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Ribadeo Bridge

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
Hi all. Ok so I have a terrible fear of heights and I am due to cross Ribadeo Bridge today. I have seen the previous discussions on this bridge with relation to heights! I even took a bus out to look at it last night and yes it’s to be tough. I may end up getting a taxi across. I don’t think there is any other way across apart from a never ever walk around it which looks about 30km?
 
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Sirage

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
Be brave - it can be a good walk. I don't think anyone died or had an accident. No engines to fail or dangerous vehicles to run into. Nearly impossible to accidentally fall off, the best I can remember. You might have good memories after you walk it. Then indulge for lunch.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
I have no first hand experience, but people have mentioned this bridge. Some were ho-hum. Others not so much:
EXCEPT THAT BRIDGE - OMG!!! - THAT BRIDGE!!!!! There is a high fence on the traffic side, but the railing on the water side was TOO LOW and my phobia took right over. I was absolutely terrified, my knees were shaking and like jelly and I felt sick all over. It’s close to 0.40 mile long. FORTUNATELY no one else was on the bridge except for one bicycle that passed me going in my direction. I don’t know how long it took me to inch across as I had not looked at my watch when I started. I had to sit on the ground to regain my composure once I got across. TAKE A TAXI ACROSS! HIJACK A BOAT ACROSS!! SWIM ACROSS!!! Let a car hit you and TAKE AN AMBULANCE ACROSS!!!!
😂
But it's no laughing matter.

Take a deep breath, one step. Then another, then another. Focus on the sensations in your feet, the solidity of each step. Train your eyes to look to the traffic side, not the water side. And if you need to, hang on to the wire fence between you and the cars.
You. Can. Do. This.

But...if it's totally overwhelming, you do have options:
The route to Vegadeo is the historical route before the bridge to Ribadeo was built. The route and the albergues on this route are also mentioned on gronze.com (Camino Historica por Vegadeo)

Anyway, the route has also been discussed on this thread:

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...-the-norte-from-la-caridad.64401/#post-790465
I have not walked it myself
There is no dishonor in going that way!
 
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OZAJ

Member
Past OR future Camino
Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres (2008) Norte (2009) Vezelay/Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2010) etc.
I don't care for heights and I have crossed this bridge on foot twice. It is perfectly safe.

Keep your ears stiff and keep on keeping on!!

Best of luck.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
It is indeed a bridge you will remember. It is a narrow passage, used in two directions, which means you might be involved in a not foreseen "dance" with people coming from the other side ( sometimes even with bikes)
It certainly is not dangerous : you would have to put in a lot of effort to fall off the bridge. If your fear would not get in the way you would have a beautiful view from the bridge
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
If your fear would not get in the way you would have a beautiful view
It is a nasty bridge, but the views from it over the Eo estuary are gorgeous (I was going to say "to die for", but that might be insensitive):

DSC_0687.jpg
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Various ones.
This might be too late in your day too make a difference but there is fluvial path South before the bridge and it connects up with the other option for this Camino, which is the original path before the bridge was constructed, it reconnects with the variant from Ribadeo at Mondonedo, it is a more rural way with more ascent and descent.


 
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dick bird

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Hi all. Ok so I have a terrible fear of heights and I am due to cross Ribadeo Bridge today. I have seen the previous discussions on this bridge with relation to heights! I even took a bus out to look at it last night and yes it’s to be tough. I may end up getting a taxi across. I don’t think there is any other way across apart from a never ever walk around it which looks about 30km?
We walked back over that bridge in a howling gale (and it wasn't a pleasant experience) and found our way around the ria (thank you google maps and wikiloc) onto the ruta historica (historic route). That was well worth the effort. It is a quiet, beautiful variant with few pilgrims and crying out to be followed more. By the way, Aymeric Picaud, supposed author of the Codex Calextinus, had some very harsh words to say about ferrymen so there is a precedent, given that the bridge is only a few decades old. Admittedly they weren't Galician or Asturian ferrymen but he wasn't particularly nice about Asturians or Galicians either. You could get the taxi to the historic route. Think about it. There is another post about earlier in this thread. you could get the taxi to Vegadeo which, pre-Covid, had a lovely little albergue.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Thanks for all the support advice. Acrophobia (excessive fears of heights) makes this a challenge and whilst I know the bridge is safe, and that I can’t fall in, this is very much a irrational thing! Anyway I will report back once hopefully I do it.
Not irrational at all. If you fear heights then you fear heights. Haven't crossed this one but the Portomarin bridge gives me pause. Last time I crossed it the water was exceptionally low so I walked practically sideways staring at the tarmac a few feet away from me.
Do you have somebody with you who can literally hold your hand?
Either way remember what they say about mountain climbing and childbirth: "best to not look down!"
Good luck, hope it goes well.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Either way remember what they say about mountain climbing and childbirth: "best to not look down!"
LOL. But probably the best advice to give.

