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Last post From The Road

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D

Deleted member 67185

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This was a tough decision for me to make regarding making this post.

The walk has been good. I’m doing better than I thought the thyroid med adjustments might affect. A lot of lingering stuff, but good all in all.

My pace is a bit slower than my usual pace, but I just don’t care I just get up a bit earlier to go just as far if I want to put in more miles.

I’ve also seemed to have developed a potential concept that may be developed into one of the more effective anti-blistering products available. I’ll be working on this when I get home.

The walk has allowed me to experience that which I sought... a time of meditation and spiritual time with God.

But I’ve decided to call it quits, as a ‘pilgrimage’ and as a Camino. I am now doing this as a backpacker on a hike through Spain.

From my experience, the attitude and interactions this year are waaayy different than last year. There are large groups of young adults and those under 40 who have daypacks and who transport their stuff from albergues to albergues. Bikers, too. I’ve noticed the large majority of the bikes also have their gear transported. From observation and select conversational listening, The attitude of this population seems to be far more interested in adventuring and vino consumption than that of seeking.

As wonderful as my time on ‘Camino’ has been, I have found myself in situations of hostile anti American bigotry.

Not from Spaniards or hospitaleros, but from other pilgrims. After Roncesvalles, there have been four times, either during a communal dinner or when joining in conversation in common areas with a group, when the typical question is asked “where are you from”.

The response to my answer in each of the four instances produced provocative comments, including such goodies as, “How does it feel to be hated by the rest of the world”, or labels like the word “imperialist”, or accusations like being responsible responsible for terrorism, and a mixed bag of things like causing everything from global warming to Class disparity.
My night in Burgos was the last straw for me.

I had joined a group for some after dinner refreshments. Me, more to socialize than to vino. After a bit, I was asked if I was Canadian, and when I said American, the guy got irate. He started by saying Americans must be deranged for having a “dictator like Trump as President”. When asked if I voted for him, I tried to deflect the tone of his anger by stating that no single voter elects a President.

That’s when the wine glass hit me in the shoulder.

One of the pilgrims laughed, a couple of tourists at the next table actually got involved keeping the guy in his seat. I tried to leave, but the proprietor had come out and asked me to stay.
A bit later police arrived. ☹.

Eventually my information was taken and I was asked if I wanted to make a formal complaint. I declined to do so. I didn’t want to deal with this anymore; I was angry and embarrassed and I just wanted to go back to the albergue, grab my stuff, and find a hotel. I was so angry that I threw out my pack’s scallop shell and a couple of patches that were related to Camino.

So, there we are. I am socially isolated because I don’t trust talking with others anymore. I now stay in albergues with private rooms or at private lodging rooms. I done by myself.

My ‘Camino’ is through. And I refuse to label myself as a pilgrim. If I hadn’t invested in being here, and if Caleb weren’t coming, I’d just head home and get into the mountains.
But I am here and I will finish what I started. It will just be under a different label. I will go to Santiago, because that was the original goal. But I’ll I’ll either forgo a Compostela or see if I can add the name of my infant son who died 42 years ago 2 hours after his birth. This thru-hike is between me and God, and no one else.

I had to leave Camino last year at Burgos due to medical issues. It is ironic that I abandoned ‘Camino’ at the same city again this year.
I am taking some time on this walk to try and set aside the bitterness I’m feeling, to try and adopt an attitude of forgiveness toward those who have expressed their hatred, and to complete what I started out to do with my son.

My post is offered as explanation as to why I am leaving the forum, deleting my membership, and moving on, at least for the near future. I’ve developed a fondness for those here, but I am not in a place where my presence would make a positive contribution at this time. I’ll post this but won’t be around to read further posts to the thread, if any.

And quite frankly, I am disheartened by the recent conversations which seem to reject any notion of a standard for what a pilgrim is or is not.

The wine glass thrower and bigots are, after all, only doing THEIR Camino.

And although the Forum here, as special as it is, has adopted this position, other Camino sites and authorities have not.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
This was a tough decision for me to make regarding making this post.

The walk has been good. I’m doing better than I thought the thyroid med adjustments might affect. A lot of lingering stuff, but good all in all.

My pace is a bit slower than my usual pace, but I just don’t care I just get up a bit earlier to go just as far if I want to put in more miles.

I’ve also seemed to have developed a potential concept that may be developed into one of the more effective anti-blistering products available. I’ll be working on this when I get home.

The walk has allowed me to experience that which I sought... a time of meditation and spiritual time with God.

But I’ve decided to call it quits, as a ‘pilgrimage’ and as a Camino. I am now doing this as a backpacker on a hike through Spain.

From my experience, the attitude and interactions this year are waaayy different than last year. There are large groups of young adults and those under 40 who have daypacks and who transport their stuff from albergues to albergues. Bikers, too. I’ve noticed the large majority of the bikes also have their gear transported. From observation and select conversational listening, The attitude of this population seems to be far more interested in adventuring and vino consumption than that of seeking.

As wonderful as my time on ‘Camino’ has been, I have found myself in situations of hostile anti American bigotry.

Not from Spaniards or hospitaleros, but from other pilgrims. After Roncesvalles, there have been four times, either during a communal dinner or when joining in conversation in common areas with a group, when the typical question is asked “where are you from”.

