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Very dissilusioned. Can't wait to finish

Rossco

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portugues 2017, Camino Finisterre 2017, Le Puy Route (Sept. 2018)
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino
 
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Tough spot to be in. It worries me as well so I'm sticking to my off-season schedule and heading out in January again next year. If opportunity arises though, I've been very impressed with the discussions about the Invierno, sounds right up my alley and would likely more than satisfy my desire to walk a warm weather Camino. Stick with it and maybe you can find some hidden gems away from the larger crowds. Good luck.
 

onwayhome

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Ponferrada-Santiago,(c1986)
Frances SJPP-Santiago (2011)
Portuguese Porto- Finisterre (2016)
St Michaels Way (2016)
Hope you can get a good night's sleep soon. I find sleeping badly can really affect my attitude to being on Camino. When albergue life gets too much for me I book in to somewhere else for a night if I can. This either restores my enthusiasm for communal living or reminds me I can also enjoy a quiet room and comfortable bed. Maybe also a buffet breakfast too! :)
 

Rossco

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portugues 2017, Camino Finisterre 2017, Le Puy Route (Sept. 2018)
Hope you can get a good night's sleep soon. I find sleeping badly can really affect my attitude to being on Camino. When albergue life gets too much for me I book in to somewhere else for a night if I can. This either restores my enthusiasm for communal living or reminds me I can also enjoy a quiet room and comfortable bed. Maybe also a buffet breakfast too! :)
I've also resorted to checking into a private room. Felt good in the morning after a good night's sleep
 
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I find sleeping badly can really affect my attitude to being on Camino.
Fatigue can amplify the dissonance between what you expect and want, and what is available. Often there is a lot more available, but it requires some effort to find it. "Unlisted" beds abound if you watch for signs that list them. When one sticks to a guide, even one published very recently, one only finds what is in the guide! Feelings and reality may be at odds, and fatigue limits the ability to think clearly. Yes, a good rest can affect your attitude!:)
 
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The tourist office in Ponferrada advised me in January 2016 that nothing was open on the Camino Invierno in the winter. Be sure in advance that you will be able to find a bed!!!
Agreed. I'm content walking CF in the winter months and sounds like CI would be great for warmer (late spring - early fall) months to avoid the same frustration that our OP is experiencing. It is of course a little ironic that following the winter camino in the winter wouldn't work that well...!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I've also resorted to checking into a private room. Felt good in the morning after a good night's sleep
Nothing wrong with a private room and a good night's sleep!
It's always a good idea to change both our expectations and reactions to situations.
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino

No criticism. Sympathy. Hope you manage to get to the end, with peace instead of disillusionment. Maybe a little reorganising the goal for each day will take you out of the estimated distances, and perhaps a bit more peace in the albergues. And by the way, my laptop insisted on using ALLERGIES instead of ALBERGUES. Hah!
 
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We walked from Porto to Santiago in early April this year and enjoyed it very much. My wife and I have now completely given up on the multi bunk rooms at albergues, choosing private rooms if available. We will only stay a bunk room if no other options exist in the town or village at our nightly stop. If no private rooms are available, then we will choose pensions or hotels when available.
I see so many threads about people complaining about snoring, and generally boorish behavior in shared spaces in albergues. It is what it is and will never change. Not everyone that walks a Camino is necessarily a great selfless person. There is a grand mix of people and different cultural norms with the cooresponding full gamut of human faults and frailties which are to be expected.
We had some truly great private accommodations this year and really had no negative experiences whatsoever on our Portuguese Camino. Yes it is a little more expensive to go with private rooms, pensions or hotels, but it has completely changed our Camino experience, making each Camino we walk a positive, rewarding and wonderful experience.
 
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CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
I've also resorted to checking into a private room. Felt good in the morning after a good night's sleep

I'm so glad you got yourself into a private room and got some rest.

More and more, I use less expensive hotels and private rooms, and several of us who are a bit older and can afford them do that.

It's exhausting to walk distances when tired. Also, it's frustrating when the tour groups are noisy and rude--why do the tourists in groups feel that they have to do everything at full volume?

Anyway, take care, and I hope you continue springing for those private rooms. Low season does make it easier.

Let us know how things go.
 

Rossco

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portugues 2017, Camino Finisterre 2017, Le Puy Route (Sept. 2018)
No criticism. Sympathy. Hope you manage to get to the end, with peace instead of disillusionment. Maybe a little reorganising the goal for each day will take you out of the estimated distances, and perhaps a bit more peace in the albergues. And by the way, my laptop insisted on using ALLERGIES instead of ALBERGUES. Hah!
I intend to go on to Finisterre and Muxia. Hopefully that section is less crowded.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Can you ask your new-found oblivious enemies where they are headed for tomorrow and make sure you do a different distance - going farther would be best, but stopping before them would also work.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino

I agree with everything that was written before and I hope you get a good night sleep!
Just a thought thought: couldn't you just ask them to be quiet(er)?
I've had to, a few times and it worked ;)
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino

No criticism! I would be really frustrated too! Hang in there! Can you find a place to get some sleep? I know that for me, hungry and tired can dim bright sunlight. --Can you ask the hospitaleros to try to influence the mood of the tour groups? I am starting on Le Puy a week from today-- trying to avoid tour groups.
 

elizason

Member
Past OR future Camino
Lisbon- Santiago Sept-Oct 2015
Hey Rossco,
I had the same experience. Lisbon to Porto was lovely slowly meeting more and more pilgrims, then, after Porto the night madness of noise and very early headlamps in the face and no consideration from several people. It is very different the last 100kms where people want a Compostella. My next camino I will stay in private quarters the last 100kms just to avoid the madness and still be delighted with the wonderful camino experience. All the Best, Eliza
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
Glad you enjoyed your big towel night. Nothing like a good nights sleep to improve the situation. :)
Don't give up on the CF all together. I'll second the vote for doing it out of season. I started beginning of April this year and for that first month, apart from the wonderful madness of Semana santa, I was often the only person staying in albergues and pensions and lucky to see half a dozen other pilgrims a day on the camino. Mind you I didn't start walking early, I stayed in smaller towns and villages and I walked slowly. I wasn't expecting the loneliness so I too had to change my expectations but to the opposite of yours.
 

