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Is there any elitism between pilgrims taking different routes?

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Davgar99

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Ingles (2021)
So I’m doing the Camino Primitivo with a small group of friends, considered by many to be the most difficult (and among the most beautiful). The closer we get to Melide and the closer we get to uniting with the much more populated French route, it bubbled among us the idea of the French Camino pilgrims having it “easy” compared to our treks across relatively remote mountains/valleys and dense forest.

While it was completely in jest, I couldn’t help but entertain the thought in my mind a little more about the possibility of different routes being looked at differently by pilgrims depending on which one they are taking. Is this a common sentiment? Do pilgrims have preconceived notions about the people that take certain routes? I don’t hold any malice or elitism against other pilgrims, everyone has their own journey that is special to them and I find that beautiful and needing to always be encouraged, but it’s something I’m rather curious about. I know there’s disdain for “turigrino” types but is there any sort of stereotypes or disdain for the different Caminos taken?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
I have noticed that there is a certain sense of one-upmanship among a few new pilgrims who walk the Napoleon route instead of the Valcarlos route, but that usually goes away after they get their first blisters and absorb the beauty of the journey. I walked the Valcarlos in the spring and the scenery was gorgeous.

Many of us have our favorite route of the moment. Mine is the Aragones, I was thoroughly moved by the thousands of years of history along the route, which in no way diminishes the other routes.

What I do not care for are the people who "want to skip the boring parts". To me that says more about the person than the route.

Embrace the fact that the journey is unique for each of us!
 
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davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
So I’m doing the Camino Primitivo with a small group of friends, considered by many to be the most difficult (and among the most beautiful). The closer we get to Melide and the closer we get to uniting with the much more populated French route, it bubbled among us the idea of the French Camino pilgrims having it “easy” compared to our treks across relatively remote mountains/valleys and dense forest.

While it was completely in jest, I couldn’t help but entertain the thought in my mind a little more about the possibility of different routes being looked at differently by pilgrims depending on which one they are taking. Is this a common sentiment? Do pilgrims have preconceived notions about the people that take certain routes? I don’t hold any malice or elitism against other pilgrims, everyone has their own journey that is special to them and I find that beautiful and needing to always be encouraged, but it’s something I’m rather curious about. I know there’s disdain for “turigrino” types but is there any sort of stereotypes or disdain for the different Caminos taken?
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Among other things, I've summited Denali once; Mt Rainier 27 times; climbed Eiger's north face when I was 19 (while stationed in Germany), spent 5+ months thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and 28 days thru-hiking the Colorado Trail (where altitudes above 10,000 feet are the norm). I was a combat Flight Medic on Dust-Off in Vietnam, oft-times with enemy fire doing its best to demonstrate an objection to my and my Huey's presence when pulling the wounded off the battlefield. I've crossed Death Valley in the heat of late Spring, followed by a long, tiring slog up Mt. Whitney. . . .

So. . if someone who does a 'tougher' Camino feels the need to turn their nose up and snort in derision when I say I've walked the Frances, I'm good with it :) Human nature is a funny thing, sometimes.
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
The folks who walk the shortest distances in the greatest comfort have chosen to be on the Camino, when they could have spent their vacation on a beach or stayed at home and watched TV. I can't understand why anyone looks down on that.
I think it's fine for people to take some pride in their own achievements, but if they translate that into looking down on other people's Caminos, then they've missed the point somehow. They should go back to the start and try again.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
I don't know about elitism, but there are certainly some Caminos with more challenging terrain. I know when you meet someone who has walked particularly long or difficult routes, I think it is OK to acknowledge that fact without any kind of snobbery on either side.
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
I have walked the Camino enough times to have learned to suppress my judgments and elitism (even in the last 100km). I am just so very grateful to have had the opportunity for so many great days walking, talking, eating, washing, and sleeping in Spain and France. And many of those nights were before the Camino was 'discovered' and monetized.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
People always want to categorize themselves and others into social groups. More than often this leads to oppressive or ugly "us" and "them" thinking. Unfortunately pilgrims are not exempt. Amount of kilometers walked, where did you start, wearing a pack or having it transported, municipal albergue or private accommodation, religious or 'just' spiritual, nationality, boots or trainers, anything goes. I try to be as aware as I can of this behavior, in myself and others, so I can cut and run at the first sign of it. Dividing up the world like this leads to nowhere. And, metaphorically speaking, I'm trying to reach Santiago.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
...when at first you conquer the CF, in your naïvety you might think of yourself that you´ve had it tough, until the next route you take on that is slightly more taxing.
I sometimes wonder why the evaluation has to be made at all, whether some " have it easy", and " if only they knew"....
I do not get why you even want to speculate...-!?
So much of one´s daily preocupation is with taking a good route in a perfect stride, if possible....don´t fall, don´t get lost, for some even: don´t die !!
Why even bother. Why get yourself poisoned by the mere thought....
If somebody needs a lesson taught how tough life/ the Camino is, it will be coming to him/her..!

We learn and we grow, we do not need benchmarking one another...
Elitism ,my sore feet !! Sometimes there are too many armchair relections.....
That is left well in the life we leave for a couple of weeks/ months while we test ourselves.
Let people who have this kind of superiority complex be in their own bubble, because you sure as Higgins do not need it....
 

Davgar99

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Ingles (2021)
...when at first you conquer the CF, in your naïvety you might think of yourself that you´ve had it tough, until the next route you take on that is slightly more taxing.
I sometimes wonder why the evaluation has to be made at all, whether some " have it easy", and " if only they knew"....
I do not get why you even want to speculate...-!?
So much of one´s daily preocupation is with taking a good route in a perfect stride, if possible....don´t fall, don´t get lost, for some even: don´t die !!
Why even bother. Why get yourself poisoned by the mere thought....
If somebody needs a lesson taughyt how tough life/ the Camino is, it will be coming to him/her..!
We learn and we grow, we do not need benchmarking one another...
Elitism ,my sore feet !! Sometimes there are too many armchair relections.....
That is left well in the life we leave for a couple of weeks/ months while we test ourselves.
Let people who have this kind of superiority complex be in their own bubble, because you sure as Higgins do not need it....
It’s only natural to make the comparison, and it was a topic we all wondered about yet did not take to heart. There is not an iota of elitism within our group, the way we agreed on seeing it is that every camino is so unique to every person that we have certainly missed out on amazing experiences that other pilgrims on other routes have had, and vice-versa. The Camino is no competition and I’m not advocating that mindset :)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
If you meet a Geneva to Fisterra foot pilgrim, you may want to feel that you are in the presence of greatness!:):)
@lovingkindness' pilgrimage from Trondhiem to Santiago several years ago inspired me, as did meeting two Norwegians in Trondheim who had walked from there or Oslo to Santiago, Rome and Jerusalem. The thing is, I didn't get any sense these three thought of themselves as part of an elite class of pilgrims.

