“I can not change the direction of the wind but I can adjust the sails to reach my destination”Tours DMC Bosques de Galicia
The tradition of the English Way goes back to the Middle Ages, when the departmental city of Ferrol began to position itself on the world map given its strategic position. With a safe harbor, protected by the shelter of the estuary, sailors and pilgrims, especially from northern Europe, disembarked on this corner of the Atlantic. That is the reason why today it is known by this name, since mainly the most assiduous to this landing were the inhabitants of Britain.
The dark side of the Way
After the rise of the Way in the fifteenth and sixteenth century were many who tried to take advantage of this pull. On one side, there were the thieves specialized in confusing the pilgrim and lead him to small trafficked roads and thus commit the theft. Also began to be very common deception by owners of pubs, charging exorbitant prices to foreigners. This situation worsened in such a way that Felipe II himself and his court, alarmed by the picaresque of some, decided to apply harsh sanctions to those who tried to take advantage of the pilgrims.
The Original One
Despite what many may think, the first documented Jacobean route is the Primitive Way. Specifically, this is one of the first most illustrious pilgrimages: the King Alfonso II the Chaste walked from Oviedo to visit the newly discovered Apostle’s burial. It is one of the hardest, since it has numerous slopes, joining the French route in the last kilometers.
Beware of the signs
In addition to the already famous yellow arrows, another of the distinctive elements of the Camino are the landmarks or milestones, representing a shell or scallop that indicates the correct direction. Outside the Galician community, you should follow the direction where the lines meet, theoretically representing this point the city of Compostela and the lines of the different roads. In contrast, in Galicia presents the opposite form, we must follow the direction with the most spaced lines.
Devotion to Father Valiña
Besides the Saint, the pilgrims should owe devotion to Father Valiña, promoter and propagator of the Jacobean culture since the 20th century. Specifically, between the 70s and 80s he fullfiled the task of loading his small car with yellow paint cans and proceeded to signaling the main routes. In addition, he was the promoter of Friends of the Way Associations and to incentivate the Jacobeo year of 1993, a key year since the numbers of pilgrims have not stopped increasing exponentially.