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Fear of heights


New Member
Hi All,

Starting in JSPP and going to Santiago. I have a very bad fear of heights, it seems to be as physical as it is mental, because I definitely get vertigo when I'm close to a steep ledge. I think if it was purely mental, it's something I could work on.

Anyways, are there any points that are going to be very difficult to pass along this route? It's something I've been working on for awhile, but it needs to continue to be gradual! :)
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There is quite a visual drop over the side of the bridge across the Rio Mino into Portomarin.


I understand Jake, I too have the true Vertigo, where the legs just go funny and the 'electric' shocks running up the back of them and so on ... there is a long upward section of the Napoloeon Pass where it is still road and there is just a void drop off the road to the right, unfenced, I walked against the cliff face all the way up that section, heart hammering at a 150+ ... like a woodpecker, in fear that I might get blown off it (no one does) but it is like all fearful situations .. you just cannot stay afraid for long and it gets easier and easier until it doesn't matter and you prance like a mountain goat and 99.7% of the Camino is fine.

You will be fine - :wink:
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Through focussing and walking across with others, I managed the bridge at Portomarin. However, the stretch from Herrerias to O Cebreiro was very difficult for me and on Camino III, I took a taxi.


I too have problems with heights - entirely mental in origin , but the physical symptoms (shaky legs, heart rate increase, shallow breathing, sweaty hands etc) are very tangible. I had a short course of hypnotherapy which helped me a lot. Also I have worked on fitness - if you have confidence in your knees etc in traversing steep paths etc it helps too.
My best advice - don't look down if you don't have to. Fix your attention on your next step, then your next etc etc then you will get past the scary bit and be justifiably proud of yourself for doing so. Also try to control your breathing if you are starting to panic - take slow controlled deep breaths until you feel better.
Best of luck, I am sure you will be fine.
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Active Member
Jake, I also have a fear of heights. I had been warned about the bridge at Portomarin but the day I walked across it I had forgotten to get scared and had forgotten that it was 'that' bridge - it was fine. Why? - perhaps because by then you have walked so far and you are now so in the camino that anything mental like that is achievable. I did find the walk around the mountain near the playground going to Trinidad de Arre was a little scary but I promise you, you will be fine. Just look ahead and do it. (this is from a person who is too scared to go down a big slippery slide at a playground!) cheers, Jane

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