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Search 69,459 Camino Questions

What would you change about the CF - if you could?

davejsy

Walked the Camino Francés for SSD UK 2023
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2023 sept/Oct
Primitivo July 2024
Ok, so inspired by the "Has the Camino lost it's way" thread. What would people change to the current Camino (CF) to make it better in their own eyes/opinion whatever that may be (without breaking any forum rules obvs)? It could be stuff like removing or increasing the 100km etc.

As most of you probably know, I loved my recent CF, but there were a few things I'd like to see different.

I can start with this:

Where major roads/motorways/railways have been built through or close to the Camino, where feasible the Camino could be routed further from these. Where not feasible maybe more could be done to lessen the impact by planting trees or similar to lessen the noise effects? I understand some drudgery is part of the Camino such as the walks in to the cities etc and it has it's place and not what I'd change, but things like the above that are cut through the countryside could be made better I think.
 
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@davejsy I read some of your posts and it was delightful to see how much you enjoyed your first Camino. It was particularly welcome to see your joy and positivity in the context of recent threads. So, why even think about changing anything? One of my favourite things about 'the camino' - is that no-one is in charge, at least not we 'pilgrims/hikers/walkers'. There is no central improvement committee. For better or worse - I hope it remains so. For me, as long as I'm able to continue walking camino paths, I will adapt and make choices - rather than be concerned about making changes to the camino.
 
Not much, at least about the camino itself. The beautiful and ugly, the serene places and the parts near a motorway, the cities and vast empty spaces...all those things are part of a whole.

People are another story. I would love fewer entitled, rude, drunk, loud, rustling, talking-on-the-phone-at-night, alarm-clock-setting or otherwise annoying people. And they would likely love fewer killjoys like me. So I guess that doesn't go anywhere. 🤭
 
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The occasional extra trash can and/or public toilet could make it slightly easier for those... special folks... that can't be bothered to carry their trash and/or used TP to the next village to not throw it behind the nearest bush. Not that i think it would eliminate the problem completely, but in some places it might make things a little better.
 
@davejsy I read some of your posts and it was delightful to see how much you enjoyed your first Camino. It was particularly welcome to see your joy and positivity in the context of recent threads. So, why even think about changing anything? One of my favourite things about 'the camino' - is that no-one is in charge, at least not we 'pilgrims/hikers/walkers'. There is no central improvement committee. For better or worse - I hope it remains so. For me, as long as I'm able to continue walking camino paths, I will adapt and make choices - rather than be concerned about making changes to the camino.
Thank you ☺️ it was for me the most magical experience. And this thread is not to be taken that I did otherwise!
 
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I wish there were fewer locked, inaccessible churches. That may be because of fear of, or actual, vandalism. I was surprised how many churches were closed. I would have liked quiet time in many.
Lack of priests: They have to serve several churches, and can only keep open one at a time.
 
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When I walked Frances in '21 I frequently remarked "It's been a thousand years! Why haven't they built a tunnel through this mountain???"

I don't think I'd change anything. I may have grumbled about the number of hills, but I didn't actually mind them. Maybe add a small cafe in the middle of some of the longer stretches (I recall one 17km no service stretch), or at least a few benches and a port-a-loo.
 
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It was inevitable that someone would say - the number of pilgrims. @alexwalker just got in first. I can understand the appeal of that on the Frances, especially at the busy times. But, as has been written on the forum before, or at least words to this effect - 'you are not stuck in traffic; you are traffic'. 😉
I used that line a month or so ago on his too many pilgrims comment! lol Part of the joy of Camino is the number of people walking and suffering the same path we are. If they weren't there it would have been dull and there would be fewer services available.
 
Part of the joy of Camino is the number of people walking and suffering the same path we are. If they weren't there it would have been dull and there would be fewer services available.
Have to disagree. Yes - there would be fewer services. But "dull"? Not my experience. There are now 50 pilgrims on the Camino Frances for every one that I met on my first Camino. I could go for days without seeing another pilgrim. But it never once crossed my mind that it was "dull" and I couldn't even understand the question when a friend asked if I had been lonely.
 
