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Where have all the arrows gone?

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MMcA

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP - Los Arcos(2012)
Burgos(14)
León(15)
Villafranca(16)
SdC - Fisterra(17)
Valença - SdC (2019)
I've just completed my second Camino in Santiago, this time the Camino Portugués from Valença (third Camino if you count leaving SdC towards Muxia and Fisterra, but that's another story). After being guided by those beautiful yellow arrows for so many kilometres, upon reaching the city of the Compostela itself, they're gone: no shells embedded in the footpaths, no arrows, no signposts. We resorted to having to ask directions to the cathedral. Cities hundreds of kms away seem to take more care for the peregrinos passing through their streets than Santiago itself does. Do the municipal authorities have so little regard for the pilgilms who have expended so much effort reaching the city than to guide them the last few kilometres through busy streets?
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
I had no problems following the arrows into Santiago on the Portugués some years ago, but when I entered on Camino the Invierno last year, the arrows left me when I crossed the bridge over the railway in town.
From there I had to rely on my common sense having been to SdC several times before. Having arrived there as a firstcomer would have been a bit problematic.
 

MMcA

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP - Los Arcos(2012)
Burgos(14)
León(15)
Villafranca(16)
SdC - Fisterra(17)
Valença - SdC (2019)
In which part of the city? I followed in signs with arrows and embedded metal shells from the east today.
I was coming in from the southwest past the little Parroquia de Santa Maria church. Once we reached the build-up commercialised part of the city we saw no signs like you had coming in from the east.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
I walked into SdC from the Portuguese at the beginning of June without any problems. I do not remember having to look at the map. 👣 :D :cool:
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
Your eye will train itself. Follow.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I always get lost in Santiago. And while there, I watched numerous pilgrims near the Cathedral asking for directions. It would be nice to improve signage in the city so that one doesn't have to end a long walk wandering around asking for help.
 

Jeff B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept/Oct 2019)
Just a suggestion, buy if you have a smart-phone, one could download a google map of Santiago - I think the the download for Santiago expires after 30 days? You could then use that to navigate, as it is not necessary to have cell phone access, only that you have your 'location services' (gps) turned on.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked CF September/October 2015
I had the same trouble once I got into Santiago. The good thing is that there are often lots of pilgrims trying to find their way to the cathedral as well. I was able to find my way with the help of another pilgrim who saw my look of confusion and helped me out. I looked at it as one final hurdle.
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
We had no problem walking in on the CP in 2017. But be aware that there is a pair of conflicting Camino route signs as you come into the city. We took the option to the left, and after a couple of well-marked turns, it was pretty straightforward (although a long haul along urban streets) past the university campus and Parque da Alemeda into the Cathedral square.
 

Guy Strachan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Part:2013&2014), Portugues (Part2015), Finisterre (2016&2019); Ingles (2017) & Sanabres (18
I've just completed my second Camino in Santiago, this time the Camino Portugués from Valença (third Camino if you count leaving SdC towards Muxia and Fisterra, but that's another story). After being guided by those beautiful yellow arrows for so many kilometres, upon reaching the city of the Compostela itself, they're gone: no shells embedded in the footpaths, no arrows, no signposts. We resorted to having to ask directions to the cathedral. Cities hundreds of kms away seem to take more care for the peregrinos passing through their streets than Santiago itself does. Do the municipal authorities have so little regard for the pilgilms who have expended so much effort reaching the city than to guide them the last few kilometres through busy streets?
They are there if you look closely...
 

Lindsay53

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
I got lost less than a kilometre from the cathedral. Added about two extra kilometres to my camino before I found my way. 🤔
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
SJPdP- Meseta (28/09/2019)
That's what guideboks are for - particularly their town plans
Historically Pilgrims wouldn't have had guidebooks, I walked without one and extra weight or having to read it from phone didn't appeal. 100% of Camino Francè & 99% of Portuguese has yellow arrows or waymarkers showing the way and support the majority of opinion here that there a distinct lack of continuity for last Kms approaching Santiago on Portuguese and closer to town. Both a council official and senior member at Pilgrim office agreed when I completed in December last year.

Your eye will train itself. Follow.
After departing from Lisbon or Porto I expect eyes well trained. Its lack of arrows and waymarkers that's the issue and because eyes are so tuned in to looking for them it's difficult to follow anything else when there's a obvious lack of signage.

Just a suggestion, buy if you have a smart-phone, one could download a google map of Santiago - I think the the download for Santiago expires after 30 days? You could then use that to navigate, as it is not necessary to have cell phone access, only that you have your 'location services' (gps) turned on.
That's a great suggestion but why should it be necessary to download especially as the route up until then had no requirement plus my Camino is about leaving gadgets at home
They are there if you look closely..
There not very obvious I searched methodically and not only are they a challenge to find but there's no waymarkers displaying countdown after 2.329km mark plus many waymarkers damaged a long way out before reaching Santiago. The arrows below are ones I seen and if anyone can provide clarity on other km markers closer Santiago feel free to reply 🤠

[/QUOTE]
 

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Felicia V

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2017
Returning 2018
Yes, I thought it was just me feeling hot, tired and befuddled, but in a way, it made it all the more thrilling. Final puzzle piece, end game, but more of the feeling of not wanting it to end, so, the confusion was, in an odd way, welcomed.
 

McSherry

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Part) - 2019
We too had trouble in SdC....and it was after an exhausting long slog in a tremendous windy downpour. That is what made it more frustrating. We watched for where the more relaxed pilgrims were coming from, and followed that string to the Cathedral. That was the only point where we had an issue along the CF portion we did. I assumed the way was marked with bronze shells like in Leon, but that someone stole them...but that was only a guess.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
There are bronze shells set into the pavement, and yes several get stolen, no doubt to act as souvenirs for pilgrims. But the real problem is that markers in the pavement are not great markers in the dim dark streets and hard to spot. City's tend to look down on graffiti and clean away the yellow arrows, also locals delight in putting up fake arrows to bars or crazy circles so not always trust worthy.

You think it's going be be easy when you spot the cathedral spires, but once in the old centre you can't see the spires and the streets zig zag around, being tired and often wet doesn't help and it can be frustrating. Scott and I had a melt down on our first time into Santiago as the guide book didn't say when the pilgrim office was and there were no signs, shop keepers wanted to sell you stuff and were no help with directions, we eventually tracked it down by searching for the large shell on the old building. Years later my daughter was equally frustrated, her response was to call me and I guided her step by step on a long distance call.

After studying the street maps, and entering (and leaving) the city from different routes I now have a mental set of landmarks that help me wind my way into the heart of Santiago, its not the shortest route, but it's my route and I'm now happy to get lost and find a new landmark to add to my list.
 

Bogong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First, March 2014
I always get lost in Santiago. And while there, I watched numerous pilgrims near the Cathedral asking for directions. It would be nice to improve signage in the city so that one doesn't have to end a long walk wandering around asking for help.
I can beat that Jill,

I sloshed in through the rain from Lavacolla, leaving 6.30 in the dark, got lost looking for the path and sloshed back to the road through thigh high grass. Went down the road (no arrows) until I got to a truck cafe stop where I breakfasted in a puddle of water. Caught up with the arrows just before the bridge. Eventually went through the Arch. There was a big open square on my left but another arrow pointing down the hill which seemed to lead into the suburbs so I thought there was something I was missing. Huge square but only one other person in it at 9.30 am. Asked him "Donde esta el catedral " , he pointed almost next to me to an edifice concealed with scaffolding and we both burst out laughing.

De Colores

Bogong.
 

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