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Camino Del Norte - Pointers / Video

Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#1
Hi everyone,

Just want to say a big thanks for all the great advice given last year. My friend and I walked the Camino Del Norte in July 2017 (Bilbao to Santiago) and had a most wonderful experience and time. We're planning a mini Camino this July and just finishing our original walk (Santiago to Finisterre) and then next year are excited to start the Camino de la Plata in April (any advice or suggestions are always welcome).

At the time I kept a mini blog of sorts on Instagram and I've just copied the notes below, you may find them of use or if you're bored and want some bedtime reading! lol. I also put together a little (basic) video that you might be interested in watching, also below. As always buen camino!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Camino Del Norte, July 2017
Day 1 (#Bilbao - #CastroUrdiales) - the first day was definitely about adjusting to carrying 12kg on your bag and not bumping into everything! Beautiful walk between Portugalete and Playa de la Arena. The change from 37 degrees heat in Bilbao to the nice coastal breeze was most welcome. Lovely views in Pobeña and the coastal high path was beautiful despite the "killer steps". Successful first day and 30k introduction to the Camino although the albergue In Castro was fully booked, so after (Aaron) ringing around many surrounding hostels unsuccessfully we decided on one last hotel stay and splashed out. Roll on 7am and day 2 of the Camino Del Norte

Day 2 (Castro Urdiales - Laredo) - 35k roughly today. Left later than we wanted and had extra to walk as couldn't stay in the albergue. However very successful day even though we followed a dodgy guide which took us the wrong way and added 45 mins of unnecessary walking up and down unforgiving terrain! Arrived at 3.45pm into Loredo after a very trying climb as we decided to take the (harder) scenic coastal road away from the main road. Aaron nearly didn't make it. This time we made the albergue which happens to be a convent, very interesting and the nuns were very pleasant! Time for a dip in the sea which was literally heaven for our aching bodies and washed our smelly clothes in the convent's garden. Now time for a well earned beer and food before our 10.30 nun curfew and 7.15 start tomorrow for day 3. Buen camino!

Day 3 (Laredo - #Santander) - 47k roughly. Today was a tough day! Lots of rain, sliding down mini cliff edges and shouting trying to keep my balance whilst realising my walking shoes are wearing thin, walking through fields and fields of corn (children of the corn!) and stopping for a break whilst realising my bag hadn't been on properly all morning so weighed twice as much and probably caused the slipping and sliding down before to be worse! All in all an awesome day despite the wet weather. An early start after leaving the convent, two ferry rides and awesome scenery. Thank you Cantabria and the Camino! Roll on day 4, it's now 11pm and I am pooped in the youth hostel!

Day 4 (Santander - Cóbreces) - Behind with my updates but day 4 was a well needed shortened day after a huge hike the day before. Lovely walk across Cantabria, loads of corn fields again which always gets me excited for some childish reason. We had morning coffee in Santillana Del Mar, very pretty historic town with Romanesque passageways. Cóbreces itself is a beautiful town with some really impressive buildings of grandeur surprising due to small size. Our albergue was an old school, we had time to wash clothes and I sunbathed in the courtyard resting my feet whilst Aaron slept. A heaven send was heading down to the beach late afternoon. The waves were really powerful and gave Aaron and I renewed energy and felt very therapeutic on our muscles and feet. The evening was spent in a nice bar on the terrace drinking local wine and fresh caught sea bream and local cheese. Aaron finished the evening by suggesting we stay there an extra day...

Day 5 (Cóbreces - Colombres) around 37k - today was probably the toughest and least enjoyable to date. The majority of the day was rather grey and we had pockets of showers. The worst part was probably all the tarmac walking which was more than any other day so far. Prior to doing this Camino I would never have understood the delight of finding a grassy patch to walk on beside a road or leaving a road for a dirt path. Tarmac really hurts your feet when you're walking all day long. My feet were really struggling by the end of the day with blisters upon blisters so you end up just walking through the pain. Lunch was a well needed rest. The sardines were lovely in San Vicente de la Barquera, Aaron fell asleep at the table so I let him rest for a bit before spurring him on further! The rest of the walk after here just wasn't nice. Advice for anyone doing the Camino, skip Unquera and Colombres, they just aren't as nice as all the other beautiful places along the way. Close to the end of the day we said a last goodbye to Cantabria before heading into the Asturias region of Spain. With low motivation we headed across railway tracks and I decided to belt out "Stand by Me" to bolster our spirits. Aaron was too tired to respond but later said he appreciated my tone deaf rendition! Jeje. The last walk from Unquera to Colombres was a steep climb and unfortunately the albergue there wasn't much of a welcome respite. Wet beds and very cold, we ended the day with a bottle of wine, a burger then wrapping ourselves in a sleeping bag and sleeping through exhaustion

