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Still As Busy?

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Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Some statistics (numbers of compostelas issued):

2018: 327,378
2017: 301,036
2016: 277,854
2015: 262,516

So yes, numbers still going up every year...

But better to do it next year than in 2021 (which is a Holy Year!)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I decided not to walk this year, and haven't really kept up with the forum.
Is the Camino still crazy busy?
Any sign of slowing down?
I'm thinking ahead for 2020...
Annie, I've tried to view your blog/website, but seems something isn't working properly for me. I knew you'd switched it up. Can you share the link here?
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Overall numbers are still rising but the distribution is changing. Big growth on the Portuguese, the Primitivo and the Ingles. Numbers beginning the Frances in Sarria are also still rising. But there seems to have been a slight decrease in numbers walking the earlier stages of the Frances. Something that local businesses and hospitaleros have been commenting on with some concern.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Overall numbers are still rising but the distribution is changing. Big growth on the Portuguese, the Primitivo and the Ingles. Numbers beginning the Frances in Sarria are also still rising. But there seems to have been a slight decrease in numbers walking the earlier stages of the Frances. Something that local businesses and hospitaleros have been commenting on with some concern.
I'd like to walk alone - in a quieter month - maybe early early spring
 

MaineSally

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cam Frances SJPDP to Santiago ('17): Finisterre ('17); Muxia ('17)
Camino Portuguese - April ('19)
Overall numbers are still rising but the distribution is changing. Big growth on the Portuguese, the Primitivo and the Ingles. Numbers beginning the Frances in Sarria are also still rising. But there seems to have been a slight decrease in numbers walking the earlier stages of the Frances. Something that local businesses and hospitaleros have been commenting on with some concern.
I’m in Santarem, Portugal (Day 3). I was expecting to be pretty much alone, but it’s simply not the case. In fact, several establishments were full in Vilafranca-de-Xira. Perhaps non pilgrims? Don’t know, and these establishments were referenced in Brierley’s book. The alburgue in Azumbaja had at least ten staying there, there were four of us in another...and there were three others pilgrims for sure. The stretches between towns are
certainly longer. Carrying more water and snacks.
Wish I had DaveBugg to assess my big toes. Think there may be a trip to the hospital tomorrow to get them checked out. I’d be surprised if the nails remain! OMGolly!
 

Roger de Flor

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hice el camino francés hace 20 años (1999). Ahora quiero cruzar el del norte. (2019)
Some statistics (numbers of compostelas issued):

2018: 327,378
2017: 301,036
2016: 277,854
2015: 262,516

So yes, numbers still going up every year...

But better to do it next year than in 2021 (which is a Holy Year!)
I am quite sure that in 1998, the total arriving at SdeC was about 12,000. Thanks Shirley Mc, Oprah, and Martin for making a pilgrimage a bucket list/ tourist must do.
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
I am quite sure that in 1998, the total arriving at SdeC was about 12,000. Thanks Shirley Mc, Oprah, and Martin for making a pilgrimage a bucket list/ tourist must do.
200,000 more pilgrims now than in 2009. Not entirely sure of correlation/causation, but "The Way" came out in 2010.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
200,000 more pilgrims now than in 2009. Not entirely sure of correlation/causation, but "The Way" came out in 2010.
The numbers were already rising rapidly well before the release of "The Way" and I don't think the film made much of a difference to the overall trend. In fact in 2011 - the year after the release of the movie - numbers actually dropped by around 89,000 (about 33%). Though I think that was more a statistical blip to do with 2010 being a Holy Year rather than some adverse comment on the movie ;)

https://www.csj.org.uk/the-present-day-pilgrimage/pilgrim-numbers/
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Yeah as I said it might just be a correlation. And obviously the Holy Year is a special circumstance - if you take it out of the equation there was still a relative increase of 40,000 pilgrims from 2009 to 2011. Interestingly, last year there were 50,000 more pilgrims than in the last Holy Year! Whatever the reasons for the increase, I suspect The Way put the Camino on the map for a lot of people.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
The influence of "Shirley Mc, Oprah, and Martin" is overestimated. The majority of pilgrims do not come from English speaking countries or cultures and have been exposed to these books, TV programs or movies to a much lesser extent or not at all. Many factors have contributed to the fact that the caminos are as widely known and popular as they are at present.