Saint Mike II

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino

Hola @Rossco, no criticism from me. You had a problem, you stated your position clearly & in reasonable terms. What you have experienced is something I have been worrying about for some time. These "non-prilgrims" (imho) tourists are the one giving all Camino trails a less than happy name. Unfortunately I don't believe much can be done to aleviate the situation. So yes take a private room. I usually do this every 5 or 6 night, the rest totally outweighs the euros!
 
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MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino
I always appreciate those who take the time to share their walk as it happens, including current realities. Hang in there it is a roller coaster, then it gets sunny.
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Is there any way you can get out of phase with the big groups by travelling a little less or more than them, and/or stopping in smaller places? This worked for me in the nightmare that was Sarria->Santiago in the summer.
 
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I'm going to make a new t-shirt that says, "PORTO IS THE NEW SARRIA."

Porto rates for sure in the top three of any of the cities I have been to so far while on a Camino. My only regret is that my schedule did not allow me a few days there this year.
Never had an issue with Sarria the couple of times I have been there either or the walk from there to Santiago.
I guess we all have different experiences and expectations.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
@Rossco , what others have suggested about getting out of sync with the especially annoying folks can help a lot. But only so much when it's really crowded - because there will always be someone. So single rooms are a real refuge. It helps to remember that no-one ever said that to be a real peregrino you have to stay in dorms! In fact, albergues were initially intended only for those pilgrims who couldn't afford private accommodation. So sleep in solitude without guilt.
And...in the end, the only thing that is a fail-safe remedy for me is the inner adjustment that comes with cultivating contentment with what is, whatever it is, pleasant or unpleasant. That's not so easy, but the camino provides a lot of opportunities to practice the skill!
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
The tourist office in Ponferrada advised me in January 2016 that nothing was open on the Camino Invierno in the winter. Be sure in advance that you will be able to find a bed!!!

Have heard the same thing: that in spite of its name, nothing or very few places are open.
But it does not prevent us, to divert into the Inverno the rest of the year, when and if completing the French...
 
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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
I intend to go on to Finisterre and Muxia. Hopefully that section is less crowded.
Umm, sorry to burst your bubble but the route to Finisterre has become very popular in recent years, but more so with young solo walkers and not so with large groups. I remember reading somewhere that Tui is up there as one of the top 3 places people start walking the camino. We found the Tui leg to be pretty full of loud groups even in November, but numbers dropped off dramatically on the Portuguese side of the border, especially on the Lisbon leg. While it is good to see numbers up on a wide range of routes, including the English Way, it is sad that boorish behavior is also increasing as your post reports its the inconsiderateness in the alburge that is the key problem.

But don't let the tour groups drive you off, some of the long distance routes are less travelled and still offer that sense of isolation backed up by small alburges where you get to meet likeminded (if some times smelly) others. Walking out of season and picking sections that don't go to Santiago can also help.
 
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Dorpie

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Really sorry you're having a rough time @Rossco I doubt there are many of us on this forum who won't sympathise with your situation. Like a few others I've taken to staying in a private room of some sort every 5 days or so just to recharge the batteries but I worry that while this is a solution for those of us that can afford it, it certainly isn't open to everyone.

What the solution is I don't know. Part of what I love about the camino is being forced together with people who you might not otherwise meet and the idea of segregating myself from others doesn't feel like a solution, but then neither does dictating to others how they should behave.
 
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Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
It's certainly true that in a dormitory you will meet less "boorish" people than in a private room. Staying in a private room will also mean you will not or less easily meet the majority of nice, gentle people that walk on the caminos. For me this is one of nicest aspects of walking. I must say though that I avoid the crowded caminos like the Frances.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I will repeat here, in capsule form, the advice I have given repeatedly about avoiding congestion at any stop.

1. Consider staying "off Brierley." That means not staying at "his" designated end-stages each day. Try to find a place just before or after that point.

2. You might even need a taxi occasionally to accomplish this. I have stayed "off-piste" when necessary to obtain decent lodging, and used taxis or a walking detour to get me to and from the Camino path.

3. Use www.booking.com or www.gronze.com (Spanish only) to book ahead, including private rooms in private albergues. Use Google or Bing (Microsoft) translators to keep in contact with the properties by e-mail. I compose my message in English, translate it to Portuguese or Spanish, then lead off the e-mail with the Portuguese or Spanish version, followed by the original English after the abbreviation (IS) [Inglés]

4. Time your arrival at any starting node (Sarria, Tui, etc.) to avoid Friday and Saturday night. Many "short-Camino" pilgrims will arrive on Friday or Saturday to start the next day. This adds a demand burden on available lodging at these nodes.

#4 above, also applies to your arrival at Santiago. If possible, try to arrive Monday through Thursday. As soon as you know what day you anticipate arriving, book ahead! Hotels, hostals, and many private albergues are available on the two sites I mentioned above and make advance reservations. Even off-season, Santiago is becoming a more popular destination.

Finally, as regards advance booking, if you make a reservation, STICK TO IT. ARRIVE AS INDICATED. If you must change your plans or cancel, contact the property using e-mail to inform them of your delay or change in plans. This frees the space for another pilgrim.

Essentially, you need to construct a Camino performance model that avoids times and places of crowding. Avoid the "pig in the python."

I hope this helps.
 
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Past OR future Camino
please see signature
I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it for me.

Hope the advice above helps you complete your intention of Santiago still sound in body and mind.

