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Maybe its me

Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese way April 2017
French way April 2018
#1
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#2
I have only walked the CF so can’t compare. But I did experience a bit of a party atmosphere at times in 2015 and 2016. Different groups. Large groups of Spaniards as well as groups of Foreigners usually in the 20s and 30s age range though.

I have to say that we are going to try Albergues for the first time this year, and that is the one thing I fear most. Loud ‘party goers’.

But until we try it.......we will never know...... :oops:

I hope you have just been unlucky. Could it be related to the ‘type’ of Albergue? Do some attract a different crowd? We will probably stick to the ones recommended by members here.....

Though I think it also depends where you stay. Half the time we tend to stay ‘between’ stages and that seems to help.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese way April 2017
French way April 2018
#3
I have only walked the CF so can’t compare. But I did experience a bit of a party atmosphere at times in 2015 and 2016. Different groups. Large groups of Spaniards as well as groups of Foreigners usually in the 20s and 30s age range though.

I have to say that we are going to try Albergues for the first time this year, and that is the one thing I fear most. Loud ‘party goers’.

But until we try it.......we will never know...... :oops:

I hope you have just been unlucky. Could it be related to the ‘type’ of Albergue? Do some attract a different crowd? We will probably stick to the ones recommended by members here.....

Though I think it also depends where you stay. Half the time we tend to stay ‘between’ stages and that seems to help.
Thank you for the reaction Robo, honestly the issues of partying I seen so far where really with older generation (50+) from my age group ( 30/45 lets say I have not seen many pilgrims yet ) and -30 I see occasionally some people walking alone.

And don't get me wrong I'm all for it that people socialize and make fun and who knows maybe meet new love. I just wished they could do it a bit more in silence and with less alcohol :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April 2018
#4
I never encountered this on the CF. Maybe it was too early in the season? I did hear some 20-somethings talking about wanting to
party...after they arrived in Santiago. In all honesty, it was fairly mellow.

As always, YMMV
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese way April 2017
French way April 2018
#5
I never encountered this on the CF. Maybe it was too early in the season? I did hear some 20-somethings talking about wanting to
party...after they arrived in Santiago. In all honesty, it was fairly mellow.

As always, YMMV
Thank you for your reply. I'm actually in Najera today. And a hour ago I was having breakfast next to the river. And a older gentleman next to me told me he would stay 2 days in Najera and hope it got better public wise. In he's words he felled he was part of the longest pub crawl in the world.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#6
Thank you for your reply. I'm actually in Najera today. And a hour ago I was having breakfast next to the river. And a older gentleman next to me told me he would stay 2 days in Najera and hope it got better public wise. In he's words he felled he was part of the longest pub crawl in the world.
Maybe you are just in a wave of Party goers?
I hope so!
If it has changed that much in 2 years we won’t be staying long......
 

SabineP

Camino is about empathy. Not about entitlement.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#7
Sorry to hear about the "party people " . Also met them four years ago on the Frances but even this year on the Ingles there was a group whose "waft of weed "you could follow.
On a longer Camino it might be advisable to stop in between stages like others here also suggested.
Hang in there!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#8
. Also met them four years ago on the Frances but even this year on the Ingles there was a group whose "waft of weed "you could follow.
On a longer Camino it might be advisable to stop in between stages like others here also suggested.
Hang in there!
Is it legal in Spain? Maybe just tip off the local constabulary ;)
 

SabineP

Camino is about empathy. Not about entitlement.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#10
Is it legal in Spain? Maybe just tip off the local constabulary ;)
I think, like here in Belgium, it is not illegal when using a certain gram for personal use. Not sure though.
Anyway , I don't think it is high ( lol ) on the police agenda...
And it does not bother me that much but mostly it is the combination of being drunk, loud and the fact that a bigger group can be somewhat intimidating for a solo pilgrim.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#11
Drunk and loud is obnoxious anywhere, but especially on the camino.

If we take their presence as a personal affront or as an intrusion on 'our' pilgrimage, we just suffer.
But if we use that to deepen our resilience of heart and capacity to accept others and wish them well, no matter what...that's only good. But it's definitely not easy.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte?
#12
I never did walk the CF, because of the fact that it is crowded and it seems to attract people whose first priority is not walking.
Two years ago I walked the Primitivo which joined the CF in Melide. It was in beginning of June. It was a kind of a culture shock, so many people. A number of them indeed acted like it was a big party. Some walked with loud music,every few kilometers up came the next bar or terrace. After every bar we had to begin to pass slow walking groups, practically never we had a free vision of the trail ahead.
Some people may like it, for me my choice to never walk the CF was confirmed. In tree weeks I will start the Camino del Norte. If I get to Santiago, I'll probably skip the CF stages and take a bus and later will walk to Finister or Muxia
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#13
Drunk and loud is obnoxious anywhere, but especially on the camino.

(1) If we take their presence as a personal affront or as an intrusion on 'our' pilgrimage, we just suffer.

(2) But if we use that to deepen our resilience of heart and capacity to accept others and wish them well, no matter what...that's only good. But it's definitely not easy.
I would agree 100% with (1)
I would do my best to a avoid them and forget them.

But sadly my tolerance levels do not allow (2). In my view it merely condones and perpetuates poor / anti social behavior.