Day 6 (Colombres - Celorio) around 30k - Today was an awesome day! As soon as we got out of Colombres the mood picked up, weather was sunny, clear and hot all day. The terrain and views today have to be one of the best so far. Asturias along the coast has a beautiful shoreline with small cliff edges into the sea with big mountain ranges on the other side. Aaron and I kept musing that we were in the Land that Time Forgot Most days now also seem to have a herb theme. The other day there was fresh wild mint growing alongside the walk paths and today there were beautiful eucalyptus trees everywhere so we attached leaves to our backpacks to enjoy the scent. Before we reached Llanes for a late lunch we also passed some amazing holes in the rocks close to the sea that would billow air and make a shrill noise as the waves swept through them. Made a welcome diversion. I had sardines again for lunch and Aaron had more local beans (yes it is true what they say about beans!) Our final destination for today was Celorio and we arrived to find out it was also a local Ferria. Once checked into our albergue we headed out to the local seaside village and bought local cheap beers (Tag!) and food to snack on before admitting defeat and heading back to the hostel for a few more drinks then bed. Pooped but satisfied and now it is the start of day 7 and we shall head off as soon as our clothes have dried! Buen camino

Day 7 (Celorio - Ribadesella) ~25k. Bad start to the day after wanting to leave early. The washer and dryer at our albergue didn't work after trying for hours at night and in the morning so had to wear wet clothes and burden our backpacks with soaking wet clothes leaving after all the other pilgrims. To make matters worse it was a grey rainy day on top. Still we're on track, a third of the way now and got to sport our rather fetching ponchos a la 2017 variety! I've realised the cheese I've been eating recently is locally produced goats cheese but nothing like what we have at home. It's quite light and smooth and creamy and so so moreish, definite recommendation if you can find any! Made a big mistake at lunch whilst supping the red wine (hic). My bag wasn't covered so my towel ended up soaking wet and my bag had 15 mins of rain soaked into it which made it so much heavier to carry for the second half of the day. Finally made it to Ribadesella though which looks like a nice seaside town. It would be nice to explore but I admit to having really bad shin splints in my left leg so if anyone has any suggestions to help ease the pain and speed up recovery? Hats off to Aaron for finding this private albergue (we have our own room, woop woop!) Just collapsed on the bed now relaxing. Think I'll send Aaron out for wine soon, make him do something productive!

Day 8 (Ribadesella - Villaviciosa) - Man down! Not a good day. It turns out I've damaged my leg, either a pulled muscle or shin splints. Had to take the bus today to not fall behind schedule. Travelled to Villaviciosa today, surprisingly lovely cosmopolitan town. Albergue was an old French hotel so we're sharing our dorm room with just one guy, who happens to be french coincidentally. Had a lovely cheap lunch which included a huge cod broth however that is a bad description as was light with potatoes and lots of flavour. A definite local dish I recommend. Resting on the balcony this evening and Aaron bought two bottles of lovely red wine costing 1 euro each. Wine lovers please come to Spain. I think I'll have to rest my leg tomorrow as well to be honest but definitely ready to get back on it soon as I need to finish!

Day 9 accommodation (Villaviciosa - Salinas) - Time out required for my poorly leg (fingers crossed it recovers quickly). Chose a perfect place to stay in the lovely seaside haven known as Salinas. Our hostel this time is a beach house with cool airy rooms and a nice chill out room with deckchairs dotted around that also doubles as a surfing school which coincidentally this town seems to be built around. Most people are here for the surfing on the long beach with some cracking waves and tomorrow a longboard festival starts which should be a lot of fun. FYI all the surfing clichés are true! Seven 1€ bottles of wine later and a rather lovely sunset and my leg pain seems to have vanished, hooray! *hic* #pilgrimpause

Day 9-10 Sunset and Farewell - after a lovely day and evening at the "Home and Away" themed El Pez Escorpión beach hostal it's now time for a Mexican themed "more love please" hostal and one more day in the lovely Salinas before hopefully getting back on the Camino. Time waits for no pilgrim!

Day 11 (Salinas - Luacra) - Getting a bit depressed about my leg now as it seems to be healing but taking its time. Will start to walk again tomorrow so will soon find out if I can or not (fingers crossed). On the plus side spent the day in a rather lovely coastal town called Luacra. Beautiful buildings most with a great view of the sea. Lovely fish meals and as always wine to drink. Still not tried the local cider yet which is funny watching them pour everywhere! Roll on day 12

Day 12 (Luarca - Navia) - Finally back on the road again walking, yay! Managed 20k :) Leg is still hurting but a lot better. Need to try and stay away from tarmac as much as possible and go at a slow steady pace which I'm finding difficult as I naturally always walk fast (mother's fault). Ended in Navia which was a surprisingly cute little town by the river close to the sea. Highlights were the hostal for throwing in a 3 course meal and bottle of wine included in the price (thank you kindly), bottles of Galician red wine for 15 cents! Before you ask it was lovely! Sitting in the local park watching the sunset over the river and (finally) trying the local Asturian cider which is poured from a height. Tomorrow will be our last day in the region of Asturias before heading into Galicia!

