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Finding the Scallop Shell Road

P1020951 It happened on a day of doubts and indecision.

I found myself wandering along an unfamiliar dirt track through farmland in north east Scotland, toying with plans for the summer and searching for solutions to some big questions. And after I’d walked through the predictable mud and gravel, I stopped, stunned, as the dreary path gradually gave way to the glorious ridges, pinks and peaches of the symbol I’d followed for a month across Spain; I’d stumbled across a Scallop Shell Road.

Some shells were crushed and broken by vehicles and feet, others were still entire and enticing me forward in the way I followed them for 500 miles on walls, on pavements, through woods and streets and swinging from the packs P1020899of fellow pilgrims all the way to Santiago. Filling potholes may be practical but it seems such a mundane finale for the fine shapes and colours of the Coquilles St Jacques and I wonder if they’re used like this elsewhere.

So was it coincidence – or an omen? Chance, or a clear sign that I should set off again to follow the mark of the scallop shell?

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19 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a stroke of luck! A dream…

    April 30, 2014
  2. What an interesting road! It’s amazing that shells can be used to make a road.

    April 13, 2014
    • They’re so pretty and delicate it seems wrong to drive or walk over them and hear them break .

      April 30, 2014
  3. How cool! I’ve never seen anything like that! BTW, thanks for traveling over to my blog and saying hi. I would like to spend a bunch more time checking out your lovely site.

    March 30, 2014
  4. Doug Buchanan #

    Its funny, but do you remember the song the girl sang at the festival in Cezir Menor? Well the other day i was in the camping shop and that song in spanish was being piped though the store. rather odd song to be played in Western Australia. I think its time we took to the road again Nancy. Doug Buchanan

    March 15, 2014
    • Would that be the festival that went on till 4am Doug?! I certainly remember you singing in the church that night. And yes, my feet are itchy to be on the road. I just need a plan… N

      March 15, 2014
      • Doug Buchanan #

        thats the one Doug

        March 16, 2014
  5. Let them lead you on a journey!

    March 15, 2014
    • I’ll try Sheila… if I can ignore the conflicting signs.

      March 15, 2014
  6. I’m amazed that roads like this exist. How incredible! And I’m a big believer in signs…

    March 14, 2014
    • And you can’t choose the signs that come your way! Thanks for visiting and good luck with your plans; I’ll be following your story. Buen Camino.

      March 14, 2014
  7. Amazing find Nancy. This week I paid attention at one point to the sound of my footsteps crunching on a gravel path at the golf course. Maybe all roads lead to Santiago.

    March 14, 2014
    • I like that thought, Scott, of all roads leading to Santiago. It’s a reassuring image x

      March 14, 2014
  8. Definitely an omen. I spent a happy couple of hours wandering the beach at Finisterre and found only a few insignificant (in size only) scallop shells. I couldn’t believe my eyes on seeing your photos. I am only six weeks away from starting the camino Portuguese at Lisbon, and I didn’t have any signs to encourage me, just a desire to get back on the road. Lovely post – thanks.

    March 14, 2014
    • I couldn’t believe my eyes either. Buen camino for your journey, and look forward to following your story.

      March 14, 2014
  9. I would definitely take it as a message from the universe to follow the scallop trail. Have a wonderful journey!

    March 14, 2014

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