We just have different views. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#14
In my view it merely condones and perpetuates poor / anti social behavior.
Ah, yes, true. But only if that means not doing anything, and that's not what I meant. Having goodwill is not the same thing as being passive - you don't have to put up with idiotic behaviour. It just means that what you say to whomever is doing that comes with an inner attitude of well-wishing rather than anger or self-righteousness. But the words can direct and even confronting. Think 'tough love.'
And yeah......NOT easy.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#15
Ah, yes, true. But only if that means not doing anything, and that's not what I meant. Having goodwill is not the same thing as being passive - you don't have to put up with idiotic behaviour. It just means that what you say to whomever is doing that comes with an inner attitude of well-wishing rather than anger or self-righteousness. But the words can direct and even confronting. Think 'tough love.'
Ahhh! OK. Now I’m on board. :):):)

I might have to spend some more time at a Buddhist Temple on our way back through Bangkok ;)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#17
Sorry, I should have been more clear from the start.
Where are you two, Rob? SJPP?
Getting ready to leave Bangkok.
Been kicking my heels here all weekend.....
I just want to get going! :oops:

Midnight flight to Paris.
Monday night in Paris.
Tuesday travel down to SJPP
Wednesday start hauling Pat up the Hill :eek:

Her nerves are starting to kick in but she’ll be fine once we get going ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#18
Still in Bangkok?! :eek:. But soon you will be on your way.
Safe travels! I'll be thinking of you there in Suvarnabhumi Airport pacing like a tiger in a cage. But you can get some kms in...it's a big place!:p
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese way April 2017
French way April 2018
#19
I never did walk the CF, because of the fact that it is crowded and it seems to attract people whose first priority is not walking.
Two years ago I walked the Primitivo which joined the CF in Melide. It was in beginning of June. It was a kind of a culture shock, so many people. A number of them indeed acted like it was a big party. Some walked with loud music,every few kilometers up came the next bar or terrace. After every bar we had to begin to pass slow walking groups, practically never we had a free vision of the trail ahead.
Some people may like it, for me my choice to never walk the CF was confirmed. In tree weeks I will start the Camino del Norte. If I get to Santiago, I'll probably skip the CF stages and take a bus and later will walk to Finister or Muxia
I agree completely. I'm actually looking to see how I can get to Bilbao start again
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#20
Watching the webcam at Bando San Marcos just before Monte do Gozo, it looks like only about 10% of the pilgrims are carrying backpacks. Maybe it is the season of the dilettantes!

Unless the arrivals pickup in the next week, the first four months of 2018 will have lower numbers than last year! Perhaps there finally will be a decline in popularity. :eek:
 

HelenVanW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2007, 2012, 2014, 2x in 2015, 2016
#21
Drunk and loud is obnoxious anywhere, but especially on the camino.

If we take their presence as a personal affront or as an intrusion on 'our' pilgrimage, we just suffer.
But if we use that to deepen our resilience of heart and capacity to accept others and wish them well, no matter what...that's only good. But it's definitely not easy.
Well said, and yes, it is not easy. :)
 

Dutchwalk53

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015 with son #1, CF 2016 alone, CF 2017 with son #2 and husband , CF Sept 2018 with daughter
#22
I have walked the CF 3 times, 2015,16 and 17 in May/June and will go again this year in September. (ps this time with my daughter, After this year all my kids will have walked with me : ) ) Anyway , I never ran into weed smoking people....(My kids sometimes wished we did ;) ) and never had to deal with drunk and loud people. Truth to be told , like Robo , I only sleep in Albergues that have private rooms and/or hostals. So maybe indeed like many have said. Take a rest day and you may be walking with a totally other crowd. Now as for the food, last year was for me the same as the 2 years prior. Same food and give or take the same (super cheap ) prices of 8 to 12 Euros for a 3 course pilgrims menu with wine.. Hope it gets better for you so you can enjoy this beautiful path.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francais 2017, Portugues 2018
#24

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Aragones/Frances/Finisterre (2018), Operation Sabre (2018), Marin Ramble (2017)
#25
On the CF currently - only partiers last night in Torres del Rio were the locals! Alburgue crowds are going to sleep early and generally waking up at 0630. Very mellow group.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2018)
#26
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
Sorry to hear you are not having the experience you had hoped for. I am on th CF now - in Ciruena. Have not experienced anything you mentioned except in Najera - worst night so far, but it wasn’t pilgrims it was the locals in a bar near our albergue - loud music til 6:30am - fighting....ah well - I traveled on.
Have enjoyed all of my Camino otherwise. Well except for the snow on the Rt Napoleon - took a bus to Roncesvalles - and then all the rain and flooding BUT - the sun is shining now and has been for many days. I hope the tide turns for you and the trek becomes more of what you hoped.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#27
Travel along the Frances is a lot like surfing. You have to wait for the wave you want, then ride it.

In the Camino context this means adjusting your daily pattern to avoid the folks whose behavior or attitudes distract you. The Camino Frances is certainly large enough to accommodate everyone.

The practical problem is that your travel pattern intersects theirs. Then, CHANGE YOUR PATTERN.

Walk more, or less each day. Stay in different places. I stay in private lodging (Hostal’s, Casa rurals and small hotels), so I have my privacy. But, this can create a barrier to you and others you might like to interact with.

Every choice we make, in life, or on Camino has consequences. Sometimes there are also associated costs.

I have observed that there IS a segment of the Camino Pilgrim population who view the Camino as either one of the world’s great cheap vacations, or as an opportunity to try to revisit their youth. This accounts for some of the behaviors you have observed.

I also suggest that the day of the week also has something to do with this. Weekends are famous on the Camino for attracting long-weekend, fair-weather pilgrims,

I recommend giving it another week, changing your daily pattern to seek to avoid the issues that concern you. By then you will have reached Logrono or Burgos. Both places have good transportation capabilities if you decide to make a radical change in plans.

Patience is learned and practiced on the Camino.

Hope this helps.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#28
I walked the CF twice and never had partiers in my albergues. Ever. And yes, I am one of those over-50 "spring breakers"... On break forever, haha! What did we do wrong? Most of us go to bed at a reasonable hour. I noticed the white guys with dreadlocks types hanging out near the municipal albergues, so maybe steer away from them. And yes, wait a day and walk with a different wave. I try to avoid comparing my current experience to past experiences. Be here now.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (April-may2018)
#29
I am also on the cf now! Only early on and have stopped in cezar menor for tonight. The last 3 nights have been pleasant. Definitely none of the atmosphere described above and friendly socialising aplenty but mostly respectful of others space and early to bed early to rise. Staying mostly in cheapest alburgues that I can find. I agree with the others, take a day or so off and re-align with another set of pilgrims. If you have the time.
 

