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rude spanish bar owners.live from camino

lilloby

New Member
hi fellow pilgrims day 3 of my camino and so far its great but i am suprised by the rudeness of the spanish barowners,today i asked for some hot water and was charged 1 euro 25 cent ,it was almost thrown at me this was at a bar used by a lot of pilgrims and this evening i bought a pot of tea and he wanted to charge me for the milk .why are they so grumpy with pilgrims who are helping so much with the econamy are they just tired of us ,hope the humour improves along the way and the christian attuade will show itself .weather fantastic company wonderful so if the legs hold up i am plowing on buen camino lillian :arrow:
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

St. Francis of Assisi
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
hmmm. If I give you a smile and free stuff, am I a good Christian?

Crabby capitalists and overworked waiters are everywhere. The Camino as a special world of peace, love, sweetness and generosity is, sadly, a figment of the mind. The days when it is nasty make you appreciate all the more the days when it meets your ideal!

It will get better. Try patronizing the less-pilgrimmed places where the locals go -- you may have to walk a few steps off the actual waymarked path, but the Spain over there is a lovely and decent place. And the prices are a lot lower.

Reb.
 
Rebekah Scott said:
hmmm. If I give you a smile and free stuff, am I a good Christian?

Crabby capitalists and overworked waiters are everywhere. The Camino as a special world of peace, love, sweetness and generosity is, sadly, a figment of the mind. The days when it is nasty make you appreciate all the more the days when it meets your ideal!

It will get better. Try patronizing the less-pilgrimmed places where the locals go -- you may have to walk a few steps off the actual waymarked path, but the Spain over there is a lovely and decent place. And the prices are a lot lower.

Reb.

i could not have said it better! that moment could happen everywhere, most of these workers, work alot of hours and meet a lot of people they to, can have a bad day, or attempt to make money for their business of peregrinos. so be it, keep a smile, and a dance in your step, the Camino is a beautiful, refelective experience.
 

miratur

New Member
I walked the camino from SJPP to Santiago last May and early June. I found that many shop owners and people working in bars and restaurants rude and unfriendly. Many try to give you the wrong change or they over charge the pilgrims. Overall I had a good time but beware.

Miratur
 

johnie99

New Member
It would appear that the regular posters are trying to hide the real Spain!!

The locals are solely interested in your money. Occasionally, you will meet helpful and genuinely friendly people. sometimes you will be treated as a human and given the respect you deserve. But on the whole, as a pilgrim you need to be cold and calculating when dealing with the Spanish. Don't be fooled by the fake smiles, etc. Hospitalarios are not always sweet as pie either, but that's another story!

Just in case any of you think that I'm dellusional, let me give some examples that we encountered on our Camino - I am so used to the constant dishonesty, that it doesn't even surprise me anymore!
BTW, I've lived in Spain for 7 years and my OH is Spanish.

Taxi driver from Seville airport to hotel tried to rip us off by 15 euros. Obviously, we only paid him 20 euros and not the 35 euros that he wanted.
Ripped off by barman in Guillena - overcharged for bocadillo. rude and ignorant to the core. Made us wait to be served and then threw the bocadillo at us. We got smart after that!! I should also stress that these people are not over worked (such a scenario doesn't exist in Spain).

After these events, in most bars and restaurants, we asked the price of everything before ordering.
If we didn't ask, we would most certainly be charged tourist prices.

In addition, it is very common to give back the incorrect change.

Also, be wary of establishments that say "special pilgrim prices". If anything you will be charged more.

So people, toughen up and get real.

As beautiful as The Camino might be, as a pilgrim you are a walking cash machine, with everyone wanting that cash.

John.
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Hi everyone
The 'rude spanish barkeeper' did not appear on the Camino Primitivo! It may be that I had a smile on my face MOST of the time. However, the memory of arriving at the isolated bar at Lago near Berducedo, with a soaking wet poncho and being made welcome will remain with me for ever! It may have been my comment about a 'wet rat' that raised the smiles, or my request for a 'cafe con leche muy grande'. Whatever, I got helped off with my poncho by the local roadmen and a coffee served up in what could have been a bedroom utensil.
Seriously though, the feel of the Camino changed when I hit the Frances at Melide. Reb and others are right - the best advice, if you want to experience true Spanish hospitality, is to walk the extra few meters and get off the beaten track! Or better still, take your time and walk the primitivo!

Blessings on your walking
 
Re: Pilgrims as a menace!

