Ten Reasons To Stay Away From The Camino De Santiago

The Camino de Santiago, or The Way of St. James, is the most popular and beloved long distance trail in the world. I have walked this ancient path, and enjoyed my experience. Before my “Camino”, I did all the research, purchased three different guidebooks, read some journals, and watched the films depicting a journey on the path from Pyrenees on the French border, to Santiago de Compestella. According to legend, this is where the remains of the apostle St. James are interned. Virtually every account I read of The Camino, aside from a scathing review by long distance legend, Francis Tapon, were glowing. Most “pilgrims” seemed to have an meaningful experience, and fell in love with the people of northern Spain. I had a tremendous time as well, but there were some drawbacks to my pilgrimage. There were things I wish I had known before I arrived in Spain. Here are ten reasons to reconsider a thruhike on the Camino de Santiago. In particular, the most popular route, the Camino Frances.

1. It’s Overcrowded

I knew the Camino de Santiago was popular. Thirty years ago the Cathedral in Santiago welcomed roughly the same amount of thruhikers as the sign on Mt. Katahdin, at the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. A slew of books, documentaries and one popular Hollywood film have helped change that. Present day, over 250,000 pilgrims are expected to reach Santiago each year. The Camino’s path can easily handle the traffic, as it is usually a double track trail or a country road. If one chooses to walk the Camino in the busy season (June 15-September 15), expect to rise early and hike as fast as possible to your destination, to ensure a bed in a preferred alburgue (hostel). I saw many hikers turned away in towns, and forced to hike an additional ten to twenty kilometers at the end of the day in search of a bed. This creates a great deal of stress for the pilgrims, but ample opportunity to socialize with fellow walkers. If hiking during the busy season, try booking alburgues in advance. A good international cell phone plan is a must.

2. It’s Expensive

A typical Appalachian Trail thruhiker expects to spend between $1 and $3 per mile. On the Camino de Santiago, pilgrims spend between $5 and $10 per mile. A flight to mainland Europe will likely cost well over $1,000 round trip and then any additional bus, taxi and/or train travel getting to and from the Camino is expected to cost at least $200. Accommodations will cost between $6 and $25 euro  per person each evening, depending on your need for certain amenities. The walk each day will bring the pilgrims past plenty of places to eat. Expect to spend roughly $6 euro for breakfast, $10 euro for lunch/ snacks and $12 euro for dinner and a drink. The pilgrims meal is available in popular alburgues and cafes and typically cost $10 euro. Typically, you will want your money back! The best bargain on the Camino is the baggage transport. See someone in the Pilgrims Office in France or a tourist office in Pamplona and arrange to have your backpack shuttled each day to their destination for roughly $75 euro for the entire trip! Sign me up for that one. The Camino runs directly into several villages a day, so purchases of gifts to commemorate your trip will be ever present.

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3. The Food is Terrible

In my minds eye, I envisioned traditional Spanish meals in villages, with delicious and authentic versions of paella, stuffed peppers, and delicious tapas! Unless you want to pay triple the cost, in the bigger towns, what you will get is very poor diner versions of these dishes. Canned vegetables and lots of ham (jamon) rule on the Camino. Food represents the worst value on the journey, and I often wished I had brought my backcountry stove and cooked my own meals from local grocers. One frustrating aspect of the Camino is walking past endless farms and pastures, yet very infrequently seeing that food on your plate at night. The economy on the Camino is decades behind the American system, and thus the distribution chain is very rudimentary. Fresh bread (half a euro) and wine ($2 euro a bottle) are tasty and a bargain. Near the end of your walk, Galician broth will be available and it’s a tasty cousin of our own kale soup, made primarily of a tall collard green type vegetable called berza. The seafood is not as good as advertised, perhaps because the ocean temperatures there are simply not cold enough. Octopus is popular, and if someone tells you it’s kind of like lobster, don’t believe them.