There's a difference between acrophobia (fear of heights) and "distance vertigo" or "height vertigo" which is something that many people can experience in some situations, and it can be experienced as terrifying as acrophobia. As far as I know it has to do with peripheral vision, i.e. lack of close fixed objects in your peripheral vision. I don't experience height vertigo on bridges but sometimes in cable cars in the mountains. I look either at my feet or at the mountain side right in front of me if it is close. But usually I enjoy the glorious views all around me.

So where should he look at while crossing the bridge? At his feet? At the shadow of the metal fence on the pavement perhaps? Touching the metal fence? Crossing the bridge with someone walking right in front of him and staring at their backpack? Or concentrate on what in his mind? There must be better advice than I crossed it and it wasn't so bad? 😇
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
LOL. But probably the best advice to give.

There's a difference between acrophobia (fear of heights) and "distance vertigo" or "height vertigo" which is something that many people can experience in some situations. As far as I know it has to do with peripheral vision, i.e. lack of close fixed objects in your peripheral vision. I don't experience it on bridges but sometimes in cable cars in the mountains. I look either at my feet or at the mountain side right in front of me when it is close. But usually I enjoy the glorious views all around me.

So where should he look at while crossing the bridge? At his feet? At the shadow of the metal fence on the pavement perhaps? Touching the metal fence? Crossing the bridge with someone walking right in front of him and staring at their backpack? Or concentrate on what in his mind? There must be better advice than I crossed it and it wasn't so bad? 😇
Good suggestions all. On my last foray (boy was the water low that year!) I had a friend behind me making sure I didn't get crowded; stared at the tarmac and counted steps to 4 over and over again then as we closed on the otherside, shifted my focus to the steps and archway leading into town.
People were very understanding, a burly Dutch guy clapped me on the shoulder and shook my hand to say "well done".
No problems leaving on the little bridge the next day or, for that matter, any other bridge on the CF. Just entering Portomarin.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Never crossed Ribadaeo and Portomarin was not a problem; however pure hell was the metal bridge entering Leon.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
So where should he look at while crossing the bridge? At his feet? At the shadow of the metal fence on the pavement perhaps? Touching the metal fence? Crossing the bridge with someone walking right in front of him and staring at their backpack? Or concentrate on what in his mind? There must be better advice than I crossed it and it wasn't so bad?
Breathe.
Look roughly 1-2 meters in front, but more to the side away from the water. Soft focus, keeping most of the attention on some grounded bodily sensation, like the sensations of the feet.
Notice the physical sensations of the fear, just as simple sensations, giving them a lot of space. And be very careful not to get on any trains of thought that could spin out of control.
And yes, agree absolutely. Don't look down!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Thanks, @VNwalking and @Jeff Crawley for your tips of concentrating on breathing and on doing repetitive mental tasks like counting your steps to 4 over and over again or repeating a song in your mind over and over again. Good advice!

I'm now flooded with memories of a descent on a narrow ridge from the Aiguille du Midi near the Mont Blanc once and of walking halfway across the old Portomarín bridge (no guardrails!) at low water level, after having crossed the river on the modern high Portomarín bridge the previous day but let's hear first from @Chef66.

PS: Bingo! He's done it. We posted at the same moment.
 
