The ways of St. James follow city streets, trails, mountain pathways and farm roads. These meander north, south, east and west in their generally westward quest toward Santiago, Spain. Every seven or so kilometers, the Via Podiensis way sends pilgrims through villages with toilets (wc) and drinking water (eau potable). Almost as frequently it directs them to ancient churches and holy places.
The way is symbolized by the scallop shell, which you can see on markers embedded the streets, on walls and on official signposts telling the number of kilometers to the next town. More often, the way is just marked by a yellow stripe on a tree, sign or fencepost. Even more often, the way is marked by the red and white stripe of the Grande Randonnée 65 (GR65).
The GR 65 is a French walking trail that generally follows the same route. Occasionally, the ways diverge, but most pilgrims follow the GR 65, as it is the better marked and usually more direct route to the next destination.
The flag pointing right directs you to make a right turn, while left means left. The X (pic coming soon!) is a dare to just try and leave the trail and get totally lost or mired in mud.
Here you have a choice… Comfort or adventure?
This is obviously a dare…