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The South-East Camino (El Camino del Sureste)

#1
Hi everybody.

As you probably know, there's a yellow-arrow-marked Camino from Valencia and another one from Alicante, that continue to Albacete first, then Toledo and finally arrive to Santa Marta de Tera in the VDLP.

Paco Serra and Manolo Aliaga, from the Novelda Association, where working on the summer of 2,006 with their car, a bike, a GPS and their laptop to make a new guide for all pilgrims (and thousands of photos).

Since several months this guide is available is spanish (thanks to them) and later in french (thanks to Johanne Duffour, from Canada). Now, it's available too in dutch (Thanks, Christinne). Completely free for everybody in the "Relatos" section in http://www.amigosdelcamino.com

As Paco Serra said to me recently, there's some friends working in the english, german and italian versions but ... it's a very, very slow work, so ...

Buen, and absolutely lonely and incredibly nice, Camino del Sureste ...

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
Thank you for this update Javier. I am always amazed at how many people are devoting hours of their time to develop and maintain the different camino routes for US pilgrims.

When reading different newsletters, bulletins and newspapers along the camino I couldn't believe how much goes on behind the scenes that we pilgrims are not even aware of. There are many people, groups and associations that work constantly to develop new routes and work on keeping the established routes accessible and safe. Meetings, seminars, workshops, field trips etc are ongoing. Rights-of-way must be negotiated; massive rocks placed in traditional river beds or torrent courses; paths, worn out by the tramping of thousands of pilgrims are rehabilitated or diverted – like the hill on the way to Trinidad de Arre where one has to detour a landslide, or on the way to Maneru where a new, wide path has been developed to replace an eroding, dangerous path.
Just think of the yellow arrows. Consultation takes place before a decision is made on where to physically place the arrows. Then groups of volunteers painstakingly cover the route, painting new arrows or touching up old ones. From painting arrows and placing of way markers, to the research and preservation of monuments, establishing refuges and organizing associations of hospitaleros to printing of brochures and leaflets.
The pilgrim’s office in Santiago is run on a shoestring by a small staff of dedicated workers (the young lady in charge of the office has been there for 7 years).
We pilgrims must never take the camino for granted. It isn’t a wilderness trail that cares for itself – it is there, initially as a result of the vision of one man, Don Elias Valina Sampedro who re-animated the pilgrimage in the late 1970’s, painted the arrows in the 1980’s and inspired the church, municipalities and organisations to continue with his work. We can thank people like Javier and Fernando who are just two of the dedicated 'friends of the camino' who do this work.
 
#3
Hi, Sil. It's true, there's a lot of people who is always working on the Camino, making a very good work daily.

For example, the Association from Barcelona goes to the Camino every third weekend every month to repaint the yellow arrows. Now they now these are "magic" weekends, always defending his Camino.

Alex Rato lives in Lisbon and he has investigated, worked all possible paths, etc, and coordinated all works to paint the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon to Porto. The AGACS was painting it on 2,006.

Paco Serra, the same great work with the Camino del Sureste. I'm not sure, but may be he made ... 12000 photos? may be. The his is a great job, available for you in the AGACS website. Paco is the hospitalero in his town, Novelda.

Laureano, from the Tineo association in Asturias, has worked a lot for the maintenance of yellow arrows and albergues in the Asturias side of the Camino Primitivo. And the AGACS was painting during the past spring the Galician side (I could paint any arrows, too)

Antonio Zorrilla was discovering, working, painting and publishing the historic way between San Sebastian (Camino del Norte) and Santo Domingo de la Calzada (CF) by the Tunel de San Adrian. This Camino receive some pilgrims every year. He made possible to open an albergue in his town, Miranda de Ebro.

The Association from Madrid was marking all the Camino from Madrid to Sahagun. The arrows are perfectly painted. It's a great work.

And all associations, from Seville (VDLP), from Avila (Camino del Sureste), AJOVA (Camino de Madrid) Astorga (CF), Burgos (CF), etc, etc, etc, are working during all the year, giving credentials to pilgrims, maintaining the paths, and working hard. As you probably know, the AGACS was fighting against an important spanish company to defend the Camino Frances in O Pino because the company wants to build an industrial Polygon. We have stopped this planning. The person who has leaded this important victory defending the Camino is José Antonio de la Riera.

All of you who has walked to Fisterra have met "Bejo", Begoña Valdomar, the hospitalera. It's a hard work to be a hospitalero during two weeks, she does it all the year where the Camino dies because the ocean. She es "great".

Fernando owns an spanish phorum (http://www.peregrinosasantiago.com).

And, many, many others ... Impossible to refer to all of them ...

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#4
Javier, thank you for telling us a bit about the people who work so hard behind the scenes on the caminos.
We often hear people say, “Why don’t they do this or why don't they do that…”
When we pilgrims complain and criticize we forget that they are not a multi-million dollar organization with a huge paid staff but primarily a number of smaller organizations and that it is only through the continued hard work of many volunteers that we have any caminos to walk on at all.
So, please say MUCHISIMAS GRACIAS to all who work on the caminos - it is much appreciated.
 
#5
Hi Sil,
Just thought I'd add a bit to Javier's information re work on the different Pilgrimage routes. Firstly there are all the volunteers in Spain who are working constantly on behalf of pilgrims. Thanks to them all.
Then there are all the Associations from other countries and their volunteers who work for the Associations. Then there are the volunteers who work as hospitaleros/as during the main 'walking season' and/or then go on working parties to maintain the frabric of the refugios for the comfort of pilgrims. These volunteers actually pay their own travelling expenses to and from the refugios, and some go to the refugios more than once in a year.
I don't think pilgrims are to be blamed for not realising what goes on to maintain the pilgrim routes and refugios. Pilgrims are rightly focussed on their pilgrimage and, moving on day by day, they must concentrate on the essentials of food and lodging. I would think that most volunteers have made their own pilgrimage and so understand these things. All they would like is a 'Thank you' as the pilgrim moves on.
So thank you for saying 'Muchas gracias!'
Cheers,
Brendan
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#6
I say "Three cheers for all the hospitaleros who give up their time to care for us peregrinos. Muchas gracias, dios les bendigas! Abrazos."
 


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