Hello.
When I did my first Camino in 1994 Pilgrims where humble and experienced in foreign countries. They stood quiet on the bar and waited to be served. They behaved as guests in the country. Old ladies came up ant touched the pilgrims and murord something what I did not understand. Later I learned they said: "Bring my sorrows and my wishes to the saint."
But the sort of pilgrims have changed. They fill the bar with loud talking, push with their elbows the locals aside, they push to the front, and so on.
Too many pilgrims dont keep in mind: "The tourist demands, the pilgrim thanks."
Buen Camino
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
I posted this account before on a 'What do you miss most?' tread but it seemed to fit this as its one example (out of many) of courtesy, kindness and generosity shown towards pilgrims in a 'Big City' sitting slap bang on the 'beaten track'. But if double posting is not allowed my apologies.

Three of us were in a Farmacia in Ponferrada getting yet more compeed and each looking like the wreck of the Hesperus- roots showing, nails wrecked & eyebrows fulsome etc.
I was smelling the perfume samples longingly when the pharmacist, a stern but elegant older woman, swept her eagle eye over us, then marched off returning with one of those enormous display bottles of scent and instructed us with graceful hand gestures to 'twirl' in the middle of the pharmacy as she sprayed us head to foot with perfume!
Oh it was gorgeous to smell so good again. This gracious lady also gave us little perfume samples telling us they were 'light light' and, having heard my friend had filled her journal and was looking for another one, ran after us (in high heels) and gave her a lovely little notebook that she found after we left her premises...all for free out of the goodness of her heart.
By the way the perfume used was Clarins 'Eau Ressourcante' or 'Rebalancing Fragrance' and that it did. Don't Camino Angels come in the least expected of guises?
I don't know if I was overcharged in some places or not but what I do know is that I owe the Camino Frances, and the people who live en route and service it, far more than I could ever repay.
Bonne Route
Nell
 

Lillian Rodriguez

Active Member
This sign in a bar at Camponaraya caught my attention. A reminder that there's two sides to every issue. Here's the translation into English:

FOR THE PRICE OF A GLASS OF WINE, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
• one pincho
• one toothpick
• one napkin
• watch television
• listen to the music
• occupy a table and a chair
• use the toilets
• wash your hands and dry them
• throw cigarette butts in the floor
• leave packages and messages
• have clean dishes
• have a comfortable temperature
• decide when the place closes
• and also, you have the right to say:

!THAT THE OWNER IS MAKING TOO MUCH MONEY!

Sometimes we expect others to tend to our wants/whims, not realizing how many times a time the other person has been asked to give more!

Buen camino to all :arrow:
 

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Pacharan

Member
I am yet to experience "Camino hospitality" so can only add general comments. Whilst I agree that there are always people trying to shamelessly cash in on visitors in any country (any comments about my home city of London? :D ) I wonder if some problems may stem from cultural differences. For example, I find service in USA and europe can be very different. In the USA many waiters and bar staff rely on big tips to survive, hence they are (usually) friendly and attentive and in return customers can feel they have the right to be demanding. In many places in europe, I find staff are more reserved and formal which can come across as cold and unfriendly, especially if you don't speak their language fluently.
Add to this potential for misunderstanding between the Spanish and all the various cultures they meet the fact that pilgrims are just passing through and ask whether bar staff really feel they need to make the effort to be nice? After all where is the return custom for them?
Also, are the numbers of pilgrims at times a bit overwhelming for the various areas? My parents run a B&B in Scotland and sometimes feel very "invaded".
I think the advice of get off the beaten track, smile and be polite but don't be a doormat for the genuinely avaricious is all good....I have had great service in little "local" places in Madrid but been treated very poorly in touristy Toledo....
 

FatmaG

Active Member
I guess reality is a mixture of all this...

I personnally cannot remember any rude person (bar keepers, shop owners, waiters, hospitaleros).
Perhaps it was just luck, perhaps it was because I speak enough Spanish to communicate or because I had no special expectance of anything? Or because I just was so delighted to be there that I was just blind for anything negative?
Don't now.

I can imagine very well that people must be sometimes feeling 'invaded' (we are so many on the camino); I can understand that some people living there just want to make their living with us (it has some positive aspects as well f.i. giving a new chance and a new life to beautiful villages as Foncebadon or Hontanas...)

Barkeepers are human beings as pilgrims are as well.
All are different.
Some do this with good humour and humanity. And respect. Attention to the others. And a big big heart.
Others behave like barbarians (or their descendants)

First of all, it's about tolerance.
On both sides.