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Algosot

New Member
Past OR future Camino
French 2014
North 20
Primitivo
Portugues
Mozarabe
Via de la plata
San Salvador
Camino del mar
Hi all. Ok so I have a terrible fear of heights and I am due to cross Ribadeo Bridge today. I have seen the previous discussions on this bridge with relation to heights! I even took a bus out to look at it last night and yes it’s to be tough. I may end up getting a taxi across. I don’t think there is any other way across apart from a never ever walk around it which looks about 30km?
Nothing better than walking with a rush!! It is very unusual and you can feel your blood going up your head and then going down. This feeling gives you a sense of plenitude and emptyness one after the other. It will last two or three times before is gone, and then you just walk like a zombie. No matter what is around or how high or low is your support.
You will have to be brave and face your fear, but this is part of your camino and after you do it you will be proud of yourself and with a valuable lesson. Overcoming your fears is a huge part of life. You will become a better person once you look behind. Good luck and Ultreia.
By the way, once in Ribadeo there is a restaurant on a steep way to the center (can´t remember name) that has a very rewarding rice with lobster at a very good price. This will serve as a reward for being so brave....
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
Thank you all again for your support today. Acrophobia eh!!! Far worse things of course but now and again.... ! Anyway I was made aware of this bridge when I did a ‘Norte/heights’ search a few weeks back. I knew it would be an issue. So after walking to La Curidad yesterday I caught a bus to Ribadeo to take a look, and also leave my backpack there, in the hope that after catching the bus back to La Curidad this morning, I could walk quickly to the bridge!

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to cross it. I took a few tentative steps on it last night and it scared me. For he record the bridge is perfectly safe and the barrier respectably high but we are dealing in the irrational here. I did look an other options. Walking around (too far) taxi (if I have too) walking along the side of the car lane (I know!!!) but I knew that it had to be walking by bridge.

So how to walk! Options were to crawl (too far), cling on to inner fence and go slow, or try and walk across as quick as possible. I got into my stride on the walk and decided to go for the quick walk. The adrenalin was pumping and I felt quite bullish. It was by far far the quickest walking day I have had, albeit free of backpack and ‘only’ 20kms. As I got about 1km away I had to smile. Two helicopters appeared overhead. Either something has happened or they have been reading the forum! No idea. Anyway bullishness disappeared when I saw bridge but I just went for it. I prefer the ‘drop’ to be on my right side so was able to walk on that side of the bridge. I put my right hand loosely on the outer rail and just walked at pace. I dipped my head down and inwards so vision of water was limited. One of the things with acrophobia is that sufferers worry they will lose mental control and throw themselves off bridge. Yes phobias are weird. Separately I couldn’t resist the temptation to occasionally look down at water even though it makes me giddy. The last few metres must be what an Olympian feels like for the last few meters of a race when they know they have won. The moments after feel a mixture of calm and ecstasy!

For non sufferers this will make you scratch your head but hopefully sufferers get it!!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Yes phobias are weird. Separately I couldn’t resist the temptation to occasionally look down at water even though it makes me giddy.
Bravo, @Chef66! I used to have what was probably not a clinical fear of flying but I just really suffered a lot. I remember once my husband looked at me, clearly annoyed by my grabbing his knee yet again, and said -- come on, this is just in your head! Well, duh, of course that’s where it is — that’s where all irrational fears are! I thought that was the most unhelpful comment I had heard, but I can report that I don’t get anxious much at all on the plane anymore. I’m pretty sure some of it has to do with the fact that i no longer torment myself by wondering who will take care of my kids if I die, since they are both in their late 30s now.

And now, to reward yourself, if you can, get out to Playa de los Catedrales, an absolutely amazing beach near Ribadeo with incredible rock formations. We filled up a cab with pilgrims and it was very cheap. But check the tides, because you want to get there as close to low tide as possible. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Mera

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
Hi all. Ok so I have a terrible fear of heights and I am due to cross Ribadeo Bridge today. I have seen the previous discussions on this bridge with relation to heights! I even took a bus out to look at it last night and yes it’s to be tough. I may end up getting a taxi across. I don’t think there is any other way across apart from a never ever walk around it which looks about 30km?
Fear is a subjective feeling, very real to each person. You may be able to do some things that other people can only dream of, I believe walking to Santiago is one of them. I have close friends who think that I am out of my mind to walk 500 miles alone, and they will never do it unless their lives are dependent upon it. So, if you don't feel comfortable walking the bridge, why not find a way that is comfortable for you? You don't have to prove anything to anyone. No one who loves you will think any less of you just because you prefer not to walk the bridge. Buen Camino.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
Fantastic! You won't forget this victory for a long time. @peregrina2000 's advice sounds a perfect celebration. You will need a ticket.
From 2015 there is a limit in the number of visitors allowed per day. You can get your reservation, here: https://ascatedrais.xunta.es/monatr/inicio?lang=es.

One of the things with acrophobia is that sufferers worry they will lose mental control and throw themselves off bridge
This is very strange, but true. I looked this up, and it's fascinating.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
Oh and I read this last night which captures it perfectly!
 