Day 13 (Navia - Tapia de Casariego) around 23k - last day at the coast today before heading inland and into Galicia. Walk wasn't too bad today, trying to get used to this walking slow and steady routine! Route was a pleasant one, had loads of mint and eucalyptus hanging from my bag that I was picking along the way. Stopped at a strange place for lunch (La Caridad) but the food as always was rustic and lovely. Beans and clams for starter, a whole fresh flat fish and salad for second dish and home made custard for dessert. Yum yum. Tapia de Casariego is our final place to stay on the coast and in Asturias. The pilgrim albergue is essentially free (donations only) and very basic. The bunk beds have no sides or ladders so should be interesting later when needing the toilet! Time for wine and some rounds of cards although I need some decent competition as I keep beating Aaron!

Day 15 (Abadin - Vilalba) - Around 25k hike today. Leg hurting but I can manage this at a slow steady pace. Noticing a very different change to the natural habitat in Galicia, beautiful tall trees and so much woodland. Really stunning landscape to be walking through and a surprisingly welcome change after leaving the coast. There was no water throughout the morning so when we finally happened on a rural farm in the middle of nowhere who was providing fresh water this was a godsend. The farmer was also selling some succulent fruit so we added this to our breakfast of cheese, biscuits and red wine the rest of the walk was lovely and the youth hostel we found in Vilalba is brand new with great facilities. Sharing our dorm with two Spanish couples and one crazy ginger guy who we've spotted sliding down banisters outside. Interesting! Another great day of food and scenery. Now time to read some scifi before bed as we have an early start in the morning

Day 16 (Vilalba - Santa Leocadia) 30k today which is the longest since the injury. The last 5k were ridiculously slow, definite x-ray when home to check there's no more fractured bones! (#prone) Pain aside the walk was beautiful today, great temperature with little humidity. Amazing woodland and trees of all shapes and sizes but I held back from another tree post! The albergue this evening is perfect - a converted traditional Galician house in an extremely rural location in the middle of nowhere. Nothing to do but relax, eat and drink wine enjoying the scenery and sunshine. Did I mention that we passed the 100k mark today! Woop woop. 90k to Santiago, here we come!

Day 17 destination (Sobrado) - Sobrado was both a delight and a disappointment after the 30k hike mostly uphill yesterday. Leg held out which cheered me up immensely. Sobrado is a small town built around a Cistercian monastery. The monks created an artificial lake back in the 1500s that was a visual delight (didn't take a pic - doh). The lake today is a protected resource and could not look more natural, lily pads everywhere and surrounded by trees, kudos to the monks! The monastery itself was very impressive. South facing so basking in the sun and providing a perfect place to eat our evening picnic (and drink wine). Aaron and I couldn't decide on the architecture style, it was rather odd and majestic in an unusual way (originally over 1000 years old!). Once the sun had gone down it did develop a more gothic and creepy appearance over Sobrado! Unfortunately that was it however, the rest of the small town was rather lacklustre, food wasn't up to the usual Galician standard and there wasn't much else to rave about outside the monastery and lake... Around 60k to go now!

Day 17 (Santa Leocadia - Sobrado de los Monxes) 30k hike uphill today (yesterday now) almost 800 metres above sea level. Beautiful day and walk, leg was much better so not much pain to take away from the beautiful surroundings. The morning was tough, we hiked around 17k before our first morning coffee. Parched and hungry we were worried as the location was so rural and not passing through any villages or towns. However after 17k we passed a farmhouse that had a makeshift table amongst the chickens, turkey and nearby cows and was offering food and drink. The coffee and French omelette baguettes we had here were the most divine things ever at this point! There also seemed to be a silent struggle between the turkey and chickens which was funny to watch. A dog chased a chicken under my legs which made me jump, definite interesting morning! The rest of the day was slightly different to the rest of Galicia we had previously experienced as we were now above most of the woodland areas, it was starting to look a bit more like southern Spanish regions. Perfect weather and humidity thankfully at this point we now seem to cross paths with the same pilgrims periodically and so the race to Santiago begins in earnest!
 