MatteJa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Camino Francés (from Ponferrada to Finisterre)

06/2016: planning to finish the Camino Francés (from SJPDP to Ponferrada)
#30
I totally agree with you Sporkie. I had chosen the Camino Francés as my first camino in Spain and I liked it, but I wouldn't be able to walk it again. Too many tourists and loud obnoxious people.

But everyone has a Camino that suits his present life, I had a time for the CF and now I need less frequented paths.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
#31
When I walked my Camino a few years ago, I ran into groups of loud walkers. Sadly, many were American. I actually went up to one of the groups (who I had heard perhaps a half mile away) and suggest that they tone it down a bit. To my surprise, they hadn't really walked anywhere before and didn't realize that the sound carried as far as it did. They did quiet down a bit. So, sometimes you just have to chalk it up to ignorance as opposed to plain stupidity. In most cases, when I encountered a group like that, I just sat down, took a rest, listened to the noise and when it cam back to just nature sounds, I got up and continued walking. I guess I never encountered (even in the last 60 miles) sections where it was continuous noise. Just a matter of waiting till the smoke clears (perhaps literally) and continuing on. I actually met some nice walking mates while sitting on the side of the road. People would say hello and enquire whether I was ok (given that I stopped where you might not normally stop). Got to take it as it comes somedays.

Note: I may revise my opinion after walking the CP this summer.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#32
Travel along the Frances is a lot like surfing. You have to wait for the wave you want, then ride it.

In the Camino context this means adjusting your daily pattern to avoid the folks whose behavior or attitudes distract you. The Camino Frances is certainly large enough to accommodate everyone.

The practical problem is that your travel pattern intersects theirs. Then, CHANGE YOUR PATTERN.

Walk more, or less each day. Stay in different places. I stay in private lodging (Hostal’s, Casa rurals and small hotels), so I have my privacy. But, this can create a barrier to you and others you might like to interact with.

Every choice we make, in life, or on Camino has consequences. Sometimes there are also associated costs.

I have observed that there IS a segment of the Camino Pilgrim population who view the Camino as either one of the world’s great cheap vacations, or as an opportunity to try to revisit their youth. This accounts for some of the behaviors you have observed.

I also suggest that the day of the week also has something to do with this. Weekends are famous on the Camino for attracting long-weekend, fair-weather pilgrims,

I recommend giving it another week, changing your daily pattern to seek to avoid the issues that concern you. By then you will have reached Logrono or Burgos. Both places have good transportation capabilities if you decide to make a radical change in plans.

Patience is learned and practiced on the Camino.

Hope this helps.
In pragmatic terms, I also found that once beyond Burgos, the population really dipped until Sarria. So many who start in SJPDP have either only enough time to get to Burgos, or party themselves silly and give up, or get injured from going too hard...

I am not a drinker, not a smoker, not a pot smoker... But I have found that in the EU, as in Canada, most people are way more *relaxed* about what other people do with their lives than I am personally. The CF taught me to chill out about what other people are doing, and to let others who might be annoyed about something say so for themselves instead of me being annoyed for them. It really helps one to get along in the world.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012,
2013, 2018
Camino Portuguese 2014
Camino Ingles, Finisterre/Muxia 2017
#34
Getting ready to leave Bangkok.
Been kicking my heels here all weekend.....
I just want to get going! :oops:

Midnight flight to Paris.
Monday night in Paris.
Tuesday travel down to SJPP
Wednesday start hauling Pat up the Hill :eek:

Her nerves are starting to kick in but she’ll be fine once we get going ;)
Robo hope to see you and Pat on the trail, my wife and I also arrive in SJPD on Tuesday.
 

tmurphy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#35
In pragmatic terms, I also found that once beyond Burgos, the population really dipped until Sarria. So many who start in SJPDP have either only enough time to get to Burgos, or party themselves silly and give up, or get injured from going too hard...

I am not a drinker, not a smoker, not a pot smoker... But I have found that in the EU, as in Canada, most people are way more *relaxed* about what other people do with their lives than I am personally. The CF taught me to chill out about what other people are doing, and to let others who might be annoyed about something say so for themselves instead of me being annoyed for them. It really helps one to get along in the world.

Buen Camino
I liked this post. I am planning to do part of CF this June and have been a little put off by some of the comments about drinkers and pot smokers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances in 2015 & 2016. Hoping to do Frances to Leon, San Salvador, Primitivo, Muxia next.
#36
Try walking "off guide". Most are walking on the Brierley schedule. Go a village more or a village less and you will avoid most of the crowd. Sarria to Santiago there is nothing to be done.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances in 2015 & 2016. Hoping to do Frances to Leon, San Salvador, Primitivo, Muxia next.
#37
At Humana Bay in Hawaii you have to attend a video that teaches the etiquette required to protect the sea life of the reef before you go snorkeling there. Over 1million visit that place every year and the reef thrives. I wonder if it is time for some form of training, video or written, before you can receive your credential.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#38
It has been a couple of years since I have walked the Camino Frances, and it may be slightly different in two years, but probably not much.
I never encountered anything remotely resembling one long pub crawl or Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke.
Did I see a few drunk pilgrims? Sure I did. Cannot say it was epidemic. I even saw some of the younger set smoking marijuana twice I believe, and I also saw locals smoking it in Pamplona. So what.
Definitely saw pilgrims of all ages meeting other pilgrims, and developing what I am sure were romantic relationships. So what. If one is a single or unattached pilgrim in any way, and one meets another pilgrim they are attracted to, and the attraction is mutual? Quien Sabe?
Cannot say I can pin obnoxious behavior or loudness to one nationality as stated in earlier comment directed towards Americans. That's a bit offensive. I always noticed that any bad behavior, which overall I saw very little of, was not nationality specific.
People are people. No doubt even in medieval times pilgrims got drunk or laid on the Camino.
The world is so much smaller now and travel so much easier and less expensive. Word gets out via books, movies or whatever about things like the Camino, or the AT or PCT and the crowds will follow. They're only looking for the same thing you were.
 

