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When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears

Hopeful plan for the Geira

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If the stars align properly, I will be lucky enough to walk the Geira in late September, after I walk the Salvador/Primitivo. Because of the pandemic, I am only going to stay in private places (though I know albergues are likely to be empty anyway!). Here are my tentative stages, not much different from what I’ve seen elsewhere, but if anything jumps out at you, I’d appreciate comments.

Day 1. Braga to Terras de Bouro (Rio Homem). 29 km

Day 2. Terras to Lobios (Hotel Lusitano) 37 km

Day 3. Lobios to Castro Labroreiro (Miradouro do Castelo) 20 km

Day 4. Castro Labroreiro to Cortegada (Casa do Conde) 28 km

Day 5. Cortegada to Ribadavia (Hostal Restaurante Caracas) 14 km

Day 6. Ribadavia to Magros (Casa da Laxa, off route a bit, 2 km from Beariz) 34 km

Day 7. Magros to Codeseda (Casa de Avo) 34 km

At this point I have three days to get into Santiago. Any ideas? The easiest thing would be to walk to Pontevea, then have a short day from Pontevea to Padrón, and then into Santiago. But I could walk Codeseda to Padrón (37) and then have two days to get into Santiago from Padrón. If there were a loop or detour from there, that’d be great.

Day 8. Codeseda to Pontevea (recommendations?) 24 km

Day 9. Pontevea to Padrón 13 km

Day 10. Into Santiago

With many thanks and buen camino! Laurie
 
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Marcus-UK

Old Git
Past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 Considering Invierno late (2020) In lieu of VdlP (2020)
I had been hoping to do the Geira this year depending upon my fitness levels and Covid limitations.

My original plan was based around:
Start Point
End Point
Distance KM
Total Stage Distance KM
Stage 01
Braga
Caldelas
17
17
Caldelas
Terras de Bouro
13
Stage 02
Terras de Bouro
Campo de Geres
13.6
26.6
Stage 03
Campo de Geres
Lobios
24
24
Stage 04
Lobios
Castro Laboreiro
20.1
20.1
Stage 05
Castro Laboreiro
Cortegada
28.6
28.6
Stage 06
Cortegada
Ribadavia
13.9
13.9
Stage 07
Ribadavia
Pazos de Aenteiro
17.7
17.7
Stage 08
Pazos de Aenteiro
Beariz
19.5
19.5
Beariz
Soutelo Montes
11.3
Stage 09
Soutelo Montes
Codeseda
20
31.3
Codeseda
A Estrada
11.9
Stage 10
A Estrada
Pontevea
12.3
24.2
Stage 11
Pontevea
Santiago de Compostella
17.1
17.1
Total
240

My start date is likely to be early October. I have also been considering alternatives including the C De Sur from Huelva to Zamora or the Invierno which has been on my long term bucket list.
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
2020
Hi Laurie!

A couple of things jump out at me about this itinerary.

1. It might not be clear from the maps and guides, but going down to Terras de Bouro is OPTIONAL and is actually a detour off of the original Geira Roman road. If you do this, you will miss a number of the Roman milestones, and also create an unnecessary descent and ascent for yourself.

For these reasons, I would recommend staying in Caldelas instead. I know you said you want to avoid albergues, but I'm sure there are hotels there too.

2. Padrón is some ways off the Geira, so I'm a bit confused as to why it's on your itinerary. From Codeseda, you really only need two days to get to Santiago, staying in either Pontevea or Rarís.

Bo camiño!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
2. Padrón is some ways off the Geira, so I'm a bit confused as to why it's on your itinerary. From Codeseda, you really only need two days to get to Santiago, staying in either Pontevea or Rarís.
Thanks, @Wendy Werneth. If I walk according to this plan, I will arrive in Pontevea with an extra day before I want to arrive in Santiago. I walked the Portugués years ago and my night in Padrón was spent taking care of a heavily blistered and unhappy spouse. (Note to self: if a spouse doesn’t want to walk the camino, let it be :( ).

So the detour to the Portugués would be a way to fill that day.

My first thought was that I would walk to Herbón and stay there, which has been something I’ve wanted to do for years. And then into Santiago. But of course Herbón is closed. But staying in Padrón would give me the chance to see what I didn’t see there the last time — Iria Flavia, Santiagüiño, House of Rosalía de Castro, etc.

1. It might not be clear from the maps and guides, but going down to Terras de Bouro is OPTIONAL and is actually a detour off of the original Geira Roman road. If you do this, you will miss a number of the Roman milestones

Yes, I did read that, but I decided I’d rather have a longer first day. Do you know of any way to compare the two routes? I’m asking primarily because I’m wondering if there is a way to take a walk in the afternoon to visit the milestones from Terras de Bouro, or whether there is a longer way to visit the milestones and then backtrack to Terras de Bouro. And I suppose another option would be to walk from Terras de Bouro back to where I left the Geira the day before.

The guidebook also tells me that I will see a lot of milestones leaving Santa Cruz and on my way to Terras de Bouro. I take it that the ones you are talking about are in addition to those and are located after Terras de Bouro?
 
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CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
If the stars align properly, I will be lucky enough to walk the Geira in late September, after I walk the Salvador/Primitivo. Because of the pandemic, I am only going to stay in private places (though I know albergues are likely to be empty anyway!). Here are my tentative stages, not much different from what I’ve seen elsewhere, but if anything jumps out at you, I’d appreciate comments.

Day 1. Braga to Terras de Bouro (Rio Homem). 29 km

Day 2. Terras to Lobios (Hotel Lusitano) 37 km

Day 3. Lobios to Castro Labroreiro (Miradouro do Castelo) 20 km

Day 4. Castro Labroreiro to Cortegada (Casa do Conde) 28 km

Day 5. Cortegada to Ribadavia (Hostal Restaurante Caracas) 14 km

Day 6. Ribadavia to Magros (Casa da Laxa, off route a bit, 2 km from Beariz) 34 km

Day 7. Magros to Codeseda (Casa de Avo) 34 km

At this point I have three days to get into Santiago. Any ideas? The easiest thing would be to walk to Pontevea, then have a short day from Pontevea to Padrón, and then into Santiago. But I could walk Codeseda to Padrón (37) and then have two days to get into Santiago from Padrón. If there were a loop or detour from there, that’d be great.

Day 8. Codeseda to Pontevea (recommendations?) 24 km

Day 9. Pontevea to Padrón 13 km

Day 10. Into Santiago

With many thanks and buen camino! Laurie
Thanks for posting. I might end up attempting this Camino also given I’m starting my months of walking in Lisbon. I’ll adapt based on Covid restrictions. Buen Camino.
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
2020
Thanks, @Wendy Werneth. If I walk according to this plan, I will arrive in Pontevea with an extra day before I want to arrive in Santiago. I walked the Portugués years ago and my night in Padrón was spent taking care of a heavily blistered and unhappy spouse. (Note to self: if a spouse doesn’t want to walk the camino, let it be :( ).

So the detour to the Portugués would be a way to fill that day.

My first thought was that I would walk to Herbón and stay there, which has been something I’ve wanted to do for years. And then into Santiago. But of course Herbón is closed. But staying in Padrón would give me the chance to see what I didn’t see there the last time — Iria Flavia, Santiagüiño, House of Rosalía de Castro, etc.



Yes, I did read that, but I decided I’d rather have a longer first day. Do you know of any way to compare the two routes? I’m asking primarily because I’m wondering if there is a way to take a walk in the afternoon to visit the milestones from Terras de Bouro, or whether there is a longer way to visit the milestones and then backtrack to Terras de Bouro. And I suppose another option would be to walk from Terras de Bouro back to where I left the Geira the day before.

The guidebook also tells me that I will see a lot of milestones leaving Santa Cruz and on my way to Terras de Bouro. I take it that the ones you are talking about are in addition to those and are located after Terras de Bouro?
OK, that makes sense! Yes, you will see some milestones starting in Santa Cruz, but then once you take the turnoff to Terras de Bouro I don't expect you'll see any more, because you'll be off the Roman road at that point. I can't remember how many there were before vs after the turnoff, but I do remember thinking that people who took the turnoff would miss quite a large section of the Roman road.

The scenery along the Roman road that day is beautiful too, though of course I can't compare it with the scenery to Terras de Bouro.

This Google Map includes both routes. It looks like there's a road that cuts between the two, so you could maybe use that to get back to the Geira. Or as you said, go back out the way you came in, and you wouldn't miss anything. I suggest asking Henrique Malheiro for his advice.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
It looks like there's a road that cuts between the two, so you could maybe use that to get back to the Geira.
This is a screen shot of the relevant split. Do you know the name of the spot where the two merge after Terras de Bouro? It looks like there would be a lot of kms to add to both days to sleep in Terras de Bouro, back track to the split, and then carry on on the Roman road. Good idea about asking Henrique Malheiro — my list of questions for him is growing. :p

FF7B555B-772B-4CD0-A6A5-A6BA27E20C74.png
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
This is a screen shot of the relevant split. Do you know the name of the spot where the two merge after Terras de Bouro? It looks like there would be a lot of kms to add to both days to sleep in Terras de Bouro, back track to the split, and then carry on on the Roman road. Good idea about asking Henrique Malheiro — my list of questions for him is growing. :p

View attachment 106818
Laurie it looks like you’d have 1km from Terras de Bouro to Moimenta Nova then another 1.5km to the point where the ‘lovely Geira forest route with all the Milestones’ merges.
 

Wendy Werneth

Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
2020
This is a screen shot of the relevant split. Do you know the name of the spot where the two merge after Terras de Bouro? It looks like there would be a lot of kms to add to both days to sleep in Terras de Bouro, back track to the split, and then carry on on the Roman road. Good idea about asking Henrique Malheiro — my list of questions for him is growing. :p

View attachment 106818
Thanks @gracethepilgrim . I was going to say that I don't know the name of the place where they merge, and actually I don't think there's any kind of settlement there. But yeah, I agree you'd be adding a lot of kilometers by backtracking to walk the Roman road.
 
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If you were to backtrack from TdB my calculations show it would be 4km to the split. Then the ‘lovely forest route’ with all the milestones is about 7.5 km to the join-up point past Moimenta Nova. I’ve tried to work this out from my maps.me tracks Laurie (I’ve not yet walked this so defer to Nick and Wendy for the finer details ;) )
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If you were to backtrack from TdB my calculations show it would be 4km to the split.
Thanks so much! So it looks like the “left route” through TdB is about 7 kms.
Split to TdB 4 km, Tdb back to merge with the official route 2.7.

I have tried but am unable to figure out how long the “right leg” of that route is. Can you see that? I need that missing number to be able to figure out the best way to sleep in Terras de Bouro while also walking the forest route.

It looks to me like the most sensible way to do that would be to stay on the “right hand route” (aka the “lovely forest route”) till the spot where the Tdb alternative gets back on the official route. From there to Tdb is 2.7. But I can’t figure out how much that right hand route would add to the total from Braga to TdB.
 
Last edited:

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Day 1. Braga to Terras de Bouro (Rio Homem). 29 km

Day 2. Terras to Lobios (Hotel Lusitano) 37 km

Day 3. Lobios to Castro Labroreiro (Miradouro do Castelo) 20 km

I know you do 37km days in your sleep so it's not that part that stood out to me by itself, but more in combination with this long day also being the most scenic day of the Geira from Campo do Gerês onwards (although it's also very nice before Campo do Gerês too!). Personally I loved walking this part in the early morning when the light was nicer than it will be in the middle of the day, and having a lesser walking day might allow you to stop and enjoy the scenery more (and swim in some of the beautiful rock pools if the weather's good, which I highly recommend). There's a detour to a waterfall and a swimming spot that we loved after the border crossing too, which isn't a long detour (maybe 10 mins each way off the top of my head?) but if you're already doing 37km and it's getting late you might not want to do it.

One way to lighten that day is to stop at Os Baños instead of Lobios, which will take about 6km off your Day 2 and add it to your Day 3 to even those days up a bit.

Here's another idea: since you want to visit São Frutuoso outside Braga, and so you don't miss any milestones, and to give you a lighter day to enjoy the national park, but to still do it in the same number of days, you could do this:

  • Day 0: Spend one less day in Braga, walk to São Frutuoso to arrive when it opens at 2pm (and confirm this time first!), and continue to Caldelas that afternoon. It's less than 16km from the chapel, so you would arrive around 6:30-7pm depending on your pace and how long you spent at the chapel.
  • Day 1: Walk to Campo do Gerês and skip Terras de Bouro.
  • Day 2: Campo do Gerês to Lobios or Os Baños.
Bom caminho!
 
Last edited:

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Thanks so much! So it looks like the “left route” through TdB is about 7 kms.
Split to TdB 4 km, Tdb back to merge with the official route 2.7.

I have tried but am unable to figure out how long the “right leg” of that route is. Can you see that? I need that missing number to be able to figure out the best way to sleep in Terras de Bouro while also walking the forest route.
Do you mean how long is the non-TdB route from the fork to the merge? I have it as roughly 6.5km, so similar to the 6.7km that you said the TdB route is.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have it as roughly 6.5km, so similar to the 6.7km that you said the TdB route is.

So, then if my math skills and my mapping skills are working properly, does it seem to you that walking on the ”right hand side” to the merge and then walking ”backwards” to Terras de Bouro would only add 2.7 km to the Braga to Terras de Bouro stage?
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
So, then if my math skills and my mapping skills are working properly, does it seem to you that walking on the ”right hand side” to the merge and then walking ”backwards” to Terras de Bouro would only add 2.7 km to the Braga to Terras de Bouro stage?
That seems right. But I still prefer my alternative suggestion from a few posts up ;)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks to my map support team, it looks like the right hand forest side would be about a 36 km day from Braga to Terra de Bouro. 26 km to the split after Santa Cruz, 7.5 km on the “right side” and then 2.7 km into TdB “backwards.” Pre-covid that was the upper end of my sweet spot distance, but who knows how things will be this year.

The three day alternative from Braga is also very enticing, thanks so much @jungleboy. I have added all those notes to my growing stash of information.

Thanks to everyone!

And a question for my map support team — I am looking through wikiloc to get tracks for the right side forest route that does not go into Terras de Bouro. Does this look like the route you took?

 
Past OR future Camino
2021
And a question for my map support team — I am looking through wikiloc to get tracks for the right side forest route that does not go into Terras de Bouro. Does this look like the route you took?

Yes, that looks like my download also Laurie.
 
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