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Camino Norte + heights

pascalemd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
none
Hi everyone

I was hoping those with experience of the Camino Norte might help -

I love hiking but have a fear of sheer drops and therefore find walking on narrow cliff paths challenging. Would those who have walked the Norte advise against it because of this? in general, what are the paths like on this route?

Many thanks
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I am very sensitive to this myself, and quite understand your reservations. The Norte offers variations. There will be very little in the way of sheer drops along the main path-- I think that the only exceptions might be the ascent after San Juan de Pasaja (avoidable by taking the streets to the left, then ascending on a paved street) and El Brusco, east of Noja, which would necessitate going by the road. O, and the bridge over the Eo before Ribadeo--- take a taxi.

Much of the del Norte is on country roads or tracks, and you would have few challenges.
 

pascalemd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
none
Thanks very much for this @oursonpolaire - much appreciated! I won't be able to do the entire route - I'll have about 14 days. Do you have any suggestions of a nice section to do in this time?

Thanks again!
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I remember the same 2 spots as oursonpolaire mentioned. The bridge before Ribadeo is indeed high, but not dangerous. You would have to make an effort to fall of. It is not a nice passage though, long narrow with people coming from the other side, including bikes.
I think the two first weeks are the nicest, but also the hardest ones, much ups and downs.
If you don't like walking on asphalt, there are many alternative routes, that mostly are nearer to the sea and add some kilometers. If You search this forum in the Camino del norte section for " coastal alternatives to the norte's asphalt" you will find much information about these possibilities
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Thanks very much for this @oursonpolaire - much appreciated! I won't be able to do the entire route - I'll have about 14 days. Do you have any suggestions of a nice section to do in this time?

Thanks again!

It really depends what you like. From Irun to Bilbao is the most challenging physically-- it's gorgeous but there are a few climbs! I'm not a fan of big cities so zoomed right through Saint Sebastian, Santander, and Gijon. The stretch from Castro Urdiales is quite pleasant. Santander west to Ribadeo if you like an occasional beach. Ribadeo onward if you enjoy the Celtic aura of Galicia. if you live in the EC and you can get to Spain easily, I would suggest that you divide it over two years and do a couple of weeks one year, and a few more weeks another.

Others will likely pop in with suggestions. There are plenty of photographs around and, if you're a fan of youtube videos, Efren Gonzalez has just done a very nice series of the del Norte which will give you a flavour.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
I am very sensitive to this myself, and quite understand your reservations. The Norte offers variations. There will be very little in the way of sheer drops along the main path-- I think that the only exceptions might be the ascent after San Juan de Pasaja (avoidable by taking the streets to the left, then ascending on a paved street) and El Brusco, east of Noja, which would necessitate going by the road. O, and the bridge over the Eo before Ribadeo--- take a taxi.

Much of the del Norte is on country roads or tracks, and you would have few challenges.
I agree
Love the Norte. So much nice than the Frances
 

ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015, 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
I did about two-thirds of the Norte on foot, the rest via bus or train because of poor weather. I too have the “unprotected edge” height issue and don’t remember anything that set it off - EXCEPT THAT BRIDGE - OMG!!! - THAT BRIDGE!!!!! There is a high fence on the traffic side, but the railing on the water side was TOO LOW and my phobia took right over. I was absolutely terrified, my knees were shaking and like jelly and I felt sick all over. It’s close to 0.40 mile long. FORTUNATELY no one else was on the bridge except for one bicycle that passed me going in my direction. I don’t know how long it took me to inch across as I had not looked at my watch when I started. I had to sit on the ground to regain my composure once I got across. TAKE A TAXI ACROSS! HIJACK A BOAT ACROSS!! SWIM ACROSS!!! Let a car hit you and TAKE AN AMBULANCE ACROSS!!!!

 

ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015, 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
Hi everyone

I was hoping those with experience of the Camino Norte might help -

I love hiking but have a fear of sheer drops and therefore find walking on narrow cliff paths challenging. Would those who have walked the Norte advise against it because of this? in general, what are the paths like on this route?

Many thanks
I did about two-thirds of the Norte on foot, the rest via bus or train because of poor weather. I too have the “unprotected edge” height issue and don’t remember anything that set it off - EXCEPT THAT BRIDGE - OMG!!! - THAT BRIDGE!!!!! There is a high fence on the traffic side, but the railing on the water side was TOO LOW and my phobia took right over. I was absolutely terrified, my knees were shaking and like jelly and I felt sick all over. It’s close to 0.40 mile long. FORTUNATELY no one else was on the bridge except for one bicycle that passed me going in my direction. I don’t know how long it took me to inch across as I had not looked at my watch when I started. I had to sit on the ground to regain my composure once I got across. TAKE A TAXI ACROSS! HIJACK A BOAT ACROSS!! SWIM ACROSS!!! Let a car hit you and TAKE AN AMBULANCE ACROSS!!!!