For the future you may care to consider the route from Le-Puy-en-Velay, about two hours by train west from Lyon.

In april 2016 I encountered small group of family or friends walking for one or two weeks as part of their annual leave. On several occassions there was only two of us (me and a friend I had just met) in the multi-bed gite. And when I did encounter communal kitchens it was most civilised. While (regetably) only mono-lingual, when I rattled off my apology I usually found someone to keep me in the loop.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong)
 
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KentuckyJay

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Hiked Leon to Santiago in May, 2014.
Hiked Porto to Santiago in May, 2016.
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino
Too bad about your experience. I did Porto to Santiago in May and it was great. I wouldn’t even consider going later in the summer for the very reasons that caused your dissatisfaction.
 

Rossco

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portugues 2017, Camino Finisterre 2017, Le Puy Route (Sept. 2018)
@Rossco , what others have suggested about getting out of sync with the especially annoying folks can help a lot. But only so much when it's really crowded - because there will always be someone. So single rooms are a real refuge. It helps to remember that no-one ever said that to be a real peregrino you have to stay in dorms! In fact, albergues were initially intended only for those pilgrims who couldn't afford private accommodation. So sleep in solitude without guilt.
And...in the end, the only thing that is a fail-safe remedy for me is the inner adjustment that comes with cultivating contentment with what is, whatever it is, pleasant or unpleasant. That's not so easy, but the camino provides a lot of opportunities to practice the skill!
The occasional private room has gelled a lot. I feel energised until I encounter the next wave . . . which isn't very long.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
Really sorry you're having a rough time @Rossco I doubt there are many of us on this forum who won't sympathise with your situation. Like a few others I've taken to staying in a private room of some sort every 5 days or so just to recharge the batteries but I worry that while this is a solution for those of us that can afford it, it certainly isn't open to everyone.

What the solution is I don't know. Part of what I love about the camino is being forced together with people who you might not otherwise meet and the idea of segregating myself from others doesn't feel like a solution, but then neither does dictating to others how they should behave.
Well said, I would just smile & say "oh the humanity!" Yet I must admit I can sleep thru a lot. I think when you realize you have no control of when that bullet has your name on it. You simply relax & sleep. Yet it never hurts to go into a quiet hole, for common sense.
Keith
 

Laluna

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Rossco, I just wanted to say that I empathize. I just did the Camino Frances and found the last 100 km from Sarria tough due to what you describe. I too ended up staying in a private room one night when I was in about the same state as you described. I couldn't believe the wonders that having a good night's sleep and some quiet did for me. I was in a much better mood and much refreshed the next day. It really makes all the difference and there is no need to apologize or feel guilty for it!
 

Dorpie

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
OP, are you not a tourist too? Live and let live amigo.

That's a lovely sentiment but not much use when one person is keeping maybe a dozen others awake at night. There has to be some kind of line where behaviour tips beyond what's reasonable. Of course everyone has a different idea of where that line is, hence the problems.
 
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Finisterre

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Sarria 2001,
Porto 2006,
Valenca 2008,
Finisterre 2010,
SJdPP 2012,
Tui 2014.

No plans to return, yet.
I've never been a fan of the Redondela alberque. But in my not terribly humble opinion it gets better from there on.

Personally I love Briallos, in the middle of a field, nothing to do, nowhere to go. Fantastic.

But basically, you are knackered, tired, need a break. It is part of the formative experience. You could see it as an opportunity to face and overcome social adversity. Talk to the groups, break into their insularity, bring them into the fold. If you can be bothered.
 
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Satírico

Guest
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino

Hi Rossco,

Why should you be criticised for your experience? If you can't sleep and don't want to tackle the 'tour group' head on, and the hospitoleros aren't there to maintain order, give the CdSdC a break. Plenty more places to go walkabout.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
I've also resorted to checking into a private room. Felt good in the morning after a good night's sleep
I don't believe you will be criticized for "venting" on this forum. Your "vent" may actually assist others who read about the issues and may be able to avoid the same issues you are experiencing due to your "vent". Take a step back and re-assess and go forward. Don't allow others to dictate your happiness. As the saying goes....."When handed lemons, make lemonade"...

Buen Camino !
 
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Gillyweb

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Villafranca - Santiago (2013)
SJPP - Santiago (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Sorry to hear you're struggling with noise and numbers. I finished Porto to Santiago just over three weeks ago and fortunately I don't recognise what you describe. It was busy yes - especially from Tui - but I was more bothered by those whose inconsiderate attitude is to expect total silence during an afternoon doze and for lights to go out at 8pm. I think you may be in the middle of a bad patch. Stagger your next stage, stay somewhere out of the town and regain your equilibrium with a night in a pension somewhere. I did just that the day my blister got to me and I just wanted to have a long bath and then be grumpy in private, and it made all the difference. I had a new spring in my step the next day. The thing is really, we are all tourists out there, some more considerate than others. I confess I don't enjoy Sarria onwards on the CF due to the sheer numbers (and can get a tad wound up about the suitcases), but again I found it better to stay mid Brierly stages and have found some quiet gems even there. It's all part of the Camino and I've learnt that a pilgrimage isn't always perfect and wonderful but tests us in various ways. Enjoy the great bits and ask the noisy ones if they could please shhhhhh - I suspect they will.
 
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Laluna

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
I also wanted to say that I agree with the suggestion to stay outside of the major centres or the suggested stops for each stage. I did this the last few days on the Camino and I found it worked very well for me. I stayed in smaller towns and found the albergues and the trails much less crowded because I wasn't travelling with the pack so to speak. Good luck and Buen Camino!
 
