going back out to do the last part Leon to Santiago the last 2 weeks of September and now seriously regretting we didn't push harder to get these 2 middle weeks off work as well...
Congratulations on your first part to Burgos and good luck for your second part from Leon. I take it you plan to miss out on a Meseta pub crawl from Burgos to Leon!

Anyway, does everyone else suffer from first bar syndrome?
'I stop when there is an occasion and sometimes when there is none', or maybe that should be drink. I drink when... Either way if I see a crowd of people outside a busy bar I tend to walk to the next bar, served quicker, stop longer and wish the same crowd of people Kinder Bueno in (slurred speech) I saw earlier when they walk by. If the first bar turns out to be last bar I carry a bottle of vino and two silicone wine glasses and create a bar wherever I stop 🤠
 
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chillax7

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2019
Congratulations on your first part to Burgos and good luck for your second part from Leon. I take it you plan to miss out on a Meseta pub crawl from Burgos to Leon!
Cheers, yes we will be missing the Mesata, shame but there's always a next time... I'm keeping up the drinking for the 2 weeks at home in between, just to stay in top form you understand.

"create a bar wherever I stop" Now that's an excellent idea, we got caught out in a place called Villamayor del Rio where everything was shut, lunch consisted of cherry vodka shots from a hip flask and glucose tablets, live and learn and all that!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I always stop at the first bar I see in the morning for my cafe con leche and tortilla....I'm not taking any chances of "no second bar". IF there is a second bar is when I have a fresh squeezed orange juice.
It's mostly on the Frances you'll find true bar hopping where you can almost "jump" from one to the other...no walking involved! 😁
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
If possible I take a quick look down the road and see if there is more bars\cafes. Quite often there is and no waiting for a coffee and a place to sit.
 
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Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018), Mozarabe and more (2019)
Yes, I’m a fellow sufferer from first (open) bar syndrome, especially before the sun has risen and when I urgently need to thaw out. Unfortunately for me, a lifelong vegetarian, the first open bars I encountered this summer were evidently truck stops. I’m quite happy to join the company of long-distance lorry drivers but less happy to sit beneath animal carcasses suspended from the ceiling.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I’m quite happy to join the company of long-distance lorry drivers but less happy to sit beneath animal carcasses suspended from the ceiling.
Many years ago BBC Radio broadcast a documentary series about a Brit travelling in the western states of the USA. The most memorable part was a conversation in a small-town diner when our narrator asked the waitress what she recommended for vegetarians. There was a long pause before her reply: "Well honey - I recommend you get out of Wyoming." :cool:
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Sometimes, if you turn your head and look down side streets, there's a bar just a few steps off the camino, which is almost guaranteed to be empty, and is more likely to charge the old prices.

Sometimes that bar is actually the first bar, but since most walkers won't deviate from the marked path even a step, it's missed.
 

cowanche

cowanche
Camino(s) past & future
Sept-Oct 2019
We found a cute little spot today, just after Maneru .... and a man, with a dream to become a way-stop for pilgrims ... Ivan's 'Olive Tree Garden'! Fresh fruit, coffee, fruit juice, water ... and local wine. All available, for whatever you'd like to donate! He even offers a sello and your choice of casual seating under his grove of olive trees! It was an unexpected treat in the middle if a hot and dusty walk - who knew? (now you do!)
 

Carlos Capacete

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Villafranca del Bierzo to Santiago on Sep 2017. Want to do SJPP to Burgos spring 2018
maybe should be first "open" bar syndrome!

Hi all, I've been a long time lurker and finally signed up after walking St jean to Burgos the last 2 weeks of August with my wife. We're going back out to do the last part Leon to Santiago the last 2 weeks of September and now seriously regretting we didn't push harder to get these 2 middle weeks off work as well...

Anyway, does everyone else suffer from first bar syndrome? that is you walk for 7 to 12 km, go into a village and jump into the first open bar you see. We were usually desperate for a sit down with a coffee / coke / beer / food, and ended up a bit paranoid about whether there will be anywhere else. Especially as the opening times in Spain are hilariously random. Then as you walk out of the village you see other places that look really nice and quiet but by the time you get to the next place, that's all been forgotten and first open bar it is :)

Buen Camino
1567610300431.jpeg 1567610300431.jpeg
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
View attachment 64389

The camino warned me for this ;)
The second bar might be better, however it might also be closed.. So I also 'suffer' from this syndrome!
I took the same photo and was going to share it! Personally, I suspect that the sign was not impartial advice and was put up by the owner of the second bar. In this case, if I recall correctly, the second bar was empty and the first bar happened to be filled with friendly pilgrims, so we walked back to the first bar. Part of what makes a bar better or worse is who happens to be sitting there.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Back in the day when the only bar in town was the only bar in town and opened when local customers desired it to be open I would never pass up any opportunity for a Con Leche, a Solo & chupita or a beer if the sun was up.