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Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#2

Day 18 (Sobrado - Arzúa)
around 21k - today was ridiculously humid. Rained in the morning then just grey and cloudy but really warm with what felt like no air. The majority of the walk was all tarmac which was not pleasant and judging by the looks of all other pilgrims wasn't pleasant for them either (hobbles, stretching of legs, rubbing of feet, etc). We happened to find ourselves in the middle of a youth group this morning with 130 kids doing the remainder of the Camino that coincidentally were staying in the monastery as we all recognised each other from the evening before. The day was like a long convoy where we'd overtake them all wishing a good Camino and having a brief chat before stopping for a coffee then having to do it all over again. Novel at first but ended up being more like a comedy routine and déjà vu! Ended up in Arzúa and realised our hostel was outside of town in the completely wrong direction. Didn't take long before we decided to stretch our budget one last time and stay in a cheap hotel for one last good sleep before our final youth hostel tomorrow! Aaron is snoring next to me in his bed having one of his frequent "rests" whilst I am writing this, reading my sci-fi and drinking a bottle of wine that was only 89 cents! Salud! #buencamino under 40k to go!

Day 20 - WE MADE IT TO SANTIAGO! First Camino completed!

Day 21-22:

663km later in Santiago, an ode to fellow pilgrims - this camino would not have been possible without crossing paths with many other pilgrims along the way, here's a shout out to the best of them!

Thanks to the lovely German girl who showed us real achievement walking all the way from her home with a little bag and looking immaculate. Also a big thanks for educating us that our walk one day which we thought was about 30km one day was actually 47km!

Thanks to the 3 Spanish cyclists who showed us we were a lot faster than we thought! After setting after the cyclists one day we managed to cross their paths three times by the end of the day! Walkers 1 Cyclists 0

Thanks to the sweet Russian lady whom we managed to be in sync with one day and very much mentally supported each other with our visually deceiving upside down climb to Llanes. That was tough and this lady knew how to walk - parting word of "whyyy?!" Never did see her again, hope she made it in good time to Santiago.

Thanks to the other German girl we kept crossing paths with and again showed us we were walking too fast at some points. No I won't carry you to the next town, no I won't carry your rucksack and no I don't have any rope in which to pull you along with! I wonder what happened to the guy you where with in the end and no it really didn't rain as much as you said!

Thanks to the French guy we happened to share a room in a rather quaint and lovely french ran hostel in Villaviciosa. His 6am starts were impressive (or foolhardy depending on how you look at it) and the distance he covered each morning was crazy!

Thanks to the lovely Spanish couple that we never actually saw walking in the Camino but kept happening to share the opposite bunk beds with! Coincidence or creepy! We did see them in Santiago so they definitely finished the Camino

And finally thanks to the lovely guy from Denmark who started chatting with us on the last day and walk into Santiago. His tales of walking through the night and without stopping were both scary and impressive. It was nice to walk in with him and I hope we helped keep him awake before his inevitable collapse in his bed!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte Sept 2013
Camino del Norte Sept 2014
Camino del Norte 2015,16,17,18
#3
Hi everyone,

Just want to say a big thanks for all the great advice given last year. My friend and I walked the Camino Del Norte in July 2017 (Bilbao to Santiago) and had a most wonderful experience and time. We're planning a mini Camino this July and just finishing our original walk (Santiago to Finisterre) and then next year are excited to start the Camino de la Plata in April (any advice or suggestions are always welcome).

At the time I kept a mini blog of sorts on Instagram and I've just copied the notes below, you may find them of use or if you're bored and want some bedtime reading! lol. I also put together a little (basic) video that you might be interested in watching, also below. As always buen camino!

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Camino Del Norte, July 2017
Day 1 (#Bilbao - #CastroUrdiales) - the first day was definitely about adjusting to carrying 12kg on your bag and not bumping into everything! Beautiful walk between Portugalete and Playa de la Arena. The change from 37 degrees heat in Bilbao to the nice coastal breeze was most welcome. Lovely views in Pobeña and the coastal high path was beautiful despite the "killer steps". Successful first day and 30k introduction to the Camino although the albergue In Castro was fully booked, so after (Aaron) ringing around many surrounding hostels unsuccessfully we decided on one last hotel stay and splashed out. Roll on 7am and day 2 of the Camino Del Norte

Day 2 (Castro Urdiales - Laredo) - 35k roughly today. Left later than we wanted and had extra to walk as couldn't stay in the albergue. However very successful day even though we followed a dodgy guide which took us the wrong way and added 45 mins of unnecessary walking up and down unforgiving terrain! Arrived at 3.45pm into Loredo after a very trying climb as we decided to take the (harder) scenic coastal road away from the main road. Aaron nearly didn't make it. This time we made the albergue which happens to be a convent, very interesting and the nuns were very pleasant! Time for a dip in the sea which was literally heaven for our aching bodies and washed our smelly clothes in the convent's garden. Now time for a well earned beer and food before our 10.30 nun curfew and 7.15 start tomorrow for day 3. Buen camino!

