• Remove ads on the forum by becoming a donating member. More here.

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

The Pilgrim’s Guide to Etiquette

Kiwi-family

{Rachael, the Mama of the family}
Time of past OR future Camino
walking every day for the rest of my life
As I walked to Calzadilla de la Cueza today (long straight road), probably prompted by noisy torch-bearing pilgrims who got up at 4:20am (5 o’clock is bad enough, but seriously? We couldn’t leave until 6 so what were they going to do for an hour and a half? Oh, that’s right, rustle plastic bags lol)
…as I was saying, as I walked I thought up some points for an etiquette guide. Not wanting to direct your thinking any further, I thought I’d simply ask what you would include in such a guide! And would you give me permission to use your ideas?
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Interesting idea. Unfortunately I suspect that the only people who would bother to read it are those who would do the things we would suggest anyway, because consideration for others is part of their nature. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't do it though !

Personally I would like to see as balanced an approach as possible taken. So for example should you comment that it is disrespectful to flash bright lights (torch/ phone) around the dormitory, it would also be appropriate to request that everybody that thinks such events might disturb them should wear a flight mask to mitigate accidental use.

There's quite a list of potential subheadings too:

Dormitory: noise/quiet time, light, packing, Rucksacks, alarms etc
Kitchen : fridges, dishes...
Bathroom (shower, toilet, teeth, shaving)
Washing: sink, machines, line, driers

Plus of course you could also cover factors outside the albergue:

Toileting (on trail)
Greeting/ordering etiquette in bars and cafes
Use of toilets in a bar/cafe
Rucksack " " "
Poles (tips!)

And that's just off the top of my head, I'm sure others will have many more ideas.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Language etiquette: Being from the US, I learned to stop calling myself an American when trying to speak Spanish on the Camino. I did not know how to make Estados Unidos into an adjective, so americana was the only thing I could think of. I was corrected several times, as America is only a country and not even a single continent. It probably sounded arrogant, and I had no idea, so now I say something like norteamericana to avoid seeming rude. I still can't actually pronounce estadounidense but that would be another option.

Edit: It seems safe to disregard this advice, per many comments below.
 
Last edited:
Here is a copy of the Mindful Pilgrim document, which arose out of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims' first Coordinators' Meeting last year. I am not certain, but I believe it is being distributed to new members with their credentials. Some people my find it of interest.
 

Attachments

  • A CAMINO BLESSING.jpg
    A CAMINO BLESSING.jpg
    426.9 KB · Views: 249
Rule what you want. Most people walking don't care about that word.....etiquette, if they even know what it is.

I believe that most pilgrims do care. Lots of us might have different views and ideas but overall most of us try to do our best and behave well.

When rules are explained in a positive and constructive manner people will take notice.
Call me a softie :).
 
Learn proper bathroom protocol on the Camino and share this info with other pilgrims.
We were somewhat more careful in the mid 1990s, but really that just means it's that's when we started to be so many along the Way that we started to annoy each other from our various personal habits.

It's really just a constant inter-personal learning experience that is always ongoing and that new pilgrims need to adapt to.
 
I still can't actually pronounce estadounidense but that would be another option.
You can learn to pronounce it, but as soon as you say "soy estadounidense" wait two seconds for someone to say "ah, American." 😉

PS break it down into syllables and it will soon be rolling off your tongue.

And it might be easier to say "soy de Estados Unidos."
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Language etiquette: Being from the US, I learned to stop calling myself an American when trying to speak Spanish on the Camino. I did not know how to make Estados Unidos into an adjective, so americana was the only thing I could think of. I was corrected several times, as America is only a country and not even a single continent. It probably sounded arrogant, and I had no idea, so now I say something like norteamericana to avoid seeming rude. I still can't actually pronounce estadounidense but that would be another option.
Sorry, but this sounds absurd. It’s totally fine to say “Americana/o” in Spain. I’m half Spanish/half American and I am often referred to as “La Americana” by my Spanish friends and family. I don’t know anyone who says Estado-whatever. Whoever said that to you is giving you a hard time. I’m pretty sure a Mexican would even call you Americana.
 
Sorry, but this sounds absurd. It’s totally fine to say “Americana/o” in Spain. I’m half Spanish/half American and I am often referred to as “La Americana” by my Spanish friends and family. I don’t know anyone who says Estado-whatever. Whoever said that to you is giving you a hard time. I’m pretty sure a Mexican would even call you Americana.
Indeed! I am from UK but never use the term ‘Reino Unido’ and have yet to hear a Spanish person use it, or anyone from Spanish speaking countries, and I spend a lot of time in them. It is of course used in media.
 
Sorry, but this sounds absurd. It’s totally fine to say “Americana/o” in Spain. I’m half Spanish/half American and I am often referred to as “La Americana” by my Spanish friends and family. I don’t know anyone who says Estado-whatever. Whoever said that to you is giving you a hard time. I’m pretty sure a Mexican would even call you Americana.
Thank you for this post!

There are sometimes discussions about the meaning of America and americano on this forum that make it sound as if Spaniards are incapable of doing what the rest of the world is perfectly able to do: understanding context. Knowing when America refers to a whole continent and when it refers to the United States of America. Or whether Estados Unidos refers to the United States of America or to the United Mexican States.