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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016
Fatigue can amplify the dissonance between what you expect and want, and what is available. Often there is a lot more available, but it requires some effort to find it. "Unlisted" beds abound if you watch for signs that list them. When one sticks to a guide, even one published very recently, one only finds what is in the guide! Feelings and reality may be at odds, and fatigue limits the ability to think clearly. Yes, a good rest can affect your attitude!:)
I don't know about the Portugese route but on the Frances it was always best to try not to finish at the towns that one of the popular guidebooks recommended as a good finish point for the day. Many people I met were using the Brierly guide and finishing at all the 'stage finish towns' and they were much more crowded. I also liked the idea of staying at smaller places and spreading my money around a bit. Not sure what you've done but this might make it a bit nicer - I don't know though.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
You
We walked from Porto to Santiago in early April this year and enjoyed it very much. My wife and I have now completely given up on the multi bunk rooms at albergues, choosing private rooms if available. We will only stay a bunk room if no other options exist in the town or village at our nightly stop. If no private rooms are available, then we will choose pensions or hotels when available.
I see so many threads about people complaining about snoring, and generally boorish behavior in shared spaces in albergues. It is what it is and will never change. Not everyone that walks a Camino is necessarily a great selfless person. There is a grand mix of people and different cultural norms with the cooresponding full gamut of human faults and frailties which are to be expected.
We had some truly great private accommodations this year and really had no negative experiences whatsoever on our Portuguese Camino. Yes it is a little more expensive to go with private rooms, pensions or hotels, but it has completely changed our Camino experience, making each Camino we walk a positive, rewarding and wonderful experience.
That is how the albetgues were originally planned to be used in the late 1980's. One albergue in the bigger towns and cities for pligrims who can't afford private accommodation: an albergues for all pilgrims in remote areas where there is no alternative accommodation. Pilgrims were never meant to only sleep in albergues, especially those who could support the local hospitality industry.
 

Inbar

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September 2015; Camino Portugues October 2017
Exactly two years ago my husband and I walked the Frances, and expected the horrible crowds after Sarria. I've already read a lot on this forum and warned him.
What really happened was we were walking ALONE. Some days we didn't see a single soul on the road and albergues weren't even half full.
We just stayed in smaller towns. That's it. We were probably walking in between traffic jams of people.

Also it didn't rain while we were in Galicia.

I can't complain...
 

zzotte

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
I have been saying to my self the same thing, I did three caminos all good in it's on way progressive less and less spiritual after all it's supposed to be a pilgrimage to a saint not a cheap vacation as it's turning out to be, very sad

Zzotte
 
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Walking Lover

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
Tough spot to be in. It worries me as well so I'm sticking to my off-season schedule and heading out in January again next year. If opportunity arises though, I've been very impressed with the discussions about the Invierno, sounds right up my alley and would likely more than satisfy my desire to walk a warm weather Camino. Stick with it and maybe you can find some hidden gems away from the larger crowds. Good luck.
Unfortunately not everyone remembers the reasons many are doing a camino.
 

Lue

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, (2013), via de la Plata (2014),
Portuguese (2015), Camino Madrid (2017
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino
That is really too bad, sorry you are not having a good experience. I walked the Portuguese Caminho September, 2015, mostly alone as my husband had an injury. I had a most wonderful experience. Stayed in albergues almost the whole way, never ran into disrespectful pilgrims, met great people who are still my Facebook friends, yes suffered some snoring, comes with the territory. Booking into a hotel or pension makes sense but you miss a lot of comraderie doing that. The caminos remind me of life - ups, downs, good stuff, bad stuff, sadness, joy. Always an important experience. Try walking the Camino via de la plata or the Camino Madrid, you will be so pleased to even run into another pilgrim. Many times we were the only pilgrims in the albergues! Don't give up on the Camino walking, just adjust.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Exactly two years ago my husband and I walked the Frances, and expected the horrible crowds after Sarria. I've already read a lot on this forum and warned him.
What really happened was we were walking ALONE. Some days we didn't see a single soul on the road and albergues weren't even half full.
We just stayed in smaller towns. That's it. We were probably walking in between traffic jams of people.

Also it didn't rain while we were in Galicia.

I can't complain...
Like in most casers of this sort - you have to state which month you traveled. I travel more & more early to catch the proper congestion index, so...
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
It's certainly true that in a dormitory you will meet less "boorish" people than in a private room. Staying in a private room will also mean you will not or less easily meet the majority of nice, gentle people that walk on the caminos. For me this is one of nicest aspects of walking. I must say though that I avoid the crowded caminos like the Frances.
Reading back my message I see I made an essential mistake. I hope everybody understood that where I wrote "less" I meant "more"
 
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Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
No criticism! I would be really frustrated too! Hang in there! Can you find a place to get some sleep? I know that for me, hungry and tired can dim bright sunlight. --Can you ask the hospitaleros to try to influence the mood of the tour groups? I am starting on Le Puy a week from today-- trying to avoid tour groups.


Unfortunately in some places the hospitalero does not live on site and the so called "peregrinos" takes advantages of it and do what ever they like, specially if they are in numbers.
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
This is becoming a universal issue on all Caminos. Maybe it is time to remove the short trip certificates. Like that will ever happen.

The only other thing I can think of is that groups be relegated to specific albergues leaving the rest for the genersal public. Hmmm, though groups did the upscale accomodations to improve profit margin.

Alternate routes have been suggested but they seeem to be filling up as well.

Any new ideas besides sleeping under the stars?
 

Montana Jayne

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
September 2015 - Camino Frances
? Camino Ingles
Our CF camino fall 2015 was terrific but with 3 exceptions. On those 3 nights there were obnoxious groups who would not respect others. Large groups do not care that you can't get in the kitchen or that you can't sleep, but those people are part of life... Still I hope for another camino in my future.
 