Day 3 (Laredo - #Santander) - 47k roughly. Today was a tough day! Lots of rain, sliding down mini cliff edges and shouting trying to keep my balance whilst realising my walking shoes are wearing thin, walking through fields and fields of corn (children of the corn!) and stopping for a break whilst realising my bag hadn't been on properly all morning so weighed twice as much and probably caused the slipping and sliding down before to be worse! All in all an awesome day despite the wet weather. An early start after leaving the convent, two ferry rides and awesome scenery. Thank you Cantabria and the Camino! Roll on day 4, it's now 11pm and I am pooped in the youth hostel!

Day 4 (Santander - Cóbreces) - Behind with my updates but day 4 was a well needed shortened day after a huge hike the day before. Lovely walk across Cantabria, loads of corn fields again which always gets me excited for some childish reason. We had morning coffee in Santillana Del Mar, very pretty historic town with Romanesque passageways. Cóbreces itself is a beautiful town with some really impressive buildings of grandeur surprising due to small size. Our albergue was an old school, we had time to wash clothes and I sunbathed in the courtyard resting my feet whilst Aaron slept. A heaven send was heading down to the beach late afternoon. The waves were really powerful and gave Aaron and I renewed energy and felt very therapeutic on our muscles and feet. The evening was spent in a nice bar on the terrace drinking local wine and fresh caught sea bream and local cheese. Aaron finished the evening by suggesting we stay there an extra day...

Day 5 (Cóbreces - Colombres) around 37k - today was probably the toughest and least enjoyable to date. The majority of the day was rather grey and we had pockets of showers. The worst part was probably all the tarmac walking which was more than any other day so far. Prior to doing this Camino I would never have understood the delight of finding a grassy patch to walk on beside a road or leaving a road for a dirt path. Tarmac really hurts your feet when you're walking all day long. My feet were really struggling by the end of the day with blisters upon blisters so you end up just walking through the pain. Lunch was a well needed rest. The sardines were lovely in San Vicente de la Barquera, Aaron fell asleep at the table so I let him rest for a bit before spurring him on further! The rest of the walk after here just wasn't nice. Advice for anyone doing the Camino, skip Unquera and Colombres, they just aren't as nice as all the other beautiful places along the way. Close to the end of the day we said a last goodbye to Cantabria before heading into the Asturias region of Spain. With low motivation we headed across railway tracks and I decided to belt out "Stand by Me" to bolster our spirits. Aaron was too tired to respond but later said he appreciated my tone deaf rendition! Jeje. The last walk from Unquera to Colombres was a steep climb and unfortunately the albergue there wasn't much of a welcome respite. Wet beds and very cold, we ended the day with a bottle of wine, a burger then wrapping ourselves in a sleeping bag and sleeping through exhaustion

Day 6 (Colombres - Celorio) around 30k - Today was an awesome day! As soon as we got out of Colombres the mood picked up, weather was sunny, clear and hot all day. The terrain and views today have to be one of the best so far. Asturias along the coast has a beautiful shoreline with small cliff edges into the sea with big mountain ranges on the other side. Aaron and I kept musing that we were in the Land that Time Forgot Most days now also seem to have a herb theme. The other day there was fresh wild mint growing alongside the walk paths and today there were beautiful eucalyptus trees everywhere so we attached leaves to our backpacks to enjoy the scent. Before we reached Llanes for a late lunch we also passed some amazing holes in the rocks close to the sea that would billow air and make a shrill noise as the waves swept through them. Made a welcome diversion. I had sardines again for lunch and Aaron had more local beans (yes it is true what they say about beans!) Our final destination for today was Celorio and we arrived to find out it was also a local Ferria. Once checked into our albergue we headed out to the local seaside village and bought local cheap beers (Tag!) and food to snack on before admitting defeat and heading back to the hostel for a few more drinks then bed. Pooped but satisfied and now it is the start of day 7 and we shall head off as soon as our clothes have dried! Buen camino

Day 7 (Celorio - Ribadesella) ~25k. Bad start to the day after wanting to leave early. The washer and dryer at our albergue didn't work after trying for hours at night and in the morning so had to wear wet clothes and burden our backpacks with soaking wet clothes leaving after all the other pilgrims. To make matters worse it was a grey rainy day on top. Still we're on track, a third of the way now and got to sport our rather fetching ponchos a la 2017 variety! I've realised the cheese I've been eating recently is locally produced goats cheese but nothing like what we have at home. It's quite light and smooth and creamy and so so moreish, definite recommendation if you can find any! Made a big mistake at lunch whilst supping the red wine (hic). My bag wasn't covered so my towel ended up soaking wet and my bag had 15 mins of rain soaked into it which made it so much heavier to carry for the second half of the day. Finally made it to Ribadesella though which looks like a nice seaside town. It would be nice to explore but I admit to having really bad shin splints in my left leg so if anyone has any suggestions to help ease the pain and speed up recovery? Hats off to Aaron for finding this private albergue (we have our own room, woop woop!) Just collapsed on the bed now relaxing. Think I'll send Aaron out for wine soon, make him do something productive!