These discussions make it sound as if Canadians would refer to themselves as americano and not canadiense or as if Mexicans would refer to themselves as americano and not mexicano. Or as if nobody in Spain would understand whether a continent or a country is meant in God bless America and what the name of the association of American Pilgrims on the Camino stands for.

The one thing that is important to know for the Camino pilgrim in this context - and that is pure knowledge of facts and not etiquette - is how to find their nationality or country in the online list for applying for a Compostela or when activating the AlertCops app or similar and when they happen to be in a Spanish version of the webpage or app: It is Estados Unidos (no further addition) and Reino Unido (no further addition) and México (no further addition). I checked the Pilgrim Registration Page just now to make sure. ☺️
 
Last edited:
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Thank you for this post!

There are sometimes discussions about the meaning of America and americano on this forum that make it sound as if Spaniards are incapable of doing what the rest of the world is perfectly able to do: understanding context. Knowing when America refers to a whole continent and when it refers to the United States of America. Or whether Estados Unidos refers to the United States of America or to the United Mexican States.

These discussions make it sound as if Canadians would refer to themselves as americano and not canadiense or as if Mexicans would refer to themselves as americano and not mexicano. Or as if nobody in Spain would understand whether a continent or a country is meant in God bless America and what the name of the association of American Pilgrims on the Camino stands for.

The only thing that is important to know for the Camino pilgrim - and that is pure knowledge of facts and not etiquette - is how to find their country in the online list for applying for a Compostela or when activating the AlertCops app or similar and when they happen to be in a Spanish version of the webpage or app: It is Estados Unidos (no further addition) and Reino Unido (no further addition) and México (no further addition). I checked the Pilgrim Registration Page just now to make sure. ☺️
Yes. Being from the UK is a nightmare when it come to ‘drop down’ menus globally … where we can be referenced as UK, and then there’s Great Britain, and in some cases (though relatively rare) as our individual country (in my case England)!
 
Yes. Being from the UK is a nightmare when it come to ‘drop down’ menus globally … where we can be referenced as UK, and then there’s Great Britain, and in some cases (though relatively rare) as our individual country (in my case England)!
If you go to an Irish bookshop, you will find travel books about England, Scotland and Wales filed under B for Britain.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
I am happy to stand corrected on using americana/americano. This did happen but I suppose it was an anomaly. I haven’t been using it for almost 20 years, as a result. It sounds like I over-corrected. Good to know. Thank you everyone, I will edit my post. Now with my mistaken understanding stricken from the rules of etiquette, back to Kiwi-family’s book.... 😇
 
Understanding the nuances of language correctness is always difficult. It seems that the question that I most often hear in both Spain and Mexico is “Where are you from?”
My answer is simple then, Los Estados Unidos (which is a lot easier to say for most than estadounidense). And as @trecile said above, the response is almost always “Ah, Americano!” with nothing pejorative meant to
our neighbors to either the south or north. Or, the other common question posed is ¿Eres americano, sí? with no intentional offense meant to our English speaking Canadian friends. And even if I am corrected on my use of Spanish, it’s almost always meant in the spirit of helping me better understand the language.
 
Sorry, but this sounds absurd. It’s totally fine to say “Americana/o” in Spain. I’m half Spanish/half American and I am often referred to as “La Americana” by my Spanish friends and family. I don’t know anyone who says Estado-whatever. Whoever said that to you is giving you a hard time. I’m pretty sure a Mexican would even call you Americana.
That's a change in the last 35 years. I'm not saying it isn't true, just that it used to be different in Spain. I remember when I was living in Madrid in '89/'90, being told many times that "Americano" meant anyone from the Americas and the correct term for someone from Los Estados Unidos was "norteamericano". No one understood why that bothered me, a Canadian.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Except, and if IIRC, the proper name for the republic of Mexico is:
“Los Estados Unidos de Mexico.”

Whereas, the correct phrase for the United States of America is:

“Los Estados Unidos de America.”

However, in common colloquial usage, saying “los Estados Unidos” USUALLY frames the context as the USA. Conversely, if you say “Mexico” people generally know what you are referring to.

I think. Got this right.

Hope it helps the dialog,

Tom
 
In the past few months I have been introduced to The Arrogant Worms. I listened to this song just last week. Sounds apposite... :cool:

I love this! I’m from Maine and so often people think that is part of Canada—and often, I’m ok with that!💜
 
I love this! I’m from Maine and so often people think that is part of Canada—and often, I’m ok with that!💜
My late mother-in-law was born in Toronto, moved to Vermont at the age of 10, then moved to the UK in her early 20s after marrying an English man. Answering the questions "Where do you come from?" or "What is your accent?" tended to take a while... :) Lovely lady and much missed.
 
Learn proper bathroom protocol on the Camino and share this info with other pilgrims.
As I walked to Calzadilla de la Cueza today (long straight road), probably prompted by noisy torch-bearing pilgrims who got up at 4:20am (5 o’clock is bad enough, but seriously? We couldn’t leave until 6 so what were they going to do for an hour and a half? Oh, that’s right, rustle plastic bags lol)
…as I was saying, as I walked I thought up some points for an etiquette guide. Not wanting to direct your thinking any further, I thought I’d simply ask what you would include in such a guide! And would you give me permission to use your ideas?
Etiquette has its place of course but I personally would forego etiquette, especially at my advanced age, and instead focus on repairing myself than attempting to repair others. To me, a much better use of my time. Chuck
 
In my experience in Spain, when I've been asked the where are you from question, it is usually in the form of ¿de donde eres? to which I say, simply, Seattle, or cerca de Seattle. This avoids stumbling over my tongue with a longer, more general answer. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me.
 
