Biking Camino de Santiago Journeying Spain

The Dilemma of Saying Hello

Waving on a tandem
Written by Stuart Wickes

To Greet or Not to Greet

Stuart Profile SmallThe closer you get to Santiago the more pilgrims there are on the road. To qualify for a Compostela walkers must walk at least 100km, cyclists ride 200km. And as we enter Galicia on the last leg, mid-morning pilgrim density has now reached over 50 per km on the road, particularly in the vicinity of bars and albergues, which makes the problem of whether or not to say ‘Hola’ quite acute.

Warning Pilgrims - dilemma of saying hello

You have been warned. There will be more Pilgrims

The dilemma of saying hello

For the first km we try to say hello to everyone. After that you get more selective. Locals always get acknowledged, as do pilgrims going the wrong way, but everyone else has to be assessed. If they make eye contact first your options are limited; say hi or appear rude. If they don’t see you coming you have to decide whether to initiate contact.

Camino de Santiago

As you get closer to Santiago the pigrim density increases

Never on a hill

Our rules of thumb are: never on a hill (because you’ll end up saying hi at least 5 more times), no-one with a camera poised (we’ll blog about that later), and try not to encourage conversation with anyone with two clacking metal trekking poles or a bandana. It’s either that or take a vow of silence. Hmmmmm.

Chatting with pilgrims near Astorga

Chatting with pilgrims near Astorga

About the author

Stuart Wickes

Stuart's the adventure addict half of the team, always trying to persuade the family to get out, do more, go further. As co-founder and co-director he handles the business, creative, design, technical and publishing aspects of the project. He is our chief photographer and videographer. With training as a professional learning and development consultant. an engineer and musician, his contribution is eclectic and unpredictable!

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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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