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Seasoned walkers and hikers - should you walk the Frances?

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Tartrazine

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
This post is for long distance walkers or hikers considering the Camine Frances. If you’re not in either of those categories then please bear in mind you’re not the intended audience.

You’re likely here because you are wondering which Camino you should be going for. I walked both the Camine Norte and Camino Frances this year and the short version of this post would be of the two to walk the Norte and avoid the Frances like the plague. I can't speak for the others though I intend to walk a couple of them.

From SJPDP the Frances is 480 odd miles long. About 100 of those miles break down as
50 odd miles of ‘great walking and glad I came’
50 odd miles ranging from ‘pleasant’ to ‘okay’ to ‘at least it’s not the Great Glen Way’. I’m including the Napoleon route in this 50 miles because it’s massively overrated for what it is.

The other 380 odd miles are absolutely dreadful. In conversation I’ve likened the experience a couple of times since to walking on a completely flat treadmill while watching paint dry.

But the walking itself is only part of the problem. Another is the crowds. I know it’s ironic to moan about crowds when you’re part of the crowd but the Frances is infested with pilgrims and just about none of them are actual walkers. You’ll spend your day passing people, because none of them walk at any great pace, and end up in bottlenecks or trying to negotiate around groups of walkers who spread themselves across the path. Within an hour or two each day you’ll get sick and tired of hearing ‘Buen Camino’ as you pass people. As they’re dawdling along they’re saying it a few times a day, but as you’re passing countless numbers of people it feels like you hear it non stop and they all look at you expecting the greeting to be returned. I got so sick of it I took to amusing myself by giving silly responses – ‘cuem Banoni’ ‘bob Banoonoo’ ‘cooby dooby’ – though I think they all just heard what they expected to hear so no harm done. Special mention for the ridiculous numbers of people you’ll see wielding walking poles but having absolutely no idea what they’re for or how to use them, not realising that the way they’re being used makes them no more than additional weight to be carry.

But, isn’t part of the Frances about connecting with people?
Maybe, but bear in mind unless you want to slow to a snails pace you won’t be around people long enough to have a conversation. Also these people walk short distances, so every night you’ll meet people you’ll likely never see again as by the next night you’ll be miles ahead of them. You’ll likely be glad as well given the irritations of dealing with people in Albergues who aren’t used to walking or living out of a pack. Top irritations include

The (oh god so many) novices whose packs pretty much explode across their beds and the surrounding areas as they unpack everything, never mind taking out only what they need and putting it back when no longer needed.
Leaving the floors between bunks strewn with their junk so getting up for a toilet break or an early start becomes an assault course .

Moaning about their aches and pains after a momentous 15 mile day

And my personal favourite, the ones who unpack and shower then go out for a meal and / or drinks before returning at 10 – 10.30 and decide that’s the time to start getting their stuff ready for the morning. Not before they go out, they’re too special for that. Extra points for the idiots who think it’s ok to turn all the lights on while they pack despite people sleeping or trying to sleep.

But, what about the spiritual aspect?
Do you mean the kumbya happy clappy I’ve come to find myself tree hugging hippy stuff? Look, if a change of scenery and a bit of physical exercise led to enlightenment us long distance walkers and hikers would be on a par with the Dalai Llama by now. I will cut these well meaning but muddle headed people a bit of slack here though. As non walkers unused to the activity, on a multi day walk away from their home environment, sleeping in communal bunk houses probably for the first time since childhood etc they are completely out of their comfort zone. That must be incredibly disorientating and I can sort of see why that leaves them open to, well, open to something. For us easy walking, a mattress and a hot shower every night and food and coffee stops available every half a mile is beyond the comfort zone and well into the sumptuous luxury zone.

The Norte has it’s boring stretches (although there are alternative routes on it) but is a fairly challenging (in stretches), solitary (for the most part) Camino with some wonderful views. Between the Norte and the tourist trail that is the Frances it’s a no brainer.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
This post is for long distance walkers or hikers considering the Camine Frances.
My guess is that everybody on the forum is interested in long-distance walking, so I'm not sure who you intend to exclude.

The short answer to the question in the thread title "Should you walk the Camino Frances?" is "only if you want to." Same for the Norte.
 