Day 8 (Ribadesella - Villaviciosa) - Man down! Not a good day. It turns out I've damaged my leg, either a pulled muscle or shin splints. Had to take the bus today to not fall behind schedule. Travelled to Villaviciosa today, surprisingly lovely cosmopolitan town. Albergue was an old French hotel so we're sharing our dorm room with just one guy, who happens to be french coincidentally. Had a lovely cheap lunch which included a huge cod broth however that is a bad description as was light with potatoes and lots of flavour. A definite local dish I recommend. Resting on the balcony this evening and Aaron bought two bottles of lovely red wine costing 1 euro each. Wine lovers please come to Spain. I think I'll have to rest my leg tomorrow as well to be honest but definitely ready to get back on it soon as I need to finish!

Day 9 accommodation (Villaviciosa - Salinas) - Time out required for my poorly leg (fingers crossed it recovers quickly). Chose a perfect place to stay in the lovely seaside haven known as Salinas. Our hostel this time is a beach house with cool airy rooms and a nice chill out room with deckchairs dotted around that also doubles as a surfing school which coincidentally this town seems to be built around. Most people are here for the surfing on the long beach with some cracking waves and tomorrow a longboard festival starts which should be a lot of fun. FYI all the surfing clichés are true! Seven 1€ bottles of wine later and a rather lovely sunset and my leg pain seems to have vanished, hooray! *hic* #pilgrimpause

Day 9-10 Sunset and Farewell - after a lovely day and evening at the "Home and Away" themed El Pez Escorpión beach hostal it's now time for a Mexican themed "more love please" hostal and one more day in the lovely Salinas before hopefully getting back on the Camino. Time waits for no pilgrim!

Day 11 (Salinas - Luacra) - Getting a bit depressed about my leg now as it seems to be healing but taking its time. Will start to walk again tomorrow so will soon find out if I can or not (fingers crossed). On the plus side spent the day in a rather lovely coastal town called Luacra. Beautiful buildings most with a great view of the sea. Lovely fish meals and as always wine to drink. Still not tried the local cider yet which is funny watching them pour everywhere! Roll on day 12

Day 12 (Luarca - Navia) - Finally back on the road again walking, yay! Managed 20k :) Leg is still hurting but a lot better. Need to try and stay away from tarmac as much as possible and go at a slow steady pace which I'm finding difficult as I naturally always walk fast (mother's fault). Ended in Navia which was a surprisingly cute little town by the river close to the sea. Highlights were the hostal for throwing in a 3 course meal and bottle of wine included in the price (thank you kindly), bottles of Galician red wine for 15 cents! Before you ask it was lovely! Sitting in the local park watching the sunset over the river and (finally) trying the local Asturian cider which is poured from a height. Tomorrow will be our last day in the region of Asturias before heading into Galicia!

Day 13 (Navia - Tapia de Casariego) around 23k - last day at the coast today before heading inland and into Galicia. Walk wasn't too bad today, trying to get used to this walking slow and steady routine! Route was a pleasant one, had loads of mint and eucalyptus hanging from my bag that I was picking along the way. Stopped at a strange place for lunch (La Caridad) but the food as always was rustic and lovely. Beans and clams for starter, a whole fresh flat fish and salad for second dish and home made custard for dessert. Yum yum. Tapia de Casariego is our final place to stay on the coast and in Asturias. The pilgrim albergue is essentially free (donations only) and very basic. The bunk beds have no sides or ladders so should be interesting later when needing the toilet! Time for wine and some rounds of cards although I need some decent competition as I keep beating Aaron!

Day 15 (Abadin - Vilalba) - Around 25k hike today. Leg hurting but I can manage this at a slow steady pace. Noticing a very different change to the natural habitat in Galicia, beautiful tall trees and so much woodland. Really stunning landscape to be walking through and a surprisingly welcome change after leaving the coast. There was no water throughout the morning so when we finally happened on a rural farm in the middle of nowhere who was providing fresh water this was a godsend. The farmer was also selling some succulent fruit so we added this to our breakfast of cheese, biscuits and red wine the rest of the walk was lovely and the youth hostel we found in Vilalba is brand new with great facilities. Sharing our dorm with two Spanish couples and one crazy ginger guy who we've spotted sliding down banisters outside. Interesting! Another great day of food and scenery. Now time to read some scifi before bed as we have an early start in the morning

Day 16 (Vilalba - Santa Leocadia) 30k today which is the longest since the injury. The last 5k were ridiculously slow, definite x-ray when home to check there's no more fractured bones! (#prone) Pain aside the walk was beautiful today, great temperature with little humidity. Amazing woodland and trees of all shapes and sizes but I held back from another tree post! The albergue this evening is perfect - a converted traditional Galician house in an extremely rural location in the middle of nowhere. Nothing to do but relax, eat and drink wine enjoying the scenery and sunshine. Did I mention that we passed the 100k mark today! Woop woop. 90k to Santiago, here we come!