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I used that line a month or so ago on his too many pilgrims comment! lol Part of the joy of Camino is the number of people walking and suffering the same path we are. If they weren't there it would have been dull and there would be fewer services available.
I knew I'd seen that saying somewhere recently. 🙏

Hhmmm as for crowds ... I'm not too comfortable with crowds in my usual life 😞 - so it's no surprise to me that these days I seek out quieter paths or quieter times of the year. But I see the onus on me to adapt, not the other way around. Also, I've never found the quieter paths dull and the lack of services can be a challenge, but nothing drastic. I've walked some paths (with my husband) where we could count the number of other pilgrims/hikers/walkers we saw on one hand - e.g. Mozarabe, Madrid, Piemont, Baztan. We didn't mind that, but it made for a real treat to come across others when we did. 😎
 
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I would hand out something in SJPP (and post in each albergue) saying

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TOILET PAPER ON THE TRAIL!!!
BE RESPONSIBLE and PICK UP AFTER YOUSELF!

And as Alex said, fewer pilgrims.

Otherwise, I wouldn't change anything.
Annie, how about handing out rolls of TP with your message printed on every shit sheet
 
Normally there is someone in the community with a key. If you want to go inside, normally they will arrange to let you in, however, it may not be exactly when you want.
I know, but most firstimers/non Spanish don't. And I can't recall seeing it posted on the doors.
 
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Oh, simple!!! I would move the remains of St James to Roncesvalles!! Then pilgrims could walk from Santiago to Roncesvalles and I could walk through France to Roncesvalles - I SO loved my Camino in France, completely different experience to walking the Camino in Spain.
Not a joke - I am quite serious on that one!

Or put half the remains in Roncesvalles? Making the Camino in Spain a dual carriageway? 😂

HHmm ... I guess the 100kms compostela dash would then be from Los Arcos as well as Sarria, halving the numbers
 
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I would hand out something in SJPP (and post in each albergue) saying

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TOILET PAPER ON THE TRAIL!!!
BE RESPONSIBLE and PICK UP AFTER YOUSELF!

And as Alex said, fewer pilgrims.

Otherwise, I wouldn't change anything.
those people would just chuck that away wouldn't they?
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Not much, at least about the camino itself. The beautiful and ugly, the serene places and the parts near a motorway, the cities and vast empty spaces...all those things are part of a whole.

People are another story. I would love fewer entitled, rude, drunk, loud, rustling, talking-on-the-phone-at-night, alarm-clock-setting or otherwise annoying people. And they would likely love fewer killjoys like me. So I guess that doesn't go anywhere. 🤭
But I guess you could argue that the people are also a part of the whole, and those you mention are just as recent as some of the motorways? This is the tricky part.

For me, in my first post, improving the Camino where they have decided to put a 3 lane motorway next to it is something that could be done to return the Camino to a bit more like it was before the motorway etc.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Oh, simple!!! I would move the remains of St James to Roncesvalles!! Then pilgrims could walk from Santiago to Roncesvalles and I could walk through France to Roncesvalles - I SO loved my Camino in France, completely different experience to walking the Camino in Spain.
Not a joke - I am quite serious on that one!

Or put half the remains in Roncesvalles? Making the Camino in Spain a dual carriageway? 😂

HHmm ... I guess the 100kms compostela dash would then be from Los Arcos as well as Sarria, halving the numbers
For David SO loved his Camino that he took the only Spanish Saint "that counts" and moved Him to France (Codex Davidium Modernus cMMXXIV)

Sorry couldn't resist 🤣🤣🤣
 
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For me, in my first post, improving the Camino where they have decided to put a 3 lane motorway next to it is something that could be done to return the Camino to a bit more like it was before the motorway etc
I can understand this wish. I’ve had those same thoughts. But, I now think of it another way. We are walking through areas / countries where people are living, working, commuting, going about their daily lives, maybe benefiting from improved infrastructure. As much as we may like these areas to stay as rural / natural as possible - as if time stood still - sometimes a modern road can make a huge difference to the lives and livelihoods of local people.