4. Where are the Trees?

Deforestation isn’t only a Spanish problem, it’s a European issue. Once the Camino leaves Pamplona, in the east, trees become pretty sparse until you enter the final province of Galicia. Only 4% of Spain is covered in what’s known as “primary forests”. Primary forests are those in which there are native species covering an area with little or no human activity. Reforestation efforts are underway, and have been for some time. Previous attempts to repopulate trees have been fraught with ineptitude and corruption.

5. No Wildlife

A land without trees isn’t going to have much in the way of wildlife. Deer are plentiful in the US, but are rarely seen throughout Western Europe. Trees and forests are a important food source for deer as it is for bears. Spain is one of the few places in Western Europe with a bear population, but you won’t see one. The Cantabrian Brown Bear, is barely hanging on, with a population of about 80 in all of Spain. The Pyrenean Brown Bear has a population of as many as 70, but they need forests and animals that live in the forest to continue to survive. The penalty for killing a bear in Spain is astronomical, so that’s good news.

6. Snorers

Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a pilgrim like the sight of a overweight, middle aged male checking into an alburgue. Earplugs, headphones and heavy doses of state sponsored medication couldn’t defend sleepers against these nighttime pests. Alburgues tend to sleep between 12 and 200 pilgrims each night and I saw pilgrims carrying their mattresses into hallways, kitchens and even outdoors to escape power snorers. The problem got so bad, I began to seek out alternative accommodation. I found that for a little more money, I could rent an apartment with a kitchen or stay with a family, where we received good tasting, healthy meals that I envisioned when I began to plan the trip!

7. Siesta

For an outsider, siesta sounds like a cute cultural tradition, different from our pressurized American lives. In reality, it’s hindering economic growth and it’s bad for the Spanish worker. Typically, a pilgrims’ day begins around 7am and the walking finishes between 1pm and 3pm. Just when the pilgrim finishes their walk, they may need to visit a pharmacy, an outfitter, or a bank. No can do! Those businesses close each day for four to five hours for siesta. This deprives the pilgrims of some supplies, and also costs these businesses an opportunity to extract crucial tourist money, at a time when they are most free to spend it. Siesta is bad for the Spanish worker because it lengthens the day and makes their meal times awkward. There is a constant struggle between tradition and viability in the economy of Western Europe.

8. Service

I have never been more convinced that our American tradition of tipping is the best than when I backpacked across Europe. Do not construe this criticism of service in Spain as to mean they are not gracious and accommodating. Service is a learned ability. When to take an order, picking up cues from the customer, when to leave a check, refill water. Pressure on the waitress or waiter to preform, in turn leads to better performance from everyone in the restaurant especially the kitchen staff. A customer on the Camino has to be aggressive in placing an order in a busy restaurant and in receiving the bill. It took us a couple of weeks to figure out that we needed to push the issue. Each time, they kindly provided it, but there was not the concern you might get here in the States. I always left a tip, regardless, and while the service staff in Spain are not expected tips, the government does. Spain has 21% VAT.

9. Not The Endurance Test It Could Be

The great thing about finishing a thruhike in the United States is that if you complete one of the three triple crown trails, you have exhausted much of your strength and emotional resources to finish the journey. The Camino is easy. It’s mostly flat and the path is smooth and wide. The much ballyhooed climb over the Pyrenees on the first day is akin to climbing Blood Mountain in Georgia on the Appalachian Trail. It’s paved at least half the time on that climb. I exhausted more energy hiking the hilly 90 km Camino Finisterre, that extends from the Cathedral in Santiago to the Atlantic Ocean, than I did in all the 850 km of The Way of St. James.

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10. Bacon

Didn’t I already touch on the topic of food? Yes, but bacon is so important it deserves its own place on this list. Breakfast is often complimentary at hotels or B & B’s and bacon is featured along with its fellow atrocity, blood sausage. European bacon evidently means a piece of dry ham with a sliver of fat beside it. It’s about half as good as the pathetic crap they call bacon in Canada. It’s not good, but don’t protest too loudly, as Spaniards are proud of their jamon. Jamon and other cured pork products typically make up about 90% of a meat section in a larger grocery store. We met one woman, who considers herself a vegetarian, but eats jamon without pause, as if its its own category.