I think it is right for us to acknowledge these as significant achievements. I don't think it makes sense to classify ourselves as part of an elite merely from having walked a longer, more scenic or more arduous route.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
@davgar 99
I see what you mean,
If you mean that you are speculating whether others are to make this distinction...?
maybe this is the poisonous way we are being trained not to feel good enough or even worthy...
 
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davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
There seem to be three divergent discussions in this thread:

1. Someone who might look down at another's Camino accomplishment, because they wallow in the belief that they did a 'harder', more 'worthy' Camino.

2. A recognition of an individual's achievement and accomplishment for something they did that is out of the ordinary, and a challenge, for them.

3. The 'Wow' factor. Looking at another's achievement, which seems fascinating, fantastic, or amazing to us as an individual.

I have no time for the likes of #1; but I periodically come into contact and applaud #2 and #3. :)
 

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
This is an interesting thread. I have walked the Frances twice via Valcarlos...once every step, once skipping the meseta; the Norte/Primitivo combination as far as Lugo; the Le Puy as far as Auvillar; and the Fisherman's Trail & Portuguese camino from Porto, adding in the Spiritual Variant. I have taken a short taxi ride or bus rarely for various reasons so not always a purist. I just like to experience variety and new adventures. I admire those who do more "obscure" routes as I call them, but doubt I'll embrace the most remote of these trails. I have no feelings of inferiority or superiority and do not judge others...I just like to walk!
 
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Pilger99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
What makes elitism?
Once a met a woman who was "only" doing 15km/day though for like 5-6 months already. I could still see the elite status in it, but she felt just weak and slow.

And why should the Frances be easier than the Primitivo? You can meet people on the french way that started far beyond most Primitivo walkers and the more sportive seekers do like 50-60km instead of 25~30km what less trained people can still enjoy. You may also see the daily "fight" for a bed as a challenge that you are hardly aware on the Primitivo. Getting sunburn and heat stroke in the Meseta is rather easy. People who came across southern Spain in summer may just smile about the short distances without shade on the Frances, but it still does not compare to hail and snow at Hospitales.
So anybody did something special, but somehow my own way seems to be the hardest and most worthy one.
But it seems to be inside most of us. If not, the distance certificate "Compostela" would not make any sense.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I have not ever given so many likes in a thread as this one. I've got to admit that for short periods of time I sort of looked down at the pilgrims sending their packs ahead but pretty quickly decided that I'm not the one to judge.

But I do judge Peg. She is guilty of Dave's Wow category. I was so impressed with the way she carried on after being stricken with food poisoning or a virus and then with tendonitis. It took awhile but she made it to SdC and then joined me for the last stretch from Finisterre to Muxia. Yay Peg.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
So anybody did something special, but somehow my own way seems to be the hardest and most worthy one.
But it seems to be inside most of us. If not, the distance certificate "Compostela" would not make any sense.
I got a distance certificate after I walked the VdlP two years ago. It just felt good to celebrate the symbolic number of walking 1,000 km.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I just got off the phone with my son, Caleb, and then saw this thread again. I have a feeling that I have used the terms 'elite' and 'elitism' as interchangeable with the words 'smugness' and 'feeling superior'.

There are Elite individuals. Olympic athletes, NBA players, Noble Prize winners (as long as its in Physics :) ). These individuals do elite things. Most people cannot do what they do. Elite individuals can be gracious or they can be smug and make sure everyone knows that they are superior.

Caleb most recently left the US Army as an Elite Operator. Among his many awards and citations are a Bronze Star with a Combat V. He and his team conducted snatch and grabs and hostage rescues as part of their combat tours in Afghanistan. Extended scouting in enemy strongholds, coordinating strike missions on location, etc.

Compared to Caleb, my military experience was a cake walk at the most basic level both in the levels of training and overall risk. And yet, last Father's Day, this is part of what he wrote in his card:

"I know you are proud of all the crazy s--- I've done in the Army, and the extensive and sometimes brutal training I had to go through before I could do all that crazy s---. I just want you to know that every time I felt like quitting or just giving a bit less than my best, I remembered all the things that YOU have done and went through, both in the Army and in life. It is important that you know that you are my hero, Pops"

Despite Caleb accomplishing far more, and going at a harder pace than I have in life, THAT is what hits me the most as an example of what, and what NOT, to be when you have achieved extraordinary things.
 

Anna Cameron

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
I just got off the phone with my son, Caleb, and then saw this thread again. I have a feeling that I have used the terms 'elite' and 'elitism' as interchangeable with the words 'smugness' and 'feeling superior'.

There are Elite individuals. Olympic athletes, NBA players, Noble Prize winners (as long as its in Physics :) ). These individuals do elite things. Most people cannot do what they do. Elite individuals can be gracious or they can be smug and make sure everyone knows that they are superior.

Caleb most recently left the US Army as an Elite Operator. Among his many awards and citations are a Bronze Star with a Combat V. He and his team conducted snatch and grabs and hostage rescues as part of their combat tours in Afghanistan. Extended scouting in enemy strongholds, coordinating strike missions on location, etc.

Compared to Caleb, my military experience was a cake walk at the most basic level both in the levels of training and overall risk. And yet, last Father's Day, this is part of what he wrote in his card:

"I know you are proud of all the crazy s--- I've done in the Army, and the extensive and sometimes brutal training I had to go through before I could do all that crazy s---. I just want you to know that every time I felt like quitting or just giving a bit less than my best, I remembered all the things that YOU have done and went through, both in the Army and in life. It is important that you know that you are my hero, Pops"

Despite Caleb accomplishing far more, and going at a harder pace than I have in life, THAT is what hits me the most as an example of what, and what NOT, to be when you have achieved extraordinary things.
😊😊😊😊😊😊
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
I just got off the phone with my son, Caleb, and then saw this thread again. I have a feeling that I have used the terms 'elite' and 'elitism' as interchangeable with the words 'smugness' and 'feeling superior'.

There are Elite individuals. Olympic athletes, NBA players, Noble Prize winners (as long as its in Physics :) ). These individuals do elite things. Most people cannot do what they do. Elite individuals can be gracious or they can be smug and make sure everyone knows that they are superior.

Caleb most recently left the US Army as an Elite Operator. Among his many awards and citations are a Bronze Star with a Combat V. He and his team conducted snatch and grabs and hostage rescues as part of their combat tours in Afghanistan. Extended scouting in enemy strongholds, coordinating strike missions on location, etc.

Compared to Caleb, my military experience was a cake walk at the most basic level both in the levels of training and overall risk. And yet, last Father's Day, this is part of what he wrote in his card:

"I know you are proud of all the crazy s--- I've done in the Army, and the extensive and sometimes brutal training I had to go through before I could do all that crazy s---. I just want you to know that every time I felt like quitting or just giving a bit less than my best, I remembered all the things that YOU have done and went through, both in the Army and in life. It is important that you know that you are my hero, Pops"

Despite Caleb accomplishing far more, and going at a harder pace than I have in life, THAT is what hits me the most as an example of what, and what NOT, to be when you have achieved extraordinary things.
Thank you for sharing this Dave. What a wonderful relationship you and your son have.
 