Last year walking on a familiar camino path in south west France we noticed some of the dirt paths had been ‘improved’ to bitumen since we were last there. 😞. Speaking to the local gite owners later, asking when the improvements were made, they commented what a positive difference it made that they and others now have better access to their properties and don’t need to be so concerned about roads being impassable or vehicles being bogged with each heavy rain. It changed my perspective.

The fact that the camino paths can continue to co-exist alongside these changes is one of the charms, to me. 🙏
 
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After dropping a perfunctory number of posts that make fun of other posts I would seriously state that (as many have said) there is no reason to change anything. The Camino is just fine by changing without us changing it. It has been doing as a part of natural progression for all these thousands of years. Any changes that are done, should be done as per the immediate area and benefiting the locals firstly and most importantly (such as building better roads as was also pointed out). I think we as Pilgrims would absolutely benefit from better signage but that comes a distant secondary.....
 
Normally there is someone in the community with a key. If you want to go inside, normally they will arrange to let you in, however, it may not be exactly when you want.
I was in a small village on the CF (the location escapes me). There was a small church near/next to the albergue. After my chores I set out to go inside. As I approached there was a man locking the door. In what little Spanish I knew, I asked if I could go inside for just a brief moment. He said no, the church is closed. As I walked away the man went and sat on a bench across from the church with his buddies for quiet a while. I was saddened and although I understand open and closed hours, I didn't understand the logic of him being right there sitting, holding the key to the church knowing someone wanted to take a peek inside. :-(

I vote for more open churches and fewer pilgrims, especially the ones VNwalking describes. :cool:👣🌻
 
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We have had the key to at least one church at the albergues where we have worked and gave a tour in the evening for anyone in town either staying with us (or at the Casa Rural) who wanted to see it. It was our job as hospitaleros to "clean the church" at least once while we were serving there. At other albergues, we have had information about church hours, Mass, and/or who has the key and their contact info. Again, it isn't always a time convenient to the pilgrim, but there is usually a way to see the inside. Yes, some churches have someone who sits inside the church during the visiting hours, especially during the summer pilgrim rush and others have a sello, too, and it is always polite to give a small donation.

Our church in Boise did not keep the door unlocked either so I guess I don't expect that churches in Spain will either. One little family chapel at Morgade was very badly defaced inside when we looked in a few years ago, It was cleaned up last summer and looked pretty sad again this winter when I went through. Most little towns are very proud of their churches, but it does seem rare that they are left unlocked and unattended.
 
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If I could change just one thing, it would be to see more Masses available on weekday evenings. And to attend Mass in a church where it's been held for close to a millennium? Just awesome. On those days on the Camino when I've had some time to be alone with my thoughts, made a great connection with others, had an unexpected break-through, or even have had a set back, for me personally there's nothing more helpful (there's a better word/words than just 'helpful', but they escape me - inspiring? beautiful?) than to attend Mass. Followed by a cold beer. And sometimes two.
 
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But I think it WOULD be nice if more churches were open.
I've noticed some will have a parishoner sit there with a stamp and keep an eye on things.
I walk up to nearly every church door, large or small, in both city and village that I pass by on my Caminos in every country. I have sometimes seen a local inside "manning the ship" at a small desk. I give a euro donation and they usually turn on the lights for me. That said, most churches in Spain are unfortunately locked.
In France on the Via Podiensis (on the Cele Variant) I recall my friends and I saw a lovely church on a small unpopulated hill and detoured off the trail on the backroad to take a look. As we neared the church a lady literally came running out of the only nearby house and showed us she had the key in her hand to unlock the door for us. It was the sweetest gesture and if she hadn't seen us walk by, our little detour would have been in vain.
 