Despite these reasons to NOT walk the Camino de Santiago, I still encourage others to do so, with these things under advisement. I would hike it in an alternative season, or perhaps try the Camino del Norte, which is a bit more rigorous and less crowded. I’d definitely shuttle my bags ahead the whole way, and look for slightly more expensive accommodations, but with more privacy and a kitchen. I might consider taking a stove and a tent. I’d definitely take crackers with me. Snacks like Cheez Its, Goldfish, Triscuits or Ritz will not be available to you, (we went on many wild hunts for Goldfish that went nowhere.)
I’d focus on the hundreds of ancient churches, the majestic cathedrals, the beautiful people and the lovely cobblestone streets. I’d be honored to once again follow a path that millions of pilgrims have walked and occasionally died on before me.

Read the counter to this article: 10 Reasons TO Hike El Camino De Santiago

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Comments 39

  • Terry Gandy : Feb 18th

    Oh, wow, great article!! Yes, I dreamed of walking the Camino after watching The Way (I imagined that writer’s block-ridden author as being an Irish Bill Bryson, lol!). I think, for all of the reasons you cited, I’ll consider another European Trail such as Scotland’s West Highland Way – please don’t tell me that’s crap, too.

    Reply
    • Perry : Feb 21st

      Apart from being a fifth of the distance, in summer the WHW can be just as busy. Personally, i prefer the west highland high route that runs somewhat parallel to it but goes over the munros. Although that does require navigation unlike the WHW which is so well way marked you don’t even need a guide book really.

      Reply
  • GAME 13 : Feb 18th

    Except all these could be applied to the AT, or even the PCT after Wild’s book. The AT, especially in GA is stupid over crowded (hello, 40+ tents at Neels Gap ). As a European living in the US, most of these complaints sound like the typical visitor expecting a US centric European vacation. Oh and for what it’s worth, the bacon outside the US is far, far, FAR superior t to to the crispy fat they serve in the US.

    Reply
    • Digger : Feb 19th

      @Game13

      These are observations I thought about as well, to each his own on the bacon. It’s all a matter of perspective! I think the crowds on the AT are like walking on the moon compared to the Camino. I love the AT. I had a blast on the Camino. But the AT has roughly 5000 thruhikers spread out over 2000 miles. The Camino has a quarter of a million spread out over 500 miles. I got to a hostel with a few hundred others one afternoon. Made me wish for the 40 tents at neel gap! The AT is hard, so those crowds really dissipate after Damascus. I didn’t expect a US vacation, thanks for the input! I have hiked all over Europe as I will hopefully recount later and I found my experience much different than the Camino. (Except the wildlife issue!) thanks!

      Reply
  • Thea Hanood : Feb 20th

    Hola. Grasshopper here (AT 2014). Are you our favorite Digger from the AT??? Loved this article. Runaway and I fly to Barcelona on June 12 to start our Camino journey. So great that we three are still out there hiking – no matter where it is!!! We are looking forward to this new adventure. Great to hear about your trip to Santiago. Hugs to you from two fellow adventurers!!!

    Reply
  • Digger : Feb 20th

    Grasshopper!!

    Have fun! We loved you two . Booking.com will have nice apartments to rent in Santiago for cheap! You are such an inspiration. Please send me pics, I think u have my cell, feel free to text me any specific questions
    Digger

    Reply
  • Just Paul : Feb 20th

    Digger looking good in the picture man. Great to see your still hiking. Where is the next adventure?
    Really enjoyed your story and am glad to hear that you still enjoyed your trip and like on the AT you always make the best out of a bad situation! Enjoyed our all to short time together on the AT. Keep the stories and pictures coming.
    Just Paul & Tortoise

    Reply
    • Ricardo : Jun 21st

      Great to see ‘you are’ still hiking’, not ‘ your’.