Barbara06

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Pamplona (2011-14)
VDLP (2015)
Portuguese (2015)
Francigena (2016)
Primitivo (2017)
#39
.. this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route
It's normal that Hostels and pilgrims menus are more expensive in Spain than in Portugal as the cost of living in Spain is higher than in Portugal... and the locals who work need to live.
But they are still quite cheap compared to what you would pay to sleep and eat in other Western countries.. a pilgrimage is not synonymous with cheap holiday. Try being thankful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#40
It is early in the season, but I have already noticed the wave phenomenon happening. Right now, a big wave of pilgrims is flowing past my village. The albergues and hostels fill up, pilgrims scramble to find a bed, pilgrims are disappointed in the racket and all that....

But in a couple of days the crowd will move on, the wave will pass. And the pilgrims who come along will find a place to sleep and drink and eat without any trouble. So if you find yourself in a big crowd of noisy people, take advantage of the CF infrastructure and stay where you are for a day, to let the wave pass you by. Or put in a few extra miles tomorrow, or get a bus or train or cab forward a couple of days, to get ahead of it.
Change your pace, change your company.
In any case, change is going to happen. It's up to you how you feel about it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese way April 2017
French way April 2018
#41
It's normal that Hostels and pilgrims menus are more expensive in Spain than in Portugal as the cost of living in Spain is higher than in Portugal... and the locals who work need to live.
But they are still quite cheap compared to what you would pay to sleep and eat in other Western countries.. a pilgrimage is not synonymous with cheap holiday. Try being thankful.

I was referring to the Spanish part on Camino Portuguese and if you googled it you would see the entire primitivo is in spain... But its ok. Several people contacted me by chat to explain how this comes. And since all of them told me the same story I assume its true. And it backs up my story perfectly.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese way April 2017
French way April 2018
#42
Try walking "off guide". Most are walking on the Brierley schedule. Go a village more or a village less and you will avoid most of the crowd. Sarria to Santiago there is nothing to be done.
I'll be changing Caminos in Burgos. And start over again on the North. This Camino is to commercial for me...
 
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
#43
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.

I walked with a group of Spanish school children for a few days. I hated it, but it was what it was.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#44
I walked the CF in 2016 and 2017, and never met any of these party goers. On the first Camino we followed the Brierley stages (to stay in step with our Camino family) , on the second we made a point not to, and found a lot less people. The only parties I heard were the Spanish on a Saturday night celebrating their football team. Ole Ole Ole, all night, at Najera until at 5am in the morning when none of us had slept, it showed no signs of stopping, and most of us picked up our packs and walked out of town.

We did meet a group of loud Spanish school children who disrupted my experience at Cruz Ferro, so we walked on past El Acebo to leave them behind. That did leave me feeling cranky, but it could happen in any country - school groups not known for their quietness.
From Sarria onward there was more noise with more people, but most of the time we still walked in quiet. In my experience Saturday night is the night of the local Spanish parties, so its not always pilgrims responsible for the noise. We were at a cafe/bar in O Pedrouza, and the dining turned into a local car racing event! The music was turned up, and they pushed the tables apart and drove the cars through between the diners. We couldn't believe our eyes, Then they continued to party all night, still going at 6am the next morning. I think we were the only pilgrim diners, they were all locals.

Even in the middle of the NZ bush, you can hike two days in to a remote hut, and still have a noisy group join you.

The most annoying thing I found in albergues were the early morning bag rustlers, they were consistent. I even gave out one of my ziplock bags as they dont make the same noise.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#46
I cannot control what others do, I can only control how I react to what others do. If there is obnoxious behavior from which I cannot immediately get away, then I can approach the person(s) doing that behavior and ask them to modify it. I can do so in an angry and belligerent manner, or in a gentle and friendly way.

Whether or not the obnoxious party complies is, unfortunately, up to them.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
#47
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
Just returned home after a bad experience on the Frances but I have to agree. One group of Australians, although nice enough guys, were definitely on a lads outing. Walking and drinking their way across Spain on a bucket list holiday. A Canadian who collects long distance walks and just too many people doing it because its now the done thing having seen too many movies. It just is not the same as it was when I first walked 5 years ago. Still, there were some on a religious/spiritual quest, a pilgrimage
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#48
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
I walked the CF in Sept and Oct in 2015. I did not experience partying pilgrims at that time. Next year I’m walking in Mar and Apr. I expect we pilgrims will be too cold to party. Perhaps there is an extra dose of Spring fever letting loose this year.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#50
Occasionally a pilgrim has read about a camino that does not exist, and may never have, and is disappointed that reality diverges from what he has read. If you take expectations, you are doomed to failure.
Especially if the written word or filmed story of the Camino (or the AT and PCT) were created by people who did not actually even walk it. Simply stories based on the walk(s).
The line between reality and fiction when it comes to books and films is far from fine. It is quite broad and thick.
 

Traa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I want to walk Camino in Sept/Oct 2017
#51
I really don't mean to offend anyone with my response but here goes. People do the Camino for so many different reasons and it is very much an individual experience. I walked it last yr,from SJPDP to Finisterre and I came across every type of introvert/extravert/party animal etc. Yes,if you want quiet and your totally surrounded by loud people that love a drink(or 10) or a joint, its tough. As people have previously said here,take a day off or stay inbetween the main stops. Remember,it's their Camino too,that's what they enjoy and it's not fair for you to expect them to be like you,and vice vearsa. The beauty of us all is how much we differ and experience things,wouldn't it be boring if we all were the exact same? If the Camino is like a Spring break for some and if they choose not to carry their backpacks let them off,that's their choice. Don't waste your fabulous Camino concerning yourself with how others are doing it. Just focus on your own enjoyment and how you can get the most out of it! That's what I did and honestly it was the most amazing experience of my life! Hope you enjoy the rest of your time,make the very most of it,God what I'd give to be back there! Buen Camino wonderful Pilgrim
 
Camino(s) past & future
June (2015) & June/July (2018)
#52
How awful for Spanish children to be out enjoying their own country.o_O
Lol! I know. How dare they ruin the quite of the Camino listening to American rap on bluetooth speakers all the while recklessly whirling around selfie sticks that at any moment hit a real pilgrim. This is all in jest of course.