An addition to my earlier post - yes you know the whole "churches are being closed" got under my skin when i walked as well. I felt very sad about it. Churches in themselves are "sanctuaries". For eons folks relied on them to be there in both physical and spiritual\mental way. I guess that is the only thing I'd like to see changed - please open them up (I dont need the explanations(s) why they are closed; know heard them and not like I disagree with the logic of it all... still don't makes it feeling good)
 
Wouldn’t change a thing. I walked on sacred ground, walked by millions of feet for well over a thousand years. I am but a humbled visitor to that historic path.
If you really want to walk just where people have walked for over a thousand years, you could start by ripping up many of the highways we walk near and put the Camino back where it used to be. ;-)

[The medieval roads, with the most efficient route between towns, often evolved into the modern highways. The Camino was re-routed to nearby quieter roads and paths.]
 
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Not really a full explanation. You might need a priest for sacramental services. You don't need one to unlock the place or to keep an eye on it.
I would love to see a phone number on every historic church which would lead either to a local person with a key (I expect a local grandmother) or someone who can reach that person. If you call, the church might be opened for you and shown off. Of course, a donation to the church upkeep would be reasonably expected in such circumstances and a sello might be provided.

I remember when the first pilgrim who checked into the parochial church in Bendueños was provided with the key to the church next door for use by the pilgrims. Just one of a number of reasons why that is one of my favourite albergues.
 
Oh, simple!!! I would move the remains of St James to Roncesvalles!! Then pilgrims could walk from Santiago to Roncesvalles and I could walk through France to Roncesvalles - I SO loved my Camino in France, completely different experience to walking the Camino in Spain.
Not a joke - I am quite serious on that one!

Or put half the remains in Roncesvalles? Making the Camino in Spain a dual carriageway? 😂

HHmm ... I guess the 100kms compostela dash would then be from Los Arcos as well as Sarria, halving the numbers
Maybe they can just rediscover the relics of Roland that they used to have in Roncesvalles. They did, after all, rediscover the relics of St. James in Santiago after they had been lost for a few hundred years after Galicia was threatened by Drake. It's not been that long since the Roland relics were reported seen in Roncesvalles, if my memory is correct.
 
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What about buildings and signs with paint, as Don Elias was wont to do?
Thanks, now I have even more history to dive into, learning something new every day, what a man he was!
What I'm a little skeptical about is whether I'll be able to find the green arrows on the Verde variant, where did that idea come from, they're almost impossible to spot, and I'll sort of walk there - alone :oops:
Or is it a faction that wants pilgrims to go with a paper map and compass?
 
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If you really want to walk just where people have walked for over a thousand years, you could start by ripping up many of the highways we walk near and put the Camino back where it used to be. ;-)

[The medieval roads, with the most efficient route between towns, often evolved into the modern highways. The Camino was re-routed to nearby quieter roads and paths.]
Thank you. I was going to say that but didn't want to be a "Debbie Downer." ;)
Those paths have changed a lot over the years, and still do!
 
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[The medieval roads, with the most efficient route between towns, often evolved into the modern highways. The Camino was re-routed to nearby quieter roads and paths.]
... and through SOME villages and around others, depending on what the locals wanted.
Sometimes it feels like "they" just want pilgrims to suffer, like that silly dive you take when walking into Lorca DOWN into the gully then back UP again! I just stay on the main road (which has literally no traffic).
 
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Wishing you plenty of alone time on your future Caminos!
 
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I knew I'd seen that saying somewhere recently. 🙏

Hhmmm as for crowds ... I'm not too comfortable with crowds in my usual life 😞 - so it's no surprise to me that these days I seek out quieter paths or quieter times of the year. But I see the onus on me to adapt, not the other way around. Also, I've never found the quieter paths dull and the lack of services can be a challenge, but nothing drastic. I've walked some paths (with my husband) where we could count the number of other pilgrims/hikers/walkers we saw on one hand - e.g. Mozarabe, Madrid, Piemont, Baztan. We didn't mind that, but it made for a real treat to come across others when we did. 😎
I walked Ingles at the end of October and it was very quiet. Aside from a school class that was walking Camino, my sister and I only saw 2-4 others each day. I didn't mind that the trail was empty and didn't expect to see many people at that time of year, but I did find that the one thing I missed was the endless "Buen Camino!" greetings. It made me a bit sad.