      Reply
  • Thea Hanood : Feb 20th

    Hola once again. Grasshopper here. I don’t have your cell and tried your email but it didn’t work. Would love to stay connected. (Thanks for Booking..com tip). How can we get each other’s #s??? Zac Davis could give you my email. What time of year did u go?

    Reply
  • Digger : Feb 20th

    Grasshopper [email protected] is my email and I’ll send u my cell.

    Just Paul & Tortoleany – love you both. I’m on PCT this season. I’ll be checking in here every couple weeks I hope.

    Reply
    • Just Paul : Feb 21st

      Digger
      Can’t wait to hear about your time spent on the PCT. Good luck to you!!

      Reply
  • Steady : Feb 21st

    If crowds don’t please you and you still want to hike in Spain, consider the GR 7 instead. You’ll see almost no one. Although you will walk on some roads, there are significant trail sections, and much of the rest is on very minor dirt roads. You’ll walk on everything from beaches to 2000m passes. Choose your own food each day, camp discreetly or choose from very affordable lodging most of the way.

    Some Spanish knowledge would be useful, but if you know how to ask for a room and order a basic meal you should be all set.

    Reply
  • Jen H : Feb 22nd

    For some, the Camino is a sacred pilgrimage and not just miles. With an open heart and a willingness to be inconvenienced, this path can change your life. Buen camino.

    Reply
  • Donna : Feb 24th

    Do the Via de la Plata camino route. The Sanabres. The Camino de Santiago is more than just the Camino Frances. As beautiful as the countryside is, as rich as the history is…the Camino is the people. And it is a life changing event no matter what your religious perspective is.

    Reply
    • Cat of Sunshine and Siestas : Mar 13th

      Agree completely. Because I am a teacher, I was forced to walk in my summer months and decided to tackle the Camino del Norte (from Irun to Santiago) because of the heat, the crowds and the fact that I am fluent in Spanish and familiar with Spanish customs. I believe that the Camino is more accessible than the PCT or the AT, and this is part of its popularity. I found the food to be cheap (I live in a city in Spain, so a full meal and bottle of wine for 8 euros is a dream), the siesta to be a few hours (four or five isn’t common place anywhere in Spain, despite the heat) and people to be friendly. I am sincerely sorry you felt that it wasn’t of your caliber, which is why I do hope you do the Norte.

      It wasn’t life-changing for me, but it was a goal of mine to walk it and to be open to the experience. I wouldn’t suggest that people not do it, but understand that Spain is siimply different.

      Reply
  • Martha : Feb 27th

    I love the fact that people can linger over their meals in Spanish restaurants, and are not presented with a bill before they even finish eating, as so often occurs here in the US. In Spain, when you ask for your bill, it is presented to you, but not a moment sooner. This is much a more polite and hospitable approach to diners. Also, pilgrims are able to walk the Camino whenever and however they choose. This includes doing a budget walk, staying in albergues and cooking your own meals; staying only in luxury hotels and eating at fine restaurants; or any combination in between. I have done different Camino routes a total of five times, and volunteered in several pilgrim albergues, and will return to Spain again this year for more.

    Reply
    • Ricardo : Jun 21st

      I have lived in four countries. I suspect the writer has only lived in one, large homogeneous one where only genetically-modified bacon is available – bacon so tasteless, only large portions of ketchup (sugar) make it palatable. In Spain, as in most of continental Europe, ketchup is frowned upon and the waiter feels it’s rude to rush people away from their table. It is the opposite of the N. American way of moving people along as fast as you can in order to open up a new table to make more money. Most European customers appreciate this – you only have to make it known if you want to be rushed away otherwise and you will get your bill. Fast food places are where you can eat and run if you must. One trick I have when I know I’m in a rush is handing them the money when the food arrives, then I go as soon as I like. As for siesta, it may be a little-bit bad for the economy, but it is extremely good for quality of life, I guess they value life and family more than money. What a waste of time!!!

