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Variante Espiritual map

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Walk and Talk

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Have done from St.Jean to Santiago planning to do coastal route from Porto to Santiago July 2018
This is good information for my upcoming walk in July.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
What a beautiful, colorful map. Thanks for sharing. I hope to walk the Portuguese one day!
 

NobleSpaniard

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portugués (June 2018)
Thank you for sharing!

Also thinking about doing this towards the end of June, when I'm already planned to be on the Portuguese route. I'm not totally clear on the time factor of this variant, however. It seems like it simply adds one day to the trip between Pontevedra and Padrón. Is that accurate? I believe I've read at least one post on the forums which indicated the variant adds two or three days to the "normal" Portuguese route. But I don't see how that would be the case, and am trying to figure out what to expect.

I would greatly appreciate anyone who can fill in the blanks below, and/or who cares to add any other thoughts/recommendations.

From what I understand, thus far, the timeline goes something like this:

Day 0: Arrive in Pontevedra
-
Day 1: 23.2 km from Pontevedra to the Monastery of Armenteira
- Stay at the monastery? Cost?
Day 2: 22.7 km (including the Route of Stone and Water) to Vilanova de Arousa
-
Day 3: Catch the boat to Padrón (or walk 27.7 km)
- It seems that the boat takes less than an hour and a half. Is this typically a day of rest and sightseeing for people taking this option? I'm simply trying to figure out if we should plan on staying in Padrón that night, or what to do. I know the time of arrival will depend on when we leave. But, with some boats leaving at 0900, and some not until 1500, I'm curious as to whether we should plan on walking at all that day, perhaps to Teo, or what else Peregrinos typically find to do on Day 3. Or perhaps take 2.5 days to get to Vilanova, and just take the afternoon boat (if available) to Padrón?
 
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lettinggo

Active Member
Thank you for sharing!

Also thinking about doing this towards the end of June, when I'm already planned to be on the Portuguese route. I'm not totally clear on the time factor of this variant, however. It seems like it simply adds one day to the trip between Pontevedra and Padrón. Is that accurate? I believe I've read at least one post on the forums which indicated the variant adds two or three days to the "normal" Portuguese route. But I don't see how that would be the case, and am trying to figure out what to expect.

I would greatly appreciate anyone who can fill in the blanks below, and/or who cares to add any other thoughts/recommendations.

From what I understand, thus far, the timeline goes something like this:

Day 0: Arrive in Pontevedra
-
Day 1: 23.2 km from Pontevedra to the Monastery of Armenteira
- Stay at the monastery? Cost?
Day 2: 22.7 km (including the Route of Stone and Water) to Vilanova de Arousa
-
Day 3: Catch the boat to Padrón (or walk 27.7 km)
- It seems that the boat takes less than an hour and a half. Is this typically a day of rest and sightseeing for people taking this option? I'm simply trying to figure out if we should plan on staying in Padrón that night, or what to do. I know the time of arrival will depend on when we leave. But, with some boats leaving at 0900, and some not until 1500, I'm curious as to whether we should plan on walking at all that day, perhaps to Teo, or what else Peregrinos typically find to do on Day 3. Or perhaps take 2.5 days to get to Vilanova, and just take the afternoon boat (if available) to Padrón?

Hola NobleSpaniard

You are right that it take one day more to walk the Variante Espiritual, compared with walking the 'normal' way - that is if you compare the guide books.
And of course it also depends on how fast you are walking.
I do not know how much the Monastery cost as I was staying at the albergue, but maybe someone here on the forum got that answer. I would be amazed if noone could!

Regarding on what to do with the 'half day' involving the boat ride, I imagine that it depends where you started your Camino?
If you started in Lisboa or Porto, you may want a rest day and could stay in Vilanova - when I was there august 2017 it was a hot, small town by the ocean with a vivid market and lokal tourists.
If one likes to sit in the shadow and feel the heat and some ice tea, it could be a very good place.

Else you can take the morning boat and get to Padrón and see the town and the stone of course, which is located in one of the churces in town right on the Camino.
And if you started in Tui you may want to push on a bit, as you may not be so tired yet.

In general I think my most often advice is: don't make to many plans now :)
Just go and take it one day at the time.
Once you get to Vilanova you can decide what to do.
One day at the time - and
The Camino may not give you what you want, but it will give you what you need.

Buen Camino
Lettinggo
 
Past OR future Camino
SJPD-Burgos 2012/13 …. suspended the VdlP in Fuente de Cantos 3/20
Very useful - does anyone know if the boat runs in September and what the timetable might be?
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Very useful - does anyone know if the boat runs in September and what the timetable might be?

It runs if there are enough people (minimum of 8, I think, but I have heard that they might go with 5), and it depends on the tides. If they run at low tide they get stranded on sand banks.
Jill
 

lettinggo

Active Member
Very useful - does anyone know if the boat runs in September and what the timetable might be?

Hola Peter

The boat should absolutely run in September and probably also until November, is my guess.
Depending on how many pilgrims are on route there is either 1 or 2 boats leaving each day.
First one around 7 AM and second around Midday.
You buy the ticket for the boat at the Albergue the night before and they will give you the information about where and when.