Nowadays when the choice every 500m is between Wheatgrass smoothies, Cupachinos (?) or Yoghurt milkshakes I tend to keep on walking
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Back in the day when the only bar in town was the only bar in town and opened when local customers desired it to be open I would never pass up any opportunity for a Con Leche, a Solo & chupita or a beer if the sun was up.

Nowadays when the choice every 500m is between Wheatgrass smoothies, Cupachinos (?) or Yoghurt milkshakes I tend to keep on walking
Was that before the nice queen built the bridge at Puenta La Reina?@Tincatinker ;)

(Actually I wonder what the place was called before the bridge was built)?

Davey
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Swamp? ;)

Gares translates as "station" or "place". Puenta La Reina obviously refers to the Bridge that wasn't there prior to the regal intervention. Well, there probably was some kind of river crossing just not that fancy bridge.

The naming of things, and places, probably carries little significance to many beyond fans of Ursula le Guin's Earthsea books and topographers. I have fond memories of "El Burgo", The Town, in an obscure corner of Malaga Province that until the late 80's was approached and exited on nothing more substantial than Mule Tracks, had a Fonda of the old school style - cama, cena, vino, pan and nothing much else at all apart from a lavenderia built by the Moors and a capilla that had been converted to a mosque and converted back again.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
SJPdP- Meseta (28/09/2019)
Sadly those afflictions often seem to be tied to an inability to use mirrors properly...
Not quite understanding, I'm assuming your referring to others driving or inability to mirror, signal, manovre 🤔
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Not quite understanding, I'm assuming your referring to others driving or inability to mirror, signal, manovre 🤔
No. Just that those who have those unpleasant characteristics which the bar sign lists often seem to be unable to recognise the fact - or would deny it when challenged - and so would fail to see that the sign applied to them and enter anyway.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
SJPdP- Meseta (28/09/2019)
No. Just that those who have those unpleasant characteristics which the bar sign lists often seem to be unable to recognise the fact - or would deny it when challenged - and so would fail to see that the sign applied to them and enter anyway.
tied to an inability to use mirrors properly...
Still don't see how the mirrors apply but maybe it's a reflection of my stupidity 🤠
 

camino07

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
I guess I won't have that problem on the Camino Madrid. :rolleyes:
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Back in the day when the only bar in town was the only bar in town and opened when local customers desired it to be open I would never pass up any opportunity for a Con Leche, a Solo & chupita or a beer if the sun was up.

Nowadays when the choice every 500m is between Wheatgrass smoothies, Cupachinos (?) or Yoghurt milkshakes I tend to keep on walking
On my first walk this was definitely the case. Since then unless I know it is a good size town I almost always will stop at the first bar I see. I hate getting burned and having to walk back.
 

ngm

" hikelover "
Camino(s) past & future
2010 - Camino Francés to Finisterre 840 km.
2012 - Via de la Plata/ Camino Sanabres some 1000 km
2014 - Camino de Levante/ Sureste .. and ending with the Camino de Invierno ( 1200 km )
2016 - Camino Mozárabe (- de la Plata -Sanabres /Invierno) from Granada to Santiago de Compostela ( 1180 km )
It's not just bars. On the Invierno this year, I found a place to sit on an uncomfortable rock and ate breakfast, only to find not 50 meters down the camino and around the corner there was this:View attachment 64387
have made my breakfast here too..2014
 

Attachments

tjb1013

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
1. Come upon first bar.
2. Look for a church spire.
3. If spire is not far, trudge ahead because there's usually a cafe in the shadow of the church. And if there isn't, you can trudge back.

I liked drinking a café con leche under the church spires. Truth told, didn't usually follow above advice. Just had another café con leche.
 

Thomas V

Member
Camino(s) past & future
FRANCES, St. Jean to Santiago, 2016
Camino Frances #2 Pamplona to Leon 2017
maybe should be first "open" bar syndrome!

Hi all, I've been a long time lurker and finally signed up after walking St jean to Burgos the last 2 weeks of August with my wife. We're going back out to do the last part Leon to Santiago the last 2 weeks of September and now seriously regretting we didn't push harder to get these 2 middle weeks off work as well...

Anyway, does everyone else suffer from first bar syndrome? that is you walk for 7 to 12 km, go into a village and jump into the first open bar you see. We were usually desperate for a sit down with a coffee / coke / beer / food, and ended up a bit paranoid about whether there will be anywhere else. Especially as the opening times in Spain are hilariously random. Then as you walk out of the village you see other places that look really nice and quiet but by the time you get to the next place, that's all been forgotten and first open bar it is :)

Buen Camino
Yes, very much so. On the Norte right now and we were just talking about that yesterday 😀
 

PiryatJos

Pilgrim Brit
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - SJPdP - SdC (Oct/Nov '18) (Sep/Oct '19)

Camino del Norte - Santander - SdC (2021)
Camino Rule No. 1 - never stop at the 1st bar.
Rule No. 1 can backfire if there is only 1 bar ;)
I can't remember the town but I stopped in a town early on with three bars. I stopped in the second, as did the first pilgrim I met on the road who I spoke to in Hutto day 1 and another pilgrim I saw whom I thought was struggling but just wanted to get off the road to adjust his shoe. We all just happened to be in that bar day 2 and walked together all the way to Santiago.
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
Very interesting points.
I never stop at the first bar, it's crowded and the poor bartender is usually overworked.
If there is no second bar I pee in the woods, leaving no trace of course.
 