When asked where I’m from, I’ve taken to saying “soy de California.” That might not work for every state, but there is a broad sense outside of the US that it’s a nice place to come from, and movies and beaches are a nice segue to other conversations.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Etiquette has its place of course but I personally would forego etiquette, especially at my advanced age, and instead focus on repairing myself than attempting to repair others. To me, a much better use of my time. Chuck
One of the first things that I would highly recommend is learning A FEW Words of Spanish. I was astounded at teaching some Americans and French persons the inability to use words like, Hola, Buen Camino, Gracias, Desculpe, and simple words of Spanish.
 
As I walked to Calzadilla de la Cueza today (long straight road), probably prompted by noisy torch-bearing pilgrims who got up at 4:20am (5 o’clock is bad enough, but seriously? We couldn’t leave until 6 so what were they going to do for an hour and a half? Oh, that’s right, rustle plastic bags lol)
…as I was saying, as I walked I thought up some points for an etiquette guide. Not wanting to direct your thinking any further, I thought I’d simply ask what you would include in such a guide! And would you give me permission to use your ideas?
If they were ever re-designing the "Credencial del Peregrino", my suggestion would be to omit all those camino maps leaving more space for stamps and to include one page of basic camio etiquette rules and a place to sign something like this:
"By using this document I agree to follow the above rules, in the interest of my fellow pilgrims. I understand that hospitaleros can invalidate this credencial in case of serious violation."
Or would that be too harsh?
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
If they were ever re-designing the "Credencial del Peregrino", my suggestion would be to omit all those camino maps leaving more space for stamps and to include one page of basic camio etiquette rules and a place to sign something like this:
"By using this document I agree to follow the above rules, in the interest of my fellow pilgrims. I understand that hospitaleros can invalidate this credencial in case of serious violation."
Or would that be too harsh?
I like how you think…
 
"By using this document I agree to follow the above rules, in the interest of my fellow pilgrims. I understand that hospitaleros can invalidate this credencial in case of serious violation."
During my first two Caminos in 1990 and 2002 there were stories of hospitaleros doing exactly that for people whose behaviour was deemed unacceptable. Simply tearing up their Credencials. Though it may be entirely mythical.
 
Indeed! I am from UK but never use the term ‘Reino Unido’ and have yet to hear a Spanish person use it
You use it when speaking with people in an official capacity, Police typically, but situationally it can sometimes be preferable to the usual británico or británica even in a simple Albergue.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
During my first two Caminos in 1990 and 2002 there were stories of hospitaleros doing exactly that for people whose behaviour was deemed unacceptable. Simply tearing up their Credencials. Though it may be entirely mythical.
I've seen it happen, though confiscated rather than torn up. There were telephone chains between Albergues about "this one is not a pilgrim". It was usually for those using motor vehicle support, especially if they were motoring the Camino and pretending to walk.

It has become very rare, but AFAIK it can still happen in some egregious cases of serious abuses.
 
You use it when speaking with people in an official capacity, Police typically, but situationally it can sometimes be preferable to the usual británico or británica even in a simple Albergue.
In most situations I have found that Spanish people equate "britanico" and "Ingles". As a Scot I am very happy to be considered "Britanico" but object very strongly to being called "Ingles". A brief mention of "Escocia" or 'Escoces" usually makes the situation clear. It has even produced a free drink now and again... :cool:
 
Train for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
As I walked to Calzadilla de la Cueza today (long straight road), probably prompted by noisy torch-bearing pilgrims who got up at 4:20am (5 o’clock is bad enough, but seriously? We couldn’t leave until 6 so what were they going to do for an hour and a half? Oh, that’s right, rustle plastic bags lol)
…as I was saying, as I walked I thought up some points for an etiquette guide. Not wanting to direct your thinking any further, I thought I’d simply ask what you would include in such a guide! And would you give me permission to use your ideas?
stop stacking rocks and do we really need another Zen Garden? most end up being neglected and become an eye sore. Let's all go back to the Boy Scouts advise. take only pictures and leave only foot steps.
 
When asked where I’m from, I’ve taken to saying “soy de California.” That might not work for every state, but there is a broad sense outside of the US that it’s a nice place to come from, and movies and beaches are a nice segue to other conversations.

Exactly what I say (originally born and raised in San Diego). Personally I dislike saying "I'm American" or "I'm from the US" (that's all I'll say on the matter!)...but California sounds so beachy and sunny and always gets a "ah yes, so hot". Which isn't true as it's a huge state with mountains, deserts, fertile farmland, Redwood forests and lovely coasts.

True story, when I was in South India years ago, a young Indian gentleman asked me where I was born and I answered "California". He stared off into the distance and said "ah yes....land of Michael Jackson".
 
