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By Alejandro González Flores | 29/01/2021
Much is said in forums and social networks about pilgrims, tourists, tourists, bicigrines and other fauna, and whether some nephews on the way, others love it and others violate it thus adulterating the Jacobean spirit that is killing the road for some or already dead for others.
Who knows me about my journey first as a pilgrim since 1999 and then as a hospital since 2007 and over all these years I have to say that everything is true about it. The arrival of the massification and the increase of the Jacobean infrastructure increasingly attracts all kinds of Iberian and not so Iberian fauna from the four cardinal points and of course, the more diverse the people their behaviors are and the reason why they come to the road.
There is also a lot of talk about how the road was a few years ago, without such mass crowding, without so many hostels, without so many pilgrims or tourists, and that we should return to those 80s or 90s where there were only pilgrims in summer or so and be able to enjoy the road in all its glory.
I sincerely believe not. And I say this because my first contact with the road was as a tourist, and the road completely changed my life. And so I think that the road is more open to the novice, to the tourist, or to the ruthless who has fallen into the unknowing how, to the veteran of many roads and who often looks at these others over the shoulder like a mixture of grief and bad milk thinking "what do these paint here? "...
The magical thing that the road has is the transformation, the reconversion of that tourist, of that character who does not know what he has come to, of that kid who came to spend a few days party with friends with little money, in Peregrinos. And I can assure you that transformation exists and is wonderful. And without that kind of people on the road, it's impossible for there to be.
I personally lived many of them in Bodenaya and they are by far the best memories I have of my time as a hospitable in that magical place.
Then it is logical to think that the road is not dead, that it is more alive than ever. That the spirit of the road is present in all of us, in some that have already emerged and in others to flourish. That we have the most wonderful learning place in the world at our feet and that we have to enjoy it and make those who still don't know that they can enjoy it too.
Of course there are reprehensible behaviors that must be denounced and that are not worthy of what we call the "being a good Pilgrim". But let me raise my hand who has never sinned on the way or off.
That is why it would be nice to have some empathy for that tourist, I the first, for that novice or adventurer, that we have all been, and instead of censoring him and inviting him to go home saying that he does not paint anything in the way, help him and have some Jacobean pedagogy with him and thus make him more bearable the great transformation.
It's not that it's a matter of applying "everything is worth and everyone does the way as they want," no, it's not that. I believe that we must educate the future Pilgrim who does not yet know that he is, or that he will soon be, to make this great transformation easier for him.And it is not only the work of the hospital on duty this pedagogical task, but also of the veteran pilgrim who loves the road that coexists with him.
It is also said that the road of Santiago is like the road of life, if this is so, and I am convinced of it, there will never be a lack of that great variety of paisanaje that we find in our daily life. Not only in the Peregrina class but also in the hospitality. And so the learning and career of that tourist towards transformation will be even more enriching.
The nostalgia of other times in which the pilgrimage was romanticism and adventure cannot blind us so much as not to see that we live in the twenty-first century and that this invasion of Galicia that Don Elías Valiña dreamed of, that great visionary, and why so much struggle became a reality.
On the road there is no one left, let us all fit. The more and more varied the better.
We see ourselves on the way.