I want motion activated speakers attached to random trees and posts on the quieter routes so that people can enjoy the solitary time and still be wished a Buen Camino throughout the day lol.
 
Thank you. I was going to say that but didn't want to be a "Debbie Downer." ;)
Those paths have changed a lot over the years, and still do!
@David Tallan also. I understand and realize how much the route/roads have changed over the years to make way for convenience and modernization (I am at times naive but this isn’t one of them ☺️). But there must still be parts of the route that remain from the original way. My words were perhaps poorly chosen to express my feelings about embarking on a journey that has such a long history of pilgrimage. The experience was magical for me, hence why I would not change a thing.❤️
 
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Not really a full explanation. You might need a priest for sacramental services. You don't need one to unlock the place or to keep an eye on it.
Insurance agencies insist on it. In the 90s there was a string of thefts of paintings, retablos, statues, etc from Spanish churches-- warehouses were filled and sold to collectors who did not ask any questions. So the churches came to be locked--but the key is usually easily obtained from a local. As well, churches were locked in areas where local sentiments were... strong.
 
Thank you. I was going to say that but didn't want to be a "Debbie Downer." ;)
Those paths have changed a lot over the years, and still do!
Exactly, and more could be done to negate the impact they have on the rerouted Camino IMO. Some places the Camino is turned into gravel track with a metal fence between you and the motorway, a few trees or hedges would improve both the experience and the environment IMO.

I don't see this as changing the Camino, but just doing things in a more sympathetic way with regard to the history and environment.
 
Not really a full explanation. You might need a priest for sacramental services. You don't need one to unlock the place or to keep an eye on it.
Yes, here in Greece, while churches are often locked, there is usually someone in the village who has the key and will open it for you if you ask.
 
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Lack of priests: They have to serve several churches, and can only keep open one at a time.

It's amazing what people get into their heads. Priests rock up to the churches in their parish and say a 30 minute mass.

They'll also be there for confessions, funerals, weddings etc. but they don't spend most of their working day in the church and definitely aren't responsible for opening up and locking up. That's the job of the sacristan.
 
It's amazing what people get into their heads. Priests rock up to the churches in their parish and say a 30 minute mass.

They'll also be there for confessions, funerals, weddings etc. but they don't spend most of their working day in the church and definitely aren't responsible for opening up and locking up. That's the job of the sacristan.
It is indeed amazing what people get into their heads. But facts beat anything: This has been going on for many years: Complete work overload on the priests in Spain, back 15 years ago. And it must surely be much worse today:

"In Spain, Catholic Church sources confirmed that the country is experiencing a shortage of priests. Rural priests are in some cases responsible for up to a half dozen parishes at a time. In one case, a priest in Cantabria is responsible for 22 parishes. A study sponsored by the church showed that in 2007, at least 10,615 of the 23,286 parishes in Spain had no priest in permanent residence.[16]"

From:


IHere is an article from 2009.


A simple Google search confirms this.
 
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I visited an small American city (Annapolis, MD), last month where I lived for many years. I wanted to get into my old parish church, and it was locked. (Fortunately, I remembered that the door to the seminary receptionist's are was usually unlocked and I got in through the seminary, and so had a chance to pray and light a candle.)

Perhaps we who would like Spanish church buildings to be open could volunteer an hour or two a week to help out at our locked church buildings at home.

Let's bring the Camino home with us.
 
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Ok, so inspired by the "Has the Camino lost it's way" thread. What would people change to the current Camino (CF) to make it better in their own eyes/opinion whatever that may be (without breaking any forum rules obvs)? It could be stuff like removing or increasing the 100km etc.

As most of you probably know, I loved my recent CF, but there were a few things I'd like to see different.