Barbara06

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy - Pamplona (2011-14)
VDLP (2015)
Portuguese (2015)
Francigena (2016)
Primitivo (2017)
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino

Instead of planning the Camino Frances, plan another Camino, like the Sureste for example.
Many Caminos are not crowded at all... it is now well known that the CF is for people who like crowds
 

Lisa Erickson

Member
Past OR future Camino
May (2017)
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino

Oh no! This is discouraging to hear. I've just began the PC a few days ago, and have actually been looking forward to reaching Porto, thinking that the scenery will be prettier & making it worth the long hikes. I must confess that up to now I have not been very impressed with what I've seen. Not much for scenery, very flat & downright uneventful. Dare I say, boring!?

I have heard it gets prettier once getting more north. At least this has been my hope! Any one else have anything to weigh in on!? I could use some encouragement! If even taking in some day trips perhaps!? Or perhaps specific alberques making the journey special. Right now I am in Tomar.

Thanks in advance!
Lisa
 
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Deleted member 397

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I did the Portuguese twice, last time 2 years ago Fine from Lisbon, busy from Porto then a nightmare from Tui. I am always perplexed why the fascination with the highly popular routes..especially the CF (in my opinion the most over rated and over crowded). Tis year I Did the Sureste and Levante. In 3 months I saw 4 pilgrims..bliss! I only stayed in one albergue which I had to myself. The previous person was 6 days ago. Frankly there is no point complaining about the boorish oafs...look for other routes.
 

Inbar

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September 2015; Camino Portugues October 2017
Like in most casers of this sort - you have to state which month you traveled. I travel more & more early to catch the proper congestion index, so...
As I said it was two years ago exactly. September-October :)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I did the Portuguese twice, last time 2 years ago Fine from Lisbon, busy from Porto then a nightmare from Tui. I am always perplexed why the fascination with the highly popular routes..especially the CF (in my opinion the most over rated and over crowded). Tis year I Did the Sureste and Levante. In 3 months I saw 4 pilgrims..bliss! I only stayed in one albergue which I had to myself. The previous person was 6 days ago. Frankly there is no point complaining about the boorish oafs...look for other routes.
Some (many) of us like the camaraderie that we find on the Frances, and other "crowded" trails. While I don't mind walking alone, I wouldn't much like only encountering 4 other pilgrims! Fortunately, we aren't all exactly alike. Wouldn't that be boring?! :)
 
Past OR future Camino
Spain 2013 (Roncesvalles to Santago de Compostela)
France 2015 (Le Puy to Roncesvalles)
Portugal 2017 (Porto to Santiago de Compostela)
I have walked both the Camino Frances and Camino Portuguese from Porto and I would agree that both Sarria and Tui attract larger, noiser groups. Part of the noise, of course, is their excitement about beginning their journeys. Another part is the effect of alcohol, particularly on younger groups who then don't give a damn about others' need for quiet. Remember though, that culturally both the Portuguese and Spanish people tend to be louder and because they normally eat later whole towns seems to be "rowdy" until quite late at night - especially in the summer months when they are all outside.
However, I think one of the solutions may be to increase the number of kilometers or miles required before being eligible for the Compostela. Maybe completing 200km would reduce the crowds and lets face it, if you've walked 800km it feels a bit lame getting the same certificate of completion as someone who has walked only 100km! If 100km is all people can do, put it down to a pleasant week's walk.
Yes, as others have suggested, consider a different route. A couple of years ago I completed the 800km walk from Le Puy en Velay to Roncesvalles (over the Pyrenees). It was much less crowded and even though most of the walkers were French, they were friendly, considerate and helpful.
After you've finished your current walk, it will only be the positive aspects you'll remember, so enjoy!
 

Gillyweb

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Villafranca - Santiago (2013)
SJPP - Santiago (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Oh no! This is discouraging to hear. I've just began the PC a few days ago, and have actually been looking forward to reaching Porto, thinking that the scenery will be prettier & making it worth the long hikes. I must confess that up to now I have not been very impressed with what I've seen. Not much for scenery, very flat & downright uneventful. Dare I say, boring!?

I have heard it gets prettier once getting more north. At least this has been my hope! Any one else have anything to weigh in on!? I could use some encouragement! If even taking in some day trips perhaps!? Or perhaps specific alberques making the journey special. Right now I am in Tomar.

Thanks in advance!
Lisa
I finished the CP three weeks ago starting from Porto. In some ways I found it harder than the CF because I hated the cobbles/granite sets but I guess you're used to those by now. From Porto I took the coastal to Vila do Conde - it was absolutely beautiful. Long board walks by the beach, crashing waves, sand dunes. Yes it's a little touristy but probably less so now the holiday season is over and really lovely. I would highly recommend taking that route. I chose then to cut over to Rates. I struggled a little for the next few days. Lots of road walking and I hated the cobbles, but from Ponte di Lima I loved it.
I would highly recommend stopping in Lugar do Conde at Casa Fernanda. Fernanda is the most wonderful hospitalera. Kind, warm, welcoming, a beautiful tranquil stop with wonderful food in the evening and a hearty breakfast. Having started in Porto she was my first real Camino moment this time. A genuine oasis ....
Another gem was Albergue O'Corisco in Saxamunde - about 3km before Redondela. I couldn't face the town, was very tired and had already passed Mos which looked lovely but didn't call out to me. As you go into Saxamunde there is a 'very' steep downhill. On the right is a bar and a new Albergue. Spotless, gorgeous showers, a private room if you like, small kitchen. The bar serves good food ( best calamari I had) and the owner was an angel. I had broken my phone charger which meant I had no maps, clock, anything...she tried to find one for me and when she couldn't, seeing I was really tired, she offered to drive me into town to a shop, wait and bring me back.
As I said - from Ponte di Lima it gets much prettier and I really enjoyed the way from there. Some beautiful woodland paths, one toughish climb, lovely streams etc etc. Keep heart - you will enjoy what's coming up I'm sure. Buen Camino.
 