Buen camino, @ Pacharan, enjoy! It is a wonderful experience

Fatma
 

Pacharan

Member
Thank you for your good wishes FatmaG I will try to remember your (and everyone else's) sound advice when I start my camino in just over a week's time 8)
 

Janeh

Active Member
rude people are everywhere, we shouldn't judge a country by that. If we did, then I would never return to England where I met an arrogant rude taxi driver, a screaming banchie of a women in a supermarket. I wouldn't return to America where I met the rudest waitress of all times, I wouldn't return to Thailand where 'the land of the smiles' wasn't present most of the time.....etc. I wouldn't live in my own country because I come across rude shop assistants etc here.
Yes, I left thinking I would be treated with kindness, hugs, etc because I was a pilgrim, but found the Spanish are just like the rest of us - some are truly rude, others are simply wonderful and helpful. Spain is part of the world, the world has rude people in it.
It is our own egos that are being hurt - I plan to leave my behind on my next camino and then everything will be great!
(I understand how you feel, it is a shock to be ripped off, but it is our own expectations that are wrong, not the local people going about their daily lives, just like in our own countries. Think how many times we are treated rudely and it doesn't even register a comment from us.)
cheers, Jane :)
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
It seems from reading about the Camino in ancient times that the route was plagued by bandits, pickpockets, disease and vermin. Recent tourist accounts expound a Disney-like experience of peace and glad tidings.

The comments in this topic suggests to me that the Camino is returning to its roots.

From my experience, the good vastly outweighs the bad, and so I'll return to walk the Via de la plata in April 2010.

Buen Camino.
David, Victoria, Canada.
 

FatmaG

Active Member
Hey skilsaw,

it definitively is!!!
In May somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the Meseta I met a halfnaked man who frightened me to death..........
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
I do not think that recent accounts expound a Disney like experience of peace and glad tidings. Most accounts portray the good and the bad and perhaps people get swept up in their planning and forget the bad part of the accounts they have read.

The Camino has always been a hard slog and whether the problems one has are physical or mental and from oneself or from others there will be difficulties on the way.

I for one have met rude bar owners all over Spain but as others have said I have met rude bar owners all over the world. It's just a good thing they are in a minority. If that's the only problem you come across you will be lucky.
 

Annette

Member
@Lilloby: Whom ever told you that spanish barkeepers are friendly??

@Miratur: How do you know they overcharge...?

@Lillian R.: I love that sign... and I am sure more could be added :D


Barkeepers, hospitaleros, bed&breakfastowners... are just as human as the pilgrims who walk the Camino. Are they not entitled to have bad days...? bad manners...? or do their business as they please...? Just like barowners...etc. in France, Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Denmark... ??
"If you do not like the 'smell' of the place you are free to leave...."

Thousands of pilgrims are passing every day... some with good manners, some with bad manners... and some quite demanding. Locals are helping the economics as well you know... here in Spain it is quite normal that you have your coffee at the bar instead of in your own home...

With thousand of pilgrims passsing by... I REALLY do think that barowners, restaurant-owners are entitled to raise the price with perhaps €0.25 per cup of coffee or tea or more if they please... as they need to maintain the place... pay electric pills, rent, etc... (if prices are to high they loose customers) ...and why shouldn't you pay for hot water...? water it self is not free... and it does not come heated by it self... - How much do you pay for a cup of hot water in a bar in your homecountry...?

Just because you are on the Camino it does not mean that everybody has to as friendly as can be... That prices has to fit a pilgrims budget... Most of todays pilgrims travel as tourists and most have plenty of money... and most of these wealthy pilgrims become cheap when on the camino... (?? - why??).

Imagine you had a business... it grows... every year more and more customers come to visit... wouldn't you raise the prices just a bit?? - Honestly...! wouldn't you...??

Relax, walk the camino with a smile... usually your own attitude affects the people you talk to... so be good.... be nice... and do not expect too much... and you'll see... the world, the camino and the bar owners are not so bad after all... they might still charge you those €0.25 extra for a cup of coffee... but hey... try to remember he is just trying to make a living... - it is not personal.
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
skilsaw said:
Recent tourist accounts expound a Disney-like experience of peace and glad tidings.


Buen Camino.
David, Victoria, Canada.

Gosh I didn't realise that I was a 'tourist' soaping my derriere and sliding backwards up a camino rainbow :shock: , I foolishly thought I was a pilgrim sharing my experiences-sorry about that. :oops:
Nor did I realise that to be a 'real pilgrim one has to be a pilGRIM. It seems that, for some people, positive accounts can't be 'real', or at least 'as real', as more dyspeptic reportage (though I understand that the 'horribilis' approach always sells more-Codex Calixtinus included)

Does this mean to be a 'real pilgrim' I will have to do the CF all over again-this time thowing ashes over my head, being ripped of by the serving classes waiters, taxi drivers etc and keeping a litany of every slight, insult and injury to reference ad nauseum? :cry:
I think I'll defer this hobbesian Camino as being too "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and " ....not short enough from the sound of it.

