I have also heard that. Unfortunately, it is very inconsistent. I guess some of those who place the shells "never got the memo!"Someone once pointed out to me that the orientation of the shells themselves offered directional clues, depending on which way they were facing (up, left, right). It seemed to be true at the time, but From memory I probably was already in Galicia at the time. Is this true in others’ experiences? Is it a consistent practice? Has anyone got some light to shed on this?
No. There is some consistency within a province. In Galicia the "bottom" of the shell points the turn. In other province, the "rays" of the shell may point the way. In some places, orientation means nothing. I once did the last 100km of four caminos ending in Santiago, and the Galician orientation for the then-new mojones was always correct and consistent! On the new mojones I think the shell is always the same vertical orientation with an arrow carved into the granite to show direction. Galicia tries to be consistent, but the standard changes!Is it a consistent practice?
Nothing changes. It has been like that for a thousand years, with the arrows enticing pilgrims to towns and villages to spend their money. On rare occasions it may even be beneficial - where there might otherwise be long, long distances with no supplies, beds, or chemists.Here's a new article about the practice of some restaurant and bar owners along the Francès to set up their own fake camino routes :
As far as i know, and at this moment, in Galicia the rays point in the direction of the way, and in the rest of Spain the bottom is to SdC. This is generally right, unless somebody makes mistake when putting the shell. In my city I had to go with workers of the "ayuntamiento" to correct some errors. I saw more errors in other cities. But recently a meeting of the "Consejo Jacobeo", an official estate, decide the shell is just a symbol, with or without orientation fonction (in my opinion, a decision which clarify nothing).Someone once pointed out to me that the orientation of the shells themselves offered directional clues, depending on which way they were facing (up, left, right). It seemed to be true at the time, but From memory I probably was already in Galicia at the time. Is this true in others’ experiences? Is it a consistent practice? Has anyone got some light to shed on this?
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