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Jen Fawkes

Member
Past OR future Camino
Walking 2017 August
We are on CF at the moment and I sympathise completely. It is such a unique experience and it comes with (mostly unrealistic) expectations. It takes some time to shed the hype around booking a bed in advance, walking so far in a day, only sleeping in albergues, walking the Camino the true pulgrim way (whatever that means) etc etc.
The Camino is a long walk and everyone must walk it their own way - noone has walked it in your shoes before.
We find if we have a rough night, the next night we seek a private room.
I'm personally struggling with the bag rustlers that start at 5.45 when it is still dark at 7am. And yes there are some people that talk loudly and some people that snore loudly. If they are a problem them you need to look after yourself first.
And yes I do believe that the pulgrim experience is changing. Like everything else in this world.
 

Jopoke

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances September 2015
Lisbon to Santigo May 2016
Porto coastal route to Santiago Oct 2016
I thought you couldn't stay in albergues if you was in a large group? We are on the VdlP and we had a group of 10 pilgrims with us. Up at 5.30, whisperings amongst themselves, torches shining, brushing teeth, rustling bags? ??? They might as well start singing, turn the lights on full, and talk normal. They ended up waking the full albergue up and took nearly all the beds. They was told if they was in a large group they had to book private accommodation ahead.
I've stayed in hostels before and been up all night and tourist have had no respect what so ever for people who are tired and want an early night so you can't win either way.
I think we have to learn to be brave and tell them to be silent and leave the room. Many other pilgrims will applause you. Good luck
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I thought you couldn't stay in albergues if you was in a large group?
Some albergues (typically the municipals) will not take reservations, so they are less attractive to large groups who all want to stay together and know their destination in advance. There is nothing to prevent 10 people from arriving at an albergue and being admitted if there are beds. If there are only 9 beds available, the first 9 will get them.
 
Past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Having resort to private accommodation is not an evil thing and there is no need to apologize for it. As others have posted, the albergues were originally intended for those pilgrims unable to afford private accommodation.

The last 100km has always been a challenge for long-haul pilgrims-- the karma changes greatly on account of the (largely Spanish) pilgrims who travel in groups or posses and who, as they are accustomed to in most of their activities, do so very socially. This is rough on those of us who benefitted by our solitude and fairly meditative progress. But it's not a bad thing-- they are just following their practices and customs. As a Canadian, where we carry on our fiercest exchanges in whispers and purposeful silences, I found the Spanish custom of chatting about everything at a high volume most disconcerting--- but it's their custom, and that's how it is.

When I got most annoyed, I just rolled my eyes, and strolled ahead. Then I looked back at them and saw how much fun and friendship was going on; I couldn't stay annoyed. Don't worry about the others-- just keep on walking, enjoy the wonderful Galician perfume of mixed rotten apples and cow poo, and after a long bath in your private room, raise a glass to their health.
 
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Laluna

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
oursonpolaire, I just got a huge chuckle out of your post, and the words "Galician perfume of mixed rotten apples and cow poo", ahahaha. That sums it up perfectly. ;) I actually thought that I would miss it once I was off the camino and sure enough I do, lol. It had such a strong and distinct errr, aroma unlike anything else I've ever smelled! ;)

I was thinking a bit more about this, and I am also Canadian and perhaps accustomed to more quiet and silence from groups. I found a lot of large Italian and Spanish groups in albergues during my camino and it was a bit disconcerting at times as they tended to speak very loudly amongst themselves, and take over the kitchens etc. I stayed in one albergue where there was a group of 15 Italians... and me. I signed up for the communal dinner that night but it was quite awkward to be sitting amongst a loud, boisterous group that size all talking in their own language and not being able to communicate.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Litoral and Variant October 2021
Past OR future Camino
2016
My wife and I walk off season when there are less people. It is colder (I don't handle heat well) there are less organized groups. We walked the Frances during the winter and even then we came across tour groups in Sarria, not many but a few. We adopted a tour group walker, my wife doctored his feet mean while his group from some US church walked off and left him on his own. We stayed with him for about 16 km to the town where he was staying. We accompanied him to the Pharmacia to help him with foot care stuff and then escorted him to his reserved hotel and then went and found our albergue. needless to say we made a new friend with whom we are still in touch.
 

RUJO

New Member
Past OR future Camino
camino Portuguese (2016) (2018)
The tourists are ruining the Camino? Whatever reason you have for walking the camino you are a tourist too, like the rest of us. I am a very light sleeper and it’s getting worse every year so i have not been able to sleep in albergues for 3 years. I have a problem, and find other accommodation. It’s that simple
 

filly

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 Mid-May Almería to Córdoba
My solution was to take a bus from Tui to A Garda on the coast and continue from there. No issue for accommodation and sensational sea views. Later, from Pontevedra, I took the Variante Espiritual. This delayed joining the throngs until Padron....
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino

Well for one thing, I feel for you. I need quiet to sleep also.
But I wonder why you are sure it is "tourists" who are keeping you awake?
I visited my Portuguese cousins one year in the Azore Islands. Around 10 pm my husband and I fell into bed exhausted, only to be awakened around 11:30 by a horn honking and shouts coming from a car below the balcony. It was my cousins, all dressed up and ready to pick us up for "dinner!" Those Portuguese and Spanish people keep different hours; that's all. I've seen children out playing in the streets on school nights near midnight. It's just a different culture.

Earplugs?
 