As a 50 year old ingenue 'pilgrim ersatz' :D I had a whale of a time on my pilgrimage and will, as they say in Kerry, continue 'to eat the meat and leave the bones' of whatever life throws in my way.
Bonne route et bonne appetit!
Nell
 
Well, I came across a Canadian from Toronto who is, at best, a jerk. He saw me log into the forum in Najera & loudly proclaimed ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE KNOW-IT-ALL FORUM PEOPLE? :evil: Subsequent encounters with him have not been all that positive. He brags that this is his 4th camino, but he doesn´t tell anyone to walk the camino anymore because there are too many people on it. He used to go to the Canadian association meetings, but hasn´t in 10 years because "it´s all the same people, same questions." He bad-mouthed the fantastic new albergue in Santo Domingo as "the Galleria of albergues, but you shouldn´t get used to it, because at the pace you´re going, you´ll be sleeping in a garage tonight." :evil: :evil: :evil: (this last comment to me when I was describing the albergue to another person. I am not in a garage, however. I am at Viloria del Rio & got first pick of the beds).

I can describe him more for someone in Canada who might know him. You have my permission to high-stick him.

Apart from him & the lunatic French woman who slammed the lights on at 6 am this morning because she could, everyone else I´ve met is nice & polite. I don´t want to give the impression that I or anyone else fart rainbows on the Camino. I just chose to focus on the good, funny stuff most of the time (see my blog)

Kelly
 

miratur

New Member
I do not want to get into an argument with Annette but since she queried my statement I feel obliged to answer her. You asked me how do I know if they overcharge the pilgrims, well the answer is very simple : Several times I was overcharged and I had to tell the shopkeepers that they had overcharged me. They must have thought that I could not count. I also suspect that I was overcharged when the goods had no price on them like fruit and the total bill many times came rounded to whole Euros.

I thought the purpose of this forum was to provide advise to persons wanting to do the Camino from persons who have already done it. It can be misleading if not all the truths are mentioned.

By the way I was not a rich tourist doing the Camino. But even if I was one it does not give others the right to take advantage of me and make more money by overcharging me.

As I have said in my previous comment “overall I had a good time”.

miratur
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Points well taken, Miratur.

I try to make a distinction between those who actually cheat me (intentional short change or charging me more than the posted price) and those who irritate me (2 Euro for a Coca Cola). The thread started with a comment about being charged for hot water. That may be irritating, but from the bar owner point of view, there is the cost of heating the water, opening the bar, paying help to bring me the water, washing the cup, etc. I may think the charge is too much, but it is an arms length transaction that I can refuse. When I am intentionally given the wrong change, it is theft. I try to live with the irritation, but I think I am obligated to oppose the theft.
 

Ysabel

New Member
Re: Pilgrims as a menace!

Jochen Schmidtke said:
Hello.
When I did my first Camino in 1994 Pilgrims where humble and experienced in foreign countries. They stood quiet on the bar and waited to be served. They behaved as guests in the country. Old ladies came up ant touched the pilgrims and murord something what I did not understand. Later I learned they said: "Bring my sorrows and my wishes to the saint."
But the sort of pilgrims have changed. They fill the bar with loud talking, push with their elbows the locals aside, they push to the front, and so on.
Too many pilgrims dont keep in mind: "The tourist demands, the pilgrim thanks."
Buen Camino

Thank you for the reminder.
I start walking in 4 days, a woman, alone, and just not sure of why i'm doing this. My fears were getting the best of me.
 
Re: Pilgrims as a menace!

Ysabel said:
Thank you for the reminder.
I start walking in 4 days, a woman, alone, and just not sure of why i'm doing this. My fears were getting the best of me.

Even though I haven't done the Camino as of yet, I'm sure that like the favourite saying of Liverpool FC fans and Johnnie Walker's states: "You'll never walk alone." Let your fears wane and let the joy of the anticipation towards it flourish!

¡Buen Camino! :arrow:
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I think you do most Spanish a disservice here: I have never been treatened bad; on the contrary; Always helpful, correct change every time, and eager to help: Perhaps because I took the time to learn some Espaniol before I started?

I find that some pilgrims expect to be treated as God-sends to the Espaniols: Well, that's not correct: Bow your head and be grateful, I think...
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Well, I´ve met rude bar owners, been cheated by bar owners and taxi drivers and little old ladies at Farmacias... but I´ve also met many angels.

Now Pilgrims... THOSE are another breed.

Right now, up in my nice habitacione, there is a bathroom that serves SEVEN ROOMS.
I just went up to get a shower, and some "pilgrim" couple have spread out their chincha´d mochillas, their nasty looking brown socks, their skid-marked underwear, and their bra and panties all over the towelracks, toilet back, and crowning it all, across the shower-pole is a dirty sleeping bag!!!!!

