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Heights on the Camino Frances

wanderer806

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2013)
I'm not good with heights or drop offs beside the track. On a previous Camino I managed the bridge into Portomarin (not many choices there) and perhaps more difficult- the stairway to heaven at the end of the same bridge.
There are three sections that I'm worried about: Napolean Route (we went through Valcarlos as it was winter), coming down from Manjarin ( we took a taxi from there to Ponferrada, and then up and down O'Cebreiro ( again we taxied that bit).
I actually get dizzy and can vomit - but really want to walk the whole way.
Sue
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
When the water level is low (in the fall, for example) the bridge into Portomarin is probably the worst place on the Camino Frances, if you have a fear of heights. I can't think of anywhere else where you must walk close to a drop off.

Check this thread.
 

wanderer806

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2013)
When the water level is low (in the fall, for example) the bridge into Portomarin is probably the worst place on the Camino Frances, if you have a fear of heights. I can't think of anywhere else where you must walk close to a drop off.
Thank you - I guess the fact there is a railing was a help.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
To anyone who hasn't walked the Camino Frances yet, and has vertigo bad enough that the bridge leading into Portomarin may cause discomfort, you don't have to walk along the edge (rail). It's not a busy bridge at all vehicular traffic wise, what few cars you may see on it are not moving very fast and you can simply walk across it on the edge of a lane, facing traffic. If a car is coming step to one side and let it pass and continue walking. A few minutes later you are on the other side.
The stairway at the end is only about 30 meters long, very slight angle (35-40 degrees?) and wide (3-4 meters?). Quite safe.
Just use common sense and basic safety practices. Easy peasy.
ultreia
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 CF;
Hospitalera, Zamora 2017, Hospitalera Grañón 2018, Hospitalera Estella 2019
I also have a fear of heights and found the Portomarin bridge a little worrisome, but I did make it without an anxiety attack. I don't recall any other places that made me feel too bad. Of course, I did not go on the rooftoop tour of the Santiago Cathedral, but my husband did and said it was marvelous.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
For more re the fear of heights on the CF check out the posts on this earlier Forum thread.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/fear-of-heights.44321/

Unfortunately to enter Portomarin the bridge over the water must be crossed. In the past I have always walked facing traffic on the left side but on the traffic lane and not the walkers sidewalk. This "feels" a little easier. Sing loudly and you will be across in a jiffy.

The stone arch with high steps at the entrance to the village need not be climbed. Walk up the avenue de Sarria which is on the right as you face those steps and you will arrive at the remade Potemkin-like village.
 
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M

Mark Lee

Guest
The bridge. The stairs. Wide and solid. Don't appear to be in any danger of collapsing anytime soon.
Rio-Mino-Bridge-Portomarin-Galicia-Spain-Camino-de-Santiago.jpg camino-stairs-portomarin-56a9dc7c5f9b58b7d0ff926a.JPG
Hardly something to be dreaded. Certainly not "once more into the breach....".
Fear not, thou who has not walked the CF....:D
 

GreatDane

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF to Burgos Sept/Oct 2014, Burgos to Astorga April 2016, Astorga to SdC 2017
The bridge. The stairs. Wide and solid. Don't appear to be in any danger of collapsing anytime soon.
For me the stairs would only give me vertigo going down. Once at the top of those steps shown I wouldn't have to go back down them would I for any reason? I still need to complete my 3/3 of the CF. Nothing else has bothered me, but uneven stairs like that??? No thanks!
 

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