It was nice to see school kids on the Camino, but after walking 400 miles or so at that point, it was a shock to system and a wake up to the reality that I'm about to reenter into society. Also, the American gangsa rap was a bit annoying, but also amusing to listen to Spanish kids try to sing along.
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
#53
Perhaps reading the Canterbury Tales should be compulsory reading before heading out on a pilgrimage There is plenty of drunkenness, questionable sexual behaviour and irritating behaviour in those stories. I was intrigued by the recent BBC series about the Camino which mentioned (medieval?) concerns that pilgrims were having too much fun! The more things change, the more they stay the same and all that.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portugues 2017, Camino Finisterre 2017, Le Puy Route (Sept. 2018)
#56
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it wasn’t too bad and I walked from Lisbon to Finisterre in September 2017. The Portuguese Camino was great but as soon as I arrived in Spain it completely changed. Lots of groups of ill mannered, loud, inconsiderate people. I swore I would never do it again, but now I’m planning on walking from Le Puy to Pamplona. I’m hooked.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#57
Don't waste your fabulous Camino concerning yourself with how others are doing it.
Yes, indeed. The more I can see my annoyance as the problem, the easier things get.
But that doesn't mean that I'm passive. I've asked people to please think of others - and sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.
Remember,it's their Camino too,that's what they enjoy and it's not fair for you to expect them to be like you,and vice vearsa. The beauty of us all is how much we differ and experience things,wouldn't it be boring if we all were the exact same?
Well, we are all different, but I draw the line at selfish obnoxiousness. "It's my camino, it's your camino" is all well and good - until it becomes an excuse to do whatever you want no matter how it affects others. Self-centred entitlement has no place anywhere - no matter what the "self-esteem" movement says.

Picking up the eb shuttle today from Biarritz at 1:30.... finally on our way :):):)
YAY! Enjoy, Rob and Pat!
 

Traa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I want to walk Camino in Sept/Oct 2017
#60
Yes, indeed. The more I can see my annoyance as the problem, the easier things get.
But that doesn't mean that I'm passive. I've asked people to please think of others - and sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.

Well, we are all different, but I draw the line at selfish obnoxiousness. "It's my camino, it's your camino" is all well and good - until it becomes an excuse to do whatever you want no matter how it affects others. Self-centred entitlement has no place anywhere - no matter what the "self-esteem" movement says.


YAY! Enjoy, Rob and Pat!
Hmmmm each to their own opinion I guess.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
VdlP Sevilla/Salamanca 2018
#61
Ah, yes, true. But only if that means not doing anything, and that's not what I meant. Having goodwill is not the same thing as being passive - you don't have to put up with idiotic behaviour. It just means that what you say to whomever is doing that comes with an inner attitude of well-wishing rather than anger or self-righteousness. But the words can direct and even confronting. Think 'tough love.'
And yeah......NOT easy.
Surely the Camino is a microcosm of life? In everyday life we can meet people and situations that we dislike. What do we do in normal circumstances when something is not to our liking? If I have learned anything along the path of my life (and I am very definitely well into the second half), it is that I cannot control anyone else. I even have difficulty from time to time controlling me. So when I come across people who disturb my peace I will either remove myself from that situation or in the words of VNWalking above:

'It just means that what you say to whomever is doing that comes with an inner attitude of well-wishing rather than anger or self-righteousness. But the words can direct and even confronting. Think 'tough love.'

If the tough love does not work, I simply move on. Any further involvement in such a situation will simply generate more heat than light and my life is just too short for feeling bad.

People on the Camino are like people in life. Some you like some you don't. Better to be able to control how we react that try to control others.

Aidan
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#64
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.

Sorry you're running into this. It was not my experience at all on the Camino and in the albergues. Drinking, pot, and sex in the albergues were a concern of mine before I left, as I was walking with my 14 yo son, and had memories of a certain hostel in Harare circa 1992...

Maybe try getting ahead or drop behind this group. You could also hop a bus and get up to Norte.
 

miffy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018
#65
Reading these posts makes me kinda look forward to this Camino more now.
I like the idea that there are so many different types of people doing it and so many people wanna let their hair down and relax a bit.
If some people really don't like the busy Camino Frances and seeing people enjoying a bottle of wine or 3, then there are a stack of other ways to Santiago in Spain and Portugal.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte?
#66
I agree with everyone who says that one of the joys of walking a Camino is that you get to know all kinds of people. Sometimes you come in contact with people who you would avoid in your normal life ( based on some first impressions) Getting to know them better, you see their individual qualities, experience how to conduct yourself in your relation with them and so on. Even friendship can develop. In this way you can enrich yourself by broadening your views of life.
For me I think this would believes the case if walking a crowded Camino like the CF. I fear that contacts might be more superficial because they change more from day to day. For instance 3 years ago when I walked the Via de la Plata a group formed very spontaneously, enforced by the fact that there were not so many walkers and ,partly as a result of that fact, not so many albergues. As I like to walk alone most of the time but enjoy companionship in the evening for me this was an ideal situation.
If the behaviour of other people irritates you of course you can adapt yourself or try to avoid the situation. I have gotten the impression ( after walking the last stretches of the CFfrom Melide) that the crowdedness has effects you cannot avoid. For instance the fact you hear far less birds and other natural sounds, you see other walkers all the time. If you wait for them to disappear you will be passed by the next group or will meet up with other groups who sit on the next bar . Of course everybody has the right to travel along the caminotrail in the way that they like. I choose to avoid as much as I can to get into such situations. That's why I choose not to walk the CF.
 