Past OR future Camino
Many and many more.
This post is for long distance walkers or hikers considering the Camine Frances. If you’re not in either of those categories then please bear in mind you’re not the intended audience.

You’re likely here because you are wondering which Camino you should be going for. I walked both the Camine Norte and Camino Frances this year and the short version of this post would be of the two to walk the Norte and avoid the Frances like the plague. I can't speak for the others though I intend to walk a couple of them.

From SJPDP the Frances is 480 odd miles long. About 100 of those miles break down as
50 odd miles of ‘great walking and glad I came’
50 odd miles ranging from ‘pleasant’ to ‘okay’ to ‘at least it’s not the Great Glen Way’. I’m including the Napoleon route in this 50 miles because it’s massively overrated for what it is.

The other 380 odd miles are absolutely dreadful. In conversation I’ve likened the experience a couple of times since to walking on a completely flat treadmill while watching paint dry.

But the walking itself is only part of the problem. Another is the crowds. I know it’s ironic to moan about crowds when you’re part of the crowd but the Frances is infested with pilgrims and just about none of them are actual walkers. You’ll spend your day passing people, because none of them walk at any great pace, and end up in bottlenecks or trying to negotiate around groups of walkers who spread themselves across the path. Within an hour or two each day you’ll get sick and tired of hearing ‘Buen Camino’ as you pass people. As they’re dawdling along they’re saying it a few times a day, but as you’re passing countless numbers of people it feels like you hear it non stop and they all look at you expecting the greeting to be returned. I got so sick of it I took to amusing myself by giving silly responses – ‘cuem Banoni’ ‘bob Banoonoo’ ‘cooby dooby’ – though I think they all just heard what they expected to hear so no harm done. Special mention for the ridiculous numbers of people you’ll see wielding walking poles but having absolutely no idea what they’re for or how to use them, not realising that the way they’re being used makes them no more than additional weight to be carry.

But, isn’t part of the Frances about connecting with people?
Maybe, but bear in mind unless you want to slow to a snails pace you won’t be around people long enough to have a conversation. Also these people walk short distances, so every night you’ll meet people you’ll likely never see again as by the next night you’ll be miles ahead of them. You’ll likely be glad as well given the irritations of dealing with people in Albergues who aren’t used to walking or living out of a pack. Top irritations include

The (oh god so many) novices whose packs pretty much explode across their beds and the surrounding areas as they unpack everything, never mind taking out only what they need and putting it back when no longer needed.
Leaving the floors between bunks strewn with their junk so getting up for a toilet break or an early start becomes an assault course .

Moaning about their aches and pains after a momentous 15 mile day

And my personal favourite, the ones who unpack and shower then go out for a meal and / or drinks before returning at 10 – 10.30 and decide that’s the time to start getting their stuff ready for the morning. Not before they go out, they’re too special for that. Extra points for the idiots who think it’s ok to turn all the lights on while they pack despite people sleeping or trying to sleep.

But, what about the spiritual aspect?
Do you mean the kumbya happy clappy I’ve come to find myself tree hugging hippy stuff? Look, if a change of scenery and a bit of physical exercise led to enlightenment us long distance walkers and hikers would be on a par with the Dalai Llama by now. I will cut these well meaning but muddle headed people a bit of slack here though. As non walkers unused to the activity, on a multi day walk away from their home environment, sleeping in communal bunk houses probably for the first time since childhood etc they are completely out of their comfort zone. That must be incredibly disorientating and I can sort of see why that leaves them open to, well, open to something. For us easy walking, a mattress and a hot shower every night and food and coffee stops available every half a mile is beyond the comfort zone and well into the sumptuous luxury zone.

The Norte has it’s boring stretches (although there are alternative routes on it) but is a fairly challenging (in stretches), solitary (for the most part) Camino with some wonderful views. Between the Norte and the tourist trail that is the Frances it’s a no brainer.
I’m overly cynical and self-opinionated. So that’s out of the way…

I’ll confess that a good number of your ‘reservations’ do resonate with me; but I have found a substantial number of positives to sit alongside them. Sufficiently so that I’m a multiple repeat caminante.