I did about two-thirds of the Norte on foot, the rest via bus or train because of poor weather. I too have the “unprotected edge” height issue and don’t remember anything that set it off - EXCEPT THAT BRIDGE - OMG!!! - THAT BRIDGE!!!!! There is a high fence on the traffic side, but the railing on the water side was TOO LOW and my phobia took right over. I was absolutely terrified, my knees were shaking and like jelly and I felt sick all over. It’s close to 0.40 mile long. FORTUNATELY no one else was on the bridge except for one bicycle that passed me going in my direction. I don’t know how long it took me to inch across as I had not looked at my watch when I started. I had to sit on the ground to regain my composure once I got across. TAKE A TAXI ACROSS! HIJACK A BOAT ACROSS!! SWIM ACROSS!!! Let a car hit you and TAKE AN AMBULANCE ACROSS!!!!


Here is the link to the short video I made while on the bridge:

 

Camineiro

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
several
1D3DF083-42E4-4A49-9842-F3332CC47D35.jpegThe bridge is accessible on both sides. This is the footpath on the right side of the bridge and it looks pretty much the same as on the lefthand side shown in the video.
At the end of the bridge on the other side of the ria you either turn right to go the the albergue municipal or pass underneath the bridge to continue into Ribadeo town.

It's possible to avoid the bridge by an alternative route, which is - by-the-way - the original route.
The route via the bridge is an option from modern times.
There's a turn-off a few km before Tapia de Casaregio and leads via Vegadeo, Santiago de Abres and Trabada to Mondoñedo, where it rejoins the camino coming from Ribadeo.

The - possibly - funny meant advice to swim across the ria shouldn't be taken too serious ;), as it is dangerous.
There are dangerous currents in the ria.
 
Last edited:

pascalemd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
none
Thanks everyone! @Camineiro @ELHS220 ! Actually the bridge doesn't worry me too much (thank you for the photos and links) For me it's more narrow paths alongside mountain edges / cliffs that I really can't handle. If you can remember any sections with these do let me know!! Thanks again :)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
For me it's more narrow paths alongside mountain edges / cliffs that I really can't handle. If you can remember any sections with these do let me know!!
Nope, no sections like that that I can recall on the official Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2013, CF 2014, CP 2016, CN 1st half 2018, CN 3rd qtr+R. Cantabrico 2019, Via Francigena 2017
I did about two-thirds of the Norte on foot, the rest via bus or train because of poor weather. I too have the “unprotected edge” height issue and don’t remember anything that set it off - EXCEPT THAT BRIDGE - OMG!!! - THAT BRIDGE!!!!! There is a high fence on the traffic side, but the railing on the water side was TOO LOW and my phobia took right over. I was absolutely terrified, my knees were shaking and like jelly and I felt sick all over. It’s close to 0.40 mile long. FORTUNATELY no one else was on the bridge except for one bicycle that passed me going in my direction. I don’t know how long it took me to inch across as I had not looked at my watch when I started. I had to sit on the ground to regain my composure once I got across. TAKE A TAXI ACROSS! HIJACK A BOAT ACROSS!! SWIM ACROSS!!! Let a car hit you and TAKE AN AMBULANCE ACROSS!!!!

That's so interesting. I was dreading this bridge because had heard it was scary but my husband and I didn't find it scary at all. Except my husband said he was afraid of dropping his phone because he was busy taking pictures.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2013, CF 2014, CP 2016, CN 1st half 2018, CN 3rd qtr+R. Cantabrico 2019, Via Francigena 2017
I am very sensitive to this myself, and quite understand your reservations. The Norte offers variations. There will be very little in the way of sheer drops along the main path-- I think that the only exceptions might be the ascent after San Juan de Pasaja (avoidable by taking the streets to the left, then ascending on a paved street) and El Brusco, east of Noja, which would necessitate going by the road. O, and the bridge over the Eo before Ribadeo--- take a taxi.

Much of the del Norte is on country roads or tracks, and you would have few challenges.
El Brusco was amazing and you certainly had to pick your way up and down carefully. I was sure glad I had hiking poles. (I got down on my seat to do part of the downhill.) But it wasn't exactly scary. It's one of my nicest memories of the Norte. My forum photo (to the left) was taken on El Brusco.
 

Liz Drew

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Coastal Portuguese
2018 Via de la Plata
(2019) del Norte
Hi everyone

I was hoping those with experience of the Camino Norte might help -

I love hiking but have a fear of sheer drops and therefore find walking on narrow cliff paths challenging. Would those who have walked the Norte advise against it because of this? in general, what are the paths like on this route?

Many thanks
The del Norte is just so beautiful! Sure, you climb EVERY day and the views are worth it! The paths vary from rocky to almost paved but you are well protected from going over the edge! Enjoy!
 

ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015, 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
That's so interesting. I was dreading this bridge because had heard it was scary but my husband and I didn't find it scary at all. Except my husband said he was afraid of dropping his phone because he was busy taking pictures.

I just can’t be near an edge. If I lived in a high rise, I’d probably never go out on the balcony unless it was VERY wide and I could be sufficiently back from the edge.

P.S. I’ve been skydiving 3 times. Figure THAT out!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
These things are relative. Some folk were comfortable with the bridge, and quite enjoyed El Brusco. I had nausea from the terror. Different strokes. Let readers look at each one and decide for themselves what they might wish to do.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I walked the Norte as far as Oviedo before turning on to the Primitivo. I am afraid of heights, too, and only had a couple of semi-scary moments. They did not interfere with what was a wonderful experience. Don't let a few possible moments deter you from your dreams!
 

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