Last edited:
You use it when speaking with people in an official capacity, Police typically, but situationally it can sometimes be preferable to the usual británico or británica even in a simple Albergue.
Ah thank you. Thats useful to know.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
When I was asked where I’m from I said america. Then I was always,always asked from where, so I said Arizona. It led to whole conversations because they usually wanted to pin it down. I’m always amazed how familiar people from other parts of the world are with geography.
 
Here is a copy of the Mindful Pilgrim document, which arose out of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims' first Coordinators' Meeting last year. I am not certain, but I believe it is being distributed to new members with their credentials. Some people my find it of interest.
Yes! One of these cards is enclosed with each credential that the Canadian Company of Pilgrims sends out. And here's the statement that the CCoP has on its website:

The Mindful Pilgrim​

What does it mean to walk as a Pilgrim?​

To walk as a pilgrim means to journey mindfully, aware of our connection with the landscape, with our fellow pilgrims, and with the countless others whose footsteps we follow and who will follow behind us. It means leaving the people and places we visit better than we found them. It means being open to new experiences and ideas that will enrich our pilgrim journey.
It means walking with kindness, respect, openness and curiosity.

CCoP has developed a resource based on this statement to encourage and facilitate discussions about ethical pilgrimage at Camino 101 sessions in its local chapters across the country.
 
I've seen it happen, though confiscated rather than torn up. There were telephone chains between Albergues about "this one is not a pilgrim". It was usually for those using motor vehicle support, especially if they were motoring the Camino and pretending to walk.

It has become very rare, but AFAIK it can still happen in some egregious cases of serious abuses.
Now I think it’s become very common to use vehicle support. Also, they don’t necessarily check credentials anymore at albergues and a lot of them have become open to the general public.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I did see something some time ago, possibly on Facebook?? It was about alarms, zippers, Velcro, plastic bags and whispering. I think it may have been titled ‘for first time pilgrims’.
 
The « Buen Camino » or « Bon chemin » that I heard all the way to Sarria from France was limited from there. Frankly, the last five days were a disappointment reminding me that the peacefulness acquired while walking was a bit shattered by all that Humanity. I can’t wait to start the Estrecho and the via de la Plata next March.
 
I did see something some time ago, possibly on Facebook?? It was about alarms, zippers, Velcro, plastic bags and whispering. I think it may have been titled ‘for first time pilgrims’.
If you can find the original it might be useful:
Alarms should, of course, only be raised in alarming situations;
Zippers should not be used without the expressed permission of the wearer;
Velcro and plastic bags should only be deployed by experienced members of the BDSM community;
Whispering should only be used when there is a reasonable expectation that the pilgrim being whispered about will hear what is being whispered.

Other important pieces of Pilgrim Etiquette, such as leaving your expensive shampoo in the showers for passing Tinkers to use, can be covered in a PM if required 😉
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
In my experience in Spain, when I've been asked the where are you from question, it is usually in the form of ¿de donde eres? to which I say, simply, Seattle, or cerca de Seattle. This avoids stumbling over my tongue with a longer, more general answer. It may not work for everyone, but it works for me.
God forbid you say "Washington." Folks assume D.C. (Which irks me to no end.) Even when I lived in Everett and Mountlake Terrance I told folks when traveling I was from Seattle. (Which I do live IN Seattle now.)

It's funny to run into folks.
"Where do you live?"
"Seattle."
"Me too! Where?"
"Bellevue."
"I live in Edmonds!"
 
God forbid you say "Washington." Folks assume D.C. (Which irks me to no end.) Even when I lived in Everett and Mountlake Terrance I told folks when traveling I was from Seattle. (Which I do live IN Seattle now.)

It's funny to run into folks.
"Where do you live?"
"Seattle."
"Me too! Where?"
"Bellevue."
"I live in Edmonds!"
As someone from the UK, I tend to find US folks say either D.C. or Washington State. Would you say that was typical or just a way to notify foreigners like me!
 
When speaking French, I change it to "Californie". However, California, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, etc. are already Spanish! As Spanish speaking folk in my neck of the woods like to say: "We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us!"
 
Last edited:
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Interesting idea. Unfortunately I suspect that the only people who would bother to read it are those who would do the things we would suggest anyway, because consideration for others is part of their nature. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't do it though !

Personally I would like to see as balanced an approach as possible taken. So for example should you comment that it is disrespectful to flash bright lights (torch/ phone) around the dormitory, it would also be appropriate to request that everybody that thinks such events might disturb them should wear a flight mask to mitigate accidental use.

There's quite a list of potential subheadings too:

Dormitory: noise/quiet time, light, packing, Rucksacks, alarms etc
Kitchen : fridges, dishes...
Bathroom (shower, toilet, teeth, shaving)
Washing: sink, machines, line, driers

Plus of course you could also cover factors outside the albergue:

Toileting (on trail)
Greeting/ordering etiquette in bars and cafes
Use of toilets in a bar/cafe
Rucksack " " "
Poles (tips!)

And that's just off the top of my head, I'm sure others will have many more ideas.
If someone snores and you can't sleep. Your problem. Carry earplugs. I have seen people complain about snorers and they themselves snore the loudest. LOL
 
As someone from the UK, I tend to find US folks say either D.C. or Washington State. Would you say that was typical or just a way to notify foreigners like me!
I separate them both...I say either Washington D.C. or Washington State, so there is no confusion, no matter who I am talking to.
 