Mark T17

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Kumano Kodo 2012
Frances Sept 2017 (bike)
Wow what a thread. I think anybody who has done any camino can return to their daily life with a sense of accomplishment and quiet confidence due to the personal journey and experience of self reflexion. I feel equally amazed by a person in a wheel chair who travels 100Km from Sarria, the 70 year old who climbs over the Napoleon route or the 20 year old who wants to broaden their life experience and do the Portugues route. All good, choose your own way !
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
I think Purky and Dave have expressed some interesting points on this subject. They also demonstrate that the short answer is yes, the Camino is full of elitism be it the route you take or method you travel. We'd like to see ourselves as an egalitarian lot and appreciate what we get out of it as much as anyone else. But by nature we can be a bit competitive and judgmental. No one likes running into that type of pilgrim in life or on the way, it's even worse when you realise that it's you.

I've never tackled the primitive route, glad you are finding it so rewarding. I really like to hear of other routes and feel a bit sorry for those who think there is only one way, or a better way to Santiago.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Tall Pilgrim: I look down on them because I walked the whole of the Via de la Plata and they didn’t . . .

Medium Size Pilgrim: I look up to him because he walked the whole of the VdlP whereas I walked the Camino Frances all the way from St Jean. But I look down on him because he didn’t walk either . . .

Small Pilgrim: I caught the bus . . .

For this to make any kind of sense please see The British Class System
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
On the Portuguese Camino I mentioned to a 50 yr Ukrainian walker that I'd previously walked other caminos. She remarked that it was definitely something to be proud of to tell my grandchildren etc and gave me the name Hero Grandmother!
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
Interesting question. How do I look at pilgrims walking a different Camino than me? I do have some thoughts about that.

She/he who is not walking the Mozárabe (Almería-Mérida-Astorga-Santiago) is a patsy, because she/he walks less than 1428 km.

She/he who is not walking the Camino Vadiniense (which connects the Del Norte with the Frances, crossing right over the rugged Picos de Europe) hasn't crossed real mountains and doesn't know what she/he is talking about.

She/he who is not walking the Frances is afraid of other people and is too scared to really face this fear.

She/he who is walking the Frances is too scared of not being with other people.

She/he who has his backpack transported is not a real pilgrim, because she/he does it the easy way and doesn't 'suffer' like a real pilgrim.

She/he who carries her/his own backpack is not a real pilgrim, because she/he has the luxury to carry things with him. The medieval pilgrims (the real ones!!!) didn't carry a backpack, simply because they didn't own a toothpaste, evening footwear, a sleeping bag, rain gear, .....).

She/he who stops in Santiago and does not walk to the coast gives up too easily, not doing it the whole way.

She/he who looks down on other pilgrims because they don't do the hardest Camino, don't carry their backpack, don't do the longest possible distance, is a bit of a patsy, because he needs to put other people down in order to feel good himself.

Instead of putting energy in considerations like this, one could also just walk his/her own Camino the way she/he likes to, not judging other pilgrims making different choices. In my opinion there's no such thing as a 'better' or 'harder' Camino, no such thing as doing it the easy way, and I couldn't possibly tell someone which Camino to do or how to do it. Having walked a few Camino's, it might be possible for me to compare them, but I don't feel the need to do so. For me, each Camino had it's own meaning, not being better or worse than any other one.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Interesting question. How do I look at pilgrims walking a different Camino than me? I do have some thoughts about that.

She/he who is not walking the Mozárabe (Almería-Mérida-Astorga-Santiago) is a patsy, because she/he walks less than 1428 km.

She/he who is not walking the Camino Vadiniense (which connects the Del Norte with the Frances, crossing right over the rugged Picos de Europe) hasn't crossed real mountains and doesn't know what she/he is talking about.

She/he who is not walking the Frances is afraid of other people and is too scared to really face this fear.

She/he who is walking the Frances is too scared of not being with other people.

She/he who has his backpack transported is not a real pilgrim, because she/he does it the easy way and doesn't 'suffer' like a real pilgrim.

She/he who carries her/his own backpack is not a real pilgrim, because she/he has the luxury to carry things with him. The medieval pilgrims (the real ones!!!) didn't carry a backpack, simply because they didn't own a toothpaste, evening footwear, a sleeping bag, rain gear, .....).

She/he who stops in Santiago and does not walk to the coast gives up too easily, not doing it the whole way.

She/he who looks down on other pilgrims because they don't do the hardest Camino, don't carry their backpack, don't do the longest possible distance, is a bit of a patsy, because he needs to put other people down in order to feel good himself.

Instead of putting energy in considerations like this, one could also just walk his/her own Camino the way she/he likes to, not judging other pilgrims making different choices. In my opinion there's no such thing as a 'better' or 'harder' Camino, no such thing as doing it the easy way, and I couldn't possibly tell someone which Camino to do or how to do it. Having walked a few Camino's, it might be possible for me to compare them, but I don't feel the need to do so. For me, each Camino had it's own meaning, not being better or worse than any other one.
Quite good but I'm not sure the word "patsy" applies. I always thought that meant a fall-guy, stooge or dupe? Why is there never a copy of Webster to hand when you need one? 📖 ;)
 

JohnLloyd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
The question could have been shortened to “Is there any elitism?”

Yup, from the “What time did you start and where from?” guy to those who really want to tell you how many Caminos they’ve done before, it’s always quite easy to find.

Just smile serenely and walk your own Way.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
to those who really want to tell you how many Caminos they’ve done before,
I usually tell people of my prior Caminos so that they know that if they have any Camino related questions that they can ask me. I hope that my experience can be helpful.

However, now that I've done the Salvador, I'm feeling pretty elite, lol. 🤣🤣🤣
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
I love everyone's input! However, I do notice this tendency for competition in myself, both on and off Camino. I own it. As you all most likely are aware, we meet pilgrims on the race, not just for beds, but to prove their fitness. It's hard for me not to compete in such a situation. (Albeit at 60, this gets tougher and tougher 😂!!) It is the world we live in that promotes comparison and competition. Why wouldn't our human nature carry on, on the Camino as well?? I love discussions like this, because it allows us to take a deeper look inside ourselves.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
There seem to be three divergent discussions in this thread:

1. Someone who might look down at another's Camino accomplishment, because they wallow in the belief that they did a 'harder', more 'worthy' Camino.

2. A recognition of an individual's achievement and accomplishment for something they did that is out of the ordinary, and a challenge, for them.

3. The 'Wow' factor. Looking at another's achievement, which seems fascinating, fantastic, or amazing to us as an individual.