Day 17 destination (Sobrado) - Sobrado was both a delight and a disappointment after the 30k hike mostly uphill yesterday. Leg held out which cheered me up immensely. Sobrado is a small town built around a Cistercian monastery. The monks created an artificial lake back in the 1500s that was a visual delight (didn't take a pic - doh). The lake today is a protected resource and could not look more natural, lily pads everywhere and surrounded by trees, kudos to the monks! The monastery itself was very impressive. South facing so basking in the sun and providing a perfect place to eat our evening picnic (and drink wine). Aaron and I couldn't decide on the architecture style, it was rather odd and majestic in an unusual way (originally over 1000 years old!). Once the sun had gone down it did develop a more gothic and creepy appearance over Sobrado! Unfortunately that was it however, the rest of the small town was rather lacklustre, food wasn't up to the usual Galician standard and there wasn't much else to rave about outside the monastery and lake... Around 60k to go now!

Day 17 (Santa Leocadia - Sobrado de los Monxes) 30k hike uphill today (yesterday now) almost 800 metres above sea level. Beautiful day and walk, leg was much better so not much pain to take away from the beautiful surroundings. The morning was tough, we hiked around 17k before our first morning coffee. Parched and hungry we were worried as the location was so rural and not passing through any villages or towns. However after 17k we passed a farmhouse that had a makeshift table amongst the chickens, turkey and nearby cows and was offering food and drink. The coffee and French omelette baguettes we had here were the most divine things ever at this point! There also seemed to be a silent struggle between the turkey and chickens which was funny to watch. A dog chased a chicken under my legs which made me jump, definite interesting morning! The rest of the day was slightly different to the rest of Galicia we had previously experienced as we were now above most of the woodland areas, it was starting to look a bit more like southern Spanish regions. Perfect weather and humidity thankfully at this point we now seem to cross paths with the same pilgrims periodically and so the race to Santiago begins in earnest!
This post is really helpful as the stretch from Ribadeo to Santiago is our next stretch so useful to hear of your experience. Well done for making it despite having a sore leg. Maggie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte Sept 2013
Camino del Norte Sept 2014
Camino del Norte 2015,16,17,18
#4
Can you remember day 14 and how you got fromTapia to Abadin?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#5
Thanks for your post. I'll be walking the Norte this July/August. I'm a little discouraged by all the rain that you encountered. Hopefully, with all the rain that its getting right now, northern Spain will have had enough rain by the time I get there. :)
 

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Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#6
Can you remember day 14 and how you got fromTapia to Abadin?
Hi Maggie, day 14 was a cheat day for us to make up miles so we got the bus. I remember the scenery was breathtaking and very hilly.
 

Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#7
Thanks for your post. I'll be walking the Norte this July/August. I'm a little discouraged by all the rain that you encountered. Hopefully, with all the rain that its getting right now, northern Spain will have had enough rain by the time I get there. :)
Sorry maybe my posts didn't convey the weather as well as I would have liked. There were a few wet days but on the whole the weather was perfect. Sunny and warm but not too hot :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#8
Sorry maybe my posts didn't convey the weather as well as I would have liked. There were a few wet days but on the whole the weather was perfect. Sunny and warm but not too hot :)
That's good to hear!
 

samlawton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte (2018)
#9
Day 18 (Sobrado - Arzúa) around 21k - today was ridiculously humid. Rained in the morning then just grey and cloudy but really warm with what felt like no air. The majority of the walk was all tarmac which was not pleasant and judging by the looks of all other pilgrims wasn't pleasant for them either (hobbles, stretching of legs, rubbing of feet, etc). We happened to find ourselves in the middle of a youth group this morning with 130 kids doing the remainder of the Camino that coincidentally were staying in the monastery as we all recognised each other from the evening before. The day was like a long convoy where we'd overtake them all wishing a good Camino and having a brief chat before stopping for a coffee then having to do it all over again. Novel at first but ended up being more like a comedy routine and déjà vu! Ended up in Arzúa and realised our hostel was outside of town in the completely wrong direction. Didn't take long before we decided to stretch our budget one last time and stay in a cheap hotel for one last good sleep before our final youth hostel tomorrow! Aaron is snoring next to me in his bed having one of his frequent "rests" whilst I am writing this, reading my sci-fi and drinking a bottle of wine that was only 89 cents! Salud! #buencamino under 40k to go!