@Bradypus: I appreciate the new avatar. Funny - or pertinent - on so many levels. 😀
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
The influence of "Shirley Mc, Oprah, and Martin" is overestimated. The majority of pilgrims do not come from English speaking countries or cultures and have been exposed to these books, TV programs or movies to a much lesser extent or not at all. Many factors have contributed to the fact that the caminos are as widely known and popular as they are at present.
I think that those of us who have English as our first (or only) language often overestimate the impact of "The Way" and also the Brierley guides. They have certainly raised the profile of the Camino for Anglophones but as @Kathar1na points out we remain a minority on the Caminos and speakers of other languages have their own preferred guide books and cultural references. Looking at last year's figures pilgrims from English-speaking countries made up only about 20% of the total. People who have personally been inspired by the movie or the Brierley guides may sometimes be too quick to ascribe the growth of the Caminos to this one factor. Recently someone argued here on the forum that the Route Napoleon only replaced the Valcarlos route as the most popular crossing from SJPDP to Roncesvalles because Brierley recommended it in 2003. Something clearly untrue as those of us who walked in the years before the Brierley guides can testify. On my last Camino Frances walk in 2016 I met a man outside a bar and fell into conversation with him. He asked me what I thought of the movie. My response was too lukewarm for his taste and he became very angry and told me that "no one walked the Caminos" before the movie and that I and the other pilgrims in view would not have been there without it. As he was too incensed for rational debate I never discovered how he resolved the problem of how Emilio Estevez came to make a movie about a route which "no one walked" prior to the film :rolleyes:
 

bobotron801

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016, Oct-Nov 2017, April-May 2019, Oct-Dec 2019
I would bet that with the Cathedral being under construction on the interior and them not having mass there this year, it will be a slower year.
 

Barbara06

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Pamplona (2011-14)
VDLP (2015)
Portuguese (2015)
Francigena (2016)
Primitivo (2017)
I'd like to walk alone - in a quieter month - maybe early early spring
There's really no problem if you want to walk alone and be quiet, just walk on another camino than the Frances (there are so many..). You can try camino del Sureste, or camino de la Lenna for example
 

Scarlet Fez

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances Sept/Oct 2016
Camino Portuguese Oct 2017
Del Norde Start 2nd May 2018
Having a dooh moment as I can't seem to create a new thread so trying to shirttail this one. Been fortunate to have experienced the Camino Frances in it's entirety in 2016.
I may have the opportunity to walk again the first 2 or 3 week of the route starting from SJ in the next couple of weeks. I intend to to get over and start midweek. I am wondering if there is likely to be an uncomfortable increase in numbers of pilgrims starting from SJ as it will be the Easter period. Also are there any National Holidays in France/Spain to avoid over this period of early/mid April.

Thanks in advance
 

TaraWalks

Peregrina without a skateboard
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016 & 2018, planning for Le Puy 2019/2020ish and for some shorter Caminos stacked
I admit to being part of the "problem." :pI've been so enthusiastic about the Camino that several people that I know are planning to do it.
Me too!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I admit to being part of the "problem." :pI've been so enthusiastic about the Camino that several people that I know are planning to do it.
So not only Shirley, Oprah and Martin, you too @trecile ??? Ts ts ts ts ts...

