Blue Arrow and Yellow Arrow

The algorithm for following one of the pilgrimage trails to Santiago de Compostela is really pretty simple: follow the yellow arrows, or the well-known Camino clamshell trail markers. If you go 100 meters without seeing a yellow arrow or a clamshell, maybe you made a wrong turn. Go back to the last place you saw a marker or arrow, and look around carefully. It can be a little hard to see the symbols when the trail goes through a busy city, but basically if you stick to this process you can’t go wrong.

Blue and Yellow Arrow © Harold Davis

The Camino Portuguese heads north from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. In contrast, the pilgrimage to Our Lady of Fatima heads south to Fatima, which is about 100 KM north of Lisbon in Portugal. So the two pilgrimages go in opposite directions. The Camino Portuguese is marked, as I’ve noted, with yellow arrows. The Fatima pilgrimage is marked with blue arrows. It’s not unusual depending on the time of year to see pilgrims along the routes going in both directions, one group following the yellow arrows, and the other following the blue arrows, each set of pilgrims walking in the exact opposite direction of the other pilgrimage.

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