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The waterbottle mystery

2020 Camino Guides

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I always thought the bottles of water were for the pilgrims walking by if they were thirsty and needed some. A kind gesture, but I never quite trusted how long the bottles had been sitting there as some looked quite old....Cats? Is this for real?
 

Caminolou

The Netherlands
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sep 2018/2019 - camino catalan 2019 - camino primitivo 2019
Some definatly looked beyond expiration date :) I dont think cats care a lot about bottles standing arround. Then again I have a dog so I wouldnt know. My dog would love them for all the wrong reasons ;)
 

Caminolou

The Netherlands
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sep 2018/2019 - camino catalan 2019 - camino primitivo 2019
I just read that somewhere else. Because many houses use natural stone that will decolor when a dog pees against it. They like the bottles so instead of hitting the wall they hit the bottle that then can be cleaned or replaced.

Good you didnt drink the water pilgrim ;)

Another story I read is so the flies stay away, they believe the lightreflection of the water will mess with the flies vision. Must be pilgrim flies that walk from door to door :)
 

Latecomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
A bartender in Portomarin told us that it was to prevent dogs from urinating (different word was used) on the building. We didn't really drill into the details and now I regret that.

AntiDogPissBottles.JPG

¡Buen Camino!
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
A bartender in Portomarin told us that it was to prevent dogs from urinating (different word was used) on the building. We didn't really drill into the details and now I regret that.

View attachment 49541

¡Buen Camino!
That's what I had always understood😊
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
I heard this ‘myth’ many years ago. ie understanding was that clear bottles of water would indicate to the ‘intelligent ‘ cat or dog., that this was a drinking area. Apparently they would then find a more suitable place to ‘do their business ‘ etc rather than soil their eating spot.

Since then I’ve read that it has been disproved by ‘mythbusters’ and also read that it originated by two gardeners doing a show from NZ and put out as an April fools joke.
It’s spread to most countries over the world.
I guess some people have faith in the method as they think it works.

The bottles just look untidy littered about some gardens .

Annie
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I'm pretty sure it is a myth related to keeping dogs and cats from peeing on the doorstep. Apparently it is common in Italy, too. I doubt that there is much truth to it. Definitely not water for passing pilgrims.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yuck, I'm sure glad I never picked up any of those large water bottles to fill mine! 😉

And finally, this thread has provided a whole new topic of discussion! ☺
 

Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
I was born and raised in Hawai'i. Very common to see mayo jars filled with water placed in strategic parts of the yard to frighten/confuse/enlighten dogs and I suppose cats as well. Every now and again I'll see them on the US Mainland or other parts of the world. Funny memory!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I'm pretty sure it is a myth related to keeping dogs and cats from peeing on the doorstep. Apparently it is common in Italy, too. I doubt that there is much truth to it. Definitely not water for passing pilgrims.
I have never even seen a sign of a dog (or cat) pee on the wall of the house where water bottles were placed. Maybe the pee signs already evaporated by the time I arrived but I was told that waterbottles keep dogs away from peeing there. Doubt it's a myth. Thousands of Spaniards would stop doing this if it wouldn't be effective, I think. Might be wrong :)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but will I be fit enough for 2020?
I always thought the bottles of water were for the pilgrims walking by if they were thirsty and needed some. A kind gesture, but I never quite trusted how long the bottles had been sitting there as some looked quite old....Cats? Is this for real?
YUCK! Indeed :)

As we seem to be keeping on with the theme of peeing - perhaps the Spanish train their cats and dogs to pee into the bottles in much the same way as the people at Budweiser do with gnats (substitute your least favourite brand of "beer" in that sentence).

One problem you get with animal urine on stone walls is a build up of nitrates - a kind of furry crystal build up - we had it inside the old barn/stables in our French house. Mind you it was about 250 years' worth!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Completed March/April (2019) Planning Via De La PLata Sept/Oct (2019)
I've seen the same thing done in England too. Supposedly dogs and cats see their reflection in the water and are put off. Butchers use water in plastic bags suspended above their counters to keep flies away in the summer...yes honestly and it works, they see their reflection and leave due to the enormous fly coming towards them!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but will I be fit enough for 2020?
I’m kind of starting to feel sorry about flies. Born as a magot and grown up hated by even their own reflection. ;)
Except by anglers and doctors - mind you even when I went fishing as a kid I drew the line at holding them between my lips - they do wriggle about so much.
And as for Maggot Debridement Therapy WARNING DO NOT LOOK AT THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE A STRONG STOMACH!
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
A trivial question maybe but all along the way there where bottles standing in front of houses and garages. Some were full, some were not.

Why?

:)
It is reputed to stop dogs peeing on the wall/step
 

Caminolou

The Netherlands
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sep 2018/2019 - camino catalan 2019 - camino primitivo 2019
I am still not sure if life as a maggot in a fishermans hands would be enjoyable :) Can you feel the love mon petit maggot? ;)

Sorry off topic
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Thousands of Spaniards would stop doing this if it wouldn't be effective, I think. Might be wrong :)
If you do a survey of superstitions worldwide, you will see thousands of them that rationally are probably not effective but people keep doing them nevertheless. I, myself, knock wood (or my head if there is no wood available. The fact that I can't reasonably say that it is effective in making any sort of change in the real world doesn't seem to stop me from doing so. :)
 

Marietjie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010
September 2017
Talking about stuff outside houses....when I did my first Camino way back, people along the route put stuff, fruit , vegetables outside their houses for the pilgrims or even stop us and offer as vegetables, like tomatoes. Last year I did a part of the Via de la Plata and apart from a friendly lady offer us lots to eat at her house, I saw a box full of walnuts outside the front door of another house and unfortunetly assume this is for pilgrims to take a few. Oh my hat, that was a mistake! The owner came out, furious, say something in Spanish that I could not understand, but the body language was clear. I felt so bad!! My mistake, never assume!!!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I wonder then if she was using the walnuts as cat litter...nothing else comes to mind. :p
 

Marietjie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010
September 2017
No! I thought about it for a long time and couldnt even sleep the first night! :rolleyes:I then realised she must have put it there to dry out, if that is what one does with walnuts:confused:
 

Traa

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I want to walk Camino in Sept/Oct 2017
Except by anglers and doctors - mind you even when I went fishing as a kid I drew the line at holding them between my lips - they do wriggle about so much.
And as for Maggot Debridement Therapy WARNING DO NOT LOOK AT THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE A STRONG STOMACH!
Maggot debridement therapy is so cool! as a nurse I worked closely in this field before, unreal! Amazing little buggers!
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
I've seen the same thing done in England too. Supposedly dogs and cats see their reflection in the water and are put off. Butchers use water in plastic bags suspended above their counters to keep flies away in the summer...yes honestly and it works, they see their reflection and leave due to the enormous fly coming towards them!
Plastic bags filled with water are found hanging in many outdoor dining areas in southern climes in the US, particularly in Texas, where most Barbecue joints have outdoor patios. Like the English butchers, they supposedly keep the flies away.
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
rappahannock_rev Miscellaneous Camino Frances topics 6
OLDER threads on this topic
Mystery Photo, Burgos, 13 Sept 2015

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