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GR 50 to avoid the asphalt?

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wisepilgrim

Guidebook Author
Past OR future Camino
Many
I might.

See attached screenshot. The alternative is 85.9km from Campo do Gerês to just north of Castro Leboreiro. Along the 'official' route the same distance is covered in 45.1km (measured from divergence to convergence of the two). That is a notable difference in distance, but it does take you through much more of the Parque Nacional de Peneda-Gerês which might make it worthwhile.

Screen Shot 2021-07-21 at 10.51.07.png
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I have not had a chance to check in with the zoom video for the Geira meeting yet so have missed what was said about asphalt on this route, but when they were posting live on their thread they mentioned a 3 km stretch into Castro Laboreiro which when checking I realised there was an alternative which gives you the option of either going east or west on a circular path and they both take you to CL, the west option being considerably shorter, it may even be part of the G50 and I might have even seen it offered as an alternative by the Caminho group who assist pilgrims on this way.
https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/castro-laboreiro-38636472
The other two sections I am interested in is the day out of Braga which if I can go a more green way then I will, the other option I will look at is after Castro Lab to Cortegada which Nick said was mostly on quiet roads, but for my knees it's still asphalt. The 'competition' in these waymarkings may have a different way, so I might look at this as an alternative.

One of the reasons I asked Nick about his last day into Santiago wasn't just out of curiosity but I was interested in the asphalt , next to main road walking etc, I read a blog done by some walkers from Santiago who did the route from Braga to Santiago over two years in 2018/19 and on the last leg from Pontevea as they said on their wikiloc download for that day "now we are on the home leg we will go a quieter but equal distance way" when I looked the official wikiloc and theirs, they entered Santiago in the same place but theirs was more rural and seemed to go on natural paths. But from what I have seen of the official last day it seems to have a lot off road walking as well, so maybe Nick and Wendy answered that.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The website has lots of good information on services, and the tracks are all on wikiloc.

Both the whole 212 kms and broken down stage by stage.


The park is beautiful and I would love to walk the whole trail!
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
I saw somewhere that some pilgrims on the Geira have found a way to avoid some asphalt, by getting on the GR50.
See attached screenshot. The alternative is 85.9km from Campo do Gerês to just north of Castro Leboreiro.
In that case it's not really asphalt avoidance as there is very little asphalt on this section of the official route. The asphalt is Braga-Santa Cruz (more or less all 23km) and then off and on after Castro Laboreiro.

That is a notable difference in distance, but it does take you through much more of the Parque Nacional de Peneda-Gerês which might make it worthwhile.
It doesn't seem to me from the map that the alternate is nearly twice as long but I'll take your word for it! More of the NP should be a good thing but taking the alternative would mean missing my favourite part of the Geira.

I have not had a chance to check in with the zoom video for the Geira meeting yet so have missed what was said about asphalt on this route, but when they were posting live on their thread they mentioned a 3 km stretch into Castro Laboreiro which when checking I realised there was an alternative which gives you the option of either going east or west on a circular path and they both take you to CL, the west option being considerably shorter, it may even be part of the G50 and I might have even seen it offered as an alternative by the Caminho group who assist pilgrims on this way.
We had planned to take the alternate there as Henrique had told us about it and gave us tracks for the alternate, but we were in the middle of a big storm when we reached the fork (nearby lightning, hail to come) and we decided to take the shortest way to CL. The alternate was marked with an arrow, at least at the fork.

One of the reasons I asked Nick about his last day into Santiago wasn't just out of curiosity but I was interested in the asphalt , next to main road walking etc, I read a blog done by some walkers from Santiago who did the route from Braga to Santiago over two years in 2018/19 and on the last leg from Pontevea as they said on their wikiloc download for that day "now we are on the home leg we will go a quieter but equal distance way" when I looked the official wikiloc and theirs, they entered Santiago in the same place but theirs was more rural and seemed to go on natural paths. But from what I have seen of the official last day it seems to have a lot off road walking as well, so maybe Nick and Wendy answered that.
We talked more about the entry into Santiago than the stage as a whole. I seem to remember a fair bit of road walking that day so if you can do a more rural alternate and still enter Santiago in the same place that seems like win-win.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
now we are on the home leg we will go a quieter but equal distance way" when I looked the official wikiloc and theirs, they entered Santiago in the same place but theirs was more rural and seemed to go on natural paths.
Can you give a link for the GPS for those more off-road paths into Santiago? Based on Nic’s comment above, seems like it would be an improvement.
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I tend to not bookmark links I have read, I just remember they are out there, which can be a pain for other people when I keep mentioning them, I located it again ( pheww)
+ There is a YouTube video for the day which it is not letting me share on here but if you have a look on their you tube page it is findable, the menu should take you there.
 
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