The response to my answer in each of the four instances produced provocative comments, including such goodies as, “How does it feel to be hated by the rest of the world”, or labels like the word “imperialist”, or accusations like being responsible responsible for terrorism, and a mixed bag of things like causing everything from global warming to Class disparity.
My night in Burgos was the last straw for me.

I had joined a group for some after dinner refreshments. Me, more to socialize than to vino. After a bit, I was asked if I was Canadian, and when I said American, the guy got irate. He started by saying Americans must be deranged for having a “dictator like Trump as President”. When asked if I voted for him, I tried to deflect the tone of his anger by stating that no single voter elects a President.

That’s when the wine glass hit me in the shoulder.

One of the pilgrims laughed, a couple of tourists at the next table actually got involved keeping the guy in his seat. I tried to leave, but the proprietor had come out and asked me to stay.
A bit later police arrived. ☹.

Eventually my information was taken and I was asked if I wanted to make a formal complaint. I declined to do so. I didn’t want to deal with this anymore; I was angry and embarrassed and I just wanted to go back to the albergue, grab my stuff, and find a hotel. I was so angry that I threw out my pack’s scallop shell and a couple of patches that were related to Camino.

So, there we are. I am socially isolated because I don’t trust talking with others anymore. I now stay in albergues with private rooms or at private lodging rooms. I done by myself.

My ‘Camino’ is through. And I refuse to label myself as a pilgrim. If I hadn’t invested in being here, and if Caleb weren’t coming, I’d just head home and get into the mountains.
But I am here and I will finish what I started. It will just be under a different label. I will go to Santiago, because that was the original goal. But I’ll I’ll either forgo a Compostela or see if I can add the name of my infant son who died 42 years ago 2 hours after his birth. This thru-hike is between me and God, and no one else.

I had to leave Camino last year at Burgos due to medical issues. It is ironic that I abandoned ‘Camino’ at the same city again this year.
I am taking some time on this walk to try and set aside the bitterness I’m feeling, to try and adopt an attitude of forgiveness toward those who have expressed their hatred, and to complete what I started out to do with my son.

My post is offered as explanation as to why I am leaving the forum, deleting my membership, and moving on, at least for the near future. I’ve developed a fondness for those here, but I am not in a place where my presence would make a positive contribution at this time. I’ll post this but won’t be around to read further posts to the thread, if any.

And quite frankly, I am disheartened by the recent conversations which seem to reject any notion of a standard for what a pilgrim is or is not.

The wine glass thrower and bigots are, after all, only doing THEIR Camino.

And although the Forum here, as special as it is, has adopted this position, other Camino sites and authorities have not.
Dear Davebugg
I can hardly believe what I am reading and am so sorry for what has happened to you
Cannot understand this level of hatred and nastiness

Why should you leave the forum because of the behaviour of a few people...and I would certainly not call them pilgrims

Why should you abandon what you are seeking for on your Camino because of these people

You are always one of the first to respond for information and "cries for help" on this site
So please think again about leaving, once the anger has calmed down ...and it will...I hope

You said that you won't be reading any replies to your post, but there will be many I am sure asking you to stay and feeling much anger for what has happened to you
And so many forum members will be keeping you in their prayers as you move along
With all the very best
Annette
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Oh Dave! What to say?

We must respect your decision of course but I for one will surely miss your wise and sensible advice.

I do hope you will reconsider and will appear again after some time.

Yes, this is " only a virtual place " and there is more to life...but still.

Stay safe and well.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
What Dave described is an intolerable and abusive situation and in his position I would be alternating between rage and tears myself. In the heat of that I might very well react as Dave has done here. I will certainly not blame him for it. The Camino has been touching my life in one way or another for nearly 30 years. It may well have shaped me in ways I have not even begun to realise yet. I have often ranted at the changes over the years since I first walked from SJPDP and frankly in my moments of deepest sadness and anger - or perhaps they are moments of realism and clarity when I remove the rose-tinted glasses - I consider the Camino Frances to be all but a lost cause now: a linear theme-park, an 800km long latrine, a parody and a travesty of the Camino I fell in love with. Nearing the end of my 2016 Camino Frances journey I had a moment of pain and anger so intense at the sight of the abysmal "Scallop & Arrow" theme-park which Sarria has now become that my 2016 Camino nearly ended there. Luckily that rage subsided after I left the place behind me and I reached Santiago almost restored to my normal frame of mind. But I too felt nothing in common with many I met in those last few days. And I only had the abuse of the Camino itself to rage about: not boorish insults to my nationality or a physical assault on my body. I know that some share my contempt for "It's MY Camino" and I suspect many will also agree that the notion that the Caminos and forums like this should be a "judgment-free zone" is nonsense. There is a time and a place for rage. Dave is clearly angry - and rightly so. Perhaps in time he will find some way to return to being a pilgrim in his own eyes whatever the world around him has become. Or perhaps not. If we cannot pour ointment on his wounds perhaps we can at least refrain from rubbing salt into them.

Edit: my original post was edited by a moderator as it quoted a previous post since deleted and it was addressed to the author of that post. In order to remove references specific to that person I have had to rephrase certain parts.
 
