1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Most Annoying Pilgrim Stories

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by BROWNCOUNTYBOB, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    600
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    First let me declare that my wife, brother, his wife and I had a wonderful camino experience. No major injuries, great places to stay, wonderful Spanish tapas, pinchos, pilgrim's meals, canas, and wine every day, lots of interesting pilgrims we met every day. And of course 34 straight days of blue skies and sunshine contribute to a positive attitude and experience.

    That said, during our camino, we encountered people and situations that were quite annoying. I won't call out specific locations or individuals, but offer these points for hopefully others to learn from (and avoid) for your own camino:
    • We stayed at an albergue municipal that had a wonderful outside patio that even included a foot soaking pool. The pilgrim capacity for this albergue is around 60. There was patio furniture that included only two or three tables and only nine chairs! Our group of four occupied a vacant table that only had three chairs. The table nearby only had two individuals and two unoccupied chairs. I asked the pilgrim if I could use one of the chairs. He said he was "holding" these for someone else. The chairs had been unoccupied for at least 10 minutes before I asked. Finally one person approached that had been hanging her laundry to dry. The big picture for me is that the albergue should supply a larger number of chairs for their guests. Secondly, I was annoyed that another pilgrim chose to "save" two vacant chairs rather than give one up for another pilgrim.
    • We stayed in a private albergue that had a shared bathroom for two upstairs rooms. One room had two bunks, the other room had 4 bunks. So the single bathroom was shared between 12 people. There was a separate shower, toilet and sink. The shower was running and I waited almost 10 minutes and the shower continued. I politely knocked on the door to let the pilgrim know that others were waiting to use the shower. The water flow continued on an on. I waited at least another 5 minutes, then tapped again asking when he/she would be finished. Another several minutes passed and the pilgrim finally emerged. Of course when I went in to take my shower, the hot water had been used up! So that meant a cold shower for me and several pilgrims that followed me. Hopefully most pilgrims are mindful that they are using a shared resource that is available for themselves and others.
    • At this same albergue, a pilgrim from the other room woke up early and used the toilet and sink around 5:15 am. When he finished, he slid the door open, causing light to shine on our room with two bunkbeds. He walked away with the light on, not even shutting the bathroom door! Then with even greater rudeness, he walked into his room with four bunkbeds and turned on the overhead light with 7 pilgrims sleeping in the room at 5:30. Unbelievable. I turned the light off to allow them to sleep. No issue for anyone that wants to get up early, but please consider others may want to sleep "late" until 6 am or later.
    • I don't recall where I learned about getting rubber tips for trekking poles. Someone noted that these hold up well on the camino and also prevent the loud click, click, click that metal tips make on concrete or rock. The majority of pilgrims did use the rubber tips. However, we encountered several that did not. We found it distracting and annoying to hear the constant noise behind us or as someone passed. In some places the camino trail was quite flat, making the use of trekking poles unnecessary. Making matters worse, there is an overhead walkway for pilgrims over the train tracks as you approach Astorga. The overhead pass is made of metal. The same person that was clicking away with metal tips on concrete, proceeded to walk up and down the metal structure clicking his tips on the metal the entire overpass walkway.
    • Without naming the municipal albergues, we stayed in two that are well known and accommodate a large number of pilgrims. In both cases, I was stunned about the amount of loud noise created by pilgrims very early in the morning (before 6 am). Loud talking, banging, doors closing, lights on, etc when clearly many pilgrims were still asleep. It was ironic to me that pilgrim behavior in the larger albergues was much less considerate than what we experienced in smaller, private albergues.
    • Most mornings we began our walk at 7 am which was at least one hour before daylight. My wife and I had head torches which allowed us to safely see the path and see the waymarkings. At least twice we encountered another pilgrim that was walking in the dark without any head torch or flashlight. I think that would be extremely dangerous. In one case as we were leaving the town, a pilgrim waited in the dark where the trail started outside town. He saw that we had head torches, so started following very closely. Initially we did not mind, but the climb out of town continued up a rugged trail and did not level off until almost daylight. The other pilgrim was following my wife so closely, he almost tripped her on two occasions. When we finally decided to take a water break after we reached the peak of our climb, he simply walked on without saying a word. We thought he could have at least thanked us for illuminating the path for him or saying "buen camino".
    I'm sure if someone watched my behavior throughout our camino, I would be guilty of a few annoying behaviors. In each of the above cases, simply reflecting on how our behavior might impact other pilgrims should result in a more positive camino experience for others. Bob
     
