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Was Camino Frances rerouted?

Camino(s) past & future
(2018)
#1
I went for a walk today with a friend who walked in 2010 and 2015. She said that she was really disappointed the second time because it had been rerouted and was a lot more walking along roads and less little towns. I know she walked the whole thing the first time but had to cut short the second time due to her husband's injury, so I am not sure if this is the whole walk or just part. I am also confused because I hadn't picked up on this from anywhere else. Can anyone tell me more about the changes between those years?
Thanks.
 

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Camino2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés
SJPP to Santiago (2010)
SJPP to Fisterra (2011)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2012)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2015)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2016)
#2
It gets changed here and there, or the Camino Francés has in my experience. For different reasons, one of them seemingly seasonal -- depending on planting and harvesting schedules for example. I've walked five times: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016. And I've entered Nájera three different ways over the years. My second year the path into Logroño was to the left, through the park by the lake, instead of across and alongside the highway. Now the new pilgrim stairway takes you over the highway instead of going across lanes of traffic. The first time I went through Portomarin, the narrow footbridge out of town was still being used. Not since then. And the second year, the Camino went out to the left around the point leaving town (beautiful view of the river!), not up the big steep hill I've been up every other year (and there's the infamously treacherous new way into Portomarin, yikes -- best avoided with the slightly longer but safer alternative; that change I think was due to a property dispute though I could be wrong). Several sections have been newly paved with concrete, or otherwise flattened and groomed, and it's a bit of a mystery sometimes what forces the change (I'm sure there are answers). I've entered Grañon two different ways, and last year when a friend got separated on the way from Moratinos to Sahagún, we found out from him that his detour to the left had been posted with signs and arrows (and he beat us to town in the bargain). I'm sure others could post with other examples. Those are the ones that come first to my mind. It's one thing that makes going back again interesting, finding out what about the path will be the same and different each time.

Rachel/Caminoheart

P.S. Thank goodness for the Saving Draft feature of this forum because I got kicked offline while I was writing this reply, and got to test it for the first time, 20 minutes later when I finally got back on! <3

P.P.S. Edited several times because my teeny tiny phone keyboard made a glorious fireworks display of typos. :D
 
Last edited:

RobertS26

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Oct 2013
Camino Frances, Aug 2014
Camino Frances, Apr 2015
#4
Knowing that the Camino has not changed significantly in the last few years, I have been thinking about how your friend could think it was rerouted. Then I thought how about the Camino splits into two (and sometimes three) paths at various points. For example, about 10 kilometers out of Leon, you can go right and follow the dreary highway for two days or go left and walk a serene route through small villages. If walk enough alternate routes on a second Camino it could seem like it's been rerouted.
 

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cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
#6
I first walked the CF in 2003 and there have been endless small changes since then - including much more pavement. Little of the path was groomed in the same way it is now and there were more paths through farmers fields and up over the hills leaving small towns instead of along the roads. But I can understand why a farmer might get tired of having 250,000 people a year traipsing through his fields, with at least a few of those people helping themselves to whatever harvest is available!!

I guess on the positive side, there's way less mud:rolleyes:
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
#7
There are endless small changes, and medium ones. Some for weather reasons, some for land ownership reasons, some for "improvement" of path, and some for local political reasons (which town gets the camino euro).

Samos used to be one of the most important stops on the Camino. Now the main route doesn't go there, though it is an easy (and highly recomended) optional route just before Samos (one last chance to have the road to yourself before the touragrinos arrive)

One of the most surreal moments for us was when we found ourselves on a 4 km stretch of Camino abandoned in the late 80s just after Sahagun, late in the day. The way markers were all very faded and utilized a camino mascot that no longer exists (he predates even the camino mascot used in the 90s whom you still see some versions of in Galicia). After Sahagun there are two options, the road one, and the more rural one. But in getting to the rural option there is the official option, and the one abandoned in the 80s. We ended up on it because got lost, took refuge at a bar, and a lady who ran a bar and was complaining about the camino detouring around her town for political reasons and directed us on the old route promising we'd find our way back onto the camino in an hour or two. Here is a picture of the old mascot, and then a cut and paste from somewhere else that I wrote about this experience:



About three miles out of the city we came to a fork on the road, but this wasn’t one of those forks that invariably leads to some grand realization. Everyone else’s guidebooks (and the arrows) pointed to the left, to a narrow path that followed right along next to the highway for a day and a half. Our book showed an optional path to the right, going first to Calzada de Coto and then through Calzadilla de los Hermanillos, before joining back up with the other route after twenty miles of being apart. There were some arrows pointing right, so we followed them, trying to avoid the interstate, but once we got into Calzada de Coto, we realized we were lost. And by now it was well into siesta time. The town, mostly a ghost town to begin with, was completely deserted. And we were hot. So we took shelter in a bar that had air conditioning and regrouped. Two highway construction workers sat at the bar drinking a beer, a woman in her sixties was manning the bar, and that was it—besides the four of us sitting at a table drinking water and eating a small snack. We asked to use her cell phone to call ahead for reservations, and expressed our dismay at there not being more signage.