Happily there is no shortage of long-distance walking routes for those who want an alternative.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Your post had me chuckling as it was a hilarious read "from your point of view". I've loved all of my various Caminos and consider myself a seasoned walker and a hiker, although I'm sure I don't meet your criteria.😃
Have you considered pursuing the "Triple Crown" in the USA? Those trails would possibly be more up your alley. Maybe @davebugg is one who can give an inspiring opinion.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
So, do you think you'll do it again? I mean that was quite a spray. Have you thought about volunteering as a hospitalero next year? Sorry mate, but we are not going to be sympathetic. 'It is what it is' as they say. The thing is, most people on the camino are not walkers. That is the essential point of the camino. They are pilgrims and have all kinds of motives for walking to Santiago. They have never done this kind of this thing before and they find it tough. They are on a steep learning curve, but they do, mostly learn, as we all should. 'Nuff said', eh?
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(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
Whether you want a long-distance challenge or a spiritual experience is up to you. I am not sure you can experience both at the same time.

Buen Camino!
 
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Joe.Iozzi

Member since 2016
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portuguese 2016, Camino del Norte 2017,
I've walked a few thousand miles on five continents, so I guess I'm part of your audience. I'm very sorry to read that you found the beautiful scenery along the French route so boring, missed the opportunity to get to know the many people from different lands and cultures that walked the route with you, got sick of hearing Beun Camino and never found much Camino spirit. Very sad post, very sad indeed.
 

JustJack

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Wow, I'm hoping there aren't too many like you along the CF...

It sounds to me like you're comparing hiking something like the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail to walking on a pilgrimage. The two are very different endeavours, with different people participating with different motivations. Stick to your hiking routes and stay off pilgrim routes. Problem solved, and you won't subject peple along the way to your negativity. Win-win.
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Past OR future Camino
2019
@Tartrazine, I'm gathering you walked the Norte before the Frances?..you don't specifically say but I'm assuming due to you listing the Norte first.
I can't help but wonder if you had 'cut your pilgrimage teeth' on the Frances first, as most of us do/have, if your view of the CF might be somewhat less...er...caustic?
However for pure dummy spitting entertainment & the ballsyness to post such an anti-CF rant (not that I disagree with you on a number of points) on a predominately CF forum, I'm awarding you the one & only 'like' (AToW) for your thread! 😂 This is also partly due to being on a mobile device which doesn't allow other emoji responses except 'like'...otherwise I might have chosen something more expressive! 🤭 😇
Happy trails...?!
👣 🌏
Edited: I've just worked out how to use a different response emoji to 'like' (press & hold 'like' for other options) but as I didn't know that at the time of my post, I will leave it as originally written. 🤗
 
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FourSeasons

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF09/10 '13
CF04/05 ‘16
Norte07 '19
CF07/08 '19
This post is for long distance walkers or hikers considering the Camine Frances. If you’re not in either of those categories then please bear in mind you’re not the intended audience.

You’re likely here because you are wondering which Camino you should be going for. I walked both the Camine Norte and Camino Frances this year and the short version of this post would be of the two to walk the Norte and avoid the Frances like the plague. I can't speak for the others though I intend to walk a couple of them.

From SJPDP the Frances is 480 odd miles long. About 100 of those miles break down as
50 odd miles of ‘great walking and glad I came’
50 odd miles ranging from ‘pleasant’ to ‘okay’ to ‘at least it’s not the Great Glen Way’. I’m including the Napoleon route in this 50 miles because it’s massively overrated for what it is.

The other 380 odd miles are absolutely dreadful. In conversation I’ve likened the experience a couple of times since to walking on a completely flat treadmill while watching paint dry.

But the walking itself is only part of the problem. Another is the crowds. I know it’s ironic to moan about crowds when you’re part of the crowd but the Frances is infested with pilgrims and just about none of them are actual walkers. You’ll spend your day passing people, because none of them walk at any great pace, and end up in bottlenecks or trying to negotiate around groups of walkers who spread themselves across the path. Within an hour or two each day you’ll get sick and tired of hearing ‘Buen Camino’ as you pass people. As they’re dawdling along they’re saying it a few times a day, but as you’re passing countless numbers of people it feels like you hear it non stop and they all look at you expecting the greeting to be returned. I got so sick of it I took to amusing myself by giving silly responses – ‘cuem Banoni’ ‘bob Banoonoo’ ‘cooby dooby’ – though I think they all just heard what they expected to hear so no harm done. Special mention for the ridiculous numbers of people you’ll see wielding walking poles but having absolutely no idea what they’re for or how to use them, not realising that the way they’re being used makes them no more than additional weight to be carry.