The question then is... do I rip it all down and deposit it in a neatly folded heap outside the bathroom... or do I WAIT to get my much-needed hot shower!?

Are people just dull???

Yesterday, the lady who owns the house had to tell three lady pilgrims "The bathroom is for ALL the people" when they hung all of their wet things in there too. It should not be a surprise. It is a SHARED BATHROOM... and by Santiago I feel they should know what that means?

I guess I can forgive 50% of those rude bar and shop owners. Some pilgrims really do act as though their brain got left home... dragging huge mochillas into markets and tiendas and knocking things down, yelling louder and LOUDER ENGLISH when they are not understood by the Spanish tender, stringing toilet paper from the Eastern border to the Western Coast, leaving trash in neat piles where they stop to have lunch, spreading bedbugs from place to place because they won´t spend the Euros to wash-dry their gear, leaving their dirty dishes, pots, and pans in the sinks and on the tables of the alburgue kitchen (for their mother to wash?) , and even stealing the silverware! No shit! In one alburgue kitchen I used a knife to cut bread one night and the next morning the sucker had walked off! No wonder they don´t stock pots and pans... I have scrubbed more burnt-on crap off of pans that should have been washed than I can count!

No.. it is not just bar owners who are rude.
Pilgrims have them beat by a LONGshot, in my opinion!

Fact is, people are people... some are good most of the time, and some are bad some of the time.
I guess if bar owners are rude to you, you can just shrug, then come here to rant.. huh?

(Considering my feelings at the moment, perhaps I would NOT make a very good hospitalera? :::::laughing::::::)
 

rachelvi

New Member
My husband and I just finished the Frances from Burgos to Santiago. Overall service in Spain is not as attentive as in the U.S. I just took that as cultural. However, one example of rude vs. wonderful that stands out is that in Sarria, we stopped at a bar for some lunch. We came in quietly, set our packs in the corner well out of the way, looked at the menu they had posted in English on the door to decide on what we wanted then approached the bar. There were several locals having drinks, but there was space for us to approach. We waited patiently for at least 10 minutes while the barkeep piddled around. I speak enough spanish to order and converse appropriately to make a transaction and we then tried to get his attention to order and he continued to ignore us. After 10 more minutes we decided that he obviously wanted nothing to do with us and left. We went down to the next bar where we were greeted warmly by the husband and wife owners, treated with smiling service, and even given a "casa dulce", a sort of chocolate chip pancake fritter as a dessert treat.

When leaving from the friendly bar, we saw some friends from the evening before looking at the unfriendly bar's menu. We told them our story and encouraged them to not go there, but to try the other bar if the menu suited them.

I suppose the Camino Frances is so popular that there are enough people streaming through that basic politeness on the part of business owners isn't required. But I like to think that through the power of the community, maybe at least the nice ones can be rewarded by good word of mouth.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
:D

Matthew 10:16 ??

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

:wink:

harmless as doves now!
 
It sounds like you ended up in the same place I did for the 2nd night in Sarria. Meson Camino Frances? The husband/wife owners were very friendly & it was very obvious who wore the pants in that family...the wife. :lol: They served us a good meal, even modifying one of the dishes for the vegetarian, who told us she had stayed there 2 nights & each morning, the wife had brought her a cafe con leche to start off the day. Her room was only 10 euros.

Kelly
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
Re: Pilgrims as a menace!

Jochen Schmidtke said:
Hello.
When I did my first Camino in 1994 Pilgrims where humble and experienced in foreign countries. They stood quiet on the bar and waited to be served. They behaved as guests in the country. Old ladies came up ant touched the pilgrims and murord something what I did not understand. Later I learned they said: "Bring my sorrows and my wishes to the saint."
But the sort of pilgrims have changed. They fill the bar with loud talking, push with their elbows the locals aside, they push to the front, and so on.
Too many pilgrims dont keep in mind: "The tourist demands, the pilgrim thanks."
Buen Camino

Hi Jochen

I wonder if I met you in Lithuania in 96 or 97? You were walking south, I was going north on my moto, towards Estonia. I saw your pilgrim equipment, and I turned round and spoke to you and gave you a beer. We only spent 2 minutes together, so maybe you dont remember. Anyway, buen viaje and buen camino!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Hermanita

Active Member
rude foreign pilgrims

Just returned from the Camino Frances WOW what an amazing experience.

As for rude Spanish bar owners, I found it quite the contrary. It was more like rude foriegn pilgrims who come in, order nothing or just a coffee or soft drink then proceed to through down their gear all over the place taking up all the floor space so no one can walk past, using the bathrooms, open their packs and take out all kinds of food goods to make a hearty lunch then leave the mess for the bar owner to clean up without a thanks for the silent hospitality and tolerance for such rude behavior.