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hnguyen

Member
Past OR future Camino
April-May 2013; (September 2014)
Thanks for sharing. I started my CF from SJPP on April 2nd a few years ago. I was lucky to have met only kind, friendly and considerate pilgrims - until after Sarria! It happened to be the May 1st holiday when a lot of tourists and young Spanish students go to earn their compestela. I had to hike extra kilometers one day just to get away from some noisy groups. However, that did not detract from my overall positive camino experience. The camino is for everyone and we pilgrims should share the good, the bad, the noisy, the young and the old.... Three years ago I walked the CP from Porto starting in late October. The trail was practically deserted. There were nights when I was the lone pilgrim in the albergue. There were very few pilgrims even after Tui. So I guess if noise and crowd is a problem, one should walk during the low season - and check into hotel/pension/casa rural if needed! Buen camino.
 

sulu

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
a few since 2010
I flew into Vigo last weekend and I was astonished at the number of coaches and group leaders waiting for passengers, maybe this is a new craze, connected to cheap flights into Vigo airport. Probably just for September, but it is the luck of the drawer as I had a bad time on the Sanabres from Ourense one year, with a large group of students, and that was in February. There are lots of variables
 

anfear

New Member
Past OR future Camino
June 2012, Leon to Santiago, 12 days and one of the most memorable experiences of my life so far!
Yeah, that's me. I'm one of them.
The trick to not having us annoy you is to learn a good relaxation technique.
Get yourself off to sleep fast.
It's lack of sleep that accentuates all other ills.
Regards
Gerard

Had a wonderful experience back in 2012, hope to do it again and thanks Ger for help in deciding which routes to avoid! Very unfortunate really.
 
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Deleted member 43780

Guest
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino


It is not only tourist. I have had the exact same from non tourist. This seems to be the way it is now on the Camino. RUDE people. Inconsiderate jerks.

That is why I always have my small tent or hammock. I always get a better sleep outside than inside now. Even on rainy nights. Great night sleep.

I can understand about people snoring...that is natural. It happens.
What I do not understand is the rude loud talking, yelling, throwing trash on the floor, drunks, .... can go on and on.

One of my post on here about this same topic was replied by someone who told me I was of the wrong age to be there and learn to deal with it.

WRONG REPLY!

Walking the Camino years ago was fun. To me it seemed like people respected each other more back then. By the way, my first Camino was in the 80s. In the recent few years I have walked/biked three.

I see this in hotels. Camp grounds and other places. Simply stated people are rude these days.

Their attitudes are "its all about me." "forget you and how I am rude to others."

Unless each and every one of us stop this stuff, it will continue and get worse.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
The "wrong age" ???? Could there be such a thing?
The true sign of someone having narrow visions in life....
Good for you. Keep walking.
 
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CaminoJoy123

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
Hey Rossco,
I had the same experience. Lisbon to Porto was lovely slowly meeting more and more pilgrims, then, after Porto the night madness of noise and very early headlamps in the face and no consideration from several people. It is very different the last 100kms where people want a Compostella. My next camino I will stay in private quarters the last 100kms just to avoid the madness and still be delighted with the wonderful camino experience. All the Best, Eliza

Agreed. The last 100km is a whole different vibe. Private quarters for the last 3-5 nights? It's worth it.
 

Jon Hebertson

2 feet and a heartbeat
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese - Lisbon to SdC September 2017
Finisterre - September/October 2017
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino


I feel your pain brother. I Just asked in bars/cafes for a local/cheap place to sleep. Works a treat
 

dandagenais

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Done: SSJDP to Santiago 811km, Nov./Dec. 2013
Plan: LePuy route July 1, 2018
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino
That's sad - sorry about that. But I wouldn't throw away everything for one experience. Generalizing is never good. You may have just been unlucky. I bet you do you Camino France next year and it will be lot different. My two cents anyway. :)
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
We walked from Porto to Santiago in early April this year and enjoyed it very much. My wife and I have now completely given up on the multi bunk rooms at albergues, choosing private rooms if available. We will only stay a bunk room if no other options exist in the town or village at our nightly stop. If no private rooms are available, then we will choose pensions or hotels when available.
I see so many threads about people complaining about snoring, and generally boorish behavior in shared spaces in albergues. It is what it is and will never change. Not everyone that walks a Camino is necessarily a great selfless person. There is a grand mix of people and different cultural norms with the cooresponding full gamut of human faults and frailties which are to be expected.
We had some truly great private accommodations this year and really had no negative experiences whatsoever on our Portuguese Camino. Yes it is a little more expensive to go with private rooms, pensions or hotels, but it has completely changed our Camino experience, making each Camino we walk a positive, rewarding and wonderful experience.
I was a purist on my first Camino and stuck to communal dorms.
Now 12 years later I am so over the scene apart from the odd occasion. I gave become old and crusty and intolerant and grumpy and can't stand smelly, inconsiderate, loud, farty and snoring others. Besides I have to visit the loo to pee several times a night and why should I bother others...
 

Pilgy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Francés April 06, C. Fisterre May 06, C. Frances Oct 17, C. Portuguese Oct 18, C. Inglese Nov 18
Umm, sorry to burst your bubble but the route to Finisterre has become very popular in recent years, but more so with young solo walkers and not so with large groups. I remember reading somewhere that Tui is up there as one of the top 3 places people start walking the camino. We found the Tui leg to be pretty full of loud groups even in November, but numbers dropped off dramatically on the Portuguese side of the border, especially on the Lisbon leg. While it is good to see numbers up on a wide range of routes, including the English Way, it is sad that boorish behavior is also increasing as your post reports its the inconsiderateness in the alburge that is the key problem.

But don't let the tour groups drive you off, some of the long distance routes are less travelled and still offer that sense of isolation backed up by small alburges where you get to meet likeminded (if some times smelly) others. Walking out of season and picking sections that don't go to Santiago can also help.
p
Ahh! how waste weather in November on the Portuguese? Number of pilgrims? I enjoy walking alone but do enjoy company in the evenings....
 