I can start with this:

Where major roads/motorways/railways have been built through or close to the Camino, where feasible the Camino could be routed further from these. Where not feasible maybe more could be done to lessen the impact by planting trees or similar to lessen the noise effects? I understand some drudgery is part of the Camino such as the walks in to the cities etc and it has it's place and not what I'd change, but things like the above that are cut through the countryside could be made better I think.
I would establish a user fee of $20 per pilgrim to establish a way to cover the costs (especially in rural areas) for the clean up of the trash some pilgrims leave along the way. These small towns and villages shouldn't bear the brunt of pilgrim abuse, and it would create an income stream in these areas where employment is hard to come by. Plus, at $20/20 Euros, it wouldn't break a pilgrim.
 
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Not much, at least about the camino itself. The beautiful and ugly, the serene places and the parts near a motorway, the cities and vast empty spaces...all those things are part of a whole.

People are another story. I would love fewer entitled, rude, drunk, loud, rustling, talking-on-the-phone-at-night, alarm-clock-setting or otherwise annoying people. And they would likely love fewer killjoys like me. So I guess that doesn't go anywhere. 🤭
You can change that by not staying in albergues!🤣
 
I would establish a user fee of $20 per pilgrim to establish a way to cover the costs (especially in rural areas) for the clean up of the trash some pilgrims leave along the way.
An interesting proposal. Not immediately convinced it would be practical though. When and how would you collect the fee?
 
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I would establish a user fee of $20 per pilgrim to establish a way to cover the costs (especially in rural areas) for the clean up of the trash some pilgrims leave along the way. These small towns and villages shouldn't bear the brunt of pilgrim abuse, and it would create an income stream in these areas where employment is hard to come by. Plus, at $20/20 Euros, it wouldn't break a pilgrim.
This is a great idea, but I think it would be a nightmare to try and collect the money or enforce it. I guess one option would be that it's charged when you purchase your credential perhaps.
 
I would establish a user fee of $20 per pilgrim to establish a way to cover the costs (especially in rural areas) for the clean up of the trash some pilgrims leave along the way. These small towns and villages shouldn't bear the brunt of pilgrim abuse, and it would create an income stream in these areas where employment is hard to come by. Plus, at $20/20 Euros, it wouldn't break a pilgrim.

No thanks. It's not even a system that could work given the way Spanish regions and local government works.

I pay spanish goods and services tax. The municipality set the albergue cost and I'm sure regions and municipalities can charge an additional tax on rooms if they don't already.

I would be in favour of tearing up the credential of anyone caught littering or vandalising as well as publish their name on a website.
 
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Oh, simple!!! I would move the remains of St James to Roncesvalles!! Then pilgrims could walk from Santiago to Roncesvalles and I could walk through France to Roncesvalles - I SO loved my Camino in France, completely different experience to walking the Camino in Spain.
Not a joke - I am quite serious on that one!

Or put half the remains in Roncesvalles? Making the Camino in Spain a dual carriageway? 😂

HHmm ... I guess the 100kms compostela dash would then be from Los Arcos as well as Sarria, halving the numbers
Being polite I should just call that a quirky suggestion with no possibility of realisation.
 
I would be in favour of tearing up the credential of anyone caught littering or vandalising as well as publish their name on a website.
This would work if they had any shame. But they probably don't. And tearing up a credential would likely get you a fist in your face. Better to make peace with the inevitable fact that we share the world with idiots, and nothing can fix that.

You can change that by not staying in albergues
You can, maybe. But not everyone is so well off. I am refraining myself from further expressing what I feel, as it breaks the Rule 3.
(And I was being facetious, in case you missed the emoji...)
 
This would work if they had any shame. But they probably don't. And tearing up a credential would likely get you a fist in your face.
I can recall hearing stories of that happening on my first and second Caminos. That a hospitalero who found a pilgrim's behaviour unacceptable tore up their credencial. But it may simply have been a rural myth told to keep us delinquents in order.
 
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Every one of us who contributes to this forum that helps and encourages newbie pilgrims are part of the "problem." 😉
Yes.
I have stopped to advertise for "La Voie de Vézelay" just to avoid having a dramatic increase in the numbers.
Those who search will find, in any case...
Buen Camino,
Jacques-D.
PS: I am not so overconfident in the result of my silence...
 