ELHS220

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés - 2015, 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
Hi all. Ok so I have a terrible fear of heights and I am due to cross Ribadeo Bridge today. I have seen the previous discussions on this bridge with relation to heights! I even took a bus out to look at it last night and yes it’s to be tough. I may end up getting a taxi across. I don’t think there is any other way across apart from a never ever walk around it which looks about 30km?

I see I was mentioned in one of the comments. Here is my video.

 
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ELHS220

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés - 2015, 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
Thank you all again for your support today. Acrophobia eh!!! Far worse things of course but now and again.... ! Anyway I was made aware of this bridge when I did a ‘Norte/heights’ search a few weeks back. I knew it would be an issue. So after walking to La Curidad yesterday I caught a bus to Ribadeo to take a look, and also leave my backpack there, in the hope that after catching the bus back to La Curidad this morning, I could walk quickly to the bridge!

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to cross it. I took a few tentative steps on it last night and it scared me. For he record the bridge is perfectly safe and the barrier respectably high but we are dealing in the irrational here. I did look an other options. Walking around (too far) taxi (if I have too) walking along the side of the car lane (I know!!!) but I knew that it had to be walking by bridge.

So how to walk! Options were to crawl (too far), cling on to inner fence and go slow, or try and walk across as quick as possible. I got into my stride on the walk and decided to go for the quick walk. The adrenalin was pumping and I felt quite bullish. It was by far far the quickest walking day I have had, albeit free of backpack and ‘only’ 20kms. As I got about 1km away I had to smile. Two helicopters appeared overhead. Either something has happened or they have been reading the forum! No idea. Anyway bullishness disappeared when I saw bridge but I just went for it. I prefer the ‘drop’ to be on my right side so was able to walk on that side of the bridge. I put my right hand loosely on the outer rail and just walked at pace. I dipped my head down and inwards so vision of water was limited. One of the things with acrophobia is that sufferers worry they will lose mental control and throw themselves off bridge. Yes phobias are weird. Separately I couldn’t resist the temptation to occasionally look down at water even though it makes me giddy. The last few metres must be what an Olympian feels like for the last few meters of a race when they know they have won. The moments after feel a mixture of calm and ecstasy!

For non sufferers this will make you scratch your head but hopefully sufferers get it!!

Your feelings describe mine to a “T.” I am glad that I am not alone. I get that same “throw myself off” feeling and I often use the word “irrational” in my comments to others. I could not touch the railing. I held on to the fence on the highway side, kept my gaze on my feet, and walked sideways a lot. It was an absolutely horrible experience. If the railing on the water side had been shoulder height or higher, I don’t think that it would have affected me as much.
 
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2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I taxi'd it every time. I have dealt with enough terrifying and difficult things in my life, and I do not for a minute feel that I am a better person for having done so. I tried this bridge, and reversed my direction after 3-4 minutes, and found a taxi. I knew if I had no choice, I would have followed several of the bits of advice which others have kindly offered, but there were taxis.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
This has been the most fascinating thread - and very satisfying in the way that pilgrims helped pilgrims get across the bridge!! I don't suffer from this phobia, but still I think I can imagine what it is like.
Two helicopters appeared overhead. Either something has happened or they have been reading the forum!
🤣 🤣
I’m pretty sure some of it has to do with the fact that i no longer torment myself by wondering who will take care of my kids if I die, since they are both in their late 30s now.
That helps me a lot too. I leave good instructions about where all the important documents are, and now I can breathe easy on the flight.

Here is my video... It was an absolutely horrible experience.
Your video was great, and the comments helpful. Do you feel that you could do it any more easily if you had to do it again?

Crossed it about a minute ago!
Yay!
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
I have a terrible fear of heights

Just think, if you do it first thing in the morning you won't need your Cafe con Leche to wake you up !!!!!!!!!!!
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
Your feelings describe mine to a “T.” I am glad that I am not alone. I get that same “throw myself off” feeling and I often use the word “irrational” in my comments to others. I could not touch the railing. I held on to the fence on the highway side, kept my gaze on my feet, and walked sideways a lot. It was an absolutely horrible experience. If the railing on the water side had been shoulder height or higher, I don’t think that it would have affected me as much.
Thank you! Yes I only held onto the outer rail with an outstretched hand. My body was firmly on the inner side! Yes a few more feet on the outer barrier (akin to the inner) would make all the difference. That’s the key for me!!
 
