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Geira in the news

peregrina2000

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I saw that there were 180 pilgrims who received compostelas on completion of the Geira this past October. I was one of them! If you’re following @alansykes’ current thread, you can see that this is a perfect fall camino. 240 kms, Braga to Santiago, and if you add on the Torres from Salamanca to Braga, you would have about 650 km.

This article describes a petition that is being circulated to urge the authorities to essentially pay more attention to promoting the Geira, not for the purpose of attracting throngs, but to give it the recognition they feel it deserves.


I particularly agree with one quote in the article, a Gallego writer who says that “the most important thing about this caminho is that it doesn’t distract. It obliges the pilgrim to engage in introspection, and gives time to think about life and lean into the questions about your own life.” (I’ve left the original here because I am not completely sure about my translation).

Para o escritor e filósofo galego, “o mais importante” deste caminho é que “não distrai o peregrino e obriga-o a uma introspeção, dando-lhe tempo para fazer uma retrospetiva da sua vida e debruçar-se sobre a sua existência”.
 
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A piece in today's Faro de Vigo about a group of 18 Brazilians who stayed in Codeseda last night. The article is not exagerrating when it says nearly 1000 have done the Geira this year - when I walked through Codeseda this morning, I was told I was pilgrim 946 of 2022.

 
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A piece in today's Faro de Vigo about a group of 18 Brazilians who stayed in Codeseda last night. The article is not exagerrating when it says nearly 1000 have done the Geira this year - when I walked through Codeseda this morning, I was told I was pilgrim 946 of 2022.

I've walked this route 5 times this year, but I STILL have to do the stretch from Braga to Cortegeda (that's planned for next spring, together with people like Fran Liste, who has the two marvellous casas rurales in Codeseda).

Mari Carmen in Codeseda has promised a free meal for the pilgrim number 1,000 this year. I'm paying attention to the numbers and may well drive up to Ribadavia soon to make sure I'm the one!!!!!!!

My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Francis Auchincloss in Leiro when we stopped there for a wine before carrying on to Pazos de Arenteiro. What a lovely person, and he certainly knows his wine!
 
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I liked the last 100km from Ribadavia, but not more than the same distance from the Sanabrés or the Invierno. But the transborder days from Caldelas to Castro Laboreiro were amongst my favourite days on any camino, up there with the mountain route of the Olvidado, or the Castellano-Aragonés before Soria, or the Col des Moines alternative to Somport, or the days around the Caracena canyon on the Lana.

And don't just take my word for it, Álvaro Lazaga, who must have spent about 3-4 years of the last 12 walking on caminos, in one of his YouTube videos, calls the 40km before Lobios "la etapa más bella de mis caminos".
 
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I liked the last 100km from Ribadavia, but not more than the same distance from the Sanabrés or the Invierno. But the transborder days from Caldelas to Castro Laboreiro were amongst my favourite days on any camino, up there with the mountain route of the Olvidado, or the Castellano-Aragonés before Soria, or the Col des Moines alternative to Somport, or the days around the Caracena canyon on the Lana.

And don't just take my word for it, Álvaro Lazaga, who must have spent about 3-4 years of the last 12 walking on caminos, in one of his YouTube videos, calls the 40km before Lobios "la etapa más bella de mis caminos".
Good Morning, Alan.

I had the pleasure of spending the day with Álvaro Lazaga in Codeseda. What a guy! He's just completed his 50th camino, which leaves many of us a long way behind.

He certainly did tell me that the stages around Castro Laboreiro and Lobios were incredibly beautiful. It's on my bucket list and sooner rather than later I'll head off from Salamanca to Braga to walk the whole route.
 
Are @jungleboy and @Wendy Werneth responsible for the increased interest in this route?

They brought it to my attention.
Maybe for a couple of pilgrims here and there, but the real heroes of the Geira are those who have worked tirelessly to waymark it, promote it, and give pilgrims a fantastic welcome on the route, all of which has led to an increase in popularity. With apologies to anyone I left out, those wonderful people include Henrique, Abdón, Carlos, Frank and Mari Carmen.
 
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Maybe for a couple of pilgrims here and there, but the real heroes of the Geira are those who have worked tirelessly to waymark it, promote it, and give pilgrims a fantastic welcome on the route, all of which has led to an increase in popularity. With apologies to anyone I left out, those wonderful people are Henrique, Abdón, Carlos, Frank and Mari Carmen.
100% correct. As I said I have still only walked the stages from Cortegada/Ribadavia, but the hospitality and friendliness that you find is unbeatable.

I would mention:

José Luís and Rita (plus the daughter, María José) in Café Bar A Ponte in Pazos de Arenteiro.

Ramiro in the Aldea Rural in Pazos de Arenteiro.