But, isn’t part of the Frances about connecting with people?
Maybe, but bear in mind unless you want to slow to a snails pace you won’t be around people long enough to have a conversation. Also these people walk short distances, so every night you’ll meet people you’ll likely never see again as by the next night you’ll be miles ahead of them. You’ll likely be glad as well given the irritations of dealing with people in Albergues who aren’t used to walking or living out of a pack. Top irritations include

The (oh god so many) novices whose packs pretty much explode across their beds and the surrounding areas as they unpack everything, never mind taking out only what they need and putting it back when no longer needed.
Leaving the floors between bunks strewn with their junk so getting up for a toilet break or an early start becomes an assault course .

Moaning about their aches and pains after a momentous 15 mile day

And my personal favourite, the ones who unpack and shower then go out for a meal and / or drinks before returning at 10 – 10.30 and decide that’s the time to start getting their stuff ready for the morning. Not before they go out, they’re too special for that. Extra points for the idiots who think it’s ok to turn all the lights on while they pack despite people sleeping or trying to sleep.

But, what about the spiritual aspect?
Do you mean the kumbya happy clappy I’ve come to find myself tree hugging hippy stuff? Look, if a change of scenery and a bit of physical exercise led to enlightenment us long distance walkers and hikers would be on a par with the Dalai Llama by now. I will cut these well meaning but muddle headed people a bit of slack here though. As non walkers unused to the activity, on a multi day walk away from their home environment, sleeping in communal bunk houses probably for the first time since childhood etc they are completely out of their comfort zone. That must be incredibly disorientating and I can sort of see why that leaves them open to, well, open to something. For us easy walking, a mattress and a hot shower every night and food and coffee stops available every half a mile is beyond the comfort zone and well into the sumptuous luxury zone.

The Norte has it’s boring stretches (although there are alternative routes on it) but is a fairly challenging (in stretches), solitary (for the most part) Camino with some wonderful views. Between the Norte and the tourist trail that is the Frances it’s a no brainer.
I think you missed the calling, a pilgrim you will never be. How insulting you are to those who have walked a pilgrimage as a “greenie” or a “seasoned” pilgrim. I have done both on the Frances. I’ve learned to adapt and I’ve learned to help others. I’d rather stretch my tolerances with the clickity clack of trekking poles than to say Buen Camino to a stick in the mud like you but that’s not the pilgrim way. It seems you can’t see the beauty for the spec in your eye. What a shame. BUEN CAMINO where ever you roam.
2A80C940-D3C5-456B-BA43-7A99FBFBB738.jpeg 092F2967-1D0D-4461-B8F0-E849857FB194.jpeg 46103711-B9C9-4D8B-A697-82D841632590.jpeg 57FBE081-0287-4D63-9E0B-C4F6A701973B.jpeg 9BAF312A-4A98-4339-BC69-BF9CBDD1BDD6.jpeg B1215DA8-DEDA-4A91-90DB-8123FD650F2A.jpeg
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
You’re of course entitled to your opinions, and there are many forum members who share some of them, myself included. But most would never articulate them with the same attitude of superiority, disdain and condescension that you have expressed here. Mockery and ridicule are pretty childish ways to make your points.

And this is not our first rodeo with people who apparently didn’t bother to figure out before walking that the Camino is not a wilderness trail.



Too bad you hadn’t seen Tapon’s article before setting out.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
Some people argue about what a "real pilgrim" is. Others are competitive about being "real" distance walkers/hikers and look down on people who don't measure up to their standards. My main question is why you chose to post your piece on this forum?
(when I grow up, I want to be "seasoned" like you!)
 
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Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
It looks like you didn't get what you expected or were hoping for. You also seem to have a low tolerance level for boredom and irritation.

