mfioretti: camino de santiago*

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  1. Only about 1% of El Camino is a narrow (1-meter wide) dirt trail; 99% is a road (either a dirt road, 2-track road, paved road with little traffic, or a busy highway).
    About half the time you're on a paved road or on a dirt path right next to a paved road. Some of the paved roads have little traffic, but others are quite busy.
    Because you're on a paved road so often, by the end of the day your feet may feel like they've been put through a meat tenderizer. Although I've hiked over 65 km in one day in steep mountains, I found it harder to do 65 km in one day on the flat Camino. My feet just ached too much from all paved roads.
    About 95% of the time, car traffic is within earshot. El Camino often gives you the illusion that cars aren't near because you sometimes can't see the nearby paved road which may have infrequent traffic. However, it takes just one car to remind you that there is indeed a road nearby.
    Amenities distract from any spiritual mission you may have. With endless bars, restaurants, hotels, vending machines, tour groups, you're hardly removed from the "real world." This defeats much of the purpose of living primitively in a search for a deeper meaning or understanding of life. On the other hand, it's nice to have easy access to ice cream.
    The scenery is monotonous. It's endless pastoral farmland everywhere you look. Far in the horizon, you might glimpse some real mountains. The most photogenic places are the towns and villages; since you can drive (or bike) to all of them, there's no practical need to walk between them.
    It's a skin cancer magnet. Infrequent trees means that a brutal sun is hammering you most of the day. In the summer, it's hard to tolerate.
    Unfriendly commercialism. El Camino has become a big business, where the locals are sometimes unfriendly and seem to just care about getting your money.
    It's a cacophony of sounds. Rumbling 18-wheel trucks, ear-splitting motorcycles, angry barking dogs, blaring music from cafes, honking horns, and ringing cell phones. El Camino assaults your eardrums. At least, there were no jack-hammers. Oh, wait. I walked by one of those too.
    It's hard to take a piss. There's little privacy. Cars and pilgrims are constantly passing you by. After 3 p.m. most pilgrims retire to their albergues (huts) and you'll get more privacy to do your business. Nevertheless, at 7 p.m. one jogger still managed to catch me with my pants down.
    http://francistapon.com/Travels/Spain...-Reasons-Why-El-Camino-Santiago-Sucks
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