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Drought in Galicia: Portomarin ruins emerging

ouroboros

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012) (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
This is Portomarin in Spain, through which we walked on the Camino de Santiago over that scary bridge in the distance...notice its two levels. Portomarin was flooded during Franco's era and rebuilt further above water level, hence the bizarre bridge. Camino pilgrims on the Frances route are in for an interesting journey this spring. We'll be walking through Galicia in a few weeks on the Camino Portugese.

http://elpais.com/elpais/2017/01/24/album/1485245003_741088.html?id_externo_rsoc=FB_CC
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
Wonderful pictures! When the water level is low it is possible to cross over the old bridge, I was lucky enough to cross this way in 2015.

Davey
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
I've seen the ruins exposed in the past, but not to that extent.
If one is interested in speaking to someone who lived in those ruins, go to Albergue Ultreia.
The lady who runs it lived in the village as a girl, and she has wonderful photos on the walls.
They took apart the church and carried it up to the current village.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I have never liked the modern Portomarin, finding it somehow depressing. But the old one looks like it must have once been quite beautiful. Thanks for sharing the link, @ouroboros .
 

Fritz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SDC - Fisterra - Muxia - SDC September - November (2013)
San Sebastian - Bilbao - October 2016
Logroño - Santiago (with short section Zabaldika - Pamplona) October - November 2016
It was very low in mid November and dry enough to walk around on both sides of the river -- and the sun set / sun rise can give some beautiful views. On the town side of the new bridge are stairs leading down to the low ground and you can easily walk across the old bridge -- I also stayed at and recommend Albergue Ultrea both in '13 and last year. Both the Alburgue and the private rooms are very nice.

A quick snapshot from the far side:
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
It is an eerie and fascinating sight. Water levels in many of the reservoirs in Galicia are very low this year. It is worrying to see such a level at this time of year. What will it be like in summer unless spring is unusually wet? I saw the shortage for myself last month on the Camino Sanabres. A couple of days of torrential rain in a dramatic storm did almost nothing to top up the supplies.
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
This is interesting as with all the environmental laws today and the desire to preserve all heritage sites, a project like the flooding of this valley would never be approved today.

They would study it for a hundred years, but it would not get approved even it there were economic benefits.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
It is an eerie and fascinating sight. Water levels in many of the reservoirs in Galicia are very low this year. It is worrying to see such a level at this time of year. What will it be like in summer unless spring is unusually wet? I saw the shortage for myself last month on the Camino Sanabres. A couple of days of torrential rain in a dramatic storm did almost nothing to top up the supplies.
The reservoir capacity in Galicia on February 1 was 43%, very low. Now it is 63%, so the situation is improving.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
This is interesting as with all the environmental laws today and the desire to preserve all heritage sites, a project like the flooding of this valley would never be approved today.

They would study it for a hundred years, but it would not get approved even it there were economic benefits.
Unfortunately, I think you may be wrong.
Unless things have changed, on the Aragones route, the court approved the YESA dam which will put some family's dwellings under water for a second time.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
I have walked past Portomarin both on high and low water watching the old town when possible. It is of special interest to me since we about 50 years ago had the same coincident in the small pueblo Masi in Finnmark, Norway. The government wanted to put this small community under water but the there was a strong fight against it so it ended up with a less damaging solution, though not wanted, better then putting a whole community under water.
Enjoyed the pictures! Walking the high bridge is what I dislike most on the camino.
 

ouroboros

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012) (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Thanks for your most interesting responses, all!

@ranthr, I too really disliked walking over that higher bridge.
@Viranani, yes, I felt the same way about Portomarin.
 
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