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Will these things ruin the Camino?


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Did anyone read this in the Times on Saturday?

I was horrified to read this at the end:

"Walks Worldwide (01524 242000, offers a variety of ways to experience the Camino de Santiago; self-guided packages with different length itineraries, pre-booked accommodation, baggage transfers and comprehensive route notes. A seven-day trip costs from £895. Alternatively, a guided trip, which includes use of a support vehicle if you want a day off, costs from £1,520. Both include flights, transfers and some meals"

When on my first Camino, I saw day trips stopping off at certain points along the way, yeah, I guess that's fine, but I did encounter a young man who relayed the story of a day-tripper who asked if he could borrow the young fella's sack for a photo op, to look like a "real pilgrim"...

I can only see these things chipping away at the Camino... :(
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It bothers me a bit too, however let's remember the Camino belongs to EVERYONE and is there for every human being to enjoy. As long as people show mutual respect and empathy it is ok.

What REALLY bothers me is pilgrims or tourists littering the Camino with plastic bottles, food, cigarette buts and all kinds of garbage. This is really destroying the Camino and for years to come. :cry:
what's the problem? What exactly are they 'ruining'? They're stopping in hotels, so not getting in anyone's way. Wouldn't recommend prebooking myself as it's too inflexible, but many people prefer that sort of thing.

I was amused by the following on their website: "Melide, where the 'French Way' merges with other 'Ways' from the North, and you will note an increase in the flow of pilgrims." Ah yes, the hordes on the coastal routes overwhelming the small numbers on the Camino Frances. :)
I guess it shouldn't bother me, but for me the Camino is about the effort, the companionship etc... What worries me is that there may be some lee-way introduced by the runners of the refugios... That might seem unlikely to you, but there was a coachload in Puente La Reine when I was there.

Anyway, was just ranting as when I read it, it seemed to be turning the Camino into a tourism trap and although I appreciate that these things grow, I don't want it to be overwhelmed by it's own popularity... Does that make sense? I know it might come across as being terribly selfish of me, but I really think it'd be better for everyone doing it to try and keep it within some reasonable parameters, just so that the experience isn't marred for others.

Anyway! Now I've got that out of my system, life can return to normal! As you were! :)

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