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Del Norte, best time and backpack transport

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
I did the Camino Frances October 2013 and loved it, didn't plan much just went to SJDP and followed the local recommendation on alberques etc. This year i want to try the Norte. From what i read, it is more challenging.

My question is what is the best time to do this route, weatherwise. I do not particularly like rain, specially cold rain. There is really no protection, you get wet either way; you sweat inside with a waterprrof or not sufficient waterproof.

Other question is, is there a luggage transport service on Norte. On CF, there were two transport companies offering to transport your bag for 3-7 Euros. That made my walk much more enjoyable.
 
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Past OR future Camino
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
Others can comment on the weather. I went in September and both times the weather was excellent, although I did have a day of rain. Remember that this is a coastal area in Europe and the weather is very changeable. I do not know of any pilgrim who likes rain, but it happens sometimes anyway. To my knowledge, there is no transport company along the entire route, but I found that it is usually possible to arrange backpack transport at each stop through your innkeeper/ hospitalero.
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
They call it the 'green coast' - and it's green for one reason: lots and lots and lots of rain. I suggest a long 'open sleeve' poncho, one of those long rectangles with poppers up the side. They keep you and your pack dry (you might get wet from the knees down, and be sure to bring waterproof or woolen gloves) and because they are well ventilated you don't sweat. The route seemed well-served by bag-carrying services - lots of older pilgrims use them. Have fun!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Yes
I did the Camino Frances October 2013 and loved it, didn't plan much just went to SJDP and followed the local recommendation on alberques etc. This year i want to try the Norte. From what i read, it is more challenging.

My question is what is the best time to do this route, weatherwise. I do not particularly like rain, specially cold rain. There is really no protection, you get wet either way; you sweat inside with a waterprrof or not sufficient waterproof.

Other question is, is there a luggage transport service on Norte. On CF, there were two transport companies offering to transport your bag for 3-7 Euros. That made my walk much more enjoyable.

I think that you will find that (for now) the Norte differs in many ways from the CF. The pilgrims tend to be more experienced and a bit more fit. Most carry their own packs ( even the "older ones"). Avoiding rain or discomfort on a Camino would seem difficult as it is very much a part of the experience.
Rain can be avoided (usually) on the Via de la Plata in August.
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
I think that you will find that (for now) the Norte differs in many ways from the CF. The pilgrims tend to be more experienced and a bit more fit. Most carry their own packs ( even the "older ones"). Avoiding rain or discomfort on a Camino would seem difficult as it is very much a part of the experience.
Rain can be avoided (usually) on the Via de la Plata in August.
I agree that the Norte is different from the CF, but I saw many pilgrims using bag-carrying services on the Norte last year. They explained that they were using these services because they were old and/or unwell. That is my observation, and it means the service exists for those who need it.
 
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grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Yes
I am wondering how old they were? I am 75 and have no need or desire to have our packs transported due to age. Perhaps they had other physical issues....or just did not want to carry a pack.
Much more uncommon on CdN.
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
I am wondering how old they were? I am 75 and have no need or desire to have our packs transported due to age. Perhaps they had other physical issues....or just did not want to carry a pack.
Much more uncommon on CdN.
They weren't exceptionally old - I'm just reporting what they told me their reasons were for not carrying their own packs. It is not my place to judge their choice
 
Past OR future Camino
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
One of the fittest-looking pilgrims I saw needed to have her pack transported on account of spinal problems. Bone- and joint-related problems do increase with frequency with age and I know of pilgrims who were advised that they could only do it if they did not carry packs. The del Norte featured fewer older pilgrims than the Francese, as it is a more challenging route (although not as much as the Primitivo). Perhaps this is because few do the del Norte as their first pilgrimage. As far as rain goes, I have been lucky on the del Norte and in about 35 days of walking only had one wet day, but one just cannot predict. In rain terms, Galicia is a lot like Ireland where, if one does not like the weather, one should not worry as it will change again in ten minutes.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
On the Primitivo in 2012 we met a pilgrim with 2 tin knees (his description) who had walked the Norte from Irun round to Oviedo then onto the Primitivo and he had used baggage transport all the way. He carried a light pack for his daily needs and sent the rest on for the sake of his knees and other joints, so it can be done.
Best time on the Norte for accomodation is probably outside of main holiday season (July and August) if you want a change from the albergues occasionally but the weather might be best then.
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
They call it the 'green coast' - and it's green for one reason: lots and lots and lots of rain. I suggest a long 'open sleeve' poncho, one of those long rectangles with poppers up the side. They keep you and your pack dry (you might get wet from the knees down, and be sure to bring waterproof or woolen gloves) and because they are well ventilated you don't sweat. The route seemed well-served by bag-carrying services - lots of older pilgrims use them. Have fun!
They call it the 'green coast' - and it's green for one reason: lots and lots and lots of rain. I suggest a long 'open sleeve' poncho, one of those long rectangles with poppers up the side. They keep you and your pack dry (you might get wet from the knees down, and be sure to bring waterproof or woolen gloves) and because they are well ventilated you don't sweat. The route seemed well-served by bag-carrying services - lots of older pilgrims use them. Have fun!
Last year on the CF I used a long poncho and within minutes of rain condensation builds from the inside and wet everything. I will try to find an "open sleeve" this time and see if that makes a different. Thank you for the suggestion.
 