I would love a few albergues designated as “silent” in the sleeping rooms. I get snoring, etc can’t be regulated lol, but loud talking late at night or early morning can. I imagine these rooms as contemplative snd catering to those who are seeking a spiritual journey.

And I wish those on tours, especially those being shuffled by buses, could be accommodated in places other than pilgrim only albergues.
 
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Ok, so inspired by the "Has the Camino lost it's way" thread. What would people change to the current Camino (CF) to make it better in their own eyes/opinion whatever that may be (without breaking any forum rules obvs)? It could be stuff like removing or increasing the 100km etc.

As most of you probably know, I loved my recent CF, but there were a few things I'd like to see different.

I can start with this:

Where major roads/motorways/railways have been built through or close to the Camino, where feasible the Camino could be routed further from these. Where not feasible maybe more could be done to lessen the impact by planting trees or similar to lessen the noise effects? I understand some drudgery is part of the Camino such as the walks in to the cities etc and it has it's place and not what I'd change, but things like the above that are cut through the countryside could be made better I think.
An interesting concept; however, there are too many things regarding myself that I need to focus on and change rather than the Camino. In addition, be wary of changes because very few people of aware of the real consequences of change--the intended consequences of change are often quite different from the realistic consequences of change. This even applies to changes to oneself. Furthermore, in a sense the Camino itself is a living, breathing, organic entity that is forever changing whether it is to one's liking or not. Just my individual perspective, nothing more, nothing less.
 
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And I wish those on tours, especially those being shuffled by buses, could be accommodated in places other than pilgrim only albergues.
I'd never realised this was a thing (naive one-time pilgrim here), Albergues are surely only meant for those doing the Camino under their own steam (perhaps exclusions available for those astride donkeys/horses :)?

I think there is some rule in some places that those on bike's are only accepted after a later check-in time compared to those on foot? It's a shame something similar couldn't be done for those you highlight, although you would hope any tour operator would ensure the Albergues weren't abused in this way (although I guess many Albergues need the extra money of these people perhaps).
 
It was inevitable that someone would say - the number of pilgrims…as has been written on the forum before, or at least words to this effect - 'you are not stuck in traffic; you are traffic'. 😉
The phrase appears to be a variant of the cycling lobby’s standard defence: we are not holding up traffic; we are traffic!’
 
I'd never realised this was a thing (naive one-time pilgrim here), Albergues are surely only meant for those doing the Camino under their own steam (perhaps exclusions available for those astride donkeys/horses :)?

I think there is some rule in some places that those on bike's are only accepted after a later check-in time compared to those on foot? It's a shame something similar couldn't be done for those you highlight, although you would hope any tour operator would ensure the Albergues weren't abused in this way (although I guess many Albergues need the extra money of these people perhaps).
In Pamplona, I saw a group of women driven right up to the city albergue, unload their monster suitcases and enter for accommodation. It's a cheap bed. And they get a stamp. I saw the same thing in a smaller village later on my walk. this time they were being picked up to be moved to the next accommodation. Unfortunately, there is really no way to regulate this unless the tour operators decide it's unfair.

Another issue -- related, but at the other end of the spectrum: During peak, a few albergues will only take those who have traveled a minimum distance on foot. That's a problem if you are walking, but incapable of going long distances. I only encountered that once when I had a foot injury and could only travel at a snail's pace for 10 km. They let me in eventually once they saw they weren't full, but it was a tense few hours. I do think albergues should accommodate the elderly and infirm and allow short legs. And certainly not turn them away in favor of those moving via van. After all, it's a spiritual journey and those not capable of walking more than 10 km in a day are just as validly walking.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
In Pamplona, I saw a group of women driven right up to the city albergue, unload their monster suitcases and enter for accommodation. It's a cheap bed. And they get a stamp. I saw the same thing in a smaller village later on my walk. this time they were being picked up to be moved to the next accommodation. Unfortunately, there is really no way to regulate this unless the tour operators decide it's unfair.