And then I found out that Emilio invented Camino Frances. What a day today :D :D :D
 

Ron Cesvalles

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP - Logrono
2013 SJPP - Santiago
2013 Santiago - Finisterre
2014 Camino di Assisi
2015 May SJPP-Sarria
2015 Sept Pamplona-Sahagun
I decided not to walk this year, and haven't really kept up with the forum.
Is the Camino still crazy busy?
Any sign of slowing down?
I'm thinking ahead for 2020...
Numbers may be increasing from Sarria but albergue owners at the beginning are very concerned at the fall off in pilgrims.
There are of course busy times,late May early September and April 1 will have caused a surge due to the opening of the route Napoleon.
I walked from Pamplona March 20 this year, I know this is quite early but had it not been for the Koreans it would have been almost deserted.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Numbers may be increasing from Sarria but albergue owners at the beginning are very concerned at the fall off in pilgrims.
I think that is part of a trend in the last couple of years for people to walk more on other routes or shorter Caminos from Sarria on the Frances. Just today a local news website for Pontevedra pointed out that numbers walking through that province in the first quarter of the year have increased on the Portugues, the Coastal variant, the Via de la Plata and the Invierno. Overall numbers are increasing but there is no longer an automatic assumption that the Camino Frances is the Camino.
https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia/pontevedra/2019/04/15/inicio-ano-consolida-bum-vive-camino-provincia/0003_201904P15C3995.htm?fbclid=IwAR19wI_Q7PFqML8CYwJ22VZ93z2ZhWsHeQNP9fJxPZSuecg2jwN1WSH8RcQ
 

jpes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to
I am actually thinking of 2021, which I'm guessing will make it quite busy. I would like to go as a family (of 4) when my 2nd is in university, and maybe in early June. Would you need to make more advance reservations in a Holy year? Starting point may be affected by transportation options but thinking O Cebreiro.
 

gersevink

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino del Norte, Fisterra, Muxia
2015 Via de la Plata Sevilla Santiago
2016 Camino Portugues
E
I would bet that with the Cathedral being under construction on the interior and them not having mass there this year, it will be a slower year.
Echt niet!
 

Scarlet Fez

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances Sept/Oct 2016
Camino Portuguese Oct 2017
Del Norde Start 2nd May 2018
Having made a schoolboy error and started a short Camino from St Jean to Burgos on the 17th April, I would encourage those considering any future Camino’s to take into account Easter and any other local holiday breaks. In short I started walking 3 days before the Easter weekend, my fault I accept. It was a nightmare for many as the infrastructure could not cope with the numbers on the route especially near the beginning not helped by two of the bigger municipals being closed.
2nd day from Roncesvalles I had to walk 38k to find a solo bed. Broke my feet and took ages to recover. I was lucky some had to taxi to Pamplona and stay in already full hotels!!

It was a stressful first 5-6 days just trying to find a bed and not what you go on the Camino for. You live and learn. Think it’s made me not even consider doing any Camino or part of one in Holy Year.
That being said I don’t walk for religious reasons and thoroughly respect the fact that many do so would recommend you let them have right away during these busy periods.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
@Scarlet Fez, sorry to read this and thank you for sharing. I just posted about the numbers in SJPP/Roncesvalles around this 1st of May in a different thread. It cannot be said often enough: periods of high influx at the start of the Camino Frances are the Easter week, the first two weeks of May and the first two weeks of September. It's not the summer months. Think carefully when you want to join.
 

Gabe_Way

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'm starting CF from SPDP on May 5th, 2019
(Walking)
@Scarlet Fez, sorry to read this and thank you for sharing. I just posted about the numbers in SJPP/Roncesvalles around this 1st of May in a different thread. It cannot be said often enough: periods of high influx at the start of the Camino Frances are the Easter week, the first two weeks of May and the first two weeks of September. It's not the summer months. Think carefully when you want to join.
Hello,
I'll arrive by plane in San Sebastian tomorrow morning. My plan was to take a couple of trains to go to SJPDP, stay two nights and start on the 5th for the Francès. But... At this point, I'm considering doing the Del Norte. It's beautiful and it's not empty either from what I have learned, but at the same time is not going to be packed and stressful. What would you recommend?
Thanks in advance.
 

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