When visiting any country across the globe there are always simple local traditions and customs that should be followed, call it ‘etiquette’ or simply respecting fellow travellers and those around you!
Following ‘etiquette’ not only allows you to ‘blend in’ with the surroundings, it’s people and culture, but will make your trip a more enjoyable one and give you a greater understanding of the country and those around you! A visit to the Camino is no exception, here UWalk.ie has put together some top tips to help you follow the ‘etiquette’ as you travel the Camino:
Learn some of the Lingo:
Don’t expect locals, especially in small towns & villages to understand English, so learn some basic Spanish/French or Galician before you go… or better still, bring a phrase book!
Click here >> to learn some Galician phrases.
As you walk you say “Buen Camino” to everyone you see. “Buen Camino” literally means good road in Spanish, but it can also mean good path, path being both physical and spiritual. It is the greeting shared by pilgrims, hikers, and bicyclers on the Camino and also with local people who wish you well.
Eh, well no actually DON’T feel you have to keep up the pace of other walkers, remember everyone on this journey has a different age and fitness level, so take it at your own speed!
Stamp Your Passport:
And no, we don’t just mean at the airport! Remember to get your pilgrim passport stamped along the way or else you could miss out on that all important Camino Certificate at the end of your travels!
Be Culinary Curious:
Be adventurous, try the tapas, the local wines, cafes and local produce… don’t expect a cheese toastie at every stop!
Remember during the Summer months a number of towns and villages have their own small festivals, so join in with a smile and meet and greet the locals!
Those Boots were made for walking:
Always take your boots off before entering your bedroom, particularly if you’re sharing! Your boots are likely to be dusty and muddy so leave them in the designated areas upon entering the ‘albergue’ or leave them outside under shelter.
Day & Night:
Remember, dawn and dusk arrive much earlier than Ireland, so check this before you set off walking every day so you can ensure you are walking in daylight hours!
Watch out for your fellow pilgrims, particularly the elderly or those with small children. They may need a helping hand with a bag or a ‘pep talk’ to keep motivated… a little kindness goes a long way!