During the pilgrim blessing at the Monastery of Herbon the priest asked each of us in turn where we came from. I answered Inglaterra, and was given a sheet bearing a prayer in English. The next pilgrim along told him, proudly , that she was from Escocia. This caused some consternation as he searched his folder for a prayer in the right language. Fortunately there was enough Spanish fluency amongst the assembled pilgrims for all to be explained, amidst general laughter.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Sorry, but this sounds absurd. It’s totally fine to say “Americana/o” in Spain. I’m half Spanish/half American and I am often referred to as “La Americana” by my Spanish friends and family. I don’t know anyone who says Estado-whatever. Whoever said that to you is giving you a hard time. I’m pretty sure a Mexican would even call you Americana.
I was taught in Spain we are from Estados Unidos. You are correct - totally different than Mexico. We are being polite to the customs and culture of Spain.
 
Sorry, but this sounds absurd. It’s totally fine to say “Americana/o” in Spain. I’m half Spanish/half American and I am often referred to as “La Americana” by my Spanish friends and family. I don’t know anyone who says Estado-whatever. Whoever said that to you is giving you a hard time. I’m pretty sure a Mexican would even call you Americana.

Google translates it as _ I am American. However I think it’s hysterical that the English word ‘dense’ appears in the phrase. Apologies to my American friends.
Re etiquette- we could have practical ideas but really I would say - let go of entitlement and practice gratitude. Then I think good etiquette follows naturally.
PS. I think I would have words with noisy early birds. They have noisy bags and bright light. I have my voice.
My most beloved pilgrims are those who can do stealth leaving. I am always amazed.
 
I am happy to stand corrected on using americana/americano. This did happen but I suppose it was an anomaly. I haven’t been using it for almost 20 years, as a result. It sounds like I over-corrected. Good to know. Thank you everyone, I will edit my post. Now with my mistaken understanding stricken from the rules of etiquette, back to Kiwi-family’s book.... 😇
This is more of a bugbear for some Latin Americans, who correctly point out that anyone from North or South America is an American. Of course, they create their own bugbear by referring to those from the US as norteamericanos, leaving the unfortunate canadienses on a floating iceberg somewhere. You just can't win.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
...and back to the topic. Never understood the night walkers. My one would be that the person who has the top bunk gets use of any chair. Useful to help get up and down and to sit on whilst the person on the bottom bunk gets to sit on their bed to put on boots etc. Only encountered it once where the guy on the bottom bunk took the chair and all the available "downstairs" space leaving another pilgrim to try and make do and advised as he was there first is was just bad luck.
 
As I walked to Calzadilla de la Cueza today (long straight road), probably prompted by noisy torch-bearing pilgrims who got up at 4:20am (5 o’clock is bad enough, but seriously? We couldn’t leave until 6 so what were they going to do for an hour and a half? Oh, that’s right, rustle plastic bags lol)
…as I was saying, as I walked I thought up some points for an etiquette guide. Not wanting to direct your thinking any further, I thought I’d simply ask what you would include in such a guide! And would you give me permission to use your ideas?
I think it's a great idea. I think some people are very nice but disturb people because they don't know what the etiquette is--or the owner of the hostel or albergue doesn't post a few guidelines that would really help. For example, a sweet young couple from Asia, were up until 11PM, ? repacking, then awoke at 6AM, again packing.
Other people, from another country, woke up early but tip toed their pack outside to work on.
With so many people across the world on the Camino, an etiquette book would be great.
For those who don't care about etiquette, or are not aware of quiet hours, it would really help for owners to list the quiet hours.
 
This is more of a bugbear for some Latin Americans, who correctly point out that anyone from North or South America is an American. Of course, they create their own bugbear by referring to those from the US as norteamericanos, leaving the unfortunate canadienses on a floating iceberg somewhere.
Mexico is also part of North America. The United States of America is the only country in the Americas with the word America in it, so it makes sense that those from the USA would be called Americans, just as those from the Estados Unidos de México are called Mexicans or Mexicanos/as.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
As I walked to Calzadilla de la Cueza today (long straight road), probably prompted by noisy torch-bearing pilgrims who got up at 4:20am (5 o’clock is bad enough, but seriously? We couldn’t leave until 6 so what were they going to do for an hour and a half? Oh, that’s right, rustle plastic bags lol)
…as I was saying, as I walked I thought up some points for an etiquette guide. Not wanting to direct your thinking any further, I thought I’d simply ask what you would include in such a guide! And would you give me permission to use your ideas?
I wonder where you are now on the topic, OP...
I thought it would be good to check a dictionary, and attach a screenshot of part of the one I opened. I did not like the examples so have screened them out.
IMG_5790.jpeg
So far, I think the Canadian Association has provided such a positive and kind set of attitudes and ways of acting, perhaps, if members find something missing, they might suggest to the Canadian Association that they be considered.
 
So far, I think the Canadian Association has provided such a positive and kind set of attitudes and ways of acting, perhaps, if members find something missing, they might suggest to the Canadian Association that they be considered.
The guidelines are beautifully written, but extremely broad. For example:

"May you embrace communal living with all the gifts it has to offer you"

For many, as the OP is clearly experiencing, this regrettably needs clarification.

