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Mojones on the Camino Portugués

2020 Camino Guides

Bert45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo
The distance plates on the mojones on the Camino Portugués are (or were in 2016) glazed white ceramic with P.K. followed by a number, the distance to Santiago. I guess that the 'K' stands for kilometre, but what does the 'P' stand for? 'Portugués' seems the obvious answer but 'Portugués kilometre(s)' doesn't make much sense. Any ideas?
 

Bert45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo
That seems reasonable – kilometre point. But you're not sure. It would make more sense if the P.K. were followed by an integer. I have a photo of one with P.K.9.802 and another one P.K.28.935. Also, I just noticed they have use a decimal point, rather than a decimal comma as used on the Francés. Yet another: P.K.49.995.
Why not put a 50 km mojón 5 metres back? I wonder if these three examples were once labelled P.K.10, P.K.29 and P.K.50, but their locations have been recalculated, and, rather than move the mojones, they have been relabelled with their newly determined distance from Santiago. I wonder why the mojones on the Francés do not have P.K. – I guess they were done at a different time by different people.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
That seems reasonable – kilometre point. But you're not sure.
I have no doubt at all that @Pelegrin is 100% correct and that P.K. means Punto Kilométrico. It's a "thing" in Spain and France, according to Wikipedia. And just like milestones can be "placed at intervals of one mile or occasionally, parts of a mile", so can P.K. stones.

The whole point of the costly exercise of replacing the Camino waymarkers in Galicia during the past few years was to make them uniform throughout Galicia. As far as I can tell, today's mojones on the Camino Portugués have exactly the same design as the mojones on the Camino Francés.

Both decimal commas and decimals points can be used in Spain although it is recommended to use the decimal comma. The new Galician mojones make use of the decimal comma.

I find the three decimal digits on the new Galician waymarkers ridiculous. However, my reason is not that an integer or whole number is better. I find it ridiculous because it states (or pretends to state) a level of accuracy down to metre level that makes little sense for long-distance walkers. It is a useless piece of information, and I find it even distracting. One digit after the comma would be more than sufficient.

As far as distances go, they are just distances. They don't change whether you measure them in miles, in kilometres, in any of the many medieval leagues of any of the countries that sent pilgrims to Santiago, or in Roman miles, or in millimetres. As such, a mojón with km49,995 is just as good as a mojón with km50 that is placed five metres further back on the way. Their location is more important than what's written on them because their main function is to tell the walkers where to go or to confirm that they are still on the right track. So it is more than sensible that the administration did not make a fuss and did not try to figure out locations that resulted in "nice" numbers.
 
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Lindsay53

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
I must say I was intrigued by the distances to three decimal places, and the odd placement that defies logic.
 

Bert45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo
I must say I was intrigued by the distances to three decimal places, and the odd placement that defies logic.
They are usually placed after a fork in the road so that you can see which side of the fork you need to take. So there is generally some logic as to their placement. As such, we don't need to have a distance on them, but I suppose it is a free 'extra'. Given a choice, do you want the distance on there or do you prefer it without the distance? who's going to say 'no'?
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
They are usually placed after a fork in the road so that you can see which side of the fork you need to take.
Yes, I have found this placement quite frustrating when I have walked in reverse!!
 

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