It's a drag to make everyone and everything else the problem There's another option, but I won't waste my breath describing it because you probably wouldn't be interested in getting off your proud little soapbox.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
When I first googled about the Camino de Santiago after watching "The Way" in 2014, one of the first pieces of information that popped up was Tarpon's article. All of his negative reasons to NOT go on a Camino were the very reasons why I thought I COULD go and have enjoyed going five times.
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
This post is for long distance walkers or hikers considering the Camine Frances. If you’re not in either of those categories then please bear in mind you’re not the intended audience.

???? With decades of distance walking that includes thousands of backpacking miles, including thru hikes of the PCT and Colorado Trail, your preface presents a dilemma . I have also walked a Camino 3 times (Ingles x 1, Frances x 2), and I look forward to the next one.

It was interesting to read your 'review' of walking a Camino, and no one can argue with how you 'feel' about your experience, no more than being able to argue about someone's taste in colors or music. It is also true that your tastes and aesthetic values are purely subjective and have no more or less value than someone else's. Some folks like dark chocolate, others prefer milk chocolate. . . .

I guess I fail to see why you posted what you did on this Forum. I could definitely understand your post being made on a forum dedicated to something like wilderness backpacking, but this Forum's audience is not trying to decide between hiking the Appalachian Trail or the Tour de Mount Blanc, versus doing a Camino Pilgrimage.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
When I first googled about the Camino de Santiago after watching "The Way" in 2014, one of the first pieces of information that popped up was Tarpon's article. All of his negative reasons to NOT go on a Camino were the very reasons why I thought I COULD go and have enjoyed going five times.
Same for me!
I love walking and I love traveling. When I found out that I could travel across Spain using my feet as transportation, while sleeping on a real bed and showering every night I was ready to go!
I've never had the slightest desire to spend months or weeks in the wilderness sleeping in a tent.
Nope, give me dusty little towns on the Meseta, grand cathedrals, overworked barmen serving me a café con leche, and sharing a meal and a bottle of vino tinto with new friends from all over the world.
 
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Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
This post is for long distance walkers or hikers considering the Camine Frances. If you’re not in either of those categories then please bear in mind you’re not the intended audience.

You’re likely here because you are wondering which Camino you should be going for. I walked both the Camine Norte and Camino Frances this year and the short version of this post would be of the two to walk the Norte and avoid the Frances like the plague. I can't speak for the others though I intend to walk a couple of them.

From SJPDP the Frances is 480 odd miles long. About 100 of those miles break down as
50 odd miles of ‘great walking and glad I came’
50 odd miles ranging from ‘pleasant’ to ‘okay’ to ‘at least it’s not the Great Glen Way’. I’m including the Napoleon route in this 50 miles because it’s massively overrated for what it is.

The other 380 odd miles are absolutely dreadful. In conversation I’ve likened the experience a couple of times since to walking on a completely flat treadmill while watching paint dry.

But the walking itself is only part of the problem. Another is the crowds. I know it’s ironic to moan about crowds when you’re part of the crowd but the Frances is infested with pilgrims and just about none of them are actual walkers. You’ll spend your day passing people, because none of them walk at any great pace, and end up in bottlenecks or trying to negotiate around groups of walkers who spread themselves across the path. Within an hour or two each day you’ll get sick and tired of hearing ‘Buen Camino’ as you pass people. As they’re dawdling along they’re saying it a few times a day, but as you’re passing countless numbers of people it feels like you hear it non stop and they all look at you expecting the greeting to be returned. I got so sick of it I took to amusing myself by giving silly responses – ‘cuem Banoni’ ‘bob Banoonoo’ ‘cooby dooby’ – though I think they all just heard what they expected to hear so no harm done. Special mention for the ridiculous numbers of people you’ll see wielding walking poles but having absolutely no idea what they’re for or how to use them, not realising that the way they’re being used makes them no more than additional weight to be carry.

