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Can I go backwards?

elzi

Active Member
Hi Folks,

I've long wanted to do the Camino del Norte but thought I'd better do the Frances first (that I finished last year) but me and my friend have this idea that we'd like to do it backwards, starting at santiago (or finisterre) and heading back towards France. Thing is I'm wondering if anyone knows if the north route is signed backwards? I know the Frances has the funny blue swirly signs going back the other way but will we be able to find our way back up the Norte?

I'm wondering if, given that there aren't much in the way of english guidebooks for the Norte, we'll just be wondering around lost the whole time!!?! Also I'm looking at doing the Primitivo, I wonder if that is signed backwards? Anyway maybe if I decide it will all be too difficult I should just start at Irun and follow the arrows? :?

Any help would be great!

I did meet a swiss guy headed back up that way last year... I wonder if he made it back to switzerland....!
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
The Galician section of the Norte is signed backwards, at least the easy-to-reach bits along the roads. Up in the mountains, no. And that´s where you need them most, I think! (Some say the Norte and Primitivo are not signed very well going FORWARD, esp. in Asturias!)

But it is definitely do-able, if you have a good map and a compass and patience. Dozens do it every year. The ones who didn´t make it aren´t talking...

Reb.
 

elzi

Active Member
Thanks, that makes me feel a bit better, it at least sounds like its possible!
I'll have to start looking into some maps! Cheers! :)
 

Dale

Active Member
I shared a room with a Dutch man who was walking the Francais backwards fortunately he was the happy go lucky type of person that nothing seems to bother. I think you should be aware that you will face a hassle daily if you plan to stay in Municipal albergues. We were in a private albergue and he didn't have a problem getting a bed there but he said he had to talk his way into the municipal albergues, their preference is Pilgrims headed west not east. :twisted:
 

elzi

Active Member
Hi Dale,

Thanks I hadn't even thought of that, I'd just assumed as long as you were walking in either direction it would be fine! I mean the traditional thing is to walk there and back right? The more I look into it the more I'm thinking it might be worth just going in the right direction after all. Thing is I will be arriving in Santiago (hopefully) but it looks like I can take a train from Santiago to Irun and walk in the right direction.

I still harbour fantasies of walking backwards though... maybe one day! :D
 
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Javier Martin

Veteran Member
I've met several pilgrims returning home walking. It's not so strange.

But sometimes it's difficult to find the arrows because it are painted to be found just in one sense.

Buen Camino, in any direction

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
I've met several pilgrims returning home walking. It's not so strange.

But sometimes it's difficult to find the arrows because it are painted to be found just in one sense.

Buen Camino, in any direction

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Walking backwards might even be a little more common on the Norte - I met a few people who had walked the Frances to Santiago and then headed back along the coast. The waymarking might be a little trickier for backtracking on the Norte than the Frances, but you do have one advantage - any time the coast is in view, it offers a great navigational aid!

I strongly recommend the El Pais/Aguilar guide. The maps are excellent.
 

sfdithomas

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2018
Does anyone know if you would need a new credential or anything special to walk in reverse? I'm thinking of beginning in late October from Santiago. I would only be walking for 10-12 days, is this too late to begin weather-wise in Galicia? Thanks for any input! Buen Camino!
 
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