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Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
There is a certain irony to this situation. You describe a couple of run-ins with idiots and bigots who judged you and offended you based on your nationality. Which is just plain dumb, and it wouldn't be that hard to explain that to the idiots who got in your face. But I can understand why you would choose not to: never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
But to conclude (in the same post) that being a member of this forum sort of means that you have to agree that a pilgrim can behave just the way he/she wants, because it's THEIR camino, is a little weird. I won't go into the arguments why that is just wrong, because that is another discussion. I just noticed the irony of you tarring the members of this forum with the same brush after being the victim of such treatment yourself.
Having said that, I am genuinely sorry for your experiences on this camino. I hope it was just a rough patch, and things will get better soon.
 
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andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (12-15); Muxia (15); Portuguese, Primitivo (17); Norte, Ingles, VF partial (18), Le Puy (19)
Like many, I read Dave Bugg’s post this morning with shock and dismay. He talks of abandoning the Camino and this forum because of virulent anti-Americanism directed against him because of our politics since the 2016 election. I’m curious if this is what others have experienced. Since the election I’ve logged close to 1000 miles on various of the Caminos, and this has not been my experience. Curiosity, disappointment, yes, but certainly nothing personal against me because I was an American. I’d like to hear from others. I’ll miss Dave and his wise counsel, but hope this does not start a trend.
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
If we cannot impart a positive when something horrible happens to us, it becomes something we carry in anger. Pray for these rude individuals that accosted you, find solace in those that care about you and are responding with kindness. Think about what positive change you can offer or these horrible people win. They win everywhere. I will hold your frustration in my prayers for you @davebugg and hope that after this (shit) storm you find some kindness, calm and peace. It’s here for you.
 
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D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
This is such terrible news. I hope that in the near future you might reconsider returning to the forum @davebugg. Your open-hearted advice to pilgrims here is one of the things that makes it special. Your advice is so well-informed and the care you take to explain various options re. footwear, blisters or whatever is always appreciated by so many of us.
Burgos is one of the places where I nearly gave up - that was a Sunday too. Walking through the outskirts of the city I picked up so many bad feelings (or perhaps was generating them and this was reflected back at me.) But I never experienced anything like the hatred you have encountered. I offer my thoughts for you and your family in remembrance of your dear infant son. Some sorrows are with us always, if not with the same biting intensity and to lose a child is a very great tragedy.
Your experience of racism -, because that is what it is - is a demonstration of the ugliness in attitude that a few people bring with them wherever they go, sadly even on the Camino where we might expect that prejudiced mindsets were being altered by daily encounters with others. The assault on you was a crime and I am sorry that you did not press charges, but understand why you did not do so. I am so sorry that you had these experiences, know that so many of us hold you dear and you will be in our prayers with the hope that your journey henceforth will restore your tranquillity. Buen Camino @davebugg however you walk and whatever your intentions.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I think it cannot be discussed that @davebugg has felt insulted and hurt, because those were his feelings- and for good reasons!

What can be discussed, is if his reaction and his post is rational and reasonable. There seem to be many generalizations made from a few personal incidents.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
(Edited for context - I quoted a post that said the pilgrim felt nothing in common with some pilgrims. That post was changed, and the quoted text was removed)


I agree that this is A Teachable Moment. The forum, the Camino, and the world at large are all a one-room schoolhouse. The occupants represent a wide range of ability, experience, point of view, historical context, and proclivities. You are sooooo right that there will be fellow travelers with whom you feel no connection whatsoever, it would be astonishing if you did. Lets bear in mind that they probably feel exactly the same way about you. I'm not picking on you here, I just chose your very accurate comment to react to!

What Dave experienced here was a series of what amount to road rage incidents. Some react in terror, some reach for their gun, some attempt to de-escalate, and others engage in verbal outrage. Dave's reaction was to get off the road. When someone flips you the bird or honks their horn its quite rational to examine your actions to determine if their anger is warranted. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The reaction following that moment of reflection is quite variable after that. Some people shelve the incident and move on. Others carry a scar with them forever.

Lets hope that Dave chooses the former. The belligerent and aggressive are always out there, they always will be. Attempting to legislate them out of existence is a fool's errand. Staying clear from them is a great first choice strategy. Sometimes though, its unavoidable. When we let the risk of encountering the belligerent and aggressive dictate our future actions though, we are diminished. Avoidance at all costs diminishes us, since our freedom to choose becomes restricted.

Having read Dave's work here, I predict that he will process the incidents, and come around. Just like the jerks who assaulted him are out there, so are the kind, the sincere, and the generous of spirit. You wouldn't want to avoid them too, would you?
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
@davebugg , I cannot tell you how this pains me and how I feel for you! It went right through my heart and right now, I am too shocked and upset to write anything sensible, let alone something that would be of help to you.
But please, please, let us know you are well when you have recovered from this horrible experience. Because you will!
D
 
D

Deleted member 83944

Guest
Sorry to hear what happened to @davebugg. If the Camino Frances is now so ruined and so full of such ignorant people, don't let's walk on it. This August I took a train from where I left off the Via de la Plata at Sanabria and was on my way to Lugo to walk and remark the green route to Sobrado made by @xmsg. The train was full (it was coming from Madrid). Everyone except me got off in Sarria (no surprise there). I got off in Lugo, enjoyed a peaceful night, walked to his tranquil village happily marking green arrows, and sat in his mom's kitchen while we laughed about the lunacy in Sarria, Melide, Arzúa etc, only a few miles away. We then walked a day together marking more arrows. It was blissful. The only requirement to make any route a camino is that it ends in Santiago. Spain is a big wide place full of wonderful people: there is no need to cram yourself on a commercialised conveyor belt with a load of people you don't like. Go out there and enjoy the real meaning of pilgrimage on the lesser known routes, better still, let's make new routes.
 