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Pilgy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Francés April 06, C. Fisterre May 06, C. Frances Oct 17, C. Portuguese Oct 18, C. Inglese Nov 18
Ahh! how was the weather in November on the Portuguese? Number of pilgrims? I enjoy walking alone but do enjoy company in the evenings....
 

scowie

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012
Part of Camino Portugues 2013
Having walked the Camino Frances in 2012 and enjoyed every minute, both quiet isolated stages and busy lively parts. I met and walked with individual Spanish people who mostly do the Caminos in stages as they cannot afford nor get lengthy holidays to do full walks in one hit. I also walked with others who had lost jobs due to the economic downturn in Spain at that time and were taking time out whilst trying to find new work. I loved their upbeat nature and found their company and positive attitudes gave me some insight into my own life situation. I also met groups of schoolchildren with their teachers starting to get used to Caminos on day trips, I loved meeting and speaking with all these groups, in fact meeting others on my Camino was my highlight!
I walked from Porto to Santiago in 2014 the real positives for me were the fantastic hospitality of local people who offered rooms, some did our washing for us,no extra charge, another couple gave us port and home made cake, another got up extra early to open her cafe so she could see us off and make us coffee. Many Portuguese had little money or job prospects, the economy there was even harsher than Spain and hearing about their lifestyles and expectations was a humbling experience. I have since walked more local paths, SWCP and Hadrians Wall, as well as Macchu Piccu and the Colca Canyon. I'm planning a Camino later in the year and reading the above posts from last September think I will look at one of the more central ones, though yet to walk to Finisterre and want to add this section to whatever path I walk. I cannot wait to get back onto a Camino, the very thought is exciting me.
 

Gazelle2

New Member
Past OR future Camino
19th May 2014
I'll probably be criticised for my opinion but here I go: I am currently in Redondela but started in Lisbon and met some great people along the way. We had no problems with accommodation at all but as soon as we reached Porto it changed and from Tui it's chaos. Inconsiderate tour group members who seem to think it's their right to take over the kitchens at night, no consideration for people trying to get a decent sleep by yelling and talking loud when they eventually decide to come to bed. I've hardly had a proper night's sleep since Porto. I walked the Camino Frances in 2015 and it was noisy from Saria, but nothing like this. I was planning on walking the Camino Frances again next year but that's it foe me. The tourists are ruining the Camino

Having walked the Camino Frances in 2012 and enjoyed every minute, both quiet isolated stages and busy lively parts. I met and walked with individual Spanish people who mostly do the Caminos in stages as they cannot afford nor get lengthy holidays to do full walks in one hit. I also walked with others who had lost jobs due to the economic downturn in Spain at that time and were taking time out whilst trying to find new work. I loved their upbeat nature and found their company and positive attitudes gave me some insight into my own life situation. I also met groups of schoolchildren with their teachers starting to get used to Caminos on day trips, I loved meeting and speaking with all these groups, in fact meeting others on my Camino was my highlight!
I walked from Porto to Santiago in 2014 the real positives for me were the fantastic hospitality of local people who offered rooms, some did our washing for us,no extra charge, another couple gave us port and home made cake, another got up extra early to open her cafe so she could see us off and make us coffee. Many Portuguese had little money or job prospects, the economy there was even harsher than Spain and hearing about their lifestyles and expectations was a humbling experience. I have since walked more local paths, SWCP and Hadrians Wall, as well as Macchu Piccu and the Colca Canyon. I'm planning a Camino later in the year and reading the above posts from last September think I will look at one of the more central ones, though yet to walk to Finisterre and want to add this section to whatever path I walk. I cannot wait to get back onto a Camino, the very thought is exciting me.

Check out the Le Puy, a truly stunning walk full of history , wonderful medieval towns and city’s with wonderful views.
I have walked the Portuguese the Frances twice but the Le Puy is in a league of its own.
Just got back from walking Stevenson Way from Le Puy going south, the most beautiful walk I have ever done
 

Rossco

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portugues 2017, Camino Finisterre 2017, Le Puy Route (Sept. 2018)
Check out the Le Puy, a truly stunning walk full of history , wonderful medieval towns and city’s with wonderful views.
I have walked the Portuguese the Frances twice but the Le Puy is in a league of its own.
Just got back from walking Stevenson Way from Le Puy going south, the most beautiful walk I have ever done
That’s good news. I’m planning walking Le Puy to Pamplona in September 2019. I’m just a little worried about the availability f accommodation.
 
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Gazelle2

New Member
Past OR future Camino
19th May 2014
You will love it , I never had a problem with accommodation , admittedly I met up with three Frenchman after 3 days and walked with them for the rest of the walk to SJPP, they knew all the right places to stay.
I think I am going to walk it again next year
 

Rossco

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portugues 2017, Camino Finisterre 2017, Le Puy Route (Sept. 2018)
You will love it , I never had a problem with accommodation , admittedly I met up with three Frenchman after 3 days and walked with them for the rest of the walk to SJPP, they knew all the right places to stay.
I think I am going to walk it again next year
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I'm so glad you got yourself into a private room and got some rest.

Anyway, take care, and I hope you continue springing for those private rooms. Low season does make it easier.Let us know how things go.
Agreed. The last 100km is a whole different vibe. Private quarters for the last 3-5 nights? It's worth it.

After our first Sept. Camino in 2015 we almost decided not to try again. We hated it because of the crowds, 45minute wait to get a cup of coffee in small towns, waiting for bathrooms for half an hour, oppressive heat, stink, noise and bedbugs! We found little uplifting abt. our first Camino!! Realizing we cannot and have no right to try and not control others, we decided trying the Camino at another time!
We have done the CF starting at the end of February from Pamplona. It was cold,rainy, and snowy with high winds for most of the trip. However, I prefer the peace and quiet and quality of time with other pilgrims who value the sparse opportunity to meet with one another. From Sarria on we had reservations in private places. By then it was Easter week and hectic. We are starting again in 2018 in Oct. from Burgos to Santiago. We are hoping that the last section from Sarria on will be calm by the time we get there!

This is all to say...think about trying again at other time. You may be pleasantly surprised!
 
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