The bar lady, who introduced herself as Carmen, began to explain that the main Camino route used to go this very way, but that the route had been changed for—in her words—“political reasons,” and the government had been actively removing signs for the old route. While we’ll never know the details, nor the truth of the situation (what small-town older lady anywhere in the world can’t be prone to embellishment?), the reality suddenly hit us of just what “losing” the Camino could do to a town. Sure, we had “lost” the Camino by stepping into a town off the route, but we hoped for directions to get back on it. But once a town “loses” the Camino, think of the loss of economy to that town. And these towns on the meseta aren’t thriving even with the Camino. Without it, what can even keep them there? We could tell the woman was worried. But, again in typical Spanish fashion, she wasn’t so worried about business that it would get in the way of her helping. She asked the workmen to step outside, she locked up and temporarily closed the bar, and she walked us across town, showing us a Camino route without signs. She pointed and said “walk.” And walk we did.

For five-and-a-half miles we walked without seeing a soul, and the only signposts we saw were obviously at least twenty years old, featuring a Camino mascot—a mouse who looks like Speedy Gonzalez wearing medieval Camino garb—who no longer existed. We may not have been walking a medieval trail, but we certainly were walking a trail preserved from the 1980s. And, yet, it was one of the most fun trails we had walked in days.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am planning to walk El Camino in May of 2017
#8
I am planning to walk el Camino Frances in mid May. A friend told me that when he walked it in April several years ago in 2011, it was very crowded and packed at night at the Albergues, and many of the hosts were "up to here" with peregrinos....he was trying to get me to walk the Via de la Plata instead. I am now confused.

It's too hot for me to walk the Plata...and don't know much about the Northern Route. I am a strong hiker so that might be a possibility....

I don't want to feel rushed to find a bed. The whole of the Camino for me is to NOT RUSH! :)

I do speak Spanish so I'm sure I could wander around and find alternative places...but am on a tight budget, too!

Sage advise, please??

Sue in Western MA
 

Camino2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés
SJPP to Santiago (2010)
SJPP to Fisterra (2011)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2012)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2015)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2016)
#9
Dear Sue, please don't fret, it's not necessary for you to. I wish I could give you the peace and knowing that all is well and you need not worry. This year I am going back to walk the Camino Francés for a sixth time. I adore the trail, the history, the beauty, the wonder of it, everything about it. I've walked in every month from June to October, including the 2010 Holy Year and two arrivals in Santiago in time for the July 24th celebration (thousands and thousands of people there for that), and only once did I arrive at an albergue that was full and resulted in my walking on to the next town. It was Ferreiros, after Sarria, where the albergue only has about 22 beds, and my friend and I arrived at 7:30pm. Of course it was full. ;) We could have stayed at a farmhouse down the road where beds were offered to us but we chose instead to walk on to Portomarin and that was a delicious adventure unto itself.

People have different experiences on the Camino so I won't guarantee you'll never find full albergues. They do fill up. But most of the "bed race" game is a state of mind, and attitude and intention have much to do with not getting caught up in it, as does common sense. If you finish walking by 2pm or so, chances are good you'll have no problem. If you stay in places in between the stage beginnings and endings in guide books, that also can help. But really, you will quickly find out how things flow on the Camino. I often think it's quite magical the way pilgrims find places to tuck into for the night, as many as there can appear to be walking throughout the day. (And some like to walk into late afternoon and evening.)

I've also stayed at several albergues where floor mattresses were set up and space made for extra pilgrims. I hope that eases your mind somewhat, because a joyful journey awaits you.

Buen Camino! I hope you get to see oceans of beautiful red poppies as you walk. :)

Rachel
 

Glenn Rowe

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
#10
I do speak Spanish so I'm sure I could wander around and find alternative places...but am on a tight budget, too!
Sue, do you speak Español de España, or Español de Las Americas?

There is a noticeable difference and, if you're not expecting it, it can throw you off. Spain natives can generally understand "Americas Spanish", but there may be times when you'll have them scratching their heads. You'll probably be scratching your head from time to time as well. For example, a tortilla in Spain is different from a tortilla over here.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am planning to walk El Camino in May of 2017
#11
Good thought! I spent 6 weeks in Bilbao in 1979, AFS summer exchange student, and left dreaming in Spanish!

Haven 't been back since and have spent most of my time speaking Spanish de las Americas (although Caribbean Spanish is also distinct).

I remember some colloquialisms and have a new friend from Spanish who has walked some of the Camino.