The bar owners are there, yes, to serve the pilgrim and others who frequent there establishment, however they have a right to make a profit and should be duely paid for the wonderful service they give us. As well as acknowledged for their tolerance of bad behavior by more than the majority of pilgrims.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I have to agree with Annie. I met far more obnoxious and rude pilgrims than I ever did amongst those serving pilgrims. It was tough to get attention on Sunday afternoons when the bars were filled with local men playing cards and drinking beer, but other than that, I was genuinely surprised by the attentiveness of most bartenders. And bless their hearts and generous spirits because if I had to encounter some of the pilgrims I encountered day after day, I would become rather hardened.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
I've had a bar owner run out to his garden to pick my husband a bowl of strawberries (after a conversation about how wonderful that fruit was!); a bar owner go to her own kitchen and make me an omelette when she wasn't serving food that day; a bar owner prepare special meals for my husband while he spent three days in the albergue recovering from pneumonia. I've also received free Spanish lessons, menu interpretation, transportation, introduction to families, and other wonderful civilities and kindnesses.
I agree with the observations about rudeness from some pilgrims. Among the most astonishing, was "Why can't these people speak English?" Added to that, grimaces and noises of digust when presented with local cuisine, dirty boots up on chairs, and just general boorishness.
Thankfully these pilgrims are in the minority, and I met far more pilgrims who went out of their way to be gracious, kind and caring both to other pilgrims and to the local Spanish people.

lynne
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
Re: Pilgrims as a menace!

Ysabel said:
Jochen Schmidtke said:
Hello.
When I did my first Camino in 1994 Pilgrims where humble and experienced in foreign countries. They stood quiet on the bar and waited to be served. They behaved as guests in the country. Old ladies came up ant touched the pilgrims and murord something what I did not understand. Later I learned they said: "Bring my sorrows and my wishes to the saint."
But the sort of pilgrims have changed. They fill the bar with loud talking, push with their elbows the locals aside, they push to the front, and so on.
Too many pilgrims dont keep in mind: "The tourist demands, the pilgrim thanks."
Buen Camino

Thank you for the reminder.
I start walking in 4 days, a woman, alone, and just not sure of why i'm doing this. My fears were getting the best of me.

Tell us, Ysa, how it has been. I bet it was quite unlike your fearful expectations :D Let's forget rude people, they're everywhere.
:arrow:
 

Ribeirasacra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
the highway
lilloby said:
hi fellow pilgrims day 3 of my camino and so far its great but i am suprised by the rudeness of the spanish barowners,today i asked for some hot water and was charged 1 euro 25 cent ,it was almost thrown at me this was at a bar used by a lot of pilgrims and this evening i bought a pot of tea and he wanted to charge me for the milk .why are they so grumpy with pilgrims who are helping so much with the econamy are they just tired of us ,hope the humour improves along the way and the christian attuade will show itself .weather fantastic company wonderful so if the legs hold up i am plowing on buen camino lillian :arrow:


Do you now what else has happened in the bar owners life recently or just before you asked for your jar of hot water?

So the bar owner was grumpy. Have you never had an off day?

I have seen you have not come back here to respond to any of the comments, that is a shame.
 

Volpoon

New Member
I've been on the Camino Frances three times now. I've had to do short periods when I could get away, but I've spent three weeks on it and walked from St Jean to Burgos, doing the stretch from Estella to Burgos twice, once alone and once with a friend.

I have had really pleasant experience with most of the people I met on the way, perhaps a little grumpiness from bus drivers travelling to and from my starting and ending points, but I speak next to no Spanish and get things wrong quite often. In general, I've had wonderful, patient and kindly treatment. If you smile, are polite and try to act like a guest in the country, you won't go far wrong.

As for complaining about being asked to pay a bit more than a Euro for hot water, how would the bars survive if they handed out everything free? I'd rather pay for what I use and find a regular network of places to stay, eat, and have a drink. It isn't expensive anyway. Staying in the refuges in April 2008, I easily got by every day on E18 a day, and that included coffees, the odd drink, food and lodging.

What's the weather like now? I could get away for a fortnight from the end of next week. I am feeling drawn back there right now.
 

Pacharan

Member
I am in Arzua right now and it is raining cats and dogs. I am glad Meson Camino Frances in Sarria got a thumbs up; we went there for a beer, liked the tapa so much we went back for dinner and breakfast too. The owners went out of their way to make us welcome, even finding English football on TV for us. I think there was only 1 bar on whole of camino so far where I felt service and food was indifferent or overpriced (Meson or Bar Sarracin in Vega del Valcarce - it´s on left on way into town, would suggest don´t stop there, walk further into town).
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
I was the most unkempt pilgrim for three weeks on the Arles, Aragones then Frances, which I ended last week in Logrono. With my raggedy clothes and general dishevellment, I can't have gladdened many a bar-owner's heart as I stumbled in, nodding in dumb agreement as they suggested 'cafe con leche?'. Those are just about the only three words I know in Spanish, too, despite a recent crash course. So, aware of the poor impression I was making (and what an eyesore I was in the otherwise lovely country) I dished out smiles and 'Ola's liberally.