The map I have shared in this thread is from the tourist information in Pontevedra.
You could call them and ask for their advice about the boat ride.
They were very helpful and spoke some english when I passed by them a few years ago.
Here is a link:
https://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/ciudades-pueblos/otros-destinos/pontevedra.html

I hope this helps. :)
Buen Camino
Lettinggo

P.S.
I do not know about the tides that Jill mention, but it makes good sense.
The timetable I know is from August.
It may be a bit different depending on the time of the year.
Still. In September I am sure there will be plenty of pilgrims and boat possibilities.
 
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SJPD-Burgos 2012/13 …. suspended the VdlP in Fuente de Cantos 3/20
Thanks - I've emailed la Barca del Peregrino and asked them in my best Spanish about the state of the tides etc & let you know what answer comes back
Peter
 

lettinggo

Active Member
Thanks - I've emailed la Barca del Peregrino and asked them in my best Spanish about the state of the tides etc & let you know what answer comes back
Peter
Hola Peter
I am just wondering if you had luck in reaching la Barca del Peregrino and get an answer about the tides?
Buen Camino
Lettinggo
 
Past OR future Camino
SJPD-Burgos 2012/13 …. suspended the VdlP in Fuente de Cantos 3/20
Hi - there was never any answer to my email although they agreed that they had received it, & in the end I phoned up on the day before and booked a place (and glad I speak Spanish), and glad I did so because there was only one boat that morning (last September) which left at 0730, and I had the very last seat. The trip was very beautiful and the captain a great guy who also acted as tour guide. I would do it again BUT be warned that at the cathedral, they will NOT give you a compostella because however tough the variante spiritual is (and it was in the high 30s) you won't have walked the last 100 kms. A strange ruling, I think, but if you take the ferry to the north side and walk from there you will, apparently, get your compostella. It was ok for me as I have two previous compostellas, but a party of three English girls were reduced to tears by this seemingly harsh decision.
Buen camino, Peter
 

lettinggo

Active Member
Hi - there was never any answer to my email although they agreed that they had received it, & in the end I phoned up on the day before and booked a place (and glad I speak Spanish), and glad I did so because there was only one boat that morning (last September) which left at 0730, and I had the very last seat. The trip was very beautiful and the captain a great guy who also acted as tour guide. I would do it again BUT be warned that at the cathedral, they will NOT give you a compostella because however tough the variante spiritual is (and it was in the high 30s) you won't have walked the last 100 kms. A strange ruling, I think, but if you take the ferry to the north side and walk from there you will, apparently, get your compostella. It was ok for me as I have two previous compostellas, but a party of three English girls were reduced to tears by this seemingly harsh decision.
Buen camino, Peter
Hola Peter
Thank you for your reply.
If I may recap, in September 2018 there were only one boat leaving Vilanova at 7.30 in the morning and it was full of pilgrims.
Future pilgrims should plan acordingly and maybe write or call ahead to hear when and how many boats are leaving.

Regarding the Compostela, it seems that some pilgrims may have problems obtaining it once in Santiago, while others do not.
I had no problem obtaining my Compostela in 2016, after I walked from Porto via Variante Espiritual to Santiago.
My best advise would be to obtain plenty of stamps /sellos each day the last 100 km towards Santiago.
Document your journey well and be prepared to explain you walk in detail at the Pilgrims Reception's Office in Santiago.

You may even show the map from this mail to them as it is an official map from the Oficina de Turismo in Pontevedra.
It may be used as an argument that Variante Espiritual is part of the "official Camino", but hopefully it will not be necessary.

I hope this helps. :)
Buen Camino
Lettinggo
 
Past OR future Camino
SJPD-Burgos 2012/13 …. suspended the VdlP in Fuente de Cantos 3/20
(1) talking to the pilot, the boat times are dependent upon the tides and so vary throughout the (lunar) month- the river is very shallow in the upper reaches,
(2) regarding the Compostela, I seem to remember being told that the VE didn't count in accordance with some ruling at SdC. But if it is as you say, why should some grumpy person behind a desk be able to cause problems?
Does anyone on the forum know a definitive answer?
Peter
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
(1) talking to the pilot, the boat times are dependent upon the tides and so vary throughout the (lunar) month- the river is very shallow in the upper reaches,
(2) regarding the Compostela, I seem to remember being told that the VE didn't count in accordance with some ruling at SdC. But if it is as you say, why should some grumpy person behind a desk be able to cause problems?
Does anyone on the forum know a definitive answer?
Peter
The definitive answer is that you have to walk the entirety of the last 100 km or bicycle or ride a horse the entirety of the last 200 km in order to qualify for a Compostela. If you have ridden in a boat for a number of km within the last 100 km (which you will have if you take the boat on the VE) then, by the rules, you do not qualify.

Some have said in the forum that some sort of exception has been granted the VE. There is no such exception written anywhere on the Cathedral website where the rules are to be found.

Many have said that they have taken the boat and still received a Compostela. Maybe the person at the desk didn't realize that a lengthy boat ride was part of the last 100 km. I doubt the people coming to the desk are talking about their boat ride. Maybe they knew but decided to be nice and not enforce the rules. I have always advised people for whom the Compostela is important that they may want to skip the boat and do the walking version of the VE or skip the VE, as they cannot be guaranteed a Compostela since they haven't technically met the requirements. Of course, they can always take the chance.
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Past OR future Camino
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
For the tide tables and other data look at:
buen camino - Jean-Luc
 
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