This route forgotten by time is one we would like to put forward as a means to get to Santiago. Today, it may be considered as already defined and fixed between Oporto and Santiago, and there is in place a programme of improvements with a view to its operationality. Restoration, at least in an integrated form, has not been carried out yet over the whole road, as it has been the case in the Galician section, under the Xunta initiative.
Each local authority is responsible for occasional cleaning activities and for taking extra care in the licensing of public and private initiatives. But other projects based on multiple joint ventures between the Jacobean associations being set up, local development associations with access to specific finance and the local authorities themselves, are also starting up.
And it is this co-operative effort which will bring about, in the short term, better functioning of the route and its articulation with the roads which converge on it from the most diverse regions of the country, including the establishment of the hostels necessary for this purpose.
In the same way also, the signage of the Way will come to have a definitive version in the future, though the Portuguese section still has a very basic identification, there are already many unmistakable yellow arrows to make it accessible to any pilgrim. This will be an opportunity to consolidate the signage in the opposite direction, towards Fátima, which is currently identified by blue arrows.
In effect, the Portuguese Way to Santiago, on its return, is a Way to Fátima because of the increasing affluence of Pilgrims who, out of devotion to the Virgin Mary, continue their journey after reaching Compostela.
We hope that this guide may contribute also to the perpetuation of Jacobean devotion and the promotion of the Portuguese Way, bringing into being the exhortation of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II who, in 1982, made his first pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela:
I, Bishop of Rome and Pastor of the universal Church, from here, Santiago, send you, old Europe, a cry of love. Find yourself once more! Be yourself, discover your origins, renew your roots, revive those authentic values, which made your History glorious and blessed your presence on other Continents!
Santiago de Compostela, 9th of November of1982
Pope John Paul II