I have no time for the likes of #1; but I periodically come into contact and applaud #2 and #3. :)
I was not looking for recognition of my achievement but after I finished the Norte last year I was by far the most emotional when I got to our Church in Santiago. I really struggled a lot especially the first half of the Norte. I walked into Santiago with a young Swedish friend who was about 35 years younger than me. He told me he was surprised by my outpouring of emotion when we finished. I know that my emotional reaction had alot to do with my physical and spiritual struggles that occurred during the Camino. I think the emotions I felt would not have been there as intensely if the 30 year old version of me had just completed the Norte. The next day by wonderful chance I met a friend who I walked with alot on the Camino Portugese one year earlier. He had just finished the VDLP. He is just a few years younger than I am and he too experienced extreme difficulties. His was more with the weather on the VDLP (extreme heat) and many many days of walking in complete solitude and nights alone in empty albergues. We talked for a long time about our very different but at the same time very similar experiences. For my dear friend it was going to be more difficult to process his complete experience. For me, it was much easier as I did feel a sense of completion and achievement. It is not something I bragged about but it was something that I felt very comfortable talking to another Pilgrim about. When I returned only my wife had a strong sense of what I went through as when we had video calls on Whatsapp she could see the sometimes exhaustion in my face. With others I just left the description of my experience as it was tough, beautiful and worth every step. I have learned that (and have had agreement from many pilgrims) that only a fellow pilgrim can truly understand the steps we take on our camino. Most everyone experiences their own private pain and suffering as we walk. This is one of the beautiful bonds that we all share as pilgrims. What makes this experience even more fantastic is that for many of us who have walked and left a part of our bodies on the camino, we can't wait to do it again!!!!
 

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 love everyone's input! However, I do notice this tendency for competition in myself, both on and off Camino. I own it. As you all most likely are aware, we meet pilgrims on the race, not just for beds, but to prove their fitness. It's hard for me not to compete in such a situation. (Albeit at 60, this gets tougher and tougher 😂!!) It is the world we live in that promotes comparison and competition. Why wouldn't our human nature carry on, on the Camino as well?? I love discussions like this, because it allows us to take a deeper look inside ourselves.
Hey, Elle. I will never forget your "race" with those peregrinos on the Primitivo you wrote about!😉
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
So I’m doing the Camino Primitivo with a small group of friends, considered by many to be the most difficult (and among the most beautiful). The closer we get to Melide and the closer we get to uniting with the much more populated French route, it bubbled among us the idea of the French Camino pilgrims having it “easy” compared to our treks across relatively remote mountains/valleys and dense forest.

While it was completely in jest, I couldn’t help but entertain the thought in my mind a little more about the possibility of different routes being looked at differently by pilgrims depending on which one they are taking. Is this a common sentiment? Do pilgrims have preconceived notions about the people that take certain routes? I don’t hold any malice or elitism against other pilgrims, everyone has their own journey that is special to them and I find that beautiful and needing to always be encouraged, but it’s something I’m rather curious about. I know there’s disdain for “turigrino” types but is there any sort of stereotypes or disdain for the different Caminos taken?
My experience has been that on almost every occasion when someone brings up the pecking order of camino difficulties, if a comment is made regarding the toughness of a pilgrim it is done in jest. I especially witnessed this first hand last year on the Norte as my young Pilgrim friends I met would often lovingly abuse "Grandpa" as he bitched and moaned walking up some of those hills or zigzagged down others. It always gave me an added incentive to get up or down and tell them to stick it as we all had a good laugh over it.
I think for most the reason to do other caminos like the Primitivo, Le Puy or a variety of others is because many, like myself enjoy more solitude and also want to experience different landscapes and knowing that each Camino has its own heart and soul. One thing I noticed not the two Camino Frances' that I walked (This observation has to do with the popularity and shear number of Pilgrims and not with the CF at all) is I unfortunately did run across alot more judgmental people than on other Caminos. The funny thing is the most judgmental people I met usually ended up not being able to finish or not wanting to finish. I have no idea if this is true or not. It is just what I experienced.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
I have noticed that there is a certain sense of one-upmanship among some new pilgrims who walk the Napoleon route instead of the Valcarlos route, but that usually goes away as they get their first blisters and absorb the beauty of the journey. I walked the Valcarlos in the spring and the scenery was gorgeous.

Most of us have our favorite route of the moment. Mine is the Aragones, I was thoroughly moved by the thousands of years of history along the route, which in no way diminishes the other routes.

What I do not care for are the people who "want to skip the boring parts". To me that says more about the person than the route.

Embrace the fact that the journey is different for each of us!
The last Camino we walked was in winter so the Valcarlos route was the only open available and even part of it was closed due to snow. The road was great and we make a couple of life long friends on that road. My wife had issues with the feet and set us back a couple of days so we taxied to catch up on our time schedule for air reservations. Lessoned learned next walk in October we are adding 10 day extra so we won't have to hurry.
 

Evvie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Among other things, I've summited Denali once; Mt Rainier 27 times; climbed Eiger's north face when I was 19 (while stationed in Germany), spent 5+ months thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and 28 days thru-hiking the Colorado Trail (where altitudes above 10,000 feet are the norm). I was a combat Flight Medic on Dust-Off in Vietnam, oft-times with enemy fire doing its best to demonstrate an objection to my and my Huey's presence when pulling the wounded off the battlefield. I've crossed Death Valley in the heat of late Spring, followed by a long, tiring slog up Mt. Whitney. . . .

So. . if someone who does a 'tougher' Camino feels the need to turn their nose up and snort in derision when I say I've walked the Frances, I'm good with it :) Human nature is a funny thing, sometimes.
Thank you for your service to our country.
 

makingtrax

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
I have noticed that there is a certain sense of one-upmanship among some new pilgrims who walk the Napoleon route instead of the Valcarlos route, but that usually goes away as they get their first blisters and absorb the beauty of the journey. I walked the Valcarlos in the spring and the scenery was gorgeous.

Most of us have our favorite route of the moment. Mine is the Aragones, I was thoroughly moved by the thousands of years of history along the route, which in no way diminishes the other routes.

What I do not care for are the people who "want to skip the boring parts". To me that says more about the person than the route.

Embrace the fact that the journey is different for each of us!
I have just cycled the vacarlos route and consider it one of the hardest bike rides ever. I imagine walking it equally as hard more so than napolean route which I walked 2017.
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
There seem to be three divergent discussions in this thread:

1. Someone who might look down at another's Camino accomplishment, because they wallow in the belief that they did a 'harder', more 'worthy' Camino.

2. A recognition of an individual's achievement and accomplishment for something they did that is out of the ordinary, and a challenge, for them.

3. The 'Wow' factor. Looking at another's achievement, which seems fascinating, fantastic, or amazing to us as an individual.

I have no time for the likes of #1; but I periodically come into contact and applaud #2 and #3. :)
Thanks davebugg! There it is.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
People always want to categorize themselves and others into social groups. More than often this leads to oppressive or ugly "us" and "them" thinking. Unfortunately pilgrims are not exempt. Amount of kilometers walked, where did you start, wearing a pack or having it transported, municipal albergue or private accommodation, religious or 'just' spiritual, nationality, boots or trainers, anything goes. I try to be as aware as I can of this behavior, in myself and others, so I can cut and run at the first sign of it. Dividing up the world like this leads to nowhere. And, metaphorically speaking, I'm trying to reach Santiago.
Amen!

p.s. from someone who walked 52 km into Santiago yesterday afternoon in stormy weather with pounding rain and wet to the bone (so I must belong to the "elite" category ;) :rolleyes::p)
 

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
Amen!

p.s. from someone who walked 52 km into Santiago yesterday afternoon in stormy weather with pounding rain and wet to the bone (so I must belong to the "elite" category ;) :rolleyes::p)
Elite?... I'd call you "Super human"!
 