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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)
Dave we're all shocked and reacting to your news.
All I can do is wish you a heartfelt buen camino. May the way unbind the knots that pain.
What can be discussed, is if his reaction and his post is rational and reasonable.
Honestly, and with respect and appreciation, @stgcph, I think it's none of our business.
Dave has reacted as he has reacted. Let's wish him well, and hope that the Camino does its work on everyone out there.
 

Ekelund

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
“It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” Rumi
I'm shocked and dismayed and I'm so sorry you have had such a bad experience. I hope you can walk away from it and meet good people during your walk. Do not let the experience ruin your Camino.
I will miss you on the Forum, you have such good advice.
Take care.
 

Brian E

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2018
May 2019
Sept 2019
May 2020
Hang in there. I walked in May this year and will admit once in awhile got a very slight undertone of what you experienced and unfortunately seems to be more common with #45 residing. But nothing even close to your experience. Can't blame you at all for being frustrated and other emotions.
Good luck and best wishes the rest of the way and whatever you decide.
 

intrepidtraveler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017
Like many, I read Dave Bugg’s post this morning with shock and dismay. He talks of abandoning the Camino and this forum because of virulent anti-Americanism directed against him because of our politics since the 2016 election. I’m curious if this is what others have experienced. Since the election I’ve logged close to 1000 miles on various of the Caminos, and this has not been my experience. Curiosity, disappointment, yes, but certainly nothing personal against me because I was an American. I’d like to hear from others. I’ll miss Dave and his wise counsel, but hope this does not start a trend.
My experience on 2 Caminos since the 2016 election has been somewhat different than @davebuggs. For the most part people I have interacted with have been curious and sympathetic about the state of affairs with USA politics, not angry or vengeful.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I am very sorry to read of Dave Bugg's experience. He has been such a genuine and considerate contributor to the forum! I can understand his reaction, and even sympathize with him wanting to reject the forum, for himself, at this time. He invested a lot in the forum and developed relationships. We are part of the reason his anticipation was high.

However, I think the reaction of blaming the forum and casting "us" into a category of being somehow responsible for the bad behaviour he experienced is not fair. It is ironically similar to blaming a whole nation for the actions or attitudes of a few.

I hope Dave will get value and peace from the rest of his walk, and come back here at least to visit.
 

Iriebabel

The cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Del Norte & part of Lebaniego 2019
I echo the feeling of shock. Im saddened by this experience It’s a shame people cannot treat each other with respect. Being retired US Air Force and a former military medic I am always aware when I travel, we were taught to not display a flag , hide our passports and such before but especially after sept 11. I have also received simular comments while travelling overseas but thankfully I was never violently accosted. I was travelling in Europe during the election but voted before I left home. I was questioned as to who I voted for and why we allowed that person to win. Unfortunately sensitivity or appropriateness is not everyon’s forte and I for one is happy Dave did not react in a negative way to a negative situation. I sincerely wish for more tolerance but I know wishing and having are two different things.

I wish you well @davebugg and I hope you stay on the forum. But it is your choice based on your experiences. You have been an asset to this forum as long as I have been a member I will be sad to see you go.
 
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Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Mate, I hope you're reading this, preferably with a glass of something in your hand. I was appalled to read about what happened to you but we both know that that behaviour is very untypical of the Camino. S#*t happens.

If you don't mind my saying so, you seem to be someone who has a few years tucked under his belt, in which case you will have learnt a long time ago that there are a***holes everywhere. They are seldom representative of their surroundings. The best thing to do is to shrug off their behaviour and carry on. The Camino is, by and large, an affectionate and caring family.

Can I suggest that you take a day (or two) off and then recommence, taking a bus if necessary if you are on a schedule. You don't say if the person you encountered was a perigrino but, on the assumption that he was, he should then be well ahead of you.

Don't give up! You are bigger than that.
 
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Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I spend a lot of my time on the caminos, and I find a very large percentage of the anti-American feeling comes from... other Americans!
I can understand that. As a Brit - and more specifically a Scot - I feel an extra slice of anger and vicarious embarrassment when a compatriot is making themselves obnoxious in some way. Civil wars and family quarrels can leave an especially sour taste in the mouth.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
Honestly, and with respect and appreciation,
Likewise!
Please, when you quote me, don’t do it out of context. I think it still stands, that some broad generalizations were made based on a few (yet very unpleasant) personal incidents.

I think it's none of our business.
When @davebugg publishes his opinions here, it is everybody’s business.