  2. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Messages:
    971
    Likes Received:
    1,071
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Cumbria UK
    Home Page:
    Nice Report Bob

    Yes – It take All Sorts – This is fact is also reflected in this forum where there is also the odd annoying person ;-)



    But – Like you round off your own report, he probably thinks I am guilty of the same sins :)



    Oh Hum

    Rob
     
  3. The fattest Arse

    The fattest Arse New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Well little sympathy with the issues within the dormitories. Your choice and what do you expect. Loads of sympathy with you when you were being stalked by the pilgrim using your light - that would have annoyed me far more than it seemed to annoy you! Anyway - thanks - food for thought.
     
    anniem and Martin (Ozzy) Osborne like this.
  4. Martin (Ozzy) Osborne

    Martin (Ozzy) Osborne Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    13
    I would for sure have said something to the person in the shower to get him or her moving. Having spent over 20 years in the US Navy and 13 years 2 months and 16 days actually underway at sea steaming we know how to conserve water. The guy following me on the trail that didn't have a headlamp I would have stopped him at the end and engaged him with words such as, hope we were able to help you in the dark or something and suggest to him to get a headlamp and how somebody could have ruined their Camino. The Alburges should be named so they can rectify those small things that wpuld help theor patrons and ratings. Just some things that i will try to do when we do our Camino. The guy following you was probably the guy turning on all the lights lol.
     
    anniem likes this.
  5. Bryan Morlock

    Bryan Morlock Pilgrim Bryan

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Bob,

    I will definitely second your comments about inconsiderate pilgrims getting up very early, making lots of noise, turning lights on, etc. We also experienced pilgrims that got up early and were so quiet we had no idea that they had left.

    One word of caution about trekking poles, though. Some people, including me, need to use poles full time due to one medical condition or another.. I have tremor issues with my head, hands, vocal cords, and legs. The hiking poles helped my stability tremendously. However, I also do not like the constant click, click, click of poles on concrete, asphalt, etc. so whenever there was more than just a short span of that I would either carry my poles or put on the rubber boots. They finally did wear to the point where just the tip came through and clicked a bit. You have to get the good quality tips, as chair leg tips will wear through in about three days or less. I don't think some people knew that. And YES, I remember the railroad crossing. I was upset at having to walk an extra several hundred feet just to do a 20 foot railroad crossing!

    My sister did mention some manner issues to a few pilgrims who turned on lights, slammed doors, etc. in the middle of the night and most adjusted their behavior.
     
  6. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    600
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Thanks, Bryan. I can't imagine walking the camino without our trekking poles. With regards to the rubber tips, we bought two sets at the Caminoteca store in Pamplona (right down the street from the Cathedral). We used them the entire way. One set lasted our entire first camino and most of the second camino. We had the extra set with us and replaced them. A few tips were hard to remove since they had been on for so long, so we used water to clean them up and then remove them. Bob
     
    UnkleHammy likes this.
  7. suegp3

    suegp3 New Member

    Joined:
    Today
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wow - sounds like you spent a lot of time focusing on things that annoyed you. I was too tired to care most of the time. And even when I noticed, I decided that it was the most challenging lesson of all - I can't change what others do, I can only change how I react. And I chose to react with tolerance and calm as much as I could. And I keep working on that long after the Camino. Just a thought.
    And I have to use poles all the time because of physical limitations - and when the tips wore off I clicked - and others commented how it was great to hear me coming because it meant I had made it another day, and that my clicking was a very particular rhythm. It was my signature - to those who showed me such encouragement and love on El Camino. Guess it just depends on how you look at it.
    Buen Camino - with tolerance and patience - in any other walks you may undertake and in life in general.
     
Loading...

Share This Page