Denver Botanical Gardens

Denver Botanical Gardens

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Here's Your Sign

How do we find our way across Spain?  We cannot carry maps with enough detail to get us there.  Because modern navigational tools, such as GPS, have only been available for a few years (and not all pilgrims have them), a good simple system was needed.  There are two symbols that mark the Camino.  The shell and the yellow arrow.  A simple arrow is a universal symbol.   The shell is more specifically related to this walk, and it's meaning is twofold.  First, in ancient times the pilgrims who walked this path often went all the way to the coast - the end of earth as it was known then - thus the name Finisterre.  They would take a shell back home as a momento of the journey.  The second reason the shell has come to represent the Camino is related to the map of Spain.  When the various paths to Santiago are drawn on the map, the country actually resembles a shell.  As we have walked the first part of our Camino we have seen many signs pointing us west, here are a few of our favorites.

We are feeling good and are finding the challenges worthwhile.

The most common Way marking.  
Much less subtle, also less common.
Pamplona was well marked with stylized shells such as this one..
These made it clear we had not missed a turn.
This post told us we had made it 25% of the Way.
For the "connected" pilgrim.
We both loved the way the iron fence shadowed this sidewalk shell.
Was this a sign from above?  It lifted our spirits on this hot afternoon. Our favorite photo so far.


  1. Woot! Keep it up! Buena Camino!

  2. Love your progress notes and photos! We are thinking of/praying for you two! Miss you BUNCHES!

  3. What a journey! Continued prayers for you both.

  4. Love the pics. The seashell in the sky ... holy cow! That is amazing!

  5. Dear Ruth and Mike: I love your photos and updates! I hear from other BOLD women that they, too, are reading your blog. I don't see a lot of comments, but please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Hugs, Sharon Cairns Mann

  6. One of my sisters would call the last photo Chem trails. I like your interpretation better.