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Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
Thanks everyone for the answers.
Last year, I did CF in October and came across rain for few days in Galicia. It was all day downpours. Once wet, you need a day or two just to dry the boots. So, I want to pick the best time to reduce the amount of rain i have to face. Looks like June or September would be the best.

I started carrying my pack from SJDP and on the 2nd day noticed my back was beginning to hurt. Once i switched to a daypack, I was able to enjoy the walk and do 20-30km a day. I am not sure i have any underlying physical conditions, most likely poor posture due to carrying a heavy belly for the last few years. So, transporting my pack, wile limiting flexibility to stop at any alberque, made the walk more enjoyable. Good to know that packs could be transported through the Norte as well. Worst case I can always arrange a taxi for transport.
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
I think that you will find that (for now) the Norte differs in many ways from the CF. The pilgrims tend to be more experienced and a bit more fit. Most carry their own packs ( even the "older ones"). Avoiding rain or discomfort on a Camino would seem difficult as it is very much a part of the experience.
Rain can be avoided (usually) on the Via de la Plata in August.

I actually like to hike in rain. Rain cools me down and makes it more comfortable, but not the all day, day in day out kind you can get along the Norte. So, trying to pick the best time so as to minimize the amount of rainy days.
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
Raj, it's great that you are returning for another Camino. I would like to know: 1. What kind of pack were you using, and how heavy was it? 2. Were you wearing leather/waterproof boots?
The pack and boots you wear can make or break you! Carry as light a load as possible, and use a pack that is fully supported on your body. The most comfortable I've found are made by Osprey.
As for the boots, leather and Goretex 'waterproof' ones don't always keep your feet completely dry (eg when rain seeps in from above!), and they take forever to dry out. Counter-intuitive as it sounds, I found it better to wear non-waterproof trail-running shoes. Your feet get wet, but if you have good merino wool socks and protect from blisters then it shouldn't be too much of a problem. The shoes dry out quicker, so at least you start out with dry-ish shoes the next day. They are also lighter on your feet, and this makes a huge difference to how much weight you are able to carry in your pack. That's my experience anyway, though of course everyone is different. And treat yourself to a couple of extra spare pairs of good socks!
As I said before, bag-carrying services are available - but if you tweak your equipment you may not need them
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
I should ad, regarding the wearing of non-waterproof shoes on a mud-soaked Camino, better NOT to pick the top-of-the-range expensive ones!
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
I was using the Deuter ACT zero 50+15 pack that was fully adjustable. Since the sensitivity in the middle of my back persisted throughout my walk, i don't think it was due to poor pack support alone. More likely my poor posture. The added weight, I think, was putting more pressure on certain parts of my vertebra. My pack measured 10kg, 3kg is my cpap device to help me sleep better and not disturb fellow pilgrims.

I use leather lined boots all year around. Goretex does not breathe as well as leather lined boots. Yes, once wet it takes a long time to dry it without access to heat. Since i am on the heavy side, i need a boot with good ankle support. That is why i avoid those low cut synthetic boots. Mind you with my leather boots, i didn't have a single blister/feet issues until the last two days when i had to walk for two days with wet feet towards Finistere. So, i am caucious to experiment newer boot types. But, i will look into it. But, merino wool is absolute on my list, socks and baselayer/ t-shirts as well.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I was using the Deuter ACT zero 50+15 pack that was fully adjustable. Since the sensitivity in the middle of my back persisted throughout my walk, i don't think it was due to poor pack support alone. More likely my poor posture. The added weight, I think, was putting more pressure on certain parts of my vertebra.