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Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
I taxi'd it every time. I have dealt with enough terrifying and difficult things in my life, and I do not for a minute feel that I am a better person for having done so. I tried this bridge, and reversed my direction after 3-4 minutes, and found a taxi. I knew if I had no choice, I would have followed several of the bits of advice which others have kindly offered, but there were taxis.
Thank you! Yes I was unsure whether I would walk and I think the mental build up the whole day got me onto a zone where I managed it. Waking up this morning this morning thinking ‘could I do it again’ .. well I have no idea!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I am completely sympathetic. My husband has a video, hopefully never to be seen in public, of me walking across that bridge, carefully stepping as close as I could to the car lane, lifting my right foot over every rib of the bridge to avoid walking closer to the edge.

Another nightmare of a bridge (actually there are two quite close together) was, I think, on the Embalse de Alcántara (VDLP). Very similar. A long way down and a very narrow walkway beside the road.
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Northern Route, 2017 Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra. 2018 Frances, 2018 Ingles, 2019 Portugues
Be brave - it can be a good walk. I don't think anyone died or had an accident. No engines to fail or dangerous vehicles to run into. Nearly impossible to accidentally fall off, the best I can remember. You might have good memories after you walk it. Then indulge for lunch.
I hate all the bridges, especially the ones going over the motorways. Put your head down and put one foot in front of another. Take deep breaths, counting if you will and dont look over the sides. Good luck.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
So after walking to La Curidad yesterday I caught a bus to Ribadeo to take a look, and also leave my backpack there, in the hope that after catching the bus back to La Curidad this morning, I could walk quickly to the bridge!
It was a good idea to have your backpack out of the way when crossing the bridge and in order to be able to walk towards the bridge and over it quickly. We will add this to our catalogue of general forum recommendations. 😉

I also noticed that you consciously picked the side of the bridge where the ‘drop’ is on your right side. I would do the same and wonder whether it has to do with right handedness/left handedness or simply conditioning (I live in continental Europe).
 
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Phoenix

Generic member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Ok so I have a terrible fear of heights
I did, too, until my 40s... until I went out the door of a plane a few times. Doing that seems to have provided a measurable "cure." Although still not fond of ladders or scaffolding, I've found that I can walk along cliffs and over tall bridges with only mild discomfort. I realize what I've done isn't a cure for everyone, but like you, facing a fear and overcoming it seems to lessen the hold it has on you.

Congrats on facing it and overcoming. Buen Camino.
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
It was a good idea to have your backpack out of the way when crossing the bridge and in order to be able to walk towards the bridge and over it quickly. We will add this to our catalogue of general forum recommendations. 😉

I also noticed that you consciously picked the side of the bridge where the ‘drop’ is on your right side. I would do the same and wonder whether it has to do with right handedness/left handedness or simply conditioning (I live in continental Europe).
Thank you. Yes I wondered why I favoured the drop to the right. I am right handed and that feels my natural side, in terms of the side I am in control of more!!
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
I did, too, until my 40s... until I went out the door of a plane a few times. Doing that seems to have provided a measurable "cure." Although still not fond of ladders or scaffolding, I've found that I can walk along cliffs and over tall bridges with only mild discomfort. I realize what I've done isn't a cure for everyone, but like you, facing a fear and overcoming it seems to lessen the hold it has on you.

Congrats on facing it and overcoming. Buen Camino.
Thank you! I did a bungee jump a few years back but sadly not a cure. I have a video of it and it shows me smiling at the camera pre jump without seemingly a care on the world tho it was undoubtably the scariest moment of my life!!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I did the Tandem Romberg test right away after reading the article. I already start to wobble after a few seconds
I pretty much fell over immediately! :(
I also noticed that you consciously picked the side of the bridge where the ‘drop’ is on your right side. I would do the same and wonder whether it has to do with right handedness/left handedness or simply conditioning (I live in continental Europe).
I don't have a phobia about this, but I would choose to walk with the drop on my left. As it happens, I am left-handed.

Couldn't conditioning explain either side - walking facing the traffic, or walking with the traffic?
 

Chef66

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Now
I pretty much fell over immediately! :(

I don't have a phobia about this, but I would choose to walk with the drop on my left. As it happens, I am left-handed.