But, isn’t part of the Frances about connecting with people?
Maybe, but bear in mind unless you want to slow to a snails pace you won’t be around people long enough to have a conversation. Also these people walk short distances, so every night you’ll meet people you’ll likely never see again as by the next night you’ll be miles ahead of them. You’ll likely be glad as well given the irritations of dealing with people in Albergues who aren’t used to walking or living out of a pack. Top irritations include

The (oh god so many) novices whose packs pretty much explode across their beds and the surrounding areas as they unpack everything, never mind taking out only what they need and putting it back when no longer needed.
Leaving the floors between bunks strewn with their junk so getting up for a toilet break or an early start becomes an assault course .

Moaning about their aches and pains after a momentous 15 mile day

And my personal favourite, the ones who unpack and shower then go out for a meal and / or drinks before returning at 10 – 10.30 and decide that’s the time to start getting their stuff ready for the morning. Not before they go out, they’re too special for that. Extra points for the idiots who think it’s ok to turn all the lights on while they pack despite people sleeping or trying to sleep.

But, what about the spiritual aspect?
Do you mean the kumbya happy clappy I’ve come to find myself tree hugging hippy stuff? Look, if a change of scenery and a bit of physical exercise led to enlightenment us long distance walkers and hikers would be on a par with the Dalai Llama by now. I will cut these well meaning but muddle headed people a bit of slack here though. As non walkers unused to the activity, on a multi day walk away from their home environment, sleeping in communal bunk houses probably for the first time since childhood etc they are completely out of their comfort zone. That must be incredibly disorientating and I can sort of see why that leaves them open to, well, open to something. For us easy walking, a mattress and a hot shower every night and food and coffee stops available every half a mile is beyond the comfort zone and well into the sumptuous luxury zone.

The Norte has it’s boring stretches (although there are alternative routes on it) but is a fairly challenging (in stretches), solitary (for the most part) Camino with some wonderful views. Between the Norte and the tourist trail that is the Frances it’s a no brainer.
Typing away happily on my ipad - I so love the Apple platform! - let me say you have astounded a fair number of pilgrims, going by the replies above!. I think you may have misjudged your choice of posting in this forum. Are there not other places for your sort of review? The children I used to teach learned never to complain of being bored. The students of English I taught in my later years took a while to learn the difference between bored and boring. Now, a question for you. What do you REALLY want from the forum members in response to your post? Some posts lead me to ask: is this a setup? I just thank God we will never meet in any albergue! I am hopeless at sensible packing and unpacking. I walk slowly because I can't walk fast. The guy who won the prize for the most rustly black bag on one of the caminos I walked turned out to be one of the gentlest, most interesting and knowledgeable people I have ever met in my life. See what you missed? Which camino will you walk next? Pilgrims, beware!
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
This reminds me of guys I occasionally ran into on the Camino who would ask me where and when I started and it was pretty clear to me that they wanted to calculate from that if I was a bad-ass or a puny walker. They'd say, "Oh, you are taking your time" (meaning: you're slow). My response was Yes, I am taking as much time as I can!

Many years ago, I worked as an assistant mountaineering guide under Doug Robinson, one of the most famous climbers and mountaineers in the world. He was featured in National Geographic the year he did the first clean climb of the NW face of Half Dome in Yosemite. Doug was and is a mountaineering and back country skiing guide and takes epic back-country ski trips in the wintertime. But the purpose of this anecdote is not to toot my horn. I just wanted to mention that Doug (who I am sure could out-hike the original poster in any terrain at any time of the year) was the messiest packer I've ever seen. He would just shove stuff into his backpack and then it would all explode out at the end of the day. Once he stuck a big chocolate bar in his pack, not in a baggie, and it melted all over his clothes.
 

koknesis

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
I know the current unprecedented Covid-19 era puts great stress on human perception and cognition. For some it may even trigger a note of misanthropy.
I guess the the best answer to this is to go out and do something what requires full engagement and tests your limits. Much better than diving into the worthless reasonings about own and other people Camino experiences.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Well that’s one less self-righteous jerk that pilgrims won’t have to worry about encountering on the CF! Phew!!!!

For newbies reading this, walk your walk, even if it’s five miles a stage and involves a taxi and your a mess when you arrive at the albergue. The Camino is a pilgrimage, not a race or an endurance test. Meet people, be kind by greeting them all, learn how to be a good bunk mate, use the “ugly” stages to see beauty in things you usually miss, and above all, be a pilgrim searching for a greater understanding of all things.