Dave has reacted as he has reacted. Let's wish him well, and hope that the Camino does its work on everyone out there.
I wholeheartedly agree!
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
C. Frances sections Apr-Jun 2019
So very sorry to hear that you have experienced this harassment and physical assault, @davebugg - it is always distressing to hear of such incidents, especially when they are based solely on something arbitrary like nationality (or age, gender, whatever). For the bigoted, ignorant actions of a few morons to derail your long-awaited continuation of your Camino, and after all the health struggles you have fought through to get there, is very upsetting to hear. Like others who have posted here, I hope that after a break and some rest you are able to find once again some of the Camino spirit that remains, even on the Frances, as you walk on to join Caleb and continue to Santiago together. And that you are, in time, able to return here to the forum where you are so highly valued and appreciated, and where the kind of attitudes you have experienced are thankfully rare, even if they can occasionally surface from time to time.
 

LGLG

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
‘ This true hike is between me and God’ and so it is.

With that knowledge I have faith that the continuation of Dave’s calling towards Santiago will be successful as a pilgrimage (even as he tries to distance himself from the notion of pilgrim). Perhaps, the experience of isolation may turn out to be most helpful to connect more deeply with his true purpose?
- I’m sorry that this adjustment was forced on him in such a rough manner. I still believe that for seekers on the path, the Camino will give us what we need - but not always in the way we would choose.

Buen Camino, Dave - even if you don’t read this, our prayers will reach you. I will put in an advance notice for you with st James tomorrow.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
What a shock to read this as I woke this morning @davebugg .

To hear that others can behave so badly. I don't know how I would have reacted.

I hope we see you back on the Forum sometime soon, but respect your decision of course. You will be missed by so many of us.

Posts like this make me wonder if the CF is really finished as a Pilgrimage route? I didn't enjoy it as much this year. There didn't seem to be many 'Pilgrims' around.......... Hopefully the other routes will remain unspoiled for a while yet.

I hope to see you out there one day, on one of the more remote routes, with your Camino 'mojo' restored.

Try to enjoy your walk with Caleb......... Prayers are with you buddy.
 
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Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
I am so sad and disheartened reading this, @davebugg . I can only add to the sorrow and shock others have already expressed over what happened. I hope when some time has passed you will come back on the forum, and once more be the ever-cheerful, extremely helpful, and highly respected and loved member you have been.

What more can be said about this outrageous incident. It is inexcusable. The fact that others had to restrain the man and that the police were called shows how deeply serious that person's problems are. But knowing that does little to alleviate the impact on you. And sadly, it sounds like this was the final straw for you in a series of negative incidents.

You say you are continuing your journey, although with a much different frame of mind. Good for you. May good things come your way. I hope when Caleb joins you your spirits will lift and you'll find joy around you. Wishing you the best.
 

BucketBabe

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
Hang in there. (edit)... a very slight undertone of what you experienced and unfortunately seems to be more common...(edit) Can't blame you at all for being frustrated and other emotions.
Good luck and best wishes the rest of the way and whatever you decide.
I get it in Latin America too...not by the locals but by "travelers" and "tourists". Mostly people are nice and respectful, but occasionally...just "wow" at the venom towards the US and its citizens.

I met a lovely Russian woman on my last sojourn in Guatemala and she is asked constantly about Putin, vodka and bears. Go figure....the questions and words of others says so much more about them than the person they are talking to.
 
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JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Oh, crikey, @davebugg. For this to happen to you, from such ignorant people, in particular the person with the wine glass, is just awful - completely awful. The behaviour from those people goes against all that the Camino is - a place of true global community.

If you read this message, why don't you and Caleb bus it to one of the other routes, where, through your walking on those ancient, sacred and magical paths, you will find peace and joy.

Your contribution to the Forum has been exceptional - I always looking forward to reading your posts and have found your advice so very useful. Thank you so much for all your posts and the time and care you've put into our Forum community. Don't give up on us ... as you can see from the posts above we're not giving up on you! Please at least stay on the Forum ... let things rest for a bit and see how you feel once you've been home for a while.

Lastly, my deep condolences to you, your wife and your family for the loss of your precious little son 42 years ago. The years go on but the love never diminishes.

With warmest regards from Oz -

Jenny
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
We are dealing with (at least) three things here:
1. The people who are American people
2. The federal government of the United States
3. The image of the USA as an embodiment of (several, different) hopes and aspirations

These things are not each other, yet they are often mistaken for each other. This conundrum is compounded by modern media, which tends to build a sense of intimate knowledge and even ownership where none is actually warranted.

I wish my brother veteran @davebugg some peace, and some strong boundaries, and a fruitful remainder of his journey.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
We are dealing with (at least) three things here:
1. The people who are American people
2. The federal government of the United States
3. The image of the USA as an embodiment of (several, different) hopes and aspirations

These things are not each other, yet they are often mistaken for each other. This conundrum is compounded by modern media, which tends to build a sense of intimate knowledge and even ownership where none is actually warranted.

I wish my brother veteran @davebugg some peace, and some strong boundaries, and a fruitful remainder of his journey.
I hear what you say @Kitsambler and I probably agree with you but davebugg was just a pilgrim on this journey... Not an ‘American’, just a fellow human being...
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
This makes me so, so sad. I wish for you peace. I only had one experience in 2015 when I felt targeted because I was an American. One of the operators of the Monte Irago albergue in Foncebedon asked where I was from while we were having our communal dinner. When I answered America, he said, “Ah, the devil!” I said no, we are not the devil and left it at that.
 