Examples are in my post (#2) above.
 
Mexico is also part of North America. The United States of America is the only country in the Americas with the word America in it, so it makes sense that those from the USA would be called Americans, just as those from the Estados Unidos de México are called Mexicans or Mexicanos/as.
I'm sure that this is the logic which is used. The response is that there is a great geographic space known as America, a portion of which is the United States of America. For some years I have sat on the sidelines of this discussion, sometimes at international governance circles, but more usually watching fervent and impassioned graduate students. As long as coffee is being poured, I suspect that it will continue to the end of time.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
During the pilgrim blessing at the Monastery of Herbon the priest asked each of us in turn where we came from. I answered Inglaterra, and was given a sheet bearing a prayer in English. The next pilgrim along told him, proudly , that she was from Escocia. This caused some consternation as he searched his folder for a prayer in the right language. Fortunately there was enough Spanish fluency amongst the assembled pilgrims for all to be explained, amidst general laughter.
Convent I was in this week had their materials in Welsh.
 
I've seen it happen, though confiscated rather than torn up. There were telephone chains between Albergues about "this one is not a pilgrim". It was usually for those using motor vehicle support, especially if they were motoring the Camino and pretending to walk.

It has become very rare, but AFAIK it can still happen in some egregious cases of serious abuses.
the hospitalero telephone chain still is in order, supplemented by WhatsApp. Watch your step, bad guys!
 
Train for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
Ha ha! Sure i guess overseas the city has a higher profile that the state (sorry!). The one I always ask folks for clarify on is the city of Maine versus the state of Maine!
Is that city located in Maine or elsewhere? Apparently you know more about the US than I do. We have about five states that have a town named Paris, btw.😅
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Is that city located in Maine or elsewhere? Apparently you know more about the US than I do. We have about five states that have a town named Paris, btw.😅
Sorry I think I am getting myself mixed up! I meant Portland in the state of Maine and Portland in Oregon! That’s right isn’t it! No wonder I have had some confused looks! Never heard of a Paris in USA!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Sorry I think I am getting myself mixed up! I meant Portland in the state of Maine and Portland in Oregon! That’s right isn’t it! No wonder I have had some confused looks! Never heard of a Paris in USA!
Oh yes, there are both Portland's and both are well known on both coasts.
Yep, quite a few Paris's...all are disappointments compared to Paris, France.😅
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Oh yes, there are both Portland's and both are well known on both coasts.
Yep, quite a few Paris's...all are disappointments compared to Paris, France.😅
Ditto for Berlin - I believe the USA has something like 26 Berlin's, at least one of which is a ghost town.

My son was playing online with a young (teenager) American, and when asked where he was replied 'near Berlin' whereupon the young American said 'oh then you're just down the road from me.....' . (New Haven, Con)

To make matters worse from my son's point of view the young American had absolutely no idea that Berlin, Germany existed 🤷‍♂️.

(Ironically the population of Berlin, Connecticut, is 20,000 which is less than the approximately 22,000 Americans that currently reside in Berlin Germany. I love these oddball facts!)

Mind you that's not as good as the Brits who went on holiday to Sydney and ended up in Sydney, Canada. It's happened more than once....

But we have digressed somewhat from Camino Etiquette..... Again 😏
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I think I would have words with noisy early birds. They have noisy bags and bright light. I have my voice.
This is quite poetic. Beautiful turn of phrase, Rita Flower. I’d recommend it for an epigraph to this guide! It makes me think of Saint Francis of Assisi, and Camino etiquette, all at the same time :)

I think I would have words
with noisy early birds.
 
I wonder where you are now on the topic, OP...
I thought it would be good to check a dictionary, and attach a screenshot of part of the one I opened. I did not like the examples so have screened them out.
View attachment 171038
So far, I think the Canadian Association has provided such a positive and kind set of attitudes and ways of acting, perhaps, if members find something missing, they might suggest to the Canadian Association that they be considered.
Eeek I really don’t like the word “rules”!!! Yet I thank you for your research. I have just got back to read this - crikey, it’s wandered all over the place!! The writing I had started (and done nothing else with because I got to thinking about other things!) had a fair bit of tongue in cheek. Let’s see if I can work on it tomorrow!
 
Also confusing is Vancouver, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia which are only 300 miles apart on the same highway.
Yep and I was the idiot that bought a ground transportation ticket between the two of them a few year back when I wanted to go to the BC one.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
God forbid you say "Washington." Folks assume D.C. (Which irks me to no end.) Even when I lived in Everett and Mountlake Terrance I told folks when traveling I was from Seattle. (Which I do live IN Seattle now.)

It's funny to run into folks.
"Where do you live?"
"Seattle."
"Me too! Where?"
"Bellevue."
"I live in Edmonds!"
I met lots of people from Washington. I’d say I was from Vancouver. Then I’d know they were from WA STATE when they would double-check whether I was from Vancouver, BC, or Vancouver, WA. And I confess that when people asked if I was American, I’d typically respond with: I’m from the best part of North America. We call it Canada.”
In terms of things to include in a guidebook, I concur with learning some Spanish - enough to get by including knowing how to make a reservation, and how to ask for help. Both those phrases helped me a lot, along with some other basic terms and phrases that include the use of Por favor, lo siento/desculpe, and Gracias! Please, I’m sorry/excuse me, and thank you, being part of most Canadian’s regular vocabulary.
 