To the OP: I am truly sad that after two Caminos, you still haven’t found what you are looking for. Buen Camino
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Well that generated a few laughs :)

For "Seasoned walkers and hikers" please do not walk a Camino..........

Unless............

Your intention is also to walk a 'Pilgrimage'

As I often say to people thinking of walking a Camino.
It really has very little to do with hiking.

In fact I have no interest at all in Hiking.

And yet.

My next Camino (Number 4) will be 1,000+ kms.

Why?

It's got nothing to do with hiking.......... ;)

At all.


-------
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
But the walking itself is only part of the problem. Another is the crowds. I know it’s ironic to moan about crowds when you’re part of the crowd but the Frances is infested with pilgrims and just about none of them are actual walkers.

This was hilarious 🙃

Though I've never been there, I bet Lourdes would be too!
Better not go hiking there either me thinks...... :cool:

It really is a bit much, to walk a 1,000 year old Pilgrimage route, and find it full of pesky Pilgrims! 😂

.....
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
@Tartrazine, I'm gathering you walked the Norte before the Frances?..you don't specifically say but I'm assuming due to you listing the Norte first.
Yes, @Tassie Kaz, we are indeed making assumptions about when on the Francés, where on the Francés and how long on the Francés. This is a fun thread. 😂

This reminds me of guys I occasionally ran into on the Camino who would ask me where and when I started and it was pretty clear to me that they wanted to calculate from that if I was a bad-ass or a puny walker
I always answer by giving them the name of the place where I had started in the morning. I never tell them from where I had really started walking to Santiago. Then I listen politely to their bragging and fake some admiration. They have such fragile egos. We must never let them know that we are giggling behind their backs. Never. 😂
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
The funniest thing, but the OP hasn't put a single reply or reaction. Do you think he is reading our replies, or has he just unloaded whatever it was he wanted to unload and, Elvis-like, left the building? Anyway, Tatrazine, you have given us all hours of harmless fun for which we can only offer you our sincerest thanks.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
….. but then again, maybe it’s an exercise in creative writing.

Is it?
Either that or the piles have flared up again?

The OP reminds me of a certain kind of Englishman you get stuck next to on public transport* who will insist on telling you the best route, with a turn by turn itinerary, from London to Andover . . . whether you ever wanted to know or not.

*aka the Nutter on the Bus
 
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dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Either that or the piles have flared up again?

The OP reminds me of a certain kind of Englishman you get stuck next to on public transport* who will insist on telling you the best route, with a turn by turn itinerary, from London to Andover . . . whether you ever wanted to know or not.

*aka the Nutter on the Bus
Including, of course, a detour in case there are engineering works in Didcot.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Curiosity killed the cat. This is what I found when I used the G search Engine to learn a bit more about the moniker of the OP... and as I post, said Op last looked in at 01.40 GMT.
https://www.verywellhealth.com/tartrazine-free-diet-83227
Do you mean, and I quote: "Tartrazine has long been suspected of being the cause of many adverse reactions, though not all have been supported by research" ? 😶 [<- my poker face]

BTW, @kirkie, I am typing this on my iMac, with a happy benign smile on my face. 😇
 
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Past OR future Camino
2019
There’s many ways to respond to strongly held views and forceful opinions but I find what works best is the open hand to the fist. Fist to fist, or force with force is what leads us into so many conflicts large and small.

The OPs views stand out a little and certainly meet with little sympathy from the rest of us. But usually there is a reason why people hold such strong views and such contrary views.

This person has a story to tell and for better or worse chose to share it. It’s not my story and not a common story but nonetheless it’s their story and to be honest I am as interested to understand their story as much as anyone else’s.

We all come to the Camino with our baggage, our hopes, our regrets and our particularities. That is what makes it so interesting.

For what it’s worth.
 
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Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It’s not my story and not a common story
More seriously for once: I think it boils down to quite a common story, actually. Much of the original post in this thread is about people and crowds, and I strongly suspect, it is in the context of the last 40 km of the Camino Francés before Santiago where the Norte ends up in the Francés and in the context of the busy months of August and September of this year.