Aurora in Bar Nictrón in Feás.

Celia, Julio y José Manuel in Bar Centro in Beariz, not forgetting the alcalde Don Manuel Prado!

Rosa and Pepe in Pensión Millenium in Soutelo de Montes.

The owners of the Taberna do Panadeiro in O Cachafeiro (I don't know their names!).

Paco and Eva, the owners of that lovely house with the cast iron sculptures outside in A Mámoa.

Mari Carmen, Pepe, Bea and Adrián in the Café Bar Camiño da Geira in Codeseda.

Fran Liste, owner of the two marvellous casas rurales in Codeseda.

Esther in the Bar O Panadeiro in Codeseda.

The three sisters in the Pensión A Bombilla in A Estrada.

David, the owner of the famous bar As Tres Portiñas in A Estrada.

Silvia, the owner of O Candil de Silvia in A Estrada.

Juan, Vanesa and Montse in the superb restaurant Taberna Navegación in A Estrada.

Jorge and Iara in Casa Mella in Rarís.

I've made quite a few friends up there, as you can see!
 
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I liked the last 100km from Ribadavia, but not more than the same distance from the Sanabrés or the Invierno. But the transborder days from Caldelas to Castro Laboreiro were amongst my favourite days on any camino, up there with the mountain route of the Olvidado, or the Castellano-Aragonés before Soria, or the Col des Moines alternative to Somport, or the days around the Caracena canyon on the Lana.
Nice to know, thanks - this helps in prioritizing what to think of next. (Off topic, but I keep forgetting the Castellano-Aragonés, because it doesn't fit neatly with anything else on my list.)
the real heroes of the Geira are those who have worked tirelessly to waymark it, promote it, and give pilgrims a fantastic welcome on the route,
Chapeau to all of them!
 
I am confused.
Lots of promotion about this route, but, from:
which appears to be the official website (?)
copied just now:

"Since the beginning of the recovery of the road, there have always been problems with signage, especially in the O Ribeiro area. In the spring of 2022, the entire Portuguese section and the last 110 km were completely marked, but in the first days of August 2022, a massive modification and destruction of the arrows and signs was detected, especially in the section of the municipality of Forcarei, which was well signposted.
This event makes it much more difficult to follow the path than at the beginning of 2017, when there was no sign; because the pilgrim had to be continuously checking the mobile phone to check if each arrow is in the right direction or has been turned.

This problem with the signage leads us to
recommend that you do not travel this path."
 
I am confused.
This post will clarify your confusion:
There is some dispute between the Geira camino people and the (xunta-funded) Caminho Miñoto Ribeiro (also from Braga). The people promoting the Geira are so depressed by alleged vandalism to Geira signage and arrows, especially round about where I am now, that they "recomendar que no se recorra este Camino", and have removed accommodation details etc from their website, which seems a bit defeatist. And the eximious @peregrina2000 says "nonsense", you should just follow a decent wikiloc, while Álvaro Lazaga, in one of his YouTube videos, talks about finding "un montón de flechas". Both were right. There was really no problem (unless I get hopelessly lost mañana), especially relying on my trusty mapy.cz, which has a blue line going all the way from Braga (almost all the way from Huelva, I think).
 
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Exactly what @alansykes writes: there is absolutely no chance of getting lost, especially if you have the marvellous Mapy.cz app, which will show you exactly where you are in relation to the camino (shown by a blue line).

It's a pity that there is some sort of ongoing conflict, but the 'baddies' are definitely those from the Camino Miñoto Ribeiro. Unfortunately, there have been incidences of signs for the Geira e dos Arrieiros being destroyed or taken down. As I said, though, there is no way you can get lost. If you read my thread from last June, you will see that the only time I went wrong is when I saw two wild boars and didn't pay attention to the arrow! Here's my thread:

 
Exactly what @alansykes writes: there is absolutely no chance of getting lost, especially if you have the marvellous Mapy.cz app, which will show you exactly where you are in relation to the camino (shown by a blue line).

It's a pity that there is some sort of ongoing conflict, but the 'baddies' are definitely those from the Camino Miñoto Ribeiro. Unfortunately, there have been incidences of signs for the Geira e dos Arrieiros being destroyed or taken down. As I said, though, there is no way you can get lost. If you read my thread from last June, you will see that the only time I went wrong is when I saw two wild boars and didn't pay attention to the arrow! Here's my thread:

I have written to the group voicing my opinion that this warning is ridiculous and defeatist.

They list their email as debragaaSantiago.com@gmail.com, but I also sent it to
debragaasantiago@gmail.com because that seemed strange to me.
 
I got a really heartfelt email response. I would have decided differently but I respect their decision.

