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Hazardous Bathrooms

2020 Camino Guides


The lights are turned on by motion sensors. The lights are on a timer. After a while the lights go out.

The worst one was while standing with my pants around my ankles and a hank of soiled toilet paper in my hand. Waving my other hand did not attract the attention of the motion sensor.

This photo was taken in one such bathroom:

Camino de Santiago 2012 565.jpg

I forget exactly in which bathroom I took this picture. It could have been one of several.

Always take your headlamp.


There is a bathroom at the NW corner of Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago.

Down the steps, turn left, past the police post.

The floor is extremely slick. I tweaked my knee in there. Not sure if this was the source of my woes but 5 days later I limped into Finisterre with bursistis in the knee bad enough to require going home early.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
In some restrooms you have to re-push the light switch, which is nowhere near the toilet. I learned this the hard way after frantically waving my hands over my head produced no results.


Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Another reason to take a smartphone on Camino - the torch app. Although 9% of iPhones repairs (or attempted repairs) are apparently due to a toilet dunking. They do have a tendency to fall out of pockets when pants are being lowered.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Talking of torches and toilets.....please be careful when using torches or headlamps on powerful settings even 'en plain air'. Heading out of Roncevalles just before sunrise in early April I kept sweeping my head torch on a massive arch in case I missed any of the crucial Flechas (it was day two and I was still a nervous nelly). In one of my Bear Grylls 'sweeps' across some low level greenery to the side of the path I caught the reflection of a pair of very startled eyes -at the time I told myself that it was a deer-but really the height, orientation and muffled expletives all suggest I'd just 'torched' a squatting pilgrim........ Whoever you are I'm very sorry.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
I was in an albergue where the lights went off in the bathroom within a minute or so of being turned on. When it turned pitch black, somebody in one of the stalls began banging away, not able to figure out where the door latch was to get out. When we got the lights back on, it turned out to be a woman who had accidentally gone in the men's room. The Camino provides some very strange experiences!
Camino(s) past & future
September - November 2013, Pamplona to Muxia (& beyond!)
I can empathize because, although I don't remember at which albergue this happened, the lights went out while I was mid-shower... no switches within reach and waving did nada. I seem to remember that, after the initial shock wore off, and I realized that it was just one more blip on the path, I started to laugh at the absurdity of it all ;)
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Olivares Hazardous sections of the Camino de Santiago 57

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