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Santiago May 2017
May 2018 Porto to Santiago
#67
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
Good news about the Portuguese Camino. I start on Sunday.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles (Nov 2018)
#68
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
So sorry for your experience. Last March there was drinking by the ”barigrinos” on the Frances but I don’t remember it ever being disruptive. I just walked the Norte, a wonderful totally solitary experience as in ghost towns, few pilgrims, little infrastructure but I did have an unplesant last couple of weeks with what I called the party rat pack (young, loud, selfish, disruptive, took over entire otherwise quiet Albergues with their arrival, more interested in drinking than conversing or even acknowledging fellow pilgrims). But speaking with locals I was told that Spaniards living on and off of the CF are getting fed up with the “touristy” twist it’s become. Perhaps try to sleep at in between towns (off stage Albergues). Buen camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017
#70
Travel along the Frances is a lot like surfing. You have to wait for the wave you want, then ride it.

In the Camino context this means adjusting your daily pattern to avoid the folks whose behavior or attitudes distract you. The Camino Frances is certainly large enough to accommodate everyone.

The practical problem is that your travel pattern intersects theirs. Then, CHANGE YOUR PATTERN.

Walk more, or less each day. Stay in different places. I stay in private lodging (Hostal’s, Casa rurals and small hotels), so I have my privacy. But, this can create a barrier to you and others you might like to interact with.

Every choice we make, in life, or on Camino has consequences. Sometimes there are also associated costs.

I have observed that there IS a segment of the Camino Pilgrim population who view the Camino as either one of the world’s great cheap vacations, or as an opportunity to try to revisit their youth. This accounts for some of the behaviors you have observed.

I also suggest that the day of the week also has something to do with this. Weekends are famous on the Camino for attracting long-weekend, fair-weather pilgrims,

I recommend giving it another week, changing your daily pattern to seek to avoid the issues that concern you. By then you will have reached Logrono or Burgos. Both places have good transportation capabilities if you decide to make a radical change in plans.

Patience is learned and practiced on the Camino.

Hope this helps.
We'll said my friend. This is my third trip to the CF. Roncesvalles to Sahagun in Oct 16, Sahagun to Santiago in May 17. Pamplona to wherever at the present time. Each trip I learn to expect less of other people and more of myself. People are people wherever you encounter
them. I have not experienced bad behaviour over the past three weeks but maybe I am not looking for it. Peace exists where we look for it and I have learned to remove myself.from uncomfortable situations. This can be done in the excellent analogy of "surfing the wave". Hope things improve for the initial poster
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
#71
I have been on the Frances route three times, always early April. On a few isolated days there was some hard partying going on but it never really detracted from our experience overall.
The biggest party night was in Melide on April 23rd as I gather it is celebrating a significant day in Galician history, but that was mostly the Spanish, not the pilgrims so much.
I guess part of it is adopting a mindset of accepting what 'is' versus what you wish it to be. Maybe before setting out we have expectations that walking a Camino will be a 'magical mystery tour' and when we find out it has mostly regular human beings with all the regular flaws so we are dissapointed by this reality.
That being said, my wife and I do enjoy a quieter more isolated experience, so this fall we will walk the Primitivo. On our short list will be the Camino Madrid within the next year.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#72
The camino is a pilgrimage. You get some good, you get some bad. You keep walking.
You can´t expect other people to not drink and enjoy themselves just because that´s not your bag. You can ask them to tone it down so others can sleep, however.
... not that it always works!
Sometimes you just have to suck it up and get on with it.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#73
The Camino is a victim of its own success. On my first, 17 years ago, there was very little in the way of information, refugios were centred around the conventional stages and it wasn't so commercial as it is now - I've even seen pastiches of the older style of Compostela for sale and there were none of the roadside trinket sellers around. Some of the paths have been "improved" beyond belief - the climb up O Ceb, the descent from the ridge after Castrojerez are just desecrations.

On the other hand there are more and better albergues around now, more restaurants, life has come back to some of the small villages - you would not believe what Rabanal was like back then.

By all accounts the Camino back in its heyday was pretty Rabelaisian so perhaps the pendulum (or botafumiero) has swung back the other way?

Oh, and Spain isn't 33% more expensive than Portugal. Portugal is cheaper than Spain, just like Spain is cheaper than France if that makes sense.

I won't ever do the CF again but there's the Ingles next month, probably the Portuguese next year, maybe Our Lady of Walsingham after that (it's in England to no language problems!).

Hope it gets better for you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2011, 2013) Roncesvalles to Belorado
CLeP (2013) - Le Puy to ?
CF (2018) Belorado to Astorga
#74
Sadly, the Camino has seemed to morph into a playground for more and more people. Even just 5 years ago, although there were certainly party-goers, I met far more people seeking spiritual peace or doing the Camino for religious reasons than I did this March. And my hiking pace meant that I didn't meet the same folks day after day. And that was March! I can only imagine what it will be like this summer. Still.....it was a good walk for me as I kept to the alternate routes and smaller albergues. It will change again when the popularity of those movies wane.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#75
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.

I walked last year (2017) with my 34 year old daughter and a friend who is also in her early sixties. We stayed mostly in albergues and frankly, I did not find the same pub crawl feeling as you are experiencing. There were two albergues that I truly did not like due to the party atmosphere, but that was it. My daughter met a number of people her age, sometimes walked with them, ate dinner or just hung out at the end of the day, but only on the two occasions was it even slightly annoying. Maybe try not to stop at the Brierly stages where more people seem to stop - maybe a town just before or just after the end of his stages might help. I can't compare the cost to the CP, but I thought the CF was quite affordable.
 
#76
Hmmmm, a spray bottle full of water can help bad behavior in cats and dogs, yes? As it is just water, would it work on pilgrims showing bad behavior? If they complain, let them know they are being blessed. It is holy water, ya, ya, that's it, holy water! If it happens to put out a joint, oops! And I have heard of water being used to wake people up, using a number of different methods...... And as it is Spain, anyone who finds themselves wet, will likely be dry in about 5 minutes.