Eeek I really don’t like the word “rules”!!! Yet I thank you for your research. I have just got back to read this - crikey, it’s wandered all over the place!! The writing I had started (and done nothing else with because I got to thinking about other things!) had a fair bit of tongue in cheek. Let’s see if I can work on it tomorrow!
As this has run around rather far from your original question, and before it gets properly reined in - if you scratch me, my blood runs red.
And yours?
Where I am from is an accident of birth.
A hilarious - to me - example of national affiliation happened on a car journey from London to home, near Glasgow, approx 30 years ago. My niece declared, having just crossed the border from Ingerland, "See. Even the sheep know they are Scottish!"
 
I have glanced most of this thread trying to avoid all the distracting-to-me off-topic banter (which may in some tenuous way actually be on-topic) and think that from the beginning of my Camino-walking phase of my life in 2005, I have mostly followed the etiquette discussed here without knowing anything about an etiquette or set rules. And a few experiences along the way also helped. They are just normal ways of behaving all the time in a "civilised society".

And for those one or two who may be wondering: I am far from a Saint. I suspect most on this forum (and many others) would be similar regardless of where they come from. However I recognise cultural differences in the expression of politeness and cooperation et. al. (the etiquette) may be misconstrued between cultures. For that the remedy is an awareness of cultural difference - I have no idea of how to create an awareness that there is such a thing as cultural difference other than a good upbringing and perhaps some useful history lessons.

But whether we are at home or on a Camino there are many people that are (for who knows what reasons) people who choose to live in an abrasive manner wherever they are. And for those people no document of etiquette is likely to be obeyed (self-evidently) although there is no harm in trying by posting it on the front door of albergues and on the hospitalera's desk with some nudging along the lines of a milder version of "Anymore of that and you will be sleeping outside in the rain".
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
You can learn to pronounce it, but as soon as you say "soy estadounidense" wait two seconds for someone to say "ah, American." 😉

PS break it down into syllables and it will soon be rolling off your tongue.

And it might be easier to say "soy de Estados Unidos."
I have been corrected by Mexicans who say that their country is also a United States. Now I just refer to myself as “de Los Estados Unidos del Norte”.

As regards etiquette….a line from a 50s song, The Happy Wanderer…I tip my hat to all I see, and they tip theirs to me. In my words, say a cheerful greeting to all you see and they will likewise return it.
 
Ha ha! Sure i guess overseas the city has a higher profile that the state (sorry!). The one I always ask folks for clarify on is the city of Maine versus the state of Maine!
We, in Maine, lay claim to the “first” Portland! It existed way before Oregon claimed theirs. I used to have a luggage tag on my suitcase that read: No, the other Portland, so that the baggage handlers had to actually look at the airport code before they sent my bag off to Oregon!
 
We, in Maine, lay claim to the “first” Portland! It existed way before Oregon claimed theirs. I used to have a luggage tag on my suitcase that read: No, the other Portland, so that the baggage handlers had to actually look at the airport code before they sent my bag off to Oregon!
It is possible that the Portland in England precedes the Portland in Maine. It is often that way with North American place names not of indigenous origin.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
We, in Maine, lay claim to the “first” Portland! It existed way before Oregon claimed theirs. I used to have a luggage tag on my suitcase that read: No, the other Portland, so that the baggage handlers had to actually look at the airport code before they sent my bag off to Oregon!
You don’t want your luggage going to the wrong one! Must be 3K miles away?. London must almost be as close!?
 
Last edited:
Learn proper bathroom protocol on the Camino and share this info with other pilgrims.
We, in Maine, lay claim to the “first” Portland! It existed way before Oregon claimed theirs. I used to have a luggage tag on my suitcase that read: No, the other Portland, so that the baggage handlers had to actually look at the airport code before they sent my bag off to Oregon!
Portland Oregon was actually named after Portland Maine. Two buisness men were trying to decide what to name the new town on the Willamette river. One was from Portland Maine and the other was from Boston Massachusetts. They flipped a coin and Portland won the toss. Had it gone the other way we would have a Boston Oregon instead.
 
Sorry I think I am getting myself mixed up! I meant Portland in the state of Maine and Portland in Oregon! That’s right isn’t it! No wonder I have had some confused looks! Never heard of a Paris in USA!
Oh, now THAT’s funny.

I used to call to rent cars (this is before online booking) and wanted to check prices in either Seattle or Portland…my brother lived in between so I just wanted the lowest price.

9 times out of 10 the response would be “Portland, Maine?”

Sure, if there aren’t any cars in Seattle, then I want to drive 3000 miles.

Sigh…
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Yep, quite a few Paris's...all are disappointments compared to Paris, France.😅
Chrissy, as an Illinoisan, you have a duty to stick up for Paris, Illinois, where there is a very good restaurant, some beautiful Victorian homes, and a landmark courthouse.

And surely it’s the only spot in the world where you can say it’s only 225 miles from Paris to Cairo.

