Crossing the Puente de los Santos, Ribadeo: 6 Tips to help you across!

Posted: August 19, 2018 in Uncategorized
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Do you suffer from a fear of heights or vertigo? Crossing the bridge from Asturias into Galicia’s port city, Ribadeo, doesn’t have to be as daunting as you imagined. Knowledge is power! Here are 6 tips to get you across.

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Okay, fellow peregrinos, if you’re like me and you’re waking the Camino de Santiago del Norte, the Northern Way, and have a bit of an issue with heights or vertigo, then you might be concerned about how you’re going to deal with that mighty bridge, the Puente de los Santos, which crosses the Ria de Ribadeo and gives you access to the city of Ribadeo. Have no fear! Here’s some helpful information about the Puente de los Santos (bridge of the Saints) to help make your crossing both successful and less stressful. 

1. I made it and so can you!
The Puente de Ribadeo is long – almost a full two thirds of a kilometer (612 metres), and it is high – about 12 stories. But it also has a solid, albeit, narrow walkway along the outside edge of the bridge. The fence and hand railing between you and the edge of the bridge is at a comfortable height while the fence between you and four lanes of highway traffic is even higher. It is secure.

2. Yes, there is room to pass!
While the pedestrian passage way is narrow, people are friendly and give each other time and space to pass. I encountered a number of walkers. We were all in the same boat, or should I say, “on the same bridge” and we were all in good humor about our crossing. It is friendly, and wide enough.

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It is a long bridge, but there is a safe walkway with handrail, fencing, and room to pass.

3. It can handle you, if you can handle it!
According to Correos.es, “The bridge is of lintel type, manufactured with reinforced concrete beams, steel and wood. It supports a weight exceeding 1,200 tons.” You’d have to have consumed a lot of tortillas to exceed that kind of weight! It is solid.

4. Don’t look down . . . Or do look down and out!
You can easily focus on the sidewalk in front of you, or on the four lanes of N-634 (A-8) highway traffic whizzing by at 120 km/h on your right to keep yourself distracted from the drop on your left. Or you can simply ignore the traffic, then pause, breathe, and enjoy the incredible views of the city, ocean, estuary, and mountains that the bridge will offer. It is beautiful.

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The views from the bridge are outstanding.

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Coming into Ribadeo you will see an excellent view of the docks and port below you.

5. Make sure you tighten your hat before you cross!
Before you walk the bridge, you should probably tighten your hat, or pack it away. After all, at these heights, the wind can gust and you don’t want to have to stop up there to adjust loose hats or shoes or anything else. You should already be prepared. Just remember that you have some excellent hand railings and fencing to hang on to if you feel the need (which I didn’t). It may feel a little unstable, but you won’t blow off! It is safe.

6. You can pray to the Saints … by name!
The bridge into Ribadeo, the Puente de los Saints, is named after the saints associated with each of the churches on either side of the estuary: San Román nas Figueiras, in Castropol, on the east bank, and San Miguel, in Ribadeo, on the west bank. God is listening.

If all else fails, just stay focused on the wine of arrival that awaits you on the other side. It is just as good and reasonably priced in Galicia as it was in Asturias. Celebrate your success!

And if you’re really suffering, give yourself permission to call a taxi on the east bank and let some one else drive you over the bridge.

Buen Camino! Vaya con Dios!
Mark

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Comments
  1. Dorothy Baunach says:

    Just had a chance to catch up on you pilgrimage posts. Miss you. See you back in the CLE soon. Peace and Blessings to you and Beth.

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