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Reactions: RJM
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
I took the same photo and was going to share it! Personally, I suspect that the sign was not impartial advice and was put up by the owner of the second bar. In this case, if I recall correctly, the second bar was empty and the first bar happened to be filled with friendly pilgrims, so we walked back to the first bar. Part of what makes a bar better or worse is who happens to be sitting there.
I remember this well. I was suffering from sciatica and walked to the 2nd bar. The owners, seeing that I was hobbling along and in pain, took special care of me. I'll never forget...
 

Baggiegaz

Camino frances June 2017/sept 18 Camino Portugues
Camino(s) past & future
June2017 sept 2018 Camino Portuguese sept 2019
I always stop at the first bar I see in the morning for my cafe con leche and tortilla....I'm not taking any chances of "no second bar". IF there is a second bar is when I have a fresh squeezed orange juice.
It's mostly on the Frances you'll find true bar hopping where you can almost "jump" from one to the other...no walking involved! 😁
 

Baggiegaz

Camino frances June 2017/sept 18 Camino Portugues
Camino(s) past & future
June2017 sept 2018 Camino Portuguese sept 2019
Higuys.happened to me today.currently walking portuguese got just before padron.walked 100 metres down to a bar for a drink and pee .only to discover when i sweated back up to rejoin trail wow there was a empty bar just crying out for attention.sad to say i passed by..great eh
 

debi b

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francais 2007, 2013
Muxia-Finnistere 2007
Aragon 2013
del Norte (parts) 2013, 2017
VdlP 2017
maybe should be first "open" bar syndrome!

Hi all, I've been a long time lurker and finally signed up after walking St jean to Burgos the last 2 weeks of August with my wife. We're going back out to do the last part Leon to Santiago the last 2 weeks of September and now seriously regretting we didn't push harder to get these 2 middle weeks off work as well...

Anyway, does everyone else suffer from first bar syndrome? that is you walk for 7 to 12 km, go into a village and jump into the first open bar you see. We were usually desperate for a sit down with a coffee / coke / beer / food, and ended up a bit paranoid about whether there will be anywhere else. Especially as the opening times in Spain are hilariously random. Then as you walk out of the village you see other places that look really nice and quiet but by the time you get to the next place, that's all been forgotten and first open bar it is :)

Buen Camino
Walking the CF in 2007, another pilgrim and I always agreed to meet in the first bar in the next village. More than 12 years later, we still say ‘first bar, next village’ when we have to part.
 

Jim Stinson

ibrew4u
Camino(s) past & future
5/2015 CF
4/2017 CF
5/2019 CF fr Astorga
Is the real problem that no one will turn around and walk BACK 50 or 100 meters?
"I have to stop at this bar, because if I walk another 50m and there isn't another one, I'm sure as hell not going to turn around and walk back, erasing the progress I've made!"
 

ExiledSW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Fraces starting August 15th
I always stop at the first bar I see in the morning for my cafe con leche and tortilla....I'm not taking any chances of "no second bar". IF there is a second bar is when I have a fresh squeezed orange juice.
It's mostly on the Frances you'll find true bar hopping where you can almost "jump" from one to the other...no walking involved! 😁
Agreed, gotta get the 1st coffee. Most places don't open until 0800 or later. After Sarria there are a lot of cafés open at 0600 tho. So keep watch when you got that 100km mark. KT and I are 2 days out from Santiago 👍🥳😎
 

SeattleJen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
First time pilgrim and walking solo. Leaving SJDP around April 5, 2018.
First bar, second bar, bar down a side street, bar right in front of you — my Camino rule of thumb became “never pass a banos/servicios, no matter what.” Yes, I paid a lot of “potty taxes” on the trail (vino, agua, or beer), but I also never once had to find a secluded tree, either. 😉 Because of this rule, I hit a lot of first bars.
 

Tony Lenton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2018)
Camino Frances ( from Ponferrada 2019)
First bar, second bar, bar down a side street, bar right in front of you — my Camino rule of thumb became “never pass a banos/servicios, no matter what.” Yes, I paid a lot of “potty taxes” on the trail (vino, agua, or beer), but I also never once had to find a secluded tree, either. 😉 Because of this rule, I hit a lot of first bars.
Well said Jen. The truth is that the “First Bar” actually exists. The 2nd bar onwards may or may not do. Hunger/Thirst will usually guide you but always bear in mind that when passing the “ First Bar” it may also be the only bar. Most of us survive regardless.
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
roamingpaddy Food and drink on the Camino de Santiago 28
OLDER threads on this topic
Protein bars yes or no?

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