Day 20 - WE MADE IT TO SANTIAGO! First Camino completed!

Day 21-22:

663km later in Santiago, an ode to fellow pilgrims - this camino would not have been possible without crossing paths with many other pilgrims along the way, here's a shout out to the best of them!

Thanks to the lovely German girl who showed us real achievement walking all the way from her home with a little bag and looking immaculate. Also a big thanks for educating us that our walk one day which we thought was about 30km one day was actually 47km!

Thanks to the 3 Spanish cyclists who showed us we were a lot faster than we thought! After setting after the cyclists one day we managed to cross their paths three times by the end of the day! Walkers 1 Cyclists 0

Thanks to the sweet Russian lady whom we managed to be in sync with one day and very much mentally supported each other with our visually deceiving upside down climb to Llanes. That was tough and this lady knew how to walk - parting word of "whyyy?!" Never did see her again, hope she made it in good time to Santiago.

Thanks to the other German girl we kept crossing paths with and again showed us we were walking too fast at some points. No I won't carry you to the next town, no I won't carry your rucksack and no I don't have any rope in which to pull you along with! I wonder what happened to the guy you where with in the end and no it really didn't rain as much as you said!

Thanks to the French guy we happened to share a room in a rather quaint and lovely french ran hostel in Villaviciosa. His 6am starts were impressive (or foolhardy depending on how you look at it) and the distance he covered each morning was crazy!

Thanks to the lovely Spanish couple that we never actually saw walking in the Camino but kept happening to share the opposite bunk beds with! Coincidence or creepy! We did see them in Santiago so they definitely finished the Camino

And finally thanks to the lovely guy from Denmark who started chatting with us on the last day and walk into Santiago. His tales of walking through the night and without stopping were both scary and impressive. It was nice to walk in with him and I hope we helped keep him awake before his inevitable collapse in his bed!
Hi, really informative post! I will be doing my first ever camino along this route in august, and have 27 days allocated to complete it from Bilbao to santiago, would you say this is sufficient to complete it in this time? Also roughly how much money did you spend whilst you were there?
Thanks!
 

Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#10
Hi, really informative post! I will be doing my first ever camino along this route in august, and have 27 days allocated to complete it from Bilbao to santiago, would you say this is sufficient to complete it in this time? Also roughly how much money did you spend whilst you were there?
Thanks!
Hey there, really appreciate the kind comments! I'm envious you will have an amazing experience! We took the same route for our first Camino and completed in 21 days. However that did include having to take some buses as there is simply too much ground to cover in that time. You have almost another week which is good. You might find yourself skipping an odd section. I think we spent on average about 30 euros a day. That did include staying in some more pricey B&B's as the albergues were sometimes full. You could shave some off that, especially if you stick to the albergues. Best of luck!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte Sept 2013
Camino del Norte Sept 2014
Camino del Norte 2015,16,17,18
#11
Hi Maggie, day 14 was a cheat day for us to make up miles so we got the bus. I remember the scenery was breathtaking and very hilly.
Thank you trying to work out how to cover this section
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Camino Frances
#12
Hi Roops!
Thanks for posting this. I just finished the Frances and intend to walk the Norte in reverse. I’m alone so a little nervous i will get lost! I have wikiloc app but not yet used it. Somebody I met said I must have it!

Would you say I’ll be ok in reverse - did you meet many doing this?

Thanks!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#13
@calamity37 - On the Norte I met only one person doing it in reverse and they were finding it difficult. All the direction arrows and signs are placed to help people walking towards Santiago, and were often difficult to see for someone coming the other way. The Norte does not have nearly as many pilgrims on it as the CF - often we would only come across two or three in a whole day. So you will not be able to rely on a conga line of people coming towards you, as you may be able to do on the CF. I suspect you will have to rely entirely on Wikiloc or a similar app with gps tracks and offline maps preloaded.
 

Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#14
@calamity37 - That is very impressive! At first I thought why would you walk the Camino in reverse?! Then the more I thought about it the more I thought how walking it in reverse is much more like the original pilgrims would have done, they would have had to walk back as well as walking to Santiago.

Hmm I agree with @Kanga the Norte is quieter but in Summer there is still a fair few pilgrims on this route (we were never without a day in July 2017 where we would see at least 7-10 pilgrims). I think we only noticed the odd person who was doing it in reverse. I'm sure it is possible as people do it each year but the markers may not be easy to spot in reverse. Not sure what advice I can give I'm afraid I'm still a newbie to all of this. I do wish you the very best of luck though and please keep us updated with how you are getting on!
 

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