Buenas tardes Laurie

Muchas gracias por su sugerencia y por recorrer el Camino da Geira.

Como dice, son muchos los peregrinos que terminan el camino sin ningún problema, pero lamentablemente también tenemos constancia de que varios no han podido terminar por haberse perdido varias veces y tener que recorrer muchos más km de los que tenían previsto, perdiendo la posibilidad de llegar a Compostela en los días previstos. Antes de poner ese mensaje, ya se ponía que el GPS era obligatorio, al igual que reservar alojamientos con antelación, pero casi nadie hacía caso.

A pesar de estar perdiendo a bastantes peregrinos que podían recorrer la ruta, sobre todo en el caso de los extranjeros, preferimos esta situación antes de que quede sobre nuestras conciencias que una persona (aunque solo sea una), después de estar ahorrando en su país y guardar sus vacaciones para hacer el Camino de Santiago, planee hacer el camino, por ejemplo en 10 días, y se le acabe el tiempo, teniendo que regresar a su casa sin haber podido llegar a la Tumba del Apóstol. Esa situación ya se ha dado y consideramos que es demasiado dura, por lo que mientras la podamos evitar, la evitaremos, aunque con ello perdamos cientos y cientos de horas de trabajo anterior.

Aún así cualquier persona que quiera el listado de alojamientos y el track, puede escribir al mail que se indica y se le envía, tal y como ha sido el caso de los brasileños que cita.

Tras miles de horas dedicadas al proyecto de recuperación del Camino Geira Arrieiros, sabemos que no es la situación ideal, pero le aseguramos que de momento no hemos encontrado otra alternativa válida. Para nosotros, la experiencia de un solo peregrino (de los que se aventuran a recorrer más de 200 km a pie) es más importante que todo "nuestro" camino.

De nuevo queremos agradecerle su sincera opinión.
Muchas gracias y Buen Camino!

Carlos da Barreira
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I got a really heartfelt email response. I would have decided differently but I respect their decision.

Buenas tardes Laurie

Muchas gracias por su sugerencia y por recorrer el Camino da Geira.

Como dice, son muchos los peregrinos que terminan el camino sin ningún problema, pero lamentablemente también tenemos constancia de que varios no han podido terminar por haberse perdido varias veces y tener que recorrer muchos más km de los que tenían previsto, perdiendo la posibilidad de llegar a Compostela en los días previstos. Antes de poner ese mensaje, ya se ponía que el GPS era obligatorio, al igual que reservar alojamientos con antelación, pero casi nadie hacía caso.

A pesar de estar perdiendo a bastantes peregrinos que podían recorrer la ruta, sobre todo en el caso de los extranjeros, preferimos esta situación antes de que quede sobre nuestras conciencias que una persona (aunque solo sea una), después de estar ahorrando en su país y guardar sus vacaciones para hacer el Camino de Santiago, planee hacer el camino, por ejemplo en 10 días, y se le acabe el tiempo, teniendo que regresar a su casa sin haber podido llegar a la Tumba del Apóstol. Esa situación ya se ha dado y consideramos que es demasiado dura, por lo que mientras la podamos evitar, la evitaremos, aunque con ello perdamos cientos y cientos de horas de trabajo anterior.

Aún así cualquier persona que quiera el listado de alojamientos y el track, puede escribir al mail que se indica y se le envía, tal y como ha sido el caso de los brasileños que cita.

Tras miles de horas dedicadas al proyecto de recuperación del Camino Geira Arrieiros, sabemos que no es la situación ideal, pero le aseguramos que de momento no hemos encontrado otra alternativa válida. Para nosotros, la experiencia de un solo peregrino (de los que se aventuran a recorrer más de 200 km a pie) es más importante que todo "nuestro" camino.

De nuevo queremos agradecerle su sincera opinión.
Muchas gracias y Buen Camino!

Carlos da Barreira
Whilst most of us perfectly understand what Carlos is saying (and he has expressed these views from the heart incredibly eloquently), I honestly feel that the association should reconsider.

Surely it would make more sense to reinstate the information about the stages and accommodation, together with a rider (in Portuguese, Spanish and English) explaining the difficulties peregrinos/as may have if they do not have a good GPS.

There's a lovely saying in Spanish: la pescadilla que se muerde la cola. This would be loosely translated as a Catch-22 situation. If you don't promote this beautiful camino then you won't get people interested in walking it.

I remember a few years ago when the Invierno was not very well known. Thanks to many people on here (Rebekah Scott, peregrina2000, KinkyOne, yours truly and others) we were able to provide incredibly useful and detailed information about stages, accommodation, alternatives and a large etcetera. Let's hope (and pray) that the Geira e dos Arrieiros continues to grow.
 

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