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 got a distance certificate after I walked the VdlP two years ago. It just felt good to celebrate the symbolic number of walking 1,000 km.
I decided to get the distance certificate for walking every step of the Camino Frances. It states I walked 799 kilometers. I didn't understand why they couldn't round it up 1 more kilometer to an even 800! I certainly walked even more than that when I walked up to the castle ruins in Castrojerez!!
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I decided to get the distance certificate for walking every step of the Camino Francis. It states I walked 799 kilometers. I didn't understand why they couldn't round it up 1 more kilometer to an even 800! I certainly walked even more than that when I walked up to the castle ruins in Castrojerez!!
My distance certificate says that I walked 1,006 km on the VdlP and another pilgrim who signed in on the same route at the same time was credited with 1,007. But I can see that it is a bit annoying to get a certificate that states that you walked 1 km less than the next 100. It is also funny, in a perverse sort of way. I have never looked at my distance certificate since, so I may remember it incorrectly. Buen camino on all your ways.
 

volleyjanice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
08/2013 St. Jean Pied de Port-Belorado, 08/2015 Burgos- Santiago/Finisterre/Muxia, 08/18 Portugese
I have to admit to some occasionally judgemental behaviour regarding the last 100k of the Frances, or those who don't carry their packs. It hadn't occurred to me that the same thing might happen regarding different routes although I tend to admire those who walk at times, or on routes that I myself might have more difficulty with. In the end I am more annoyed with myself for allowing that judgement to creep in. Truthfully much of it is in jest but never the less it sneaks in. Then I remind myself that the person doing the last 100 may have spend years making their way to this point, or be on a truly religious pilgrimage, unlike myself. Those who don't carry their pack often have a physical reason for not being able to...although the gals soaked in perfume, wearing jeans, sandals, and with full make up, and a tiny hello kitty pack pack purse...well guilty as charged, I'm still judging :eek:;)🤣 I hold the most admiration for my husband, who despite ankylosing spondylitis, soldiers on without complaint, adding the snacks that I thought we would need into his pack, and never complaining about pain. Meanwhile I mumble and moan about my sore feet and shin. We don't know what struggles someone else has no matter what route, distance, or pack weight they choose. The camino is full of lessons. I just have to keep returning to get them drilled into my head!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
So I’m doing the Camino Primitivo with a small group of friends, considered by many to be the most difficult (and among the most beautiful). The closer we get to Melide and the closer we get to uniting with the much more populated French route, it bubbled among us the idea of the French Camino pilgrims having it “easy” compared to our treks across relatively remote mountains/valleys and dense forest.

While it was completely in jest, I couldn’t help but entertain the thought in my mind a little more about the possibility of different routes being looked at differently by pilgrims depending on which one they are taking. Is this a common sentiment? Do pilgrims have preconceived notions about the people that take certain routes? I don’t hold any malice or elitism against other pilgrims, everyone has their own journey that is special to them and I find that beautiful and needing to always be encouraged, but it’s something I’m rather curious about. I know there’s disdain for “turigrino” types but is there any sort of stereotypes or disdain for the different Caminos taken?


The folks who walk the shortest distances in the greatest comfort have chosen to be on the Camino, when they could have spent their vacation on a beach or stayed at home and watched TV.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
IMHO Walking any of the Camino routes is a very personal journey.
We all walk for our own reasons.
We all have different capabilities.
Walk your own journey, and if you feel the need the judge others, keep walking, till you don't ;)

But it was an interesting question.
 

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
IMHO Walking any of the Camino routes is a very personal journey.
We all walk for our own reasons.
We all have different capabilities.
Walk your own journey, and if you feel the need the judge others, keep walking, till you don't ;)

But it was an interesting question.
Yes, but I still say leave the rice cooker at home next time!
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
I have to admit to some occasionally judgemental behaviour regarding the last 100k of the Frances
Yes, I remember when a large school group of young people walking faster than me got to the next bar and drank all the cold drinks before I arrived. I remember thinking some pretty mean things when all I was offered was a room temperature beverage and not a cool one fresh out of the (now empty) cooler...but all in all they were having a good time and doing something important. It is hard to get out of your own head when you are hot and tired. My husband, Phil, just humored me until we came to the next place with a cool drink. He loved talking to the young people who were practicing their English with him and helped me see the beauty of what these young folks were doing.
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
"occasionally judgmental" with occasionally being the key word. Took me a few Sarria-SdC trips to move out of my mind wanting to judge others where none was called for.
And I found the youth groups very stimulating and got me out of my 1006??km grumpiness. Reminded me of my joyous time in YMCA and Boy Scout camps.
 

volleyjanice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
08/2013 St. Jean Pied de Port-Belorado, 08/2015 Burgos- Santiago/Finisterre/Muxia, 08/18 Portugese
Yes, I remember when a large school group of young people walking faster than me got to the next bar and drank all the cold drinks before I arrived. I remember thinking some pretty mean things when all I was offered was a room temperature beverage and not a cool one fresh out of the (now empty) cooler...but all in all they were having a good time and doing something important. It is hard to get out of your own head when you are hot and tired. My husband, Phil, just humored me until we came to the next place with a cool drink. He loved talking to the young people who were practicing their English with him and helped me see the beauty of what these young folks were doing.
We found ourselves grumbling about a happy skippy group with fresh feet, and without packs, who were singing their way up a hill. We actually had a good laugh about it in the end.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
So I’m doing the Camino Primitivo with a small group of friends, considered by many to be the most difficult (and among the most beautiful). The closer we get to Melide and the closer we get to uniting with the much more populated French route, it bubbled among us the idea of the French Camino pilgrims having it “easy” compared to our treks across relatively remote mountains/valleys and dense forest.

While it was completely in jest, I couldn’t help but entertain the thought in my mind a little more about the possibility of different routes being looked at differently by pilgrims depending on which one they are taking. Is this a common sentiment? Do pilgrims have preconceived notions about the people that take certain routes? I don’t hold any malice or elitism against other pilgrims, everyone has their own journey that is special to them and I find that beautiful and needing to always be encouraged, but it’s something I’m rather curious about. I know there’s disdain for “turigrino” types but is there any sort of stereotypes or disdain for the different Caminos taken?
Hola @Davgar99 - about the only elitism I suggest relates to those who start in Sarria (the bucket listers, not those who have medical or physical issues) compared to those starting east of Burgos. IMHO any pilgrim who walks "all of their chosen camino" should be regarded with respect.
 

Lindsay53

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
I confess to having uncharitable thoughts about those who started in Sarria, and it seemed to me that the feel of the camino changed from then. From this:

087.JPG

To this....