      Reply
  • Annie Carvalho : Mar 1st

    I absolutely disagree with you on every point. I walk the Camino every year. 1) It’s only overcrowded between June-August. The rest of the time, it’s not. Also, there are many other routes to walk in Spain, many other Caminos like the Via de la Plata, Camino Madrid, Norte Route, most of which have few or no pilgrims walking. 2) Expensive? Where else can you walk for $20 a day, including food and lodging? It’s cheaper than staying home! 3) I LOVE the food on the Camino. If you stick to Menu del Peregrino, you’ll get bored. But if you eat what the locals eat, Menu del Dia, you’ll find it less expensive, more food, and luscious! 4) I walked through several forest – where were you? 5) I’ve seen birds, snakes, mountain goats, wild horses, deer, and more 6) Yes. In the albergues the snorers will drive you mad. That’s why I book PRIVATE lodging! 7) Siesta is a brilliant tradition! Find a shady tree and sleep from 2 pm (when the heat falls like a curtain) until 4 pm. Then continue in the cool of the day. 8) I absolutely disagree here. The service in Spain is excellent; friendly and quick. You do not need to tip in Spain, nor are you expected to. The tip is included in the price of the food. 9) Hmmm… not sure what you were expecting. It’s a Christian Pilgrimage, not a mountain hike. 10) Spain has some of the best pork in the world, wild ranging, fed on acorns. The whole article seems to be from a person who has unrealistic expectations. If you want things the same as home, stay home? If you want to experience another culture, be open minded. I love the Camino and I take pilgrims every year on this trip because of my love for it. But to each his/her own. I’m glad you at least tried it! Buen Camino!

    Reply
    • pedro vazquez : Mar 3rd

      well said…el peregrino agradece el turista exigue….buen camino

      Reply
      • Pong : Mar 4th

        Exactly my thinking

        Reply
    • Digger : Mar 3rd

      Annie, loved your passion. I agree with a lot of what you wrote, Ten issues one may have with the walk, does not discount the 100 good qualities the Camino may have. It’s not a zero sum game for me, stay tuned there is a Camino blog coming that reflects the positive a little more to your liking. Buen Camino!

      Reply
    • Renee : Mar 4th

      Annie, can I join one of your tours? I like your attitude about traveling in other countries and being open to difference.

      Reply
  • Wayne Emde : Mar 4th

    If you want a challenging, uncrowded path, fly to Japan and walk the Hachi Ju Hachi, a 1200 km Buddhist pilgrimage path that essentially circumnavigates the island of Shikoku. Most Japanese take bus tours, and only a thousand or so pilgrims walk to the 88 temples that make up the route. Most of the route is alongside highways, but the path frequently winds its way into the mountains. We camped three out of four days and then found inns, or business hotels to shower, do laundry, etc. Pilgrims, especially foreigners, are treated with great respect and almost every day we were treated to small gifts – bags of oranges, drinks, matches, crocheted coverings for our staffs, cash and even a couple of hard boiled eggs one day. A journey that changed my life and led me to the Camino, to the Offa’s Dyke path in Wales, Hadrian’s Wall and the West Highland Way. What’s important is that everyone walks their own path, even in the company of others.

    Reply
  • Ana : Mar 4th

    I am from Spain and I have also lived in the States for several years, so I can compare. I am really sorry about your poor and unpleasant experience but, please don’t let people know it is really bad. In all places it happens the same: if you want quality pay for it. Spain is wonderful and I am really sad about your distorted opinion.

    Reply
    • Charlene : Mar 9th

      Ana we love Spain and the hospitality it has shown us while on pilgrimage. Blisters exhausted feet..and some places even wash your feet and bandage them so you can walk the next day. My 3rd camino in Spain begins in 1 month and I’m sure I’ll do many more. Love Spain and the international community of kind people.

      Reply
  • Ana : Mar 4th

    I forgot to mention that:

    1. After reading this article, this blog has lost all the credibility for me.
    2. You cant eat in Galicia the best shellfish in the world, but you need to know the right places.
    3. In order to suffer less when you travel abroad I also recommend you to try to adapt yourself to the local culture. Not everybody does the same as you do. Of course.