But really, as mentioned, if partying is not your thing, place plugs in ears, pillow over head and catch some extra zzzz's, or, find a quieter place, bar, or a church? Or go for a walk? (Pack on back at the time is optional).
IMPORTANT NOTE: The writer takes no responsibility for who uses these methods at home or away and does not guarantee the results of using these methods or whether doing so may or may not find the user in legal or physical difficulties, kind of like the demands of the Camino....
 

CatherineAnn

CF summer 2016
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012)
Camino Frances (2016)
#77
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
If I am reading between the lines correctly it seems this is a safety issue. Seems like you are feeling unsafe. See if you can walk offstage and find a walking buddy. I hope you have worked it out and are enjoying your walk.
 

Jet Jill

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017) Camino Frances (2018)
#78
It has been a couple of years since I have walked the Camino Frances, and it may be slightly different in two years, but probably not much.
I never encountered anything remotely resembling one long pub crawl or Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke.
Did I see a few drunk pilgrims? Sure I did. Cannot say it was epidemic. I even saw some of the younger set smoking marijuana twice I believe, and I also saw locals smoking it in Pamplona. So what.
Definitely saw pilgrims of all ages meeting other pilgrims, and developing what I am sure were romantic relationships. So what. If one is a single or unattached pilgrim in any way, and one meets another pilgrim they are attracted to, and the attraction is mutual? Quien Sabe?
Cannot say I can pin obnoxious behavior or loudness to one nationality as stated in earlier comment directed towards Americans. That's a bit offensive. I always noticed that any bad behavior, which overall I saw very little of, was not nationality specific.
People are people. No doubt even in medieval times pilgrims got drunk or laid on the Camino.
The world is so much smaller now and travel so much easier and less expensive. Word gets out via books, movies or whatever about things like the Camino, or the AT or PCT and the crowds will follow. They're only looking for the same thing you were.
 

Jet Jill

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017) Camino Frances (2018)
#79
Hi RJM,
I couldn't agree with you more. My husband and I walked the CF last year and will be returning again this year to do another section. The only time we encountered any really loud partying, it was in Pamplona, and was coming from the street below our room, likely a local celebration for a birthday or some such thing. We never encountered any really disturbing behavior by a Pilgrim. We had our issues for sure, but it was within ourselves, not with other Pilgrims.
With that said, I was an international airhostess/flight attendant for 32 years for a major international carrier. Loud talking, listening to music without headphones, talking loudly on one's phone, drunken obnoxiousness, and the like is not exclusive to Americans by any means, and I find that comment uniformed and offensive. I have seen bad behavior by every imaginable nationality once they began to drink excessively. People in groups, even without alcohol involved, often forget themselves in the spirit of the moment, and become loud, animated and sometimes inconsiderate. I don't think it's meant maliciously.
My only advice to the original writer is similar to the others above. Try to remove yourself from the situation the best you can. You are not going to change anyone's behavior in one encounter whether you are in the right or not, and stewing about it will only cause you to miss the truly wonderful moments. There are many small inns and other options to get away from the big partiers. You are not always going to be happy. Sometimes you will be inconvenienced. In this often harsh world, we need to sometimes let things slide, unless it is absolutely unsafe behavior. Sometimes we are the ones who have to walk away, even if it's out of our way, to find our space, if that's what you are looking for. Consider suspending judgement. Being angry takes a lot of energy that you could use in many sweeter, more fruitful ways. Good luck and I hope that you experience improves. Best regards, J
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-SdeC(2010) Newark,UK-Portsmouth(2014-2015);ferry-Santander-El Pito(2016); El Pito-SdeC(2017).
#80
I never did walk the CF, because of the fact that it is crowded and it seems to attract people whose first priority is not walking.
Two years ago I walked the Primitivo which joined the CF in Melide. It was in beginning of June. It was a kind of a culture shock, so many people. A number of them indeed acted like it was a big party. Some walked with loud music,every few kilometers up came the next bar or terrace. After every bar we had to begin to pass slow walking groups, practically never we had a free vision of the trail ahead.
Some people may like it, for me my choice to never walk the CF was confirmed. In tree weeks I will start the Camino del Norte. If I get to Santiago, I'll probably skip the CF stages and take a bus and later will walk to Finister or Muxia
You can skip a bit more of the Frances when coming to the end of the Norte. On the "last stage" halfway between Sobrado and Arzua you turn off at Boimoto and go across country to St. Irene and join the Frances there. At that point you are only a day from Santiago and so can grit your teeth and survive the last bit. At that point (indeed from Sarria) there are obviously lots of people. I have found that it is the weekends on the last 100 km that people are challenging the idea of what it means to be a pilgrim, but as another post says with 240,000 people you are going to get all sorts, and I have found that starting later in the day provides the best chance for more solace and reflection.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2103-SJPD à SDdC; 2014 - Le Puis à SJPD. (2016 Liboa - SDdC)
#81
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
I quit the Frances. Though I Chemin every year.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#82
The Portuguese Camino was great but as soon as I arrived in Spain it completely changed.
The 100km Compostela , start the revolution for 200 km ;)

Le Puy to Pamplona.
You will love it , France completely different

Most are walking on the Brierley
Throw his book away , thats what the Spanish kids did in 07 when very few walked it.

Sometimes you just have to suck it up and get on with it.
The short and simple answer to all Camino's and life
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
#83
"Love The Ones You're With"
If you're down and confused
And you don't remember who you're talking to
Concentration slip away
Because your baby is so far away

Well there's a rose in a fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you can't be with the ones you love, honey
Love the ones you're with
Love the ones you're with
Love the ones you're with
do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do
Love the ones you're with!!!
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#84
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
I have to be able to sleep, so I pay a little more and stay in more expensive hostels or small hotels.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#85
I have walked the CF 3 times, 2015,16 and 17 in May/June and will go again this year in September. (ps this time with my daughter, After this year all my kids will have walked with me : ) ) Anyway , I never ran into weed smoking people....(My kids sometimes wished we did ;) ) and never had to deal with drunk and loud people. Truth to be told , like Robo , I only sleep in Albergues that have private rooms and/or hostals. So maybe indeed like many have said. Take a rest day and you may be walking with a totally other crowd. Now as for the food, last year was for me the same as the 2 years prior. Same food and give or take the same (super cheap ) prices of 8 to 12 Euros for a 3 course pilgrims menu with wine.. Hope it gets better for you so you can enjoy this beautiful path.
I never have either. Walked the cf in 2012, 2013 and 2016.
 