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)
davebugg was just a pilgrim on this journey... Not an ‘American’, just a fellow human being...
Frightened small minds need boxes to jam fellow human beings into. That's what Dave ran into, unfortunately.
That dissonance is one thing that makes this so disturbing - no less than the physical assault is the hatred.
The Camino is a path of peace. And there is that. And more of it than there once was.
Even though we know intellectually this is not some spiritual lala-land, it still takes some digesting...

The bottom line is that the path gives us stuff to work with. And we can do that, or not. Dave is working with his experience in the best way for him, and others may work with the same thing differently. It will 'come out in the wash,' because every mountain has many paths to the top.
 
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MisterH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018 neither successful
Talking to other pilgrams I have noticed very different attitudes toward the USA than I had expected. I guess that this is an important part of traveling in ANY way. Be it as a pilgrem, tourist or for business. Unfortunately it takes all kinds and they are out there.
 

Bob Howard

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Frances 2018
I walked the Camino Frances in June, 2016, and more recently again in June, 2018. in June, 2016 the nominating conventions had not yet occurred. I was often asked about Trump by non-Americans--"Could a man like that really be elected President." I don't think I ever heard it asked with hostility, rather genuine curiosity. I usually replied, "Oh he might very well win the nomination, but the American people would never elect him."

The closest thing I got to outright hostility in 2016, although still relatively tame, was a woman with whom I started chatting with one day. She lived very close to me in the US and we had an amiable chat until another friend whom I had met earlier in the trip caught up with us, and she told my new chat-mate that after the Camino I was going back to Pamplona to run with the bulls (which I did).

The demeanor of my newest walking companion changed immediately, and she berated me for participating in such "cruelty". I tried to explain that it is, as with bullfighting, part of Basque culture. My new friend was actually uninformed about what happens during the running of the bulls. I personally don't like or approve of bullfighting--not a fight of course, the result is pre-ordained--but I would not deign to tell a Spaniard, particularly a Basque, that their traditions are inappropriate or uncivilized or any other pejorative. I then went on to explain the difference between the life of a beef steer and a fighting bull. Without fully rehashing it here, as most of you know, a beef steer lives about 18 months and the life led in industrialized beef farming is miserable. And cruel. Fighting bulls are raised on bucolic ranches and bulls are pretty much treated like royalty during those four years. But the last 20 minutes of that bull's life in the arena is bloody and gruesome. The beef steer's life is also gruesome for at least the last nine months if not more. After a period of discussion, my new acquaintance metaphorically threw up her hands, and let me have it with the most insulting thing she could think of--"I bet you support Trump!" she exclaimed.

Then, this past June I had any number of political discussions but no acrimony. It probably helped that I explained that two years ago I assured fellow pilgrims that Trump would not be elected President, so this 2018 trip was my apology tour. Now, for those of you who don't think discussing politics is appropriate on the Camino, I am of the opinion that the Camino while a wonderful and sometimes spiritual phenomenon is not immune to the everyday opinions and musings of the world's citizens who walk each year.

Now, what happened to Dave is far outside what I have experienced which tells me that it was an isolated incident--not the comments about Trump and America but rather the physical part of throwing the glass. Like most of you, I read Dave regularly. At 72, I'm a bit older than he is, but we are both military veterans. As one vet to another, I would urge Dave to let a day or two go by, and then re-calibrate and continue. My little story above about the woman I met who was offended by running with the bulls, was the closest I have come to acrimony in the approximate 1,000 miles I walked in these two Camino adventures. But even that was just a blip. Her sentiments were heartfelt and cognizant of animal rights.

So, Dave, don't quit. I'm going again next year, and I have some equipment matters I want to discuss with you.
'
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Pamplona to burgos
I am very sorry that you have had such unfair experinces
When my wife and I walked in 2017 we met some wonderful Americans of all political spectrums
We are meeting them in Spain this year at a villa I have booked
My only rule will be is that only Americans can discuss their politics as I know that it has caused hassles for them in the past
Only he without sin should cast the first stone
As an Australian our politics have been less than stellar lately
Hope your walk improves
 

Oldzgit

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Francis May-June (2019)
My first post on this forum is to say how sad I am you won't be accompanying me and my fellow travellers on my planned Camino next year. I've already benefitted a lot from your advice. All the best.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I have to admit to being part of the problem here. I'm one of the people on this forum that tends to argue against judging other pilgrims *as pilgrims*. I try and embrace the "everyone walks their own Camino" mentality and recognize that people may be going through things that cause them to, for example, use pack carrying services or take the bus or taxi for sections, that I am not aware of. As far as I am concerned if they are considering themselves pilgrims it is not my place to challenge that.

Of course, while I try not to judge people as pilgrims, I am human and can't help but judge them as people. And while my experience is that people tend to live their better selves on the Camino (one of the things that draws me to it) this isn't true of everyone at all the time. Unfortunately, Dave seems to have experienced this too much on his current journey.

