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Sun Compass


Active Member
In John Brierley's guide book he mentions using the sun compass which is marked on each of his maps. "should you become lost you will find a 'sun compass' to help re-orientate you".(page 41, under "maps and waymarking")
I am really confused! :? I can see the sun compass he mentions on his maps but how does this work? I'd be grateful if anyone can tell me.
thank you! cheers, Jane
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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.


Active Member
When you look at the "sun compass" you will see that the sun rises in the est(E) "Salida del Sol" and sets in the ost (O)"Puesta del Sol." The radial lines in between indicate the approximate location of the sun at various times of day with the sun always being exactly south at noon. On most of the maps since the sun rises at approximately 7AM there are 4 lines between E and S and they indicate where the sun will be at 8, 9, 10 and 11. The same thing goes for the afternoon. At any time of day you can align your shadow with the radial line segment for that time and know what the directions are. Conversely, if you have a compass and can determine directions you can use the lines to determine the approximate time of day.


Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Don't worry Jane, it is pretty hard to get lost on the Camino Frances. In a few places where the yellow arrows have not been marked so often, chances are that someone has made a rock arrow on the ground to show the way.
I am the world expert at getting lost, and I managed to avoid that fate on the Camino in Spain. (I did get lost for a few km one day in France.... but that was a case of being distracted by spring wildflowers and missing a turn-off. Had to retrace my steps...)
All the best!


Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
Jane, you'll have no problems finding your way and, while John Brierley's sun compass is interesting, it's definitely not necessary on the Camino.

I found that using the sun as a guide was a little confusing for an Australian, as I automatically expected to see the sun to the north as I would if walking west in Australia, and it took me a while to get used to this.

Cheers, Trudy

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