After years of research and hard work by members of the Asociación Galega de Amigos do Camiño de Santiago (AGACS), a brand new scenic alternative route from Orbenlle to O Porrino is now marked and ready for pilgrims walking to Santiago along the last section of the Portuguese Way.
The Friends of the Camino association in Galicia has worked with local and government organisations to create this new alternative trail for pilgrims heading to O Porrino, avoiding the town’s infamous industrial estate and the N550 road. While the historic path of the Camino Portugués crosses the area today occupied by the industrial estate and the road in the outskirts of town, the association felt today’s pilgrims deserved a better ‘Camino’.
Their alternative itinerary takes walkers along the beautiful Louro valley instead, across a natural area (Espacio Natural de As Gándaras de Budiño) and follows parts of the Old Royal Way from Tui to Vigo (Camiño Real Tui-Vigo), where the walkers will encounter vineyards, crosses (cruceiros), chapels and other historic points.
This is an itinerary created by pilgrims, for pilgrims, in an altruistic way, out of their passion for the Camino de Santiago. The route is provisional, since the Xunta de Galicia (Galicia’s regional government) is currently working on a definitive route for the Portuguese Way to Santiago; but it sets solid groundwork for the government to build on. The new route also incorporates a third option, accessible to pilgrims on wheelchairs.
Well done to all involved and Buen Camino!
*Pictures: Manuel G. Vicente / www.amigosdelcamino.com