    Reply
    • Charlene : Mar 9th

      Adapting to cultures worldwide creates diversity, insight and patience in us. The coffee in Spain is the best in the world..as is the fresh squeezed Valencia orange juice. The food was amazing and the people in Spain were so helpful. The international community on the camino’s are bar none absolutely the most interesting people I’ve ever met. The terrain is extremely challenging and it sure is nice to sleep in a bed with clean water..to each it’s own if you don’t mind bathing in streams. I prefer being around people who take showers every day..But there’s chocolate for some and blueberries for others.

      Reply
  • Digger : Mar 5th

    Ana
    Why would my opinion make you sad? These are reasons to stay away from the Camino some were aggravating to me some weren’t as much, as i wrote, I enjoyed my Camino. I think you need a Camino! I don’t want to suffer less, rather I want to suffer more and one true criticism of the Camino is its focus is on the commercial (feeding the trail into the villages every few miles, even if they are off the path a bit, and less on the spiritual. Even the most ardent supporters of the Camino Frances would admit that, which is why I wrote I’d love to go back to the Camino Del Norte.
    Enjoy your next Camino ❤️

    Reply
    • Jester : Jul 10th

      Wait. You want to suffer more for a perceived spiritual benefit but you want to shuttle your pack ahead via a commercial service?

      Reply
  • Butterfly girl south africa : Mar 5th

    I walked 240km of the Camino Portugues in may 2015 and it was absolutely fantastic!! Walked from Porto to Santiago. Chose this route to escape the masses. You then also walk through Padron where StJames’s body was received onto land. I will encourage all to do it. Please follow with an article on 10 reasons to do the camino. That would also be easy to write!! Buen Camino!!!!

    Reply
    • Charlene : Mar 9th

      I agree. I walked 500 miles on the Camino Frances and 1000 miles on the Via Podensis and it was more than one can imagine..

      Reply
  • SiestaMan : Mar 9th

    You´re not very right in some things.

    It´s true that it´s commercial, which means that you must spend more money than anyone wishes, it´s true that in some establishments you won´t have great food (but tapas and paella are not everywhere, so that´s a topic which you built a wrong picture over) four or five hours for siesta??!! sorry but that´s a big lie. There can be someone who does so, but it´s not like that, I´m sure. Snores…you´re sharing rooms with other people, are you sure you don´t snore?? cause that´s something that others may know about you, and you wouldn´t (unless you´re able to listen to yourself while sleeping) and maybe it´s not as hard as the Appalachian trail, but if you just wish to do the Camino, and the first days bad luck comes as a blister, be sure that it will be a tough endurance test (would you keep walking with some blisters and tendonitis??)
    finally, you say that maybe someday you´ll try the Northern Camino…well, say thanks to this info: North coast of Spain, I mean just after Basque Country, it´s all full of small houses and touristic villages by the coast, there are a few shops, not albergues in every town, so even if it´s not as crowded as the French Camino, be sure that you´ll may spend some more money, as you´ll have to sleep in cheap hotels and eat in restaurants if you don´t find shops where you can buy your own food and cook it at the albergues. Only Basque Country and nearby areas of Asturias are really nice.
    But please, don´t say siesta is 4/5 hours, and don´t make people think that paella and tapas are everywhere. Variety is much wider in Spain…

    Reply
  • Charlene : Mar 9th

    Whoever wrote this article is OTL. The camino frances is awesome and civilized. .you sleep inside. The PT and AT are fine I’m sure but one attracts international travelers and one is more localized to American’s. I’ve met thousands of pilgrims who do the camino’s in Europe (which incidentally they are pilgrimages as a whole) , and I’ve never met anyone who regretted it..even the atheists. One is more about enjoying a international community and one is more rustic.

