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  1. 512

    What pushed or invited or drew you to set off for 'The Camino'?

    I was nearing retirement. My wife and I were transitioning from wilderness backpacking to more 'urban' trekking (Santa Cruz to Monterey, e.g.). She read about the Camino on one if the blogs she follows and I thought abstractly: we could do that. The idea remained in the back of my mind...
  2. 512

    Competition for the best hamburger in Spain

    Sara Bar & Café in Baamonde, next to the albergue, had pretty good burgers, as I recall. My current favorite is Hamburgueseria Chipper in Astillero. It's a little off the Norte, not really worth a special detour, but if you're in the neighborhood...
  3. 512

    How the Camino can change your life: Personal experiences and expectations

    There's a chain of stores called HomeGoods (for those unfamiliar, it's an eclectic mix of household goods, bedding, decor, furniture, etc. I think it all might closeouts from other stores). Whenever I go there, I end up buying a lot of cool things I hadn't planned on. The cashier always asks if...
  4. 512

    Sharing a menu del dia/ becoming a trend/ Santiago de Compostela

    Had a couple of cañas in a bar in Lavacolla, the camarera brought olives, then fried peppers, then a couple of bbq'd ribs!
  5. 512

    Sharing a menu del dia/ becoming a trend/ Santiago de Compostela

    Some places even have "no compartir" signs posted.
  6. 512

    Sharing a menu del dia/ becoming a trend/ Santiago de Compostela

    Not anymore; last time I had fast food in the US (2023) it was $32 for the two of us 😕
  7. 512

    Long live the traditional Spanish shops

    There are two in Santander, should you be on the Norte and the need arise: one on C Rualasal near the Lupa and the other on C Lealtad just south of the Hotel Coliseum.
  8. 512

    Industrial Walking along the Norte...

    We’ve done the Norte twice; in 2017, at age 60 and untrained, and again in 2019. Our first camino was a “proper” pilgrimage, we walked every day and stayed in albergues every night. We averaged 20km days and finished well within your time frame. We did take the train once, from Gijon to Muros...
  9. 512

    Imagine living close to Spain and being able to walk a camino whenever you like...

    Well, toward Santiago, of course 😉 There's a dual marker: Santiago and Lebaniego. The arrows point to the NW, and the spines of the shell do, too.
  10. 512

    Imagine living close to Spain and being able to walk a camino whenever you like...

    For us, it was more the hassle than the cost of travel (although the cost is becoming prohibitive, too). Our typical flight from California had 2 layovers and took 25 - 30 hours. I'm getting too old for that nonsense. And now, there's a camino marker in the sidewalk outside our front door 😁
  11. 512

    What surprised you the most?

    Similar. When the reality of it suddenly hit; here we were, in the middle of Spain, having walked to where we were and now must continue walking to reach our destination. Laughing and crying at the unlikeliness of it all (while enjoying an ice cream cone in Santillana del Mar). No one gave us a...
  12. 512

    What to look forward to?

    We have. It's not isolated, more like walking through suburban/rural neighborhoods, but no services until Brea.
  13. 512

    Corkscrew do I take one with me?

    Just to be safe, we stuck with Lambrusco
  14. 512

    What to look forward to?

    Next, I think, would be the bufones before Llanes. Then there's the bridge into Ribadeo.
  15. 512

    Do I need to learn some Spanish before my camino? Yeah, you probably should...

    Yep. The older people, especially, are quite proud of their language, I found. Eskerik asko (thank you) and komunak (bathroom) are some good words to know.
  16. 512

    Do I need to learn some Spanish before my camino? Yeah, you probably should...

    Ala spam, spam, spam, bacon, cheese, and spam? I want to go there!
  17. 512

    Do I need to learn some Spanish before my camino? Yeah, you probably should...

    Try an automated phone call...
  18. 512

    Do I need to learn some Spanish before my camino? Yeah, you probably should...

    I sometimes got a very pointed "egun on" reply to my " buen dia"
  19. 512

    Do I need to learn some Spanish before my camino? Yeah, you probably should...

    And the same phrases in Basque will start your Camino del Norte on the right foot.
  20. 512

    Do I need to learn some Spanish before my camino? Yeah, you probably should...

    Same happened to me in Paris. While I hacked my breakfast order apart with high school french, another American spoke loudly and slowly in English (you know, so them furriners could understand). I got served; he got a gallic shrug. Love it.

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