A smile became such valuable currency that I started to wonder why I don't do more of it at home in London (though now I'm back I remember: it's too often misunderstood!). Only one Spanish waiter continued to be off-hand and unpleasant after my mega-smile assault, and that was in a restaurant in Vianna. But even he was so comically rude to me that it was pure entertainment for me and for the French pilgrims at the next table.

I hope at least this one lesson from this Camino stays with me - no one is obliged to be kind to me, but it is my duty to bring some positivity into every encounter.

Anniesantiago, I didn't realise at the time it was you I offloaded my staff and unwanted T-shirts to outside the Logrono albergue. A forum celebrity! Better than seeing Martin Sheen, I reckon...
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
I am very surprised by the strong tone of this thread. We tried to think of a bad situation in a bar or restaurant on our walk earlier this year. We could not come up with any!!! Not everyone went out of the way to be over friendly...but many if not most did. A few quiet, non communicative types..but not rude or anything we would take as personal. We are pretty seasoned travelers and have been in over 100 countries in the past 8 or 9 years, so are pretty aware of what is going on.

A couple of thoughts....We did the Camino from mid March to early May and there were not a huge herd of Pilgrims. Maybe the wear and tear on the Bars gets worse as the later crowds appear.

We never expected to be treated in any manner other than a regular customer. I wonder if some posters had an expectation of a "special" treatment because they were Pilgrims??
We did often get acknowledgment and great welcome from many small bars along the way.
The most appreciated was the honking and waving from many, many truck drivers (and cars) along the way. It really did help when we were really tired and worn down.
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
Metropolly said:
A smile became such valuable currency that I started to wonder why I don't do more of it at home in London (though now I'm back I remember: it's too often misunderstood!).

Yes I was stranded in London for a decade and a fair number of people there had some weird attitudes; if say, in a bus queue I passed comment to someone next to me that the bus was late etc, they would stiffen and be clearly ill at ease that someone unknown actually spoke to them. Spooky....sad, alienated...not a pleasant place to live..violent too...
 

Dale

Active Member
I guess there is a rotten apple or two in every barrel, but when I walked the Frances in 2008 most of my bar experiences were very favorable. I did notice in several locations that preference was given to the local trade and pilgrims needed to wait until they were served. I don't interpret this as rudeness, the local trade is their bread and butter, if you don't cater to them they will go to the bar up the street and they will stay there when the pilgrim walking season is finished. Also we need to realize that the local trade is having breakfast on their way to work or a coffee break/lunch and returning to work.

That said I have many wonderful bar memories perhaps my favorite was the lady in her bathrobe and slippers in the small family run bar who served me a large slice of warm yellow cake that she had just taken from the oven. You couldn't have that experience anywhere in North America. :!:
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
I biked the Camino one year when the Vuelta a Espana bike race was on. Every afternoon I'd go into a bar and request they turn off that soccer game and find me the bike race on TV (in bad Spanish, not loud English). Perhaps an unreasonable request, but worth a try.

Every single place was friendly, helpfull, and tolerated me sipping a beer to make it last until the finish. Way beyond what I would expect. I have had a few failed attempts to watch the Tour de France in France, but never in Spain.

A few places were so nice I ended up sipping beer all afternoon and staying upstairs.
 
WolverineDG said:
It sounds like you ended up in the same place I did for the 2nd night in Sarria. Meson Camino Frances? The husband/wife owners were very friendly & it was very obvious who wore the pants in that family...the wife. :lol: They served us a good meal, even modifying one of the dishes for the vegetarian, who told us she had stayed there 2 nights & each morning, the wife had brought her a cafe con leche to start off the day. Her room was only 10 euros.

Kelly

Starting from Sarria after a plane ride from Madrid and taxi from Santiago, we decided to eat lunch before heading out. Stopped at the Meson Camino Frances. Wonderful lunch served by nice people. Also cheaper than the other two bars on the little square there. City hall information office across the street. Great way to start the Camino. Most everyone was nice and served us well...you reap what you sow.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
I have not found any more rude people in Spain than I have encountered in my own country, or in other countries I've visited, for that matter, so it's a non-issue for me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I sorta get it, myself.

I'm originally from California but moved to Oregon in 1990.

