We don’t like vandals anywhere, but even less in the Camino de Santiago, and especially on the Primitivo, which has always been a territory of authentic, Camino-loving pilgrims, for how tough and highly demanding it is. However, we are lately finding some shows of vandalism in areas of the Primitive Way near our albergues.
And today, a few weeks after that, we have found that some one has stolen the tile with the shell from the wall of the church of San Xorxe de Augas Santas:
We don’t know if it has been a pilgrim wanting to call attention or take a “real” souvenir of the Camino with him, or maybe a neighbour of the area wanting to annoy, or just someone who passed by and who can be proud of being really irrespectful and lacking any education, but we have this message for these vandals: you can graffiti your own house or that of your parents, or maybe tear out tiles from your own kitchen, but just leave the Camino de Santiago alone! Thank you.
It is usually said that the Camino de Santiago has Magic. It must be true, because in just a few days our albergues are suddenly about 2km closer to Santiago! Ponte Ferreira was 74,30km from Santiago, and A Nave was 75,10km. This week, however, the kilometric points of the new way markers have been installed, and all of a sudden the albergues are 72,40 and 73,20km from Santiago! 🙂
Albergue A Nave is about 500m before the old way marker with the kilometric point 74,622, and Albergue Ponte Ferreira is about 300m after it; now, with the new marking, they are respectively on kilometric point 73,175 and about 110m after kilometric point 72,528.
Hoy queremos compartir con todos vosotros algo muy especial, que nos ha llegado profundamente: Miwel, Fede e Ignacio son tres peregrinos que se alojaron en el albergue ayer, realizando el reto deportivo/solidario “Neuronas X Kilómetros“, con el que pretenden concienciar, recaudar fondos y luchar contra el Alzheimer y otras demencias mentales. El reto consiste en que Miwel (Miguel Vañó, alias “corredor heavy”) – apoyado por la revista online berunnermyfriend personificada en Fede – correrá 500km para recaudar fondos para la Asociación “Acuérdate de mí” de Bigastro (Alicante). Los 321km del Camino Primitivo son los primeros, pero seguirán otras pruebas, como por ejemplo la Maratón de Castellón. Podéis leer la historia completa, conocer la motivación personal de Miwel por esta causa y ver vídeos y fotos sobre el reto en los siguientes enlaces:
Web migranodearena.org, donde puedes hacer tu donación – que agradecerán por pequeña que sea – si así lo deseas
Os dejamos unas fotos de la visita de estos fuera de serie a nuestro albergue:
In December 13th, 2015, the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Santiago will be opened, just a week after the start of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy year, which will last until November 20th, 2016; this will be the first time that the Holy Door is opened in a not Jacobean Holy Year (the last one was 2010 and the next one is 2021). Pilgrims of Catholic faith who access the Cathedral through this door are granted plenary indulgence.
Addtionally, the Xunta de Galicia (the Galician regional government) has announced 2016 to be the year of the Camino del Norte and Primitivo, with especial investiments and improvements to be made on these Jacobean routes. A high increase on the number of pilgrims walking the Primitive Way is thus expected next year, and so from Ponte Ferreira we advice pilgrims to try to avoid the busiest months in the Camino (July through September), trying to walk your Way in other less busy, and even more pilgrim-friendly months, such as April, May, June or October, in which you will enjoy more peaceful walking stages and even more beautiful landscapes.
Have you decided to walk the Primitivo in 2016?
For many pilgrims, the Camino ends in Santiago. For many others it ends further West, at the edge of the sea, either in Fisterra or in Muxia. Some days ago I visited Muxia. I hadn’t been there since 2003, when I visited the Costa da Morte to photograph the effects of the black tide caused by the Prestige on the wildlife and population of the area; I wanted to visit the place now that it is again clean, and enjoy the Camino atmosphere that can be felt there. Here are some pics of that dusk in Muxia some days ago. I hope you like them:
I had the chance to meet Dave there: a pilgrim sat near me to enjoy the sunset, and after some chatting we found out that he had been walking the Camino Primitivo: a Primitivo pilgrim and a Primitivo hospitalero enjoying the Muxia sunset. He was ending his Camino there, after having reached Santiago, then Fisterra and then Muxia. It is amazing the relationship you can create in just about an hour of conversation. Dave, if you read this, receive our regards from Ferreira, in the Primitivo!
