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Camino Ingles - return of the marker stones (moines)

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gollygolly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
We have just completed our walk from Salisbury to Winchester and then to Canterbury, which was then followed by walking the Camino Ingles from La Coruña. I intend to write up about this when time allows, but thought that I would share the very welcome news that the marker stones (moines) are being returned to this stretch of the camino. I recall that when they were removed last year there was a great deal of uncertainty as to why they were removed and what was going to become of them.

When this past week we came across the workers returning them to way-mark the route, they explained that they had been removed for 'restoring'. I am not sure how these granite marker stones would require 'restoring', though they had been cleaned up and in my own looking at them I believe that the arrow indicating the direction has been carved into the granite and then painted yellow. The text 'Galicia' was, I recall, already there.

As we passed the ceramic tile with the yellow 'concha' was being added to the newly placed stones, and is always placed with the focus point on the left of the stone. It does not indicate the direction to Santiago ~ which is a pity IMHO. I rather like the idea that the focus point is Santiago itself and the nine lines leading from it show the different caminos leading to Santiago.

Attached are a couple of images, one showing the lorry carrying the stones, the other showing my daughter with the person responsible for placing the ceramic tiles within the recess.

Anyway, hurrah that these marker stones are being returned to indicate the route, even if the placement is slightly haphazard.
 

Attachments

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
It does not indicate the direction to Santiago
I think you will find that in Galicia, the Camino direction is always indicated by the fan of the shell. I kept track on all five routes into Santiago (from Fisterra was backwards, so the fan pointed toward Fisterra), and every shell was oriented that way! Every shell.
 

gollygolly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
I think you will find that in Galicia, the Camino direction is always indicated by the fan of the shell. I kept track on all five routes into Santiago (from Fisterra was backwards, so the fan pointed toward Fisterra), and every shell was oriented that way! Every shell.
Outside of Galicia I have found that the focus point from where the lines lead from almost always indicate the direction to head towards, as if the 9 lines/routes are all heading towards Santiago. When we spoke to the man who was charges with placing the tiles, he said that he was always placing the tile with the focus point on the left. So whether the camino is going to straight on, to the right or to the left is not indicated other then the arrow that is below - see the example attached.

What is important, at least to me, is that these historic marker stones are being returned - even if the placement is sometimes not the best from the walkers vantage point !
 

Attachments

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I was appalled on my recent Camino Frances that the new markers (or refurbished ones as the case may be) had many of the shells and brass kilometer markers popped off of them, showing the glue that held them in place. Who would deface these lovely markers?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
I think you will find that in Galicia, the Camino direction is always indicated by the fan of the shell. I kept track on all five routes into Santiago (from Fisterra was backwards, so the fan pointed toward Fisterra), and every shell was oriented that way! Every shell.
The exception I have seen to this is on the stretch from Muxia to Finisterre, where the shell is aligned vertically, perhaps indicating that this path is walked in both directions.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
The scallop is believed to be a pre-Christian fertility symbol and representation of the sun which guided people to Finisterre, and the hinge represented the setting sun, so pointed people towards the west. On the Inglés I noticed that the hinge points away from Santiago, while on the Norte it's the other way around - when the Norte joins the Francés, are there a few bewildered coastal pilgrims heading towards the Pyrenees until they realise the change?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
We found on the Norte it changed direction from province to province - so on the border of each. I can't remember which way it went, but within each province (Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia) it seemed to be consistent.
 

gollygolly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
We found on the Norte it changed direction from province to province - so on the border of each. I can't remember which way it went, but within each province (Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia) it seemed to be consistent.
The scallop is believed to be a pre-Christian fertility symbol and representation of the sun which guided people to Finisterre, and the hinge represented the setting sun, so pointed people towards the west. On the Inglés I noticed that the hinge points away from Santiago, while on the Norte it's the other way around - when the Norte joins the Francés, are there a few bewildered coastal pilgrims heading towards the Pyrenees until they realise the change?
Many years ago, when I had the still tender age of 14 and made my first major walk, which was walking the Pilgrims Way from Winchester to Canterbury and I was not yet even aware of the Camino de Santiago, I recall being given a talk at Canterbury Cathedral about the role of pilgrimage. That talk included reference to the scallop shell as being a symbol of the pilgrim and pilgrimage, and about the outer section of the scallop shell reflecting the visible / external pilgrimage of life - including the visible part of walking - while the inner part of the shell reflected the non-visible / internal pilgrimage. It is now 45 years since I heard those words at Canterbury, and they still have an impact for me.
 

gollygolly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
We found on the Norte it changed direction from province to province - so on the border of each. I can't remember which way it went, but within each province (Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia) it seemed to be consistent.
My limited understanding is that much of the local marking, especially the painting of the yellow arrows, is the input of the local 'asociación'; sometimes the way-marking can be sparse and sometimes almost in excess. It is also my experience that there can be quite a diverse style, and not just the well known way-marker moines that are currently being re-instated. There are some stunningly elaborate way-markers, though the images which are attached are all from outside Galicia - anyone up for trying to recall where these are !
 

Attachments

gollygolly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Hi, @gollygolly ,
Is the expression moines just a Galician word for mojones (Castillian) or ...?
Because they looked quite the same to me.

Thanks.
I fear that it may have invented the word, and that all along I should have probably have written mojones .

Thanks for the correction and my sincere apologies.....
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Hi, @gollygolly ,
Is the expression moines just a Galician word for mojones (Castillian) or ...?
Because they looked quite the same to me.

Thanks.
In Spanish (Castillian) the word can be mojón or hito (same meaning).
In Galician the word can be marco or fito.
Marco is also the word in Galicia for the stones that mark properties.
First commandment for neighbours in rural Galicia:
Non Movas os Marcos!:mad:
Don´t Move the Marks!
 

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