Cicada

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances St Jean -Santiago April -June 2017
Portugues September 2018
#86
Hi guys,

10 days in now. And I have to say this Camino is not turning out what I expected it to be. I feel like the French way is a victim of its own commercial success. Hostels and pilgrim menus are roughly 33% more expensive then on the Portuguese route.

And I feel it gets the wrong kind of people as well... This looks like a spring break for 50+ people. The hours don't get respected in alberques, people drinking alcohol all night and be loud and annoying. Guys hidding on every girl they see.

For example in Viana I encountered 2 pilgrims smoking joints on the terrace of a alberques while children where playing in the alberques garden. 1h later they where both KO sleeping in the chairs and no way for the owner to wake them up.

So maybe its me but I miss the silens and encounters from the people on the Portuguese and primitive Camino.
I noticed that the further we walked rhe less a curfew was enforced and the more alcohol was consumed not only by the 50+ crowd i might add
As for dope only saw the locals partaking not the pilgrims.
I guess The Way movie has a lot to answer for, in more ways than one.
Buen camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2015
#88
On our CF, the most shocking alcohol event was the local Spanish teens in Logrono, at the start of the wine festival. That was Saturday afternoon when we walked in, looked like the end of civilisation but was all good by evening when the parents and grandparents came out. The street cleaners cleared it all up overnight and It was fine the next day.
The most offensive person I met was another Australian, mainly due to his attitude to a hostel owner but then confirmed when we stayed overnight later. Ouch!
All part of the Camino process.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#89
We recently returned from walking the CF from Pamplona to Santiago. It was not high season. If you want quiet consider changing the season you go. There will be other obstacles...like freezing weather, rain, heavy snow, hail, or 75km winds! Each Camino will have its challenges! I have walked when there was partying and have smelled pot.
I accept, having talked to many pilgrims, that people walk or cycle for many reasons...and many do not have expectations that they need to be low key... Some want to challenge themselves physically...Some see it as a vacation, some really want to socialize. We are all on a journey, and we only have control over ourselves...most of the time!
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#90
On our CF, the most shocking alcohol event was the local Spanish teens in Logrono, at the start of the wine festival. That was Saturday afternoon when we walked in, looked like the end of civilisation but was all good by evening when the parents and grandparents came out. The street cleaners cleared it all up overnight and It was fine the next day.
The most offensive person I met was another Australian, mainly due to his attitude to a hostel owner but then confirmed when we stayed overnight later. Ouch!
All part of the Camino process.
You must have come into Logrono the same day I did. I got the last bed in the Municipal and that wine festival was nuts. The streets were still covered in garbage when I got up and they were in the process of clean up. The jovenes were drinking wine mixed with coca cola. Yech. Right there in the heart of La Rioja!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#91
You must have come into Logrono the same day I did. I got the last bed in the Municipal and that wine festival was nuts. The streets were still covered in garbage when I got up and they were in the process of clean up. The jovenes were drinking wine mixed with coca cola. Yech. Right there in the heart of La Rioja!
I know - ruins the cola doesn't it?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago
#92
Thank you for your reply. I'm actually in Najera today. And a hour ago I was having breakfast next to the river. And a older gentleman next to me told me he would stay 2 days in Najera and hope it got better public wise. In he's words he felled he was part of the longest pub crawl in the world.
I walked the CF in the fall of 2016 as a solo female pilgrim. I needed to walk it alone for reasons I will not go into. I enjoyed meeting pilgrims for supper but other than that was on my own. I never encountered any major “partying “, and enjoyed hearing the other experiences. It was an experience that totally changed my outlook on life and let me come to terms with many issues. I was fortunate to not experience any major people looking to party but still enjoyed having a great time. Buen Camino
 

Barbara06

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Pamplona (2011-14)
VDLP (2015)
Portuguese (2015)
Francigena (2016)
Primitivo (2017)
#93
I was referring to the Spanish part on Camino Portuguese and if you googled it you would see the entire primitivo is in spain... But its ok. Several people contacted me by chat to explain how this comes. And since all of them told me the same story I assume its true. And it backs up my story perfectly.
Hi Sporkie,
I don't need to google it as I have done the Primitivo so I know it is in Spain (but I don't really see what this has to do with your post..)
If you don't like noisy crowds, the best is to do the Camino del SurEste for example, you will have no noisy crowds ;)
 
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zzotte

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
#96
I don’t think it’s just the Frances, I walked del Norte just two years ago and was just as bad. My next will be El primitivo will see how that goes.

Zzotte
 

Canucks

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances, SJPDP to Santiago (2013), Le Puy to SJPDP (2014)
#97
You must have come into Logrono the same day I did. I got the last bed in the Municipal and that wine festival was nuts. The streets were still covered in garbage when I got up and they were in the process of clean up. The jovenes were drinking wine mixed with coca cola. Yech. Right there in the heart of La Rioja!
We had such a good time in Lograno. The red wine mixed with cola was prevalent in Pamplona when we were there. All the locals in the tapas bars were drinking it...called a kalimuxto, or something close to that. Like a sangria and, while I agree it is a bit of a heresy to combine red wine with coke, it was refreshing. The only problem was that the caffeine kept me up all night.
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
#98
What do you mean by "wrong kind of people"? People unlike yourself? To me, that sounds judgmental and the spirit of the Camino is LOVE. Brother, every person who crosses our path can teach us something.
 

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