Saturday, May 7, 2016

Which way does the scallop say?

The scallop shell is the direction marker on all caminos, and on the Primitivo you can count on finding one -- as a roadside marker or inset in a wall every time (almost) a decision needs to be made. No one really knows how the scallop shell got this role. It has always been associated with St. James. But it's usefulness as a direction marker is mildly complicated by the fact that in Asturias province, where I've been walking until midday today, you're supposed to follow the flat or hinge side, but in Gallicia it's just the opposite. You follow the longest ray. Thoughtfully, though, graffiti artists have added yellow arrows or squiggly infinity loop arrows ("keep on walking. . .") to clarify.