.193.JPG

I know these thoughts are unworthy and I feel the need for another camino to work on this issue. :)
 

Nick B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - May/June 2018
Portugese - (2019)
Norte - (2020)
No right or wrong in my opinion, I just believe I'm a better person for having experienced one Camino with hopefully a minimum of one every year until the end of my life or when incapable of doing so.

I got more important things to think about than what, where or how fellow Pilgrims walked their Caminos, it's too boring and I'm self centred. Can only hope that doesn't make me a bad Pilgrim.
 

Lozette

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese - coastal
The folks who walk the shortest distances in the greatest comfort have chosen to be on the Camino, when they could have spent their vacation on a beach or stayed at home and watched TV. I can't understand why anyone looks down on that.
I think it's fine for people to take some pride in their own achievements, but if they translate that into looking down on other people's Caminos, then they've missed the point somehow. They should go back to the start and try again.
I say “Who cares what they think or say” everyone does what suits them. I admire people who have done long and several walks never the less. Hats off to them!!
 

Redvespablur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo April/May 2016
Voie Littorale May 2020
I’m always reminded (by myself or my wife) that judging other people’s journeys neither enriches or worsens my own.

Although being halfway to Santiago and meeting somebody walking back to Belgium completing their round trip is inspiring.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
The only sensible way of being judgemental concerns the question how you want to act yourself. I don't like walking in crowds, with bars every kilometer. So I don't walk the Camino Frances. Other people like this. Why would anybody look down on that.
Someone in this thread said that he "did not care for people who skip the boring parts"
This sounds rather condescending to me. You cannot judge anybody's actions if you don't know their situation, the goals they have set for themselves and so on. That is certainly the case when their actions have no impact on you
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I have walked from Sarria twice, as the last portion of my walks from SJpdP and from Oloron Ste Marie through the Somport Pass. Both times, I met interesting people who were only able to walk from Sarria because of personal commitments: two Polish sisters who worked as waitresses in the south of Spain and could only get a bare week off for travel time and pilgrimage, a woman who worked in the Bank of England and had two very demanding young twin daughters at home. They were fascinating people, and I spent one night with the Polish sisters when all the albergues in the Salceda area had closed for the winter that day. We had to beg the owner of Albergue Turistico Salceda to open up for us, which he did, gave us a three bedded room in his hostal and cooked us a magnificent meal. You can have wonderful adventures with people on the last 100 km, every bit as good as with those with whom you walked for many weeks. If you are open to it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
The only sensible way of being judgemental concerns the question how you want to act yourself. I don't like walking in crowds, with bars every kilometer. So I don't walk the Camino Frances. Other people like this. Why would anybody look down on that.
Someone in this thread said that he "did not care for people who skip the boring parts"
This sounds rather condescending to me. You cannot judge anybody's actions if you don't know their situation, the goals they have set for themselves and so on. That is certainly the case when their actions have no impact on you
@Antonius Vaessen , I made the comment that I do not care for people who "want to skip the boring parts". Rather than judge the comment, or me, as being condescending, perhaps you should like to know my reasoning just as I respect your's. I look at a camino - and life- as a whole. Some parts will be more interesting or beautiful, other parts less so, even rather ugly and difficult. We are a product of that and cannot choose. To appreciate the better we must also see the lesser and vice verse.

I believe that we all have had some serendipitous experience on the camino that has been humbling, that has come when our heart and mind are open to it, sometimes even in the less interesting parts.
 
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zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
We live in a competitive world. While most of us intuitively know that walking the Camino is not a race, some can't help themselves. The same goes in regards to the discussion of the comparative difficulty of the terrain of various routes. The same also goes for how many Camino's have you walked. Maybe the worst are those that have done either the Pacific Coast or Appalachian Trail and go on and on about how 'easy' the Camino is in comparison.
I think I have heard it all on my various walks.

Some pilgrims like to talk about their 40 kilometer plus days, especially the younger pilgrims. I have often been surprised to keep encountering these same people when walking roughly half their daily distance's!

At this point in my life, while I am always happy to listen and add to the discussions of the challenges of various routes, listen to tales of super long daily distances or listen to people list off their various Camino's, I am personally just happy I still have the health to walk and enjoy each Camino's...and plan the next one!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Nothing. But it is sad when the tail starts wagging the dog and ticking things off becomes more important than the things themselves
I agree, but why would you have something on a "bucket list" if it wasn't something meaningful for you? I don't personally have such a list because there's just to many things that I want to see and do, and I'm constantly learning of new ones!
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
@Antonius Vaessen , I made the comment that I do not care for people who "want to skip the boring parts". Rather than judge the comment, not me, as being condescending, perhaps you should like to know my reasoning just as I respect your's. I look at a camino - and life- as a whole. Some parts will be more interesting or beautiful, other parts less so, even rather ugly and difficult. We are a product of that and cannot choose. To truly appreciate the best we must also see the worst and vice verse.

I believe that we all have had some serendipitous experience on the camino that has been humbling, that has come when our heart and mind are open to it, sometimes in the less interesting parts.
Like I said your actions depend on the goal you set, this year we walked for three weeks on the paths of the camino del norte. We had not the intention of walking to Santiago, we just wanted to do nice walks, which meant that sometimes we took the longer coastal alternatives but also skipped the stage between Gyon and Aviles. I know also the other "side of the medal" (as we say in dutch) We walked the Coast to coast in the UK, that has a clear starting and finishing point. Due to circumstances we could not walk one stretch. It still feels like a miss.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
why would you have something on a "bucket list" if it wasn't something meaningful for you?
For bragging rights at your next party? I don't live in that kind of universe, either, @trecile - but we've probably both met that kind of person. I know I have.
 

never2latejim

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning St.-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Logrono 2019
We live in a competitive world. While most of us intuitively know that walking the Camino is not a race, some can't help themselves. The same goes in regards to the discussion of the comparative difficulty of the terrain of various routes. The same also goes for how many Camino's have you walked. Maybe the worst are those that have done either the Pacific Coast or Appalachian Trail and go on and on about how 'easy' the Camino is in comparison.
I think I have heard it all on my various walks.

Some pilgrims like to talk about their 40 kilometer plus days, especially the younger pilgrims. I have often been surprised to keep encountering these same people when walking roughly half their daily distance's!

At this point in my life, while I am always happy to listen and add to the discussions of the challenges of various routes, listen to tales of super long daily distances or listen to people list off their various Camino's, I am personally just happy I still have the health to walk and enjoy each Camino's...and plan the next one!
Younger pilgrims notching up 40+km a day, hopefully in later years will return when time permits, relax, spend more time exploring and enjoying each village, the culture, the people, the food, the countryside and gain a whole new experience from the journey. I unfortunately was in that category for my last trip due to time constraints and already planning a return where I can spend more time stopping in each village.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
For bragging rights at your next party? I don't live in that kind of universe, either, @trecile - but we probably both know that kind of person. I know I do.
My thoughts exactly.