Ok, ahem, back to pilgrim etiquette. One rule would surely be not to derail the threads of others. ;)
 
It is possible that the Portland in England precedes the Portland in Maine. It is often that way with North American place names not of indigenous origin.
Was only referring to the comment about the US Portlands. I’m sure ours did come from elsewhere since much of Maine does have indigenous town/lake/river names.
 
Sorry, but this sounds absurd. It’s totally fine to say “Americana/o” in Spain. I’m half Spanish/half American and I am often referred to as “La Americana” by my Spanish friends and family. I don’t know anyone who says Estado-whatever. Whoever said that to you is giving you a hard time. I’m pretty sure a Mexican would even call you Americana.
Everywhere you go, there are a few folks that will make a big deal over “america" referring to two continents and not to a country. But everywhere¹, the majority refer to USA as “America” or something similar-sounding.

¹at least in the thirty countries I’ve slept in.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Everywhere you go, there are a few folks that will make a big deal over “america" referring to two continents and not to a country. But everywhere¹, the majority refer to USA as “America” or something similar-sounding.
¹at least in the thirty countries I’ve slept in.
I agree. Good etiquette requires that you know your audience.

Let us imagine a fictive pilgrim who was born and raised in Scotland and now lives in Wales. Describing him, I would not hesitate to say: El es de Inglaterra. Il est anglais. Der ist aus England. But only when the pilgrim is not in earshot. My audience will understand that he is from that large island to the north or north west and that's all we want to communicate to each other. If, on the other hand, the pilgrim in question hears me speaking or I would talk to him directly, I would chose different words and, depending on the context, refer to the UK, or to Scotland, or to Wales. :cool:

And it is the same with americano, norteamericano and the various Portlands and Washingtons and what have you ... For example, the USA basically consists of California, Florida, Texas, New York and America. But remember: Only when they are not in earshot. :cool:
 
Sorry, but this sounds absurd. It’s totally fine to say “Americana/o” in Spain. I’m half Spanish/half American and I am often referred to as “La Americana” by my Spanish friends and family. I don’t know anyone who says Estado-whatever. Whoever said that to you is giving you a hard time. I’m pretty sure a Mexican would even call you Americana.
For sure, I actually speak Spanish pretty well, and Spaniards on the Camino will ask me where I am from (not, what is your nationality). When I say Estados Unidos someone will usually say (in Spanish and with a sense of humor), You cannot be American. They do not speak Spanish. And you have a Mexican accent. Much laughter follows. If anyone is REALLY interested, I'll tell the lengthy tale of how I came to speak kinda odd-sounding Spanish, even dropping Fidel Castro's name.
 
Oh, now THAT’s funny.

I used to call to rent cars (this is before online booking) and wanted to check prices in either Seattle or Portland…my brother lived in between so I just wanted the lowest price.

9 times out of 10 the response would be “Portland, Maine?”

Sure, if there aren’t any cars in Seattle, then I want to drive 3000 miles.

Sigh…
That would be one long courtesy shuttle bus ride to the pick the car up! You would need to get a seat!
 
Last edited:
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Was only referring to the comment about the US Portlands. I’m sure ours did come from elsewhere since much of Maine does have indigenous town/lake/river names.
Indeed. Familiar with Bangor, Maine, which back in the day was often used by airlines who made a ‘tech stop’ to refuel after crossing the North Atlantic during strong headwinds, before continuing on.
 
Everywhere you go, there are a few folks that will make a big deal over “america" referring to two continents and not to a country. But everywhere¹, the majority refer to USA as “America” or something similar-sounding.
Among the English, we tend to use America, North America, Central America, South America, and The Americas.

America alone usually refers to the USA, but in context it can sometimes refer to continental / geographic America.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Sorry, but this sounds absurd. It’s totally fine to say “Americana/o” in Spain. I’m half Spanish/half American and I am often referred to as “La Americana” by my Spanish friends and family. I don’t know anyone who says Estado-whatever. Whoever said that to you is giving you a hard time. I’m pretty sure a Mexican would even call you Americana.
During my time 🎶“south of the border, down México way”🎵, I’ve been called Americano, gringo, gabacho, güero to name a few. Estadounidense is a term I’ve used and has been used in reference to me, mostly in dealings with officials of the Mexican government, like cops, la migra, the tax folks, and on official documents. Certainly not as common as the others I mentioned, but hardly absurd.
 

Most read last week in this forum

I am thinking I should take a rest day. Maybe book a hostal for a couple of nights, have a room to myself, and not walk at all Or maybe walk just 10km, and a hostal for one night. What do you do...
My wife and I are on the Frances. We’re taking a rest day in Sarria. Before we left the US we read and watched videos, etc.. It occurs to me that a lot of us overthink this thing. On the...
Sign a little west of Pamplona:
I’ve walked a few Caminos and they were always really great hiking trips. I’m home three days now and this First Solo Camino was very different, spiritual, quiet, peaceful. Re-entry back into the...
Obviously a stamp can be obtained at a refugio, but where else? A list can be obtained of refugio locations, is their a list of locations where stamps can also be obtained? Thanks.
Can anyone tell me if it is worth it to visit the archaeological site near Atapuerca if I do not understand any spanish. I am cycling the camino so the extra few kilometres will not be an issue. I...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top