Juanma, hospitalero in Albergue Ponte Ferreira
We are fed up and angry of listening how pilgrims are fooled, because of economic or commercial interests, by people that have no respect for what the Camino is and means.
Last year we found how pilgrims were being missinformed, somewhere between Lugo and our albergue, that Ponte Ferreira was closed (being as it was the middle of the season!), so we started informing, in our blog and in our facebook site, that we were open every day, without exception, during the whole season. Today we have been informed by a pilgrim, surprised as he was for having been able to stop at our place for a sandwich and something to drink before continuing his Camino, that he had been told yesterday in Lugo that in our albergue no food was served (or any services given) to pilgrims not staying with us for the night. And of course, this couldn’t be more incorrect!
We want to use this post to ask hospitaleros of other albergues, owners and employees of bars, cafes, restaurants and other places along the Camino, that if they do not know the answer to a question made by a pilgrim, they just answer that they do not know, and do not missinform him, due to ignorance or bad will.
And we ask you, pilgrim, that if you are given information that you consider to be a little strange, do not just believe it; instead, call or email the place and ask them directly, as they are the best ones to give you the information you are looking for. It’s just too often that pilgrims walk passed our albergue and are shocked to see that we are open; they tell us that they would have stayed with us but they had been informed that we were closed, for which they stayed in the previous albergue, when ours would have been much more convenient for them because of its distance from Lugo.
We never missinform pilgrims! If we do not know the answer to a question, we suggest he/she calls the place and finds out by him/herself; we even sometimes call to find out for him/her!
As an example of this bad practice in the Camino, let us tell you something: we sometimes inform some pilgrims (if the circumstances demad so) that the next bar, a few km ahead, is closed on Thrusdays; sometimes they look at us a little suspiciously, as if they believe that we are lying to them so they purchase something to eat or drink from us; more than one pilgrim in such case has continued his Camino, expecting to get some food or drink there, and must have found that we were not lying. If there weren’t people lying and missinforming pilgrims along the Camino, there wouldn’t be that suspiction from pilgrims and they would not get these shocks.
Pilgrim, don’t let yourself be missinformed, and if you find that you have been, inform about it in public.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 🙂 Our first entry in the blog in 2015 is meant to give you some ideas of how the Camino behaved in 2014, as the Pilgrim’s Welcome Office has already published the statistics for December 2014, and thus we now have the complete information for the whole year.
The final total number of pilgrims has been 237.812, which means 9,22% more than in 2013. The proportion of pilgrims by foot increases from 87,17% in 2013 to 88,67% in 2014); oppositely, the percentage of cyclers drops from 12,34 to 10,65%.
The Primitive Way is the second Camino with the highest increase in percentage in 2014, with 17,15% more pilgrims than in 2013 (8.273 vs 6.854). The Camino with the highest increase was the English route, with nearly 39% more pilgrims. The only route to have diminished its number of pilgrims is the Via de la Plata, with 6,20% less pilgrims. Except for this case, the rest of routes have grown more than the French route, wich means that pilgrims are more and more diversifying the route they choose to walk to Santiago.
We believe this to be due to the growing number of pilgrims doing their second, third and succesive caminos, and thus they choose different routes in order to walk different caminos; however, we believe that pilgrims doing their FIRST Camino are still mostly choosing the French route. What do you think?
We also dare give another (personal) opinion: we believe that the actual number of pilgrims walking the Primitive Way is higher than the number given by the Pilgrim’s Office. This is due to that fact that those pilgrims starting their camino anywhere in the Camino del Norte BEFORE Villaviciosa and then detouring to Oviedo and the Primitive Way are still considered to have done the Camino del Norte at the Office, due to the informed starting point. Similarly, those starting the French route anywhere before León but then detouring here towards Oviedo through the C. del Salvador and then to Santiago through the Primitivo will be counted as French route pilgrims in the Office. We could as well add those pilgrims that do not visit the Office at all, something especially common in the hot Summer months, when the queues outside the office can be several hours long. Thus, if the official number for pilgrims in the Primitive Way in 2014 is 8.273, don’t you think the actual figure can be closer to or even higher than 9.000? 😉