Knowing the language will help me in unknowable ways I am sure. And I enjoy interpreting and supporting people!
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am planning to walk El Camino in May of 2017
#12
Dear Sue, please don't fret, it's not necessary for you to. I wish I could give you the peace and knowing that all is well and you need not worry. This year I am going back to walk the Camino Francés for a sixth time. I adore the trail, the history, the beauty, the wonder of it, everything about it. I've walked in every month from June to October, including the 2010 Holy Year and two arrivals in Santiago in time for the July 24th celebration (thousands and thousands of people there for that), and only once did I arrive at an albergue that was full and resulted in my walking on to the next town. It was Ferreiros, after Sarria, where the albergue only has about 22 beds, and my friend and I arrived at 7:30pm. Of course it was full. ;) We could have stayed at a farmhouse down the road where beds were offered to us but we chose instead to walk on to Portomarin and that was a delicious adventure unto itself.

People have different experiences on the Camino so I won't guarantee you'll never find full albergues. They do fill up. But most of the "bed race" game is a state of mind, and attitude and intention have much to do with not getting caught up in it, as does common sense. If you finish walking by 2pm or so, chances are good you'll have no problem. If you stay in places in between the stage beginnings and endings in guide books, that also can help. But really, you will quickly find out how things flow on the Camino. I often think it's quite magical the way pilgrims find places to tuck into for the night, as many as there can appear to be walking throughout the day. (And some like to walk into late afternoon and evening.)

I've also stayed at several albergues where floor mattresses were set up and space made for extra pilgrims. I hope that eases your mind somewhat, because a joyful journey awaits you.

Buen Camino! I hope you get to see oceans of beautiful red poppies as you walk. :)

Rachel
Oh, Rachel. Thanks for the encouraging words! My gut says to "just go," and it's one of my Camino intentions to balance out the external and internal realms. This will give me lots of practice :)
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#14
Sue, do you speak Español de España, or Español de Las Americas?

There is a noticeable difference and, if you're not expecting it, it can throw you off. Spain natives can generally understand "Americas Spanish", but there may be times when you'll have them scratching their heads. You'll probably be scratching your head from time to time as well. For example, a tortilla in Spain is different from a tortilla over here.
Yeah, no. Not an issue. A few vocab words here and there, a differnt way to conjugate verbs, but no head scratching at all. Same as English in the UK vs in Canada. None issue.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#15
Back to the OP's question: The Camino is constantly being re-routed. It's a living thing. It keeps changing and evolving as the environment and economics and erosion continue to make demands on it.

I first walked from Roncesvalles in 1993. I went back again in 2001, and the trail was unrecognizable. In 2010 it was changed yet again, routed away from the charming villages, farmyards, and mud toboggans of earlier days.

If you look at the first Camino guidebooks from the 80s, you'll see a ton of roads not traveled any more. The government re-apportioned a lot of farmland, and old Ways (often a lot shorter and more practical) are now plowed under fields or buried under pavement.

I was interested to read Wavprof's account above, of the "forgotten" path. That's the Roman Road out of Calzada del Coto, and those funky signs are still out there... but the new AVE railway line has shifted that path, too. And since the Holy Gospel of Brierly now recommends that way over the "Camino Real" a little farther south, it's become much more heavily traveled -- a long, long way from "forgotten!" Something as simple as a popular guidebook can re-route travelers and paths.
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
#16
I was interested to read Wavprof's account above, of the "forgotten" path. That's the Roman Road out of Calzada del Coto, and those funky signs are still out there... but the new AVE railway line has shifted that path, too. And since the Holy Gospel of Brierly now recommends that way over the "Camino Real" a little farther south, it's become much more heavily traveled -- a long, long way from "forgotten!" Something as simple as a popular guidebook can re-route travelers and paths.
Spot on, except to say that this route was even more complex. It was the 5 km stretch that went TO the roman road. In the 2010/Brierly era the way to cut over to the roman road changed, so even the people who were doing that were on the new connector....what I found was the old connector.....5 kmm that almost no one was on.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#17
Sue, do you speak Español de España, or Español de Las Americas?
There is a noticeable difference and, if you're not expecting it, it can throw you off. Spain natives can generally understand "Americas Spanish", but there may be times when you'll have them scratching their heads. You'll probably be scratching your head from time to time as well. For example, a tortilla in Spain is different from a tortilla over here.
I speak basic functional Spanish, but am very far from being really versatile, and I don't think this is a significant issue. As in English, the individual and regional accents are a bigger problem than the generalization of America versus Spain. There is no way you are going to master all of those and eliminate all head scratching - I haven't done it in English!
 

camino-david

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
#18
Hi Sue
I have walked the Camino four times including Holy Year 2010 and I totally agree with my friend Rachel (camino2010). I never book a bed and on only one occasion was the albergue full, and I only had to walk another 2 kms to the next. I have walked in May, June, Sept, Oct and Nov
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2017)
#19
Here on Camino Frances now. It got very busy during Easter week and so we made reservations the night before to our next village overnight. We know how far we can walk and make reservations around 12 -15 miles each day. Simple, no stress to hurry and get your bed by 2pm. The room is waiting for us to arrive.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#20

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#21
make reservations around 12 -15 miles each day.
Well done, we always stop by 1pm, shower and then find the best restaurant for lunch.
We try and make this the main meal each day but there are a few traps in the larger towns with their tapas precinct [Pamplona , Logrono , Burgos]
 

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