    Reply
  • Monique : Mar 11th

    Very disrespectfull towards the Spanish culture. You clearly have no idea of what a pilgrimage really is and the Camino can not be compared to i.e. the PCT. It’s not about hiking, but personal development, contemplation and the experience of taking part in a ritual that exists for over a 1000 years. It’s not suposed to be a walk in the park. Spain is a wonderfull country, with an ancient culture and hospitable people. It also suffered tremendously under the economical crisis so you can’t hold it against people who try to benefit of the Camino, they are just triying to survive. Don’t we all?

    Reply
  • Margarita Ruiz : Jul 11th

    Wow, this Person has written down a lot of things I know are not true. They are all opinion, not facts.
    Siesta for 4-5 hours? And absolutely everyone is sleeping from 1-6p? Hahahahaa that’s so funny if he thinks people can believe that.
    2. Snorers are everywhere, maybe in your own bed. You can actually be one of them!
    3. Terrible food? Seriously?
    4. I wish you had had a better personal experience in El Camino. It’s a spiritual way to reconnect with yourself and nature. If you were expecting a field trip to a National Park, there are great ones in your country, with lots of bears.

    Good luck

    Reply
  • Bob : Jul 28th

    I agree with half a point here or there but a lot of this article seems very ill informed. In most of Europe it considered very rude and poor service to be brought a restaurant bill without first asking for it.
    The seafood in Galicia (and actually most of Spain) is amazing! Not sure how you missed it. Did anyone really describe octopus as being like lobster? No, I didn’t think so…
    That’s, right, the Camino is not the Appalachian Trail – not many forests, not much wildlife. Not the ‘endurance test it could be’? It’s a ancient pilgrimage. You seemed to have missed the point a little here. Reading this article was a endurance test!

    A little word of advice- constantly mentioning how things in the good old US of A are better whilst criticising another country and its traditions just makes you seem really arrogant, fairly rude, and a little stupid (I’m sure you are not, but that’s the impression this article gives). When you travel abroad thing are going to be different ie. the service in the USA irritates me- you can’t enjoy a meal without the waitress asking if everything is okay every 3 minutes but, of course, I accept that it isn’t my country and some things are done differently. Embrace it.

    Does anyone actually start the Camino de Santiago beleiving it’s going to be like the Appalachian Trail? And do they also expect the same food, the same services and costs? Surely not.

    Anyway, I suspect this article was written in an attempt to drive more traffic to your website. Poor show.

    Reply
  • Marco Di Marzio : Sep 15th

    I disagree with you on most of the ‘points’ you have made. I think you are American centric and quite arrogant and it’s sad that you are so certain & opinionated . I guess it is a symptom of the times . I did the Camino last year and found it a profoundly moving experience.it is a 1000 yr old Catholic , Christian pilgrimage -& not some random hike that one ticks off a ‘to do ‘ list . You miss the whole point of it .

    Reply
  • Ardeu : Oct 25th

    Wow, didn’t expect Spanish people to be so lazy and spend 4-5 hours in the afternoon, not going on on their business. Just wow.
    Regarding animals, how about small to medium critters (cats, dogs, sheep)? It’s usually plenty of those in the southern parts of Europe.

    Reply
  • Phil : Apr 4th

    Hi all, the article was like reading a self mocking spoof! Like an excerpt from”American Dad” or the “Simpsons” Hilarious! Tipping! Lazy foreigners – sleeping all afternoon! No wonder they not well off like us.! Ha ha. There wasn’t even a Wendy’s Burger Bar, an American Diner – specialising in Tapas and Paella! The waitresses were lazy, slow and didn’t say have a nice day and not mean it! They were real and authentic and I was put off my food by their shear lack of insincerity! I think this Pilgrims Trail should be renamed the John Wayne Trail. Sanitised, scattered with several well known branded Motels catering for the ” target” market perhaps with various speciality Religious themes with guest sponsored Church personalities. It could then be rolled out globally. Frankly it just wasn’t in keeping with todays consumers fast paced lifestyle or their sense of heightened expectation. It wont last!! Ob how long has it been inspiring people 1000 years. Pah! a flash in the pan!

    Reply

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