Today, much has changed, thanks to the Californian transplants that flocked to our beautiful green country when their state hit the skids. (Notice I don't put myself in the mix) :wink:

Now, instead of a quiet drive to town, I fight Los Angeles type rush hour traffic at 2 pm ee]very afternoon, and curse at every California license plate I see. When I see them, I say, "Ok California, you've enjoyed the green.. now go HOME!"

They scream down the freeway at high speeds, weaving in and out of traffic, cutting people off and waving finger signs when they don't like you. They do business while driving, despite the no-texting laws, nearly running you off the road. They take jobs away from local folk. The price of housing doubled within months of their arrival, and the small town feel of the industrial section of town has been transformed by them into a ritzy artsy place they dubbed "The Pearl." It's enough to make one lose their sanity...these locusts from California.

Do I REALLY feel this way... yes, on some days, even though I know it's mostly not true.

You say pilgrims help the economy?
Californians say they help Oregon's economy.
Frankly, I liked the economy when it was quieter, cleaner, slower, and more backwards.
I imagine some Spaniards feel the same way.
Needy pilgrims surely take their toll on one's nerves...

I suspect the economy isn't helped much by pilgrims, especially those who are paying $3 or staying where they believe "donativo" means "free." Bocadillos and coffees won't pay the mortgage.

I don't know.. we all like being treated as though we're special... maybe we should treat the shop owners to some larger tips and even LARGER thank you's?

I only remember one bad shop owner.. she cheated us out of the price of dinner by charging us twice. My Spanish wasn't good enough to argue. I left with a crappy taste in my mouth and it took a few kilometers to get over it. But I did, because almost every other shop owner was VERY kind, and THAT was what I wanted to remember.

I know this is long, but I have one more thing to say. Once, I was in line for groceries and the clerk was quite rude. Instead of biting her head off, I said, sincerely, 'Gosh, I'm so sorry you're having such a bad day." She immediately apologized.

Sometimes, we just need someone to have compassion.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
Speaking as an almost-native Oregonian, since 1977 (yeah, I was born in CA, but that wasn't my choice), the days of blaming the Californians died with Governor Tom McCall (or shortly after the second wave in the 1990s!)....nowadays, it's the people from the Midwest and the East Coast moving to Oregon.....everyone likes to blame the "other" for their problems. Californians blame the Mexicans, Oregonians blame the Californians (and other transplants) and so the cycle continues....I noticed the same thing in Spain, Italy and the other countries I visited last year and also in conversations I had with many people....it's human nature.

As for the Camino, I didn't experience any rude bar owners, though I did come across some greedy ones! :) Of course, they aren't even close to the greedy business owners I came across in Jordan, India, or Thailand.....so for me, it's a matter of perspective. People for the most part for were very kind. I remember when I was walking out of Logrono and I had to pee sooooo bad, but as you know, the walk out of town is through a park and there are no places to stop and pee until you get to this food stand area. Well, I went to the bathroom first, then stopped to have a bite to eat. It was a particularly warm day, so I was tired and could barely form a sentence in Spanish, much less English. The man behind the counter was so cute, he told me to talk in English to his son! :) It made my day.
 

LuceBCN

New Member
I've lived in Spain for two and a half years now and the frequent abruptness of sales staff doesn't bother me any more, but it used to leave me seething. Now, I think I've figured it out. Back home, if someone is having a bad day, or is generally a grumpy person, they will give you a fake smile and a nasal, fake-happy, robot greeting. Here, they just can't be bothered being fake. Now when I go home, those fake-happy shop assistants bother me. I guess anything that's different to whatever you're used to will end up bugging you unless you're a super-patient person :)
 

+@^^

Active Member
i havent had such a good laugh in a long time
great post....
.
i walked the vdlp in sept last year with an older dutch guy
who was/ pretended to be a priest from a dickens book(!)
big cross on a chain round his neck
heavy black cape
carried minimal stuff under his cape, giving him a hunchback appearance
and he frequently demanded free food / accommodation etc...
and he carried a long pole type walking stick
.
as we left one small rural village he remarked how unfriendly the locals were, and that they ignored him or looked the other way, or scuttled inside when he appeared
this was diametrically opposed to my expereince, which was for the most part one of generous kind-hearted locals
.
then it struck me that he looked exactly like the grim reaper
.
so if you were an 85 year villager and the grim reaper happened into your town, perhaps youd also be a bit grumpy - thinking your time was up
.
so act kinder and maybe theyll respond kinder to you
 

Beverley

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2009, Camino Portuguese 2010, Del Norte 2011, Pamplona to Burgos and Santiago to Finnesterra 2012
Hey, where can I find this grumpy bar guy, is it on Youtube?
 

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