Less is indeed more.
I never had a bucketlist but it does not mean I do not have goals in life.

And regarding elitism ? A very negative emotion. Yes, I can be very elitist but only in terms when I encounter people/ pilgrims who think they are " entitled " to something.
 

Jean-Claude

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (June 2016) - Mixía/Fisterra (July 2016).
VDLP / Sanabrés (April/May 2018)
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Among other things, I've summited Denali once; Mt Rainier 27 times; climbed Eiger's north face when I was 19 (while stationed in Germany), spent 5+ months thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and 28 days thru-hiking the Colorado Trail (where altitudes above 10,000 feet are the norm). I was a combat Flight Medic on Dust-Off in Vietnam, oft-times with enemy fire doing its best to demonstrate an objection to my and my Huey's presence when pulling the wounded off the battlefield. I've crossed Death Valley in the heat of late Spring, followed by a long, tiring slog up Mt. Whitney. . . .

So. . if someone who does a 'tougher' Camino feels the need to turn their nose up and snort in derision when I say I've walked the Frances, I'm good with it :) Human nature is a funny thing, sometimes.
.... you have my respect and admiration Mr. Bugg
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
So I’m doing the Camino Primitivo with a small group of friends, considered by many to be the most difficult (and among the most beautiful). The closer we get to Melide and the closer we get to uniting with the much more populated French route, it bubbled among us the idea of the French Camino pilgrims having it “easy” compared to our treks across relatively remote mountains/valleys and dense forest.

While it was completely in jest, I couldn’t help but entertain the thought in my mind a little more about the possibility of different routes being looked at differently by pilgrims depending on which one they are taking. Is this a common sentiment? Do pilgrims have preconceived notions about the people that take certain routes? I don’t hold any malice or elitism against other pilgrims, everyone has their own journey that is special to them and I find that beautiful and needing to always be encouraged, but it’s something I’m rather curious about. I know there’s disdain for “turigrino” types but is there any sort of stereotypes or disdain for the different Caminos taken?
For me all my pilgrimages are dedicate solely to James, the longest , the hardest with lots of pain are the best presented to James and they will make HIM ever so happy, the rest don't matters as long I have been able to rich Santiago and pay HIM my respect.
Ultreia.
Ernesto
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Rota Vicentina, fisherman’s trail, is sweet...
Camino(s) past & future
St Olav’s way Novgorod - Åbo
- Stiklestad - Nidaros (2019)
Via del a plata from Cadiz (2019)
Elitism?

«No way Jose»......BUT......as time and different pilgremages passes I get quesy of one thing.....and one thing only....when fellow walkers very often....subliminal or not.....confront me with quantified questions.......«where did you start today, what’s yours average, how many Caminos, which ones....», and so forth and so on...

I feel pushed/ pressured/boxed.....like it’s all are some «race of category»....

I’ve taken myself in shunning people of mentally.......even they could bee very sweet and welcoming in their mindset...I just dislike the idea of these kind «meassurements»...

Is that elitism...?....for me...?

Rarely and to selsom am I asked more profoundlly important questions closer to the core and nature of the growth we all undergo when wandering.....like «did you experience something extrordinary/strange/special today».....thats a icebreaker for you....okydoky....

Just sayin...;)

58763
9F2E38E3-EA6F-47C4-B5D2-00C5AB6592B8.jpeg
 

Richmond Gardner

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
The folks who walk the shortest distances in the greatest comfort have chosen to be on the Camino, when they could have spent their vacation on a beach or stayed at home and watched TV. I can't understand why anyone looks down on that.
I think it's fine for people to take some pride in their own achievements, but if they translate that into looking down on other people's Caminos, then they've missed the point somehow. They should go back to the start and try again.
I agree...everybody has a different tolerance and need. If you don't appreciate it, not necessary to share the negative feelings. Just take a different path and let people do what they like (as long as no one is harmed in the process)!
 

Richmond Gardner

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
I have walked from Sarria twice, as the last portion of my walks from SJpdP and from Oloron Ste Marie through the Somport Pass. Both times, I met interesting people who were only able to walk from Sarria because of personal commitments: two Polish sisters who worked as waitresses in the south of Spain and could only get a bare week off for travel time and pilgrimage, a woman who worked in the Bank of England and had two very demanding young twin daughters at home. They were fascinating people, and I spent one night with the Polish sisters when all the albergues in the Salceda area had closed for the winter that day. We had to beg the owner of Albergue Turistico Salceda to open up for us, which he did, gave us a three bedded room in his hostal and cooked us a magnificent meal. You can have wonderful adventures with people on the last 100 km, every bit as good as with those with whom you walked for many weeks. If you are open to it.
So true! My wife met me in Sarria, to walk the last 5 days together. Also, more friends joined for the last 3 days and 10 of us arrived together in Santiago, after I had started alone in SJPP. On top of that, Ann (wifey) who is more social, made new friends along the way that she is still in touch with. It was a merry romp to the finish. A very different experience and also a very welcome one. I guess we can acknowledge the differences without judgement, only when is ceases to matter to us.
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
Why does anyone even care what others think?
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
.... you have my respect and admiration Mr. Bugg
I thank you, but it is not really that big a deal, it is not only what I enjoyed doing, but a lot of others have accomplished far more.

The main thought to that post was that when someone acts smug and goes into 'Chest Thumping Mode' to others about the great thing s/he's accomplished, they often have no clue about someone else's background and experience. :)

It's sorta like a child or adult bully who decides to try and take a poke at someone they perceive is weaker. Suddenly they find themselves seeing stars as they stare up from the ground at their 'victim', after being unexpectedly cold-cocked.
 

bjorgts

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos in Spain, France, Portugal, Germany since 2003. Last: Camino del Sur March 2019
We came from Camino Norte to Arzua some years ago. It was a shoc even though we were prepared. But that very first morning we met a couple. A young girl had her grandmother by the arm. They were walking very, very slowly. Coming from the other side of the world. They were fullfilling the granmothers dream, smiling. I hope they reached Santiago!
Long ago, I liked to tell other peregrinos of my Caminos. I have stopped telling about my Caminos.I have not walked Camino France since 2007, but my greatest experiences of meeting people and their great stories of life and their Camino is still from Camino France. I hope I have learned an important lesson from that. When I now are near to 10000 km and 67 years old, thankfullness is more and more taking the main place, and compearing is almost gone. That feels good, like a release. Sorry for my bad english here this time!
 
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DebraS.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June/ July (2015) - incomplete
Frances June (2018)
I haven't read all of the posts and may be repeating thoughts here....but none of us know what each person had to overcome or do just to be on "Their Camino". How can any one of us judge the difficulty of another persons camino? Walking a more difficult or challenging trail may be insignificant compared to what that other person had to overcome just to be on that simple or short path.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I suspect that persons who want to brag about their one or more longer camino walks need reassurance about their competence. I have walked the walks to which I was called and am familiar both with my competence and with my weaknesses. I have found that I can often help others more by sharing how I got into trouble and how I got out of it, than to brag about my abilities or experiences. It is good to feel competent and brave. If walking longer or more challenging caminios gives some confidence in their own capabilities, hopefully they will stop trying to feel superior to others and just rest in their own strengths.
 

