Camino Days 1-2: Banal thoughts. Following the arrows.

(28-29/Sep/2017). Walking the Camino is not an exercise in map reading and orientation. The whole point is that the way is marked by the many volunteers who take it upon themselves to support the many pilgrims who walk it every year. As a pilgrim, all that is expected is that you go where the yellow arrows lead you – a giant game of connect the dots across the entire Iberian peninsula and beyond.

My first arrow – at 6:00 am in front of Almeria’s cathedral. I struggled to find it, despite having been in the same square the previous day, and despite receiving crystal clear instructions from the Camino association. I realised that unless you’re actively looking for arrows, you can easily fail to register them:

The second arrow on the trail looks like this:

But the third is a warning that these things can get damaged or fade away:

Outside of the city centre, they’re painted on the pavement, which workmen sometimes mess up:

And when you miss one that’s really tricky to spot, you can sometimes go a long way off the path before you realise your error and retrace your steps:

In unloved places that are already a mess, the association sometimes goes a bit over the top:

And sometimes it’s hard to tell who is defacing whose work. Here’s some nice street art, wrecked by a “flecha amarilla”:

Some arrows are very elegant and well crafted, while others are crude. But not everything crude is a Camino signpost:

Categories: 2017 Camino Mozarabe (Almeria to Finisterre)

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