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Careful while walking on the highways.

2020 Camino Guides

Krista Rogman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016), Camino Portugues (2017)
The local groups which maintain the camino are very careful in trying to keep you on the safest route possible. While the local groups will change the routes peroidically and thus making a longer section, it is likely safer than any alternative.

I met some pilgrims who thought that they were clever. Instead of following the camino they followed GPS. While GPS did lead them the shortest routes to the next stopping place, GPS took them mainly on the highways.

Know that walking on highways is dangerous and people do get killed.
At times there is no alternative but to walk on a highway, but get off as soon as possible.
 

erkovar

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be doing Portuguese Central Way starting Oct 19, 2018
Are there enough signs to keep people on the "right path."

I am walking first time in Oct. Porto to SDC but will have a guide book + camino ways app. But I am hoping that I don't have to rely on the phone and the signs + guidebook will be enough though the guidebook doesn't have a ton of advice for re-routes.
 
Are there enough signs to keep people on the "right path."

I am walking first time in Oct. Porto to SDC but will have a guide book + camino ways app. But I am hoping that I don't have to rely on the phone and the signs + guidebook will be enough though the guidebook doesn't have a ton of advice for re-routes.
There are plenty of signs! With the added help of an up to date guide book, you will not have any problems!
Bom Caminho!!
 

Krista Rogman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016), Camino Portugues (2017)
Are there enough signs to keep people on the "right path."

I am walking first time in Oct. Porto to SDC but will have a guide book + camino ways app. But I am hoping that I don't have to rely on the phone and the signs + guidebook will be enough though the guidebook doesn't have a ton of advice for re-routes.
There are plenty of arrows. If you don't see one by the next intersection back track to the last one you saw. Sometimes the arrows are small, in unexpected places and in one spot 1/2 way down the block.
I have done the Camino Frances once and the Camino Portugues out of Porto twice.
If you are going to start walking in the dark, it might be a good idea to walk the route out of what ever town you are in the evening before in the daylight. I found that leaving Tui could be especially challenging.
There are a few sections when you will have to walk along the N-550. Be very alert and take your time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Yes, and be especially careful walking on highways if you're wearing a rain poncho. A few years back I was blown completely over and nearly under a big truck. My poncho acted like a sail. I could have blown on the truck wheels they were so close. Never again...
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...
I met some pilgrims who thought that they were clever. Instead of following the camino they followed GPS. While GPS did lead them the shortest routes to the next stopping place, GPS took them mainly on the highways.
...
That's because people don't download Camino GPS tracks but instead using GPS device as if they would be driving in a car. Dangerous but also stupid thing to do if you want to walk the Camino.
 

erkovar

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be doing Portuguese Central Way starting Oct 19, 2018
Yes, and be especially careful walking on highways if you're wearing a rain poncho. A few years back I was blown completely over and nearly under a big truck. My poncho acted like a sail. I could have blown on the truck wheels they were so close. Never again...
WOW OMG good to know! THank u!
 

erkovar

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Will be doing Portuguese Central Way starting Oct 19, 2018
There are plenty of arrows. If you don't see one by the next intersection back track to the last one you saw. Sometimes the arrows are small, in unexpected places and in one spot 1/2 way down the block.
I have done the Camino Frances once and the Camino Portugues out of Porto twice.
If you are going to start walking in the dark, it might be a good idea to walk the route out of what ever town you are in the evening before in the daylight. I found that leaving Tui could be especially challenging.
There are a few sections when you will have to walk along the N-550. Be very alert and take your time.
Great advice, thanks!
 
D

Deleted member 83944

Guest
Some people are so addicted to GPS they lose all their own senses. I once went shopping in a village with a pilgrim like that. We turned right out the main square, then right and right again. He was genuinely surprised that we ended up... back in the main square. :rolleyes:
 

Lurch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
looking at 2018-2019
Walking with one of those right now. I tend to look at a map and figure point A to point B intuitively. His GPS does it a little differently.
 

astronwolf

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
planning Primitivo (April to May, 2019)
I've just been using Google Streetview to "travel" the Primitivo from Embalse de Salime all the way to Grandas de Salime. I even waved to a few pilgrims as a moused past them. It looks to me like there are several sections where the hapless traveler is forced onto the road because there is very little shoulder between the guard rail and the rock face. It looks fairly treacherous for pedestrians. The only option (other than take a taxi) seems to be "good luck" and "forge ahead."
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I've just been using Google Streetview to "travel" the Primitivo from Embalse de Salime all the way to Grandas de Salime. I even waved to a few pilgrims as a moused past them. It looks to me like there are several sections where the hapless traveler is forced onto the road because there is very little shoulder between the guard rail and the rock face. It looks fairly treacherous for pedestrians. The only option (other than take a taxi) seems to be "good luck" and "forge ahead."
There are a few kms along the side of the road after the embalse, but that road is not very busy. It’s never any fun walking on the road, but this is not one of the more terrifying stretches. And there is an arrow taking you off road a few kms before entering town, but many don’t take it becuse it ascends higher than the road. (It is not a big ascent by any means). Not a good decision, IMO — if the camino offers you a way to get off the road,go for it!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
:eek::eek::eek: ...more terrifying stretches?
HA.. I had two this summer. From Cáceres to Casar de Cáceres on the Vdlp, sheer terror on a workday morning at rushhour. (Casar de Cáceres is 11 km from Cáceres, which is clearly the employment center in the area). And even more terrifying, on the Mozárabe from the bridge on the N-430 after Santa Amalia and into Torrefresnada. But of course, if you walk it on a Sunday morning, you will have not a care in the world. But early morning work days are awful. When the trucks heading my way get really big, I stop walking and push myself as far over against the road barrier as I can. I lose time, but not my life!
 

