Chapter 04
The encounter

The meeting takes places in Os Peares. Just after the railway bridge is the Minho’s most important tributary, the river Sil. It is nearly a meeting of equals, with the Sil contributing 7,983 km2 of the river basin, 47 % of the Minho’s entire basin. The explorer Catherine Gasquoine reached this spot with her husband, Walter M. Gallichan.

It was 1902. A night of heavy rain awaited them; they were looking for shelter after three intense days of fishing. The sound of water seemed so close that she felt it was going to fall on them. Catherine took several days to lose her fear of flooding from the Minho.

The Miño and Sil meet at Los Peares, the Búbal and Sil at San Esteban. They all flow rapidly with white falls and rocky broken spaces, as if hurrying in fear of the mountains meeting and knocking the river out of existence. Sharp curves end the stretches of river between the rugged, uneven mountain-sides, on which hang tiny brown villages.

(Morning Post Journalist)
Spanish Galicia, 1922

I can recall nothing of that journey, but I remember as if it were yesterday, our arrival at Los Peares. The hour was nearing midnight. It was the blackest night we had seen in Galicia. Do you know the kind of darkness that blots out all the landscape, but leaves here and there lighter patches of grey that take ghostly shapes. In the station shed there were no lights, save a petroleum lamp carried by the Jefe de la estacion.

[…] The station is placed just above the river, and it is at this place that the Miño is joined by the majestic Sil, and also by the smaller river Búbal. The sound of the water was so near that it gave an impression of the inrushing of the tide. I felt that the water must come over us. It was many days before I lost my dread of the flood of this fear-inspiring river.

Spain Revisited: A summer holiday in Galicia,1911

Augusto Guedes Pacheco

General view of the iron railway bridge over the river Minho at Os Peares

Os Peares, 1967

Museo Etnolóxico de Ribadavia

Current views
Os Peares, 2023