Edited to add: I checked the numbers from the Oficina. Arrivals from Sarria in September 2019: 13,500. Arrivals from Sarria in September 2021: 11,900. Despite the dampening effects of the pandemic on travel, that last section of the Francés was as busy as ever this summer and full of groups and newly minted pilgrims. People who walked the Francés only once might find common ground with the OP and those of us who are more seasoned foot pilgrims will just shrug our shoulders.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
More seriously for once: I think it boils down to quite a common story, actually. Much of the original post in this thread is about people and crowds, and I strongly suspect, it is in the context of the last 40 km of the Camino Francés before Santiago where the Norte ends up in the Francés and in the context of the busy months of August and September of this year.

Edited to add: I checked the numbers from the Oficina. Arrivals from Sarria in September 2019: 13,500. Arrivals from Sarria in September 2021: 11,900. Despite the effects of the pandemic on travel, that last section of the Francés was as busy as ever this summer and full of groups and newly minted pilgrims. People who walked the Francés only once during the busy season might find common ground with the OP and those of us who are more seasoned foot pilgrims will just shrug our shoulders.

I'm not sure it was just the last 40kms that did not meet the OP's expectations.

The other 380 odd miles are absolutely dreadful. In conversation I’ve likened the experience a couple of times since to walking on a completely flat treadmill while watching paint dry.

But hey, we all set out with our own expectations ;)
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
There’s many ways to respond to strongly held views and forceful opinions but I find what works best is the open hand to the fist. Fist to fist, or force with force is what leads us into so many conflicts large and small.

The OPs views stand out a little and certainly meet with little sympathy from the rest of us. But usually there is a reason why people hold such strong views and such contrary views.

This person has a story to tell and for better or worse chose to share it. It’s not my story and not a common story but nonetheless it’s their story and to be honest I am as interested to understand their story as much as anyone else’s.

We all come to the Camino with our baggage, our hopes, our regrets and our particularities. That is what makes it so interesting.

For what it’s worth.
I agree that everyone has a story and they are entitled to tell it, and like you I was intrigued to hear this one. But there is a corollary to exercising your right to express an opinion which is that you implicitly authorise counter opinions, and if in the process of expressing your opinion you disparage others you are more or less declaring no quarter - do as you would be done by, so I feel we are pretty well-justified in being less than sympathetic to the OP in this case. Anyway, that is enough. I won't be commenting any more on this post.
 

koknesis

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014
CA&CS 2015
VdlP 2017
CP 2018
CM 2019
There’s many ways to respond to strongly held views and forceful opinions but I find what works best is the open hand to the fist. Fist to fist, or force with force is what leads us into so many conflicts large and small.

The OPs views stand out a little and certainly meet with little sympathy from the rest of us. But usually there is a reason why people hold such strong views and such contrary views.

This person has a story to tell and for better or worse chose to share it. It’s not my story and not a common story but nonetheless it’s their story and to be honest I am as interested to understand their story as much as anyone else’s.

We all come to the Camino with our baggage, our hopes, our regrets and our particularities. That is what makes it so interesting.

For what it’s worth.

Obviously the OP deserves compassion as a person being apparently deprived emotionally. One can even see the post as a cry for help. If the help is really needed then it still would be better to approach a therapist or a priest.
On the other hand if a plain trolling was intended, then the aim has been reached since great attention has been drawn.
 
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OnHellas

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept/Oct 2017
Portuguese April 2018 (From Porto)
How sad that you have to post such comments on a forum to try and make yourself feel better about your self.

I hope for your sake that you work it all out. If you start off by trying to think that maybe your way isn’t the only way…..life maybe a little bit easier, and enjoyable.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
Every walker / pilgrim will get different results and experiences.

I am very happy with my CF in 2019. The fellow pilgrims were awesome, we were quite fast (27 days), the route was never packed with pilgrims, the landscapes and views were spectacular, the weather was phenomenal. People, food, wine and the music (Molinaseca and SdC!), all in all it was enjoyable and pleasing.

Absolutly nothing to regret. I recommend the CF to everyone who is interested in making a pilgrimage as beginner-friendly and welcoming.
 
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