Jim_Hyde

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Le Puy - Navarrenx April/May 2018 Planning to walk RLS Trail & GR78 Carcassonne - SJPDP 2020
So I’m doing the Camino Primitivo with a small group of friends, considered by many to be the most difficult (and among the most beautiful). The closer we get to Melide and the closer we get to uniting with the much more populated French route, it bubbled among us the idea of the French Camino pilgrims having it “easy” compared to our treks across relatively remote mountains/valleys and dense forest.

While it was completely in jest, I couldn’t help but entertain the thought in my mind a little more about the possibility of different routes being looked at differently by pilgrims depending on which one they are taking. Is this a common sentiment? Do pilgrims have preconceived notions about the people that take certain routes? I don’t hold any malice or elitism against other pilgrims, everyone has their own journey that is special to them and I find that beautiful and needing to always be encouraged, but it’s something I’m rather curious about. I know there’s disdain for “turigrino” types but is there any sort of stereotypes or disdain for the different Caminos taken?
Everyone who walks has different reasons, abilities, constraints, aspirations, a camino is a physical, mental and to some a spiritual journey, it is not a race or competition. A fit 18 year old is of equal status to a disabled 75 year old, hopefully both would enjoy their own experience going at their own pace.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
People always want to categorize themselves and others into social groups. More than often this leads to oppressive or ugly "us" and "them" thinking. Unfortunately pilgrims are not exempt. Amount of kilometers walked, where did you start, wearing a pack or having it transported, municipal albergue or private accommodation, religious or 'just' spiritual, nationality, boots or trainers, anything goes. I try to be as aware as I can of this behavior, in myself and others, so I can cut and run at the first sign of it. Dividing up the world like this leads to nowhere. And, metaphorically speaking, I'm trying to reach Santiago.

Bravo! Now, I make it a point to never ask another pilgrim where they started as I do not want to be setting up my judging another pilgrim in terms of how far they walked, how long it took them, whether they send luggage ahead, or used public transportation for whatever reason. That is their business. Why should it matter to anyone else!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Why does anyone even care what others think?
Good question. I wonder how many PhD theses have proposed an answer.

Some years ago, I asked a friend what were the major themes that had emerged from his doctoral research. He looked at me, and I could see that I was on the cusp of getting the long answer. But to my surprise he said he could summarize it in one sentence: 'by our late 30s,' he said, 'we have given ourselves permission to be the bastards that we have become.' Until then, he went on to explain, we are much more likely to change our attitudes and behaviour in response to pressure from our work and community leaders and our peers.

Another explanation:
58807
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Bravo! Now, I make it a point to never ask another pilgrim where they started as I do not want to be setting up my judging another pilgrim in terms of how far they walked, how long it took them, whether they send luggage ahead, or used public transportation for whatever reason. That is their business. Why should it matter to anyone else!
I don't think it is necessary to avoid the topic completely. From time to time, I will ask other pilgrims about their journey. If they have been walking for a while, I will applaud their efforts, irrespective of where they started, whether they are their main packs carried, etc. If someone hasn't been on the camino very long, I might comment on how great it is that they have found the time to do what they are planning, and what a wonderful achievement it will be to reach Santiago. My view is every pilgrim deserves recognition that what they have done, or will do, is an achievement other pilgrims think is worth acknowledging.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
["dougfitz, post: 752794, member: 10982"]
I don't think it is necessary to avoid the topic completely. From time to time, I will ask other pilgrims about their journey. If they have been walking for a while, I will applaud their efforts, irrespective of where they started, whether they are their main packs carried, etc. If someone hasn't been on the camino very long, I might comment on how great it is that they have found the time to do what they are planning, and what a wonderful achievement it will be to reach Santiago. My view is every pilgrim deserves recognition that what they have done, or will do, is an achievement other pilgrims think is worth acknowledging.
[/QUOTE]

Doug,
I agree that all deserve recognition but I do not initiate questions about other’s journey. Most pilgrims, I experience seemeager to share their days journey

Some years ago, I asked a friend what were the major themes that had emerged from his doctoral research. He looked at me, and I could see that I was on the cusp of getting the long answer. But to my surprise he said he could summarize it in one sentence: 'by our late 30s,' he said, 'we have given ourselves permission to be the bastards that we have become.' Until then, he went on to explain, we are much more likely to change our attitudes and behaviour in response to pressure from our work and community leaders and our peers.

Another explanation:
View attachment 58807
I promised myself when finishing my doctorate that I would never become so full of it...talk about Elitism!!
 
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lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
I think there is some. For example, years back when The Way came out, if you chose to walk the French Route, it was because you were looking for the Hollywood version instead of people like myself, for whom that movie generated a call to walk that hasnt left me for seven years.

Now that REI is partnering with American Pilgrims On the Camino, there are loads of trekkers who are hearing this is an easy and cheap way to see Spain. (Heard in a class I attended in February) and very little about the religious aspect as a pilgrimage. Everyone has a right to walk. Personally I'm happy for the bucket listers to start in Sarria. They might be Americans with little leave of absence, people who might be Catholic and people who might just be hungering for something more. I've learned to be happy for anyone who has had the opportunity to walk, whatever their reasons. The current trend is for people to walk something other than the Frances because it's overcrowded. The thing is for me, I don't feel called to walk another route. I don't think this makes me better. I think it means I need to be practice the old phrase "To thine own self be true."
 

Dogbreath

Doug Johnson, Indiana, USA
Camino(s) past & future
CF (SJPdP --> SdC) Sep/Oct 2019
Greetings All,

This has been a GREAT thread to peruse. I've been online ~6 months, gearing up (logistically and mentally) for my first Camino in 90+ days. If I've learned anything in the multitude of years I've been on this earth, it is to focus on satisfying some higher power or purpose, not on what those around me think or say or do, playing some one-up-man-ship game. Everyone has something from their experience that gives them satisfaction. If I can absorb some of that to my betterment, life is good. I know to 'hike my own hike' (as my AT brethren say), to not over-reach in pacing or trying to create a blivet with my limited time in country. ('Blivet' = putting 10 kilo's of s... in a 5 kilo sack.). The Camino is my experience, to grow physically and spiritually as best I can.

Halfway up the scroll was davebugg's message regarding his son. Let us all remember that Father's Day (in the U.S., at least) is commemorated in a week. Do not miss the opportunity to say what your heart feels to the man most responsible for who you are now. Do this in person while you can; speak on your knees if it is too late for human conversation. In the other direction, tell someone how you did the best you could to raise him/her. Despite the shortcomings, we have bonded as a family based on love.

I am oh-so-appreciative for all the practical details and psychological issues you guys raise and can comment upon. Keep it up! I hope to see some of you on the CF this Sept/Oct.

Buen Camino!
 

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