Couldn't conditioning explain either side - walking facing the traffic, or walking with the traffic?
I don’t know! It’s interesting. I was so ‘zoned out’ I didn’t even notice the traffic or even relate to any noises! I was almost in a trance I guess. This helped me. I looked ahead a few times to see if anyone was approaching, and how far to go, but that was my limit of ‘contact’ with what was going on a round me! The more you think about it the interesting it gets!
 
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Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés(2008,09 14)
Del Norte (2011)
Portuguese(2015,2017)
Inglés 2015
Fisterre (2015 17)
Thank you all again for your support today. Acrophobia eh!!! Far worse things of course but now and again.... ! Anyway I was made aware of this bridge when I did a ‘Norte/heights’ search a few weeks back. I knew it would be an issue. So after walking to La Curidad yesterday I caught a bus to Ribadeo to take a look, and also leave my backpack there, in the hope that after catching the bus back to La Curidad this morning, I could walk quickly to the bridge!

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to cross it. I took a few tentative steps on it last night and it scared me. For he record the bridge is perfectly safe and the barrier respectably high but we are dealing in the irrational here. I did look an other options. Walking around (too far) taxi (if I have too) walking along the side of the car lane (I know!!!) but I knew that it had to be walking by bridge.

So how to walk! Options were to crawl (too far), cling on to inner fence and go slow, or try and walk across as quick as possible. I got into my stride on the walk and decided to go for the quick walk. The adrenalin was pumping and I felt quite bullish. It was by far far the quickest walking day I have had, albeit free of backpack and ‘only’ 20kms. As I got about 1km away I had to smile. Two helicopters appeared overhead. Either something has happened or they have been reading the forum! No idea. Anyway bullishness disappeared when I saw bridge but I just went for it. I prefer the ‘drop’ to be on my right side so was able to walk on that side of the bridge. I put my right hand loosely on the outer rail and just walked at pace. I dipped my head down and inwards so vision of water was limited. One of the things with acrophobia is that sufferers worry they will lose mental control and throw themselves off bridge. Yes phobias are weird. Separately I couldn’t resist the temptation to occasionally look down at water even though it makes me giddy. The last few metres must be what an Olympian feels like for the last few meters of a race when they know they have won. The moments after feel a mixture of calm and ecstasy!

For non sufferers this will make you scratch your head but hopefully sufferers get it!!
Congrats! In 2011 I took a simiilar approach focusing on the road side fence. Arms by my side in natural walking rhythm. I also counted my steps as I took them up to 100 then started back at zero. Seemed to help. Don’t ask me the # of steps I took. I was so happy to be across! Also my pace naturally quickened as I sensed “safety” was closer.
Good Job! One of the hurdles the Camino throws at you…just like life!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hahaha, I assume you mean that green, metal cycle/pedestrian, Frankenstein's architect brother bridge on entering Astorga ...
No. If you hit the hot link in blue type you can read my adventure re the Leon bridge.
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
No. If you hit the hot link in blue type you can read my adventure re the Leon bridge.
Aha, ok, my bad. I don't recall that high bridge you mention. I remember a muddy, dusty scramble down a hill and some low bridges. Maybe I took a different route.
 
Past OR future Camino
Planning on the pilgrimage 2015
Hi all. Ok so I have a terrible fear of heights and I am due to cross Ribadeo Bridge today. I have seen the previous discussions on this bridge with relation to heights! I even took a bus out to look at it last night and yes it’s to be tough. I may end up getting a taxi across. I don’t think there is any other way across apart from a never ever walk around it which looks about 30km?
Omg I sympathize with you. I have the same issue and I remember the day that it was apparent I had to cross that bridge on foot. Yikes. I seriously considered going around but I was to exhausted to try. I kept my head down and did not look out and started to jogg across. Which with a back pack is not easy. I want lie. It was very difficult and my friends had gone ahead earlier so they were watching me cross the bridge from afar. When I met up with them said said Keith why on earth were you running across that bridge. I confessed my fear of heights and then they understood. It can be done. Stay present and keep your head down. Good luck I'm sure you will do it.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Good luck I'm sure you will do it.
And indeed he has!
Anyway bullishness disappeared when I saw bridge but I just went for it. I prefer the ‘drop’ to be on my right side so was able to walk on that side of the bridge. I put my right hand loosely on the outer rail and just walked at pace. I dipped my head down and inwards so vision of water was limited.
 

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