Another issue -- related, but at the other end of the spectrum: During peak, a few albergues will only take those who have traveled a minimum distance on foot. That's a problem if you are walking, but incapable of going long distances. I only encountered that once when I had a foot injury and could only travel at a snail's pace for 10 km. They let me in eventually once they saw they weren't full, but it was a tense few hours. I do think albergues should accommodate the elderly and infirm and allow short legs. And certainly not turn them away in favor of those moving via van. After all, it's a spiritual journey and those not capable of walking more than 10 km in a day are just as validly walking.
Not all albergues have strict rules, but the ones I have worked in specify that you need to be walking and carrying your own pack. Pilgrims on bicycles may be admitted later in the day in some cases. At one albergue we were even advised that if pilgrims came from a certain direction that they were disembarking the bus and they should be very heavily quizzed about whether they had been walking, why they were on the bus, etc.

Phil had a case in Estella where a couple of pilgrims came to the albergue to see if there would be room for their friends/group and said they were traveling with their priest. He was not full and didn't think about it too much and said he would most likely have room. They arrived and checked in. It was only after the fact that he realized they could not have walked as far as their credentials stated and they were traveling on a tour bus. They were not very considerate pilgrims and were eating all the food that other pilgrims had purchased and put in the refrigerator and labeled. The next morning he had difficulty getting them to leave on time possibly because their bus was not leaving until a bit later. There were obviously some differences in the etiquette and behavior. It takes a few days of staying in albergues to adapt (and some never do).
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Not all albergues have strict rules, but the ones I have worked in specify that you need to be walking and carrying your own pack. Pilgrims on bicycles may be admitted later in the day in some cases. At one albergue we were even advised that if pilgrims came from a certain direction that they were disembarking the bus and they should be very heavily quizzed about whether they had been walking, why they were on the bus, etc.

Phil had a case in Estella where a couple of pilgrims came to the albergue to see if there would be room for their friends/group and said they were traveling with their priest. He was not full and didn't think about it too much and said he would most likely have room. They arrived and checked in. It was only after the fact that he realized they could not have walked as far as their credentials stated and they were traveling on a tour bus. They were not very considerate pilgrims and were eating all the food that other pilgrims had purchased and put in the refrigerator and labeled. The next morning he had difficulty getting them to leave on time possibly because their bus was not leaving until a bit later. There were obviously some differences in the etiquette and behavior. It takes a few days of staying in albergues to adapt (and some never do).
Another example of the joyful axiom of everyone “walking their own camino”.
 
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Not to hijack, and to be fair, I am certain that not all pilgrims who utilize a tour of some kind or stay in a hotel always realize there there may be rules at albergues. I have had other pilgrims staying in hotels who wandered in to "do laundry" or share a meal not realizing that laundry facilities were for guests only or that we were not a restaurant/bar. Still others on tours have stopped in and asked to see the inside of an albergue because they were staying in hotels and wanted to see what an albergue is like. We've had pilgrims on this forum surprised when some hotels (and albergues) will accept only backpacks and not suitcases. There is a lot that new pilgrims don't know which is why we are here to try to patiently dispel some of the mysteries and misconceptions. I try to remember that when I respond.
 
I think it's more an example of the fact you can come across inconsiderate / selfish / dishonest / choose your own adjective ... people everywhere, even on a Camino path. But hopefully they are by far the exception. 🙏
Thankfully, I am happy to say that they (the bad apples) have always been the exception for me on my Caminos.🙂
 
We've had pilgrims on this forum surprised when some hotels (and albergues) will accept only backpacks and not suitcases
I know that is the case but I am still puzzled by the logic behind it. What difference does it make? If you are not carrying either then there is no real difference in practice between a rucksack and a suitcase. They are both luggage. Why is one more acceptable than another?
 
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I know that is the case but I am still puzzled by the logic behind it. What difference does it make? If you are not carrying either then there is no real difference in practice between a rucksack and a suitcase. They are both luggage. Why is one more acceptable than another?
I agree. Why would one bring two backpacks on the Camino if they only plan to carry one?
 

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