Walton

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Unfortunately, and very sadly, there have been pilgrims killed on roads.

We try to avoid road walking wherever possible however in saying that, it is impossible to walk a Camino without sometimes having to cross roads and /or walk on roads. Being an English Penal Colony in the Antipodes (Australian) we also have the added challenge of overcoming the habit of expecting traffic to drive on the left hand side of the road, which of course, is not the case in Europe and America.

There is a lot to be said for wearing hi-viz clothing and you can buy cheap really lightweight fabric oversize jackets to wear while road walking. You could also attach hi-viz reflective tape to your backpacks and maybe to the legs of your trousers.

Also, common sense is needed as well. It it is foggy or raining, it is much harder for drivers to see you.

We always try to walk so we can see oncoming vehicles and sometimes we make plenty of movement so the drivers can see us. Othertimes, we look for escape routes if we think we are about to walk on a risky section of road.

Take care - extreme care if you want, and live to tell the tale.

Safe walking!
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
From Cáceres to Casar de Cáceres on the Vdlp
on the Mozárabe from the bridge on the N-430 after Santa Amalia and into Torrefresnada.
Terrifying and Terrifying.
I've heard that a camino association is trying to get funding to create a pedestrian river crossing for the Mozarabe. My guess is that this would mean stepping stones or raised platform at the ford over the Rio Burdalo to let pilgrims walk in a straight line from Yelbes to San Pedro de Merida - skipping Santa Amalia and Torresfrenada altogether.
If I can get more information, would you be interested in signing a petition or writing a letter to support this initiative? Would be good to put an end to pilgrims walking on the N-430.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Terrifying and Terrifying.
I've heard that a camino association is trying to get funding to create a pedestrian river crossing for the Mozarabe. My guess is that this would mean stepping stones or raised platform at the ford over the Rio Burdalo to let pilgrims walk in a straight line from Yelbes to San Pedro de Merida - skipping Santa Amalia and Torresfrenada altogether.
If I can get more information, would you be interested in signing a petition or writing a letter to support this initiative? Would be good to put an end to pilgrims walking on the N-430.
Do you know which Camino Association it is? Maybe we can help publicize their effort.

But the stepping stones might bring their own problem unless they are high enough to be above water and close enough for the average stride (and the spacing may have something to do with preserving the water flow). The stream crossing at Lires on the route from Finisterre to Muxia used to have stepping stones that were submerged most of the year. And they were too wide for many to take a comfortable stride, so it was kind of a little underwater jump. When I crossed, the water was almost up to my knees. The stones became moss covered and were treacherously slippery. Many people fell —not to their death, because the stream was only three or four feet deep, but not fun to get everything soaked. I guess there would be no moss covered stones in Extremadura, though!

In Lires, when the Xunta came to the rescue, they spent 250,000 euros to put in a bridge that a tank could go over. And put huge monumental stone paving for some distance leading to and from the stream. I assume that the Junta in Extremadura would not have the resources or the interest to do that!
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Do you know which Camino Association it is? Maybe we can help publicize their effort.
Not sure who will lead this. As far as I know, it's still at the nemawashi stage. Sending you a private message.
 

Geodoc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
I just purchased a wearable flashing LED reflector called Vizlet LED. Much like bicyclists that have flashing red LED lights on the back of their bikes, this might be worth putting on the back of a pack when trekking on roads (but always walk into traffic, not with it, when possible - much safer - that way you get to see the truck that hits you instead of being surprised).
 

wisepilgrim

Guidebook Author
Camino(s) past & future
Many
The Xunta announced a few weeks ago plans to eliminate 8 surface crossings along the stretch of the Camino Francés between Melide and Amenal. It is technically illegal to cross an N road outside of a crosswalk, so it surprises me that there hasn't been better planning until now.

I have been told by officials in Arzua that the stretch of road between Boente and Amenal is one of the most dangerous in the EU, not entirely surprising simply because of the number of pilgrims, and it looks like they are finally going to do something about it.

In other news, the right hand drivers need to remember to look left. Myself and another pilgrim saved a British peregrina who stepped into the road after looking right only... it was a split second grab of her pack that made all of the difference. The following year a different pilgrim wasn't so lucky in the very same spot.

I walk with the same philosophy as when I drive: every person behind the wheel of an automobile is crazy and stupid. It has served me well so far.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
And even more terrifying, on the Mozárabe from the bridge on the N-430 after Santa Amalia and into Torrefresnada.
I'm delighted to report that Badajoz Jacobea (the Camino association for this region) has signposted an alternative route from Medellin to San Pedro de Merida which avoids this section of road entirely.


If I understand the article correctly, The route goes through Yelbes and allows pilgrims to cross the Rio Burdalo at a point where there is a natural bump which allows pilgrims to ford the river safely most of the time. The signage provides warnings about when it is safe / unsafe to cross. My advice would be to check with the locals in Medellin and Yelbes to confirm the river conditions before you do this.

I look forward to hearing from people on the way about the new route.
 

Carel5

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Mozarabe: Almeria - Merida
2018 Francigena: GSB - Massa
(2019) Francigena: Massa - Roma
In April 2016 I followed a French couple out of Yelbes. A few kilometers outside the town the yellow signs disappeared. It turned out that we were on the old Burdalo route that was no more maintained. The local people in the fields however insisted that we were on the Camino and pointed us the right way. The Burdalo crossing turned out to be very easy, much easier than all the others on the Mozarabe. The water was well below the knees. It would be good to revive the old route. It is much shorter and not along busy highways. A must however is correct information about the river conditions.
 
Last edited:
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
Geodoc Personal Safety 31
SabineP Personal Safety 76
peregrina2000 Personal Safety 21

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