I sound like a broken record but have you tried an Aarn Pack? Totally different system, really does change how the pack sits. The front balance pockets look weird but are incredibly comfortable and useful. And I really have no connection to this company at all, other than wanting it to survive and continue to make packs for me to buy! ImageUploadedByCamino de Santiago Forum1393138165.549528.jpg
 

angulero

Active Member
They call it the 'green coast' - and it's green for one reason: lots and lots and lots of rain. I suggest a long 'open sleeve' poncho, one of those long rectangles with poppers up the side. They keep you and your pack dry (you might get wet from the knees down, and be sure to bring waterproof or woolen gloves) and because they are well ventilated you don't sweat. The route seemed well-served by bag-carrying services - lots of older pilgrims use them. Have fun!


La Costa Verde se llama a la costa asturiana solamente. Es verdad que llueve más que en otros lugares de España, pero tampoco es nada exagerado, de 900 a 1000 mm al año de media.

ScreenHunter_02Feb281153_zps35d10586.jpg


ScreenHunter_02Feb281159_zpsa07c757a.jpg


The Costa Verde is called only the Asturian coast. It is true that it rains more than elsewhere in Spain, but is not nothing fancy, from 900 to 1000 mm per year on average.
 

psheehan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF, CPo, CdN, CPr, F, CS, CV, CI, VdlP, CS, CA
I sound like a broken record but have you tried an Aarn Pack? Totally different system, really does change how the pack sits. The front balance pockets look weird but are incredibly comfortable and useful. And I really have no connection to this company at all, other than wanting it to survive and continue to make packs for me to buy! View attachment 8397
I also have an Aarn backpack, it's a great backpack and really does make such a great difference...
 

MKalcolm M

Solvitur ambulando - It is solved by walking
Past OR future Camino
north route spring 2013
I walked the Norte this spring, in May/June this year and for the first part faced torrential rain. I later heard that this had been the wettest spring for 100 years. The paths flowed like rivers and everywhere off road was deep mud which made for heavy going. Having said that it was a fantastic walk, and I would heartily encourage you to do it. At that time of year and in the early part of the camino there were many retired people walking the route, as they had the time and money to spend several weeks walking, and wern't confined to normal holiday times. There were also a wide range of nationalities and ages which made for interesting and varied company. I returned briefly in September when the weather was sunny and met one pilgrim who said he had encountered virtually no rain at all. In contrast a friend on the French route had many days of bad weather, so there really is no safe or set time to avoid rain. My suggsetion is to be prepared for all weathers, and enjoy the sun when it comes. The north route allows for a really great walk. Buen Camino!
 

angulero

Active Member
Hay un dicho que dice que "cuando marzo mayea, mayo marcea", o sea, que si en marzo hace buen tiempo, en mayo lloverá y vendrá el frío. Este año marzo, y el invierno en general, está siendo bueno, sin apenas frío. ¿Quiere esto decir que mayo será lluvioso y frío?. Veremos....

There is a saying that "cuando marzo mayea, mayo marcea", that is, that if good weather in March, May and come the cold rain. This year March, and winter in general, is still good, not just cold. Does that mean that May will be rainy and cold?. We'll see ....
 
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jprogers

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2005
Ptgse 2007 Norte 2009 Ingles 2011
Vasco del 2013 Ourense to SdC 2016
Invierno? 2020
Hi we did the Norte in June 2009, leaving around 1st June, and had looked at weather patterns -so as to have minimal rain. Luckily that year we only had a few days rain but I guess it is luck. We also met someone an English woman -unable to carry her pack- and a company had organised the transport and I guess her accomodation.
Cheers Jill
 

Keegan Faudree

New Member
Past OR future Camino
(September 2014)
Is October a good month to walk the Notre? I am leaving from Le Puy in late August, and am trying to decide between the Norte and CF. Thanks
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
Just to update this thread, apparently there are backpack transport services; on El norte"; "Le petit bag" and "Peregrino express". And on Primitivo trail, the "Taxicamino". I am settling on May 23/24 as a start date from Irun.
Thanks everyone for your feedback.
 
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Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
I will be right behind you. Starting on Sunday. Who knows we might cross our path. Buen camino!
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Buen Camino to you...can't wait to read how you fare! I just did our tickets last night...mid/late Sept to early October!!
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
Buen Camino to you...can't wait to read how you fare! I just did our tickets last night...mid/late Sept to early October!!
Hi, I did the CF same time last year. Only faced 2-3 days of rain near Galicia. On the norte, you are outside the busy holiday period so sept/oct still should be good. I will post the highlights and itinerary; stages, alberques etc. in this forum when i return.
 
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Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
I look forward to reading how you find it raj. Did you read Neve's feedback (ShefollowsShells ) good blog.
I'm hoping to be