I'm going to carry that non-judgemental attitude I started this reply with and apply that to Dave's current decision. While I hope that he changes his mind in the future, I respect that it was his decision to make. I will just note that he has been an incredibly valuable member of these forums while he was here and the forums will be diminished by his absence. He will be sadly missed.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
I mentioned some time ago in another thread that I had been subjected to an unprovoked, insulting and idiotic remark from a Brit whom I had just met on the CF, which was predicated solely on my nationality (Australian). I concluded my post by saying you can never discount running into a bigot. Or a moron, for that matter. It is a shock when it happens, but that is no reason to let it ruin your day, much less trigger a change in how you live your life.
 
D

Deleted member 36903

Guest
think the reaction of blaming the forum and casting "us" into a category of being somehow responsible for the bad behaviour he experienced is not fair. It is ironically similar to blaming a whole nation for the actions or attitudes of a few.
'm sorry, @davebugg , but I consider your leaving this forum, where you have given and received valuable advise to be a rather petulant reaction.
Please @C clearly and @trecile read through and reflect carefully (on a carefully crafted posting) on the whole of what @davebugg wrote in his OP.

I have read Dave's OP several times @C clearly and I don't find any evidence that he is blaming the forum for what happened, so there is no need to attack him for this, especially in his present situation. BUT he is drawing attention to an inconvenient - for some - truth, and that is there are many posts here which promote what might be considered a laissez-faire attitude to walking the Way: that it is 'your' Camino and you are entitled to do it in whichever manner or mode suits you. There would be nothing wrong with that IF it were not for the knock-on consequences of that approach for others whose own aim of walking the Camino as a pilgrimage (used in the wider sense of a long journey involving physical effort and inner reflection) thereby becomes compromised by the attitudes and actions for those not walking with those intentions. Those pilgrims here who have walked for decades before the present situation of bed races and backpack transfers are entitled to reflect on the changes they have witnessed, they are also entitled to mourn the passing of something they valued and to do so on this forum. But as with other losses in life, we/they learn to adjust - perhaps to stop walking the CF, to go to other places where peace and the serendipitous meeting of other souls on the road with good hearts and open minds may still be found (which is not to say that this is no longer possible on the CF.)

@trecile, Dave is a mature veteran who has, in his time no doubt, seen and experienced stuff that takes its toll, who mentions his medication, who, those of us who regularly read his postings, know has had to deal with lots of medical problems before being able to start his journey this year, who is obviously upset and on his own and now feeling socially isolated, who is remembering the loss of his son 42 years ago. To describe his reaction as petulant is not only inappropriate it is disrespectful of a fellow pilgrim. He deserves our love, encouragement, goodwill and support at this time, not judgement. We pilgrims, of all people, should remember especially the value of the adage of walking a mile in another person's shoes …
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
It is ironic that I abandoned ‘Camino’ at the same city again this year.
Ironic maybe, but certainly not lacking in meaning and significance.

Those of us who approach the Camino in this particular way will always have a tougher time sometimes than others.

But take heart, peregrino !!

Being a hiker walking across Spain and with that approach is hardly contradictory of what being a Pilgrim is.

Though I'd suggest that assaulting other people might be ...

Buen Camino, y buena suerte !!!

And quite frankly, I am disheartened by the recent conversations which seem to reject any notion of a standard for what a pilgrim is or is not.
erm ... no comment, as there's nothing to add to that
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
I have been receding email notifications as part of my profile selections and had to log back on to deleted that option.

Let me clarify a few things, as I was apparently clumsy with my post and it’s wording.

1. I don’t blame this Forum for what occurred. I am taking this sabbatical in order to keep from being a negative presence while I think through things.

For instance, a couple of days ago a post was made by someone seeking information about walking the scenic bits, transporting their stuff, transporting themselves to avoid the boring bits, and oh yes, getting a credencial for discount lodging.

For this post and others like it, right now I want to snap at the op which is not the proper spirit as a participant on this Forum, and violates its internal policies. I am not making a judgment on the Op, but if I have lost the temperance to be a positive influence in such cases, i cannot be here. The same applies to any post where definitions of pilgrimage “politics” sometimes come up.

This is not something that I believe the Forum should change. I have to come to terms with these things for myself.

2. Rebekah’s initial response was not out of line. Nor those of others questioning my motives. It does appear from an outside perspective that my post might well deserve such responses.

Part of the problem is that these incidents which came to a head in Burgos, brought back intense and overlapping feelings from the intensely negative reception I received returning from Vietnam as just another soldier and medic. I won’t detail that past history, but it took a few years to work through, and a bit of personal isolation from risks of further negative interaction.

I know I should be able to set aside what happened, I find it incredibly hard right now. Intellectually I know the decades apart incidents are not connecteted, but I feel powerless to control how I feel.

So what works is to redefine things and conditions so that I can create a space away from what did cause the conflict. In my mind, whether fair or unfair, I don’t want to share the title of ‘pilgrim’ with the perpetrators. I can’t make them forgo using the term, but I can do so for myself.

Later, I may look back at this as a stupid or cowardly coping strategy, but right now this feels important to let me keep going.

Nothing about this feels rational or logical or objective. I have done what I have in order to stay in Spain and keep headed to the completion of what I started. It took some convincing conversation with my wife that I will be fine, and I am.

I am in Sahagun right now, and will be in Leon three days sooner than planned in meeting Caleb. I am enjoying the walking, and in my time with prayer and meditation.

Thanks for the many kind concerns and wishes. As I said, I will be on sabbatical and will be back when I can put things in proper perspective.

Now that I’ve got the email notifications shut off, I will see you later.
Dave
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
It has been suggested that sometimes we need to walk a mile in the shoes of a horrid person and this is particularly true on Camino.
Walk a mile in their shoes and you end up a mile away from them, which is a good thing, and they are still horrid but also barefoot, which can also be a good thing. ;) .
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Having walked the CF with my adult son, I believe & hope that reuniting/walking with your son will be just the medicine you need. I pray that you find peace, courage, and comfort on your remaining trek.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I cycled around Spain just after the Falklands war. Maybe not my best idea. At a youth hostel in Barcelona about twelve of us had a meal together and it was decided to attack me as the unofficial representative of Britain. One guy got up and I thought he had left the room but came up behind me, grabbed me and pretended to slash my throat. They all laughed, so I laughed. Great joke ... It was rather unpleasant.

These things happen. David, you have over reacted, which suggests that you have other internal problems going on. Quite normal, we all have crises, I had a similar in June. Take a break, but don't hide, and don't throw the baby out with the bath water. None of us threw that glass, so please don't throw us away too.

I have messaged you and hope that you log in.

Buen Camino David xx
Hi David
Just reading your post brought back memories of times past for me

As a young and very innocent Irish nurse working in London at the times of "The Troubles" .......only once did I hear a disparaging remark....and in over 45 years of living in London, never again was something negative said to me.

My mother was constantly on the phone asking if I'd been blown up
"Well mum , l wouldn't be talking to you if I was, would I"

when we are travelling in Europe though, there's often a bemused reaction .......with raised eyebrows when people learn the I am married to an Englishman!!!

Perhaps if I'd been insulted then as Davebugg has been insulted and attacked recently because of his nationality, I might feel different

These remarks to Dave have brought back some unpleasant memories which he will no doubt deal with

Sebs remark re Davebugg being lonely and isolated at the moment is apt and timely and I'm sure we all feel some hurt for this generous person at this time

Ahh....just read his post...he's back for a while
He has a point you know
EG.....what soap will I bring??
Will I bring my hairdryer??
Should I wear knickers??
Ok I'll finish here...enough said !
Best wishes
Annette
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Dave:

PLEASE DON'T GO! We are cut from the same OD cloth. We get it.

PLEASE PERSEVERE. You have overcome far worse in your life. When here in the forum, almost all of us, have your back. We value your input, experience and advice. Your posts are among the better quality material found here.

This unfortunate series of events is but a speed bump. Please do not allow a few crude bores and unfortunate experiences sour you on the Camino. It has been going on for more than 1,200 years. People and politics pass through time and space. The Camino is forever...

Many of us regard the Camino as a metaphor for life. Just as one might be considered 'deplorable' here at home, it is not uncommon, but rare in my experience, to be singled out when abroad...anywhere OCONUS.

Sometimes you will encounter people you are looking for a lightning rod to direct their ire towards. If you are the rod, you get struck (figuratively). It is like the old Japanese adage..."The nail that sticks up gets hammered down..." Do not be the nail...

I try to maintain an understated universal appearance and composure. I go along to get along in most cases. Keeping my own confidence is sometimes the best way to go.

All said, I NEVER hide my nationality. I am proud to be an American. I can defend myself, my positions and my country in any setting. However, if I see no benefit to an oral "fire-fight" with others who may have had too much to drink, I use the "Canadian dodge" to extract myself from the situation.

NOTE: The original post has been edited by me, in cooperation with the moderators, to remove language that some might have found objectionable. It was never my intent to offend. I mostly wanted Davebugg to understand and to remain on his Camino. For those of you who took offense to the original version of this post, I offer my sincere regrets and profound apologies. I can do no more.

Hope this helps.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I pm'ed certain posters here regarding certain politically coloured posts. I also reported it to the moderators.
Why do I find it important to mention this publicly?
Well because I would feel very sorry that this genuine GOOD thread full of compassion and wise words would be closed or deleted.

We surely are better than this. We CAN and MUST do better.

Dave was the victim of that person who threw that glass ( literally )
Please let us not throw that glass figurally speaking.

Again this virtual albergue deserves better.
 

Stefystar

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from sarria 2015
Via Francigena Aquapendente to Rome 2016
Camino Portuguese from TuI 2016
Dear dave@bugg,
I am not disagreeing with you for the fact
that is usually idiots that tend to get to us ..
Therefore I have adopted a way of dealing with things, and I say to myself " not on their term".
I refused to be pushed and kicked out by people, on their terms... Therefore I digg my heals and endure
Until I am the one ready to go, on my terms, and by the. ..they are the ones gone.
So I had wondered if the reaction was due to some
Unresolved issue.
I believe things happen for a reason, so this Camino is offering the opportunity for reflection to look at where all this anger is coming from.
The forum is a big family that can wait for your return..or ... if you could hung on a little longer... It may help you dissipate the anger, as they say ..........is good to talk..
with kindness and best wishes for a buen camino
 
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