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Route Changes on Ingles/ answers from John Brierley

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
Some questions on forums regarding 'old' and 'new' routes in the Brierley Guide for the Ingles route... Why not ask the man himself? Here is my email to him and his response:

To the Esteemed John Brierley,

I’m interested in finding out if the ‘optional routes’ in the newer 2019 guidebook for the Camino Ingles are the same as the “old routes”. A walker of several camino, and dedicated Brierley guidebook user, I’m planning my next ( short ) camino on the Ingles with an older friend. We’ve read the routes were updated and not for the better, and have also read that the guidebooks with the old route and some of the alternate routes may have some overlap.

Is it at all possible to indicate which options are the old route and if they are still passable…and why they have been obliterated?

This question keeps surfacing on Camino Forums and FB pages among other resources.

I would appreciate any clarification you can provide. Thanking you in advance for your assistance.

Sophie, USA


Dear Sophie

Thank you for your enquiry. The 2019 edition of the guide shows the new waymarked route in the familiar yellow colour. The former route is marked in grey and is shown in case a pilgrim should stray off the new path and inadvertently find themselves following arrows on the old route. Old waymarks have been removed from the first few hundred meters but confusion may still arise and old waymarks will disappear in time.

The camino routes are constantly changing (not, in my opinion, always for the best). These changes occur for a variety or reasons (not necessarily all logical but mostly around safety and improved facilities). To minimise the chances of getting lost I suggest pilgrims stay on the newly waymarked route. The 2019 guide includes one suggestion to follow a short alternative (green) route through woodland (rather than the new route parallel to the motorway into Sigueiro) and this is shown on the stage 5 map (p.43) with details in the text.

I hope this helps in your planning and wish you an uplifting journey along the beautiful pathways that make up the camino Inglés.

Many blessings and 'Bo camino'…

John (Brierley)
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
I’m pasting in here Peb’s excellent description on another thread of what the major changes to the Ingles are:

Ferrol / Neda to Pontedeume section - at Vilar do Colo, the new route goes off right after passing under the motorway, and goes through the countryside till it comes to Cabanas and then comes down a very steep hill to the river estuary where you walk over the bridge to Pontedeume. The old route went off right before the motorway junction and came down onto the beach at Cabanas which you walked the full length of before you come to the Pontedeume bridge. I walked the old route, due to an absence of markers and a friendly local directing where the old route was. I think the old route was better.

Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma - two main changes. The first at Cos, you turn left and walk along a pavement on a road and follow this for about 2km down to Presedo. The old route somehow walked through fields to the north of the road. the new route was not signposted well with waymarks and you needed to trust that walking along the road was the correct way. For the last 1km, the pavement stops and you do need to walk along the actual side of the road, down a hill and round some bends where there path then branches off left to Presedo. Walking on the road was not too pleasant, but there was not too much traffic to both
Later, at Leiro, the new route branches off and misses out the fearsome hill up to Hospital de Bruma and Bar Julia. Most of the walk is unpaved forest road with a long gradual incline. You keep wondering where the fearsome hill is, but it never comes. At the top, you join a fairly large raod where the Ingles from La Coruna joins and you need to walk on the side of the road (pavement half and half) for about 2km, including passing a quite large electricity substation. This is where Bar Avelina is, which was not too welcoming.

Hospital de Bruma to Sigueiro - when you pass over the motorway, the new Ingles route takes you right and down onto the motorway embankment. What you do not realise at that point is that you walk alongside the motorway for a good 4km, albeit separated from the motorway by a metal fence. But walking alongside a motorway for over 45 minutes is so depressing, seeing cars do what you are doing in an hour, in a matter of minutes. The road is also noisy. If you can, do not turn right, but carry on the road and then take the second road on the right. You then walk along a country road (no pavement, but you can see and hear the occasional car that comes) all the way to Sigueiro. This is the one time when walking on tarmac beats walking on a grass path.

Sigueiro to Santiago - the new route, for the better, takes the Ingles off the main Sigueiro to Santiago road and onto country roads which run parallel about half a kilometre away. You need to be on the right hand side of the main road in Sigueiro as you walk over the river.


On guides, if you look a the CSJ guide, it is so detailed, in terms of exactly where to turn right, left or go straight on. Invaluable if you are lost, but if you have it open when you walk, you will be worrying when the next turn comes and literally walking with your nose in the book, instead of watching and enjoying the camino. Also, your judgement of what is 100, 200 or 400 metres (for when you need next to turn left, reading the guidebook), invariably turns out to be half of what it is in reality, especially when you are tired, meaning that if you are actively walking with the guidebook, you are stressed half the time that you have missed where to go.

You needn't be. The Ingles, generally, is well marked by the triangular waymarks, which appear, as and when there is a junction, fork or a place you should change direction (or carry on straight when other roads / tracks appear left and right. I think having a guide is good, but I would carry it in your pocket, for reference when things are confusing, not to get you along the way. The waymarks do that. Unfortunately, unlike more popular caminos, there is not the pilgrim traffic to look ahead and follow. I saw no more than 10 other pilgrims per day, and therefore, a guidebook is handy to have, when you are confused.
 

musicman

Ensuitepilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
2004, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
Thanks Andy,this useful,updated information is what makes the forum
so valuable as a potential resource.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Only 10 other perigrinos in a day? We’ll be walking in August this year with my daughter and we’re hoping for more people interaction. When did you walk?
Hi Becky, I walked in July of 2017 and though at times I saw larger youth groups, for the most part I was walking alone (with no one in sight) or just two or three others on the same point of the trail at the same time. I stayed in all private rooms, so the later I left in the morning the less I would see the high school kids, since they were staying in albergues, getting up at 5am, and gunning it to try to get the limited number of beds in the next albergue. In August you might have more people on the Inglés - especially if you get up and go earlier than I did! - but overall it is a quieter Camino than the Francés. One thing I did enjoy was seeing all the locals out and about on the same trails when I was coming into a town or leaving one.
 

peb

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Ingles March 2018
Becky, I walked in Holy week, last year. Holy week being one of the weeks when many Spaniards walk the camino.

As @natefaith confirms, the Ingles is a quiet camino. This is one of the reasons why I walked it, Being quiet helps with the feeling that you are on a pilgrimage.

In August, Cabanas and Mino are quite popular holiday destinations, both with good white sand beaches (n.b. take some swim wear, also for Sigueiro, where the Ingles walks past an inviting open air swimming pool as it comes into town). That means that there are more people about, although not promised to be peregrinos.
 

Becky 59

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2018
Hi Becky, I walked in July of 2017 and though at times I saw larger youth groups, for the most part I was walking alone (with no one in sight) or just two or three others on the same point of the trail at the same time. I stayed in all private rooms, so the later I left in the morning the less I would see the high school kids, since they were staying in albergues, getting up at 5am, and gunning it to try to get the limited number of beds in the next albergue. In August you might have more people on the Inglés - especially if you get up and go earlier than I did! - but overall it is a quieter Camino than the Francés. One thing I did enjoy was seeing all the locals out and about on the same trails when I was coming into a town or leaving one.
My daughter will certainly be happy to interact with Spanish locals. It’s hard to gauge how busy the route will be, in terms of bed availability...
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I saw just 14 pilgrims in June last year between Ferrol and SdC and a small coach party of 12 on the way into Sigueiro!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Toulouse to Lourdes
Only 10 other perigrinos in a day? We’ll be walking in August this year with my daughter and we’re hoping for more people interaction. When did you walk?
I walked it mid- August last year and we met very, very few people. Not sure I can recall as many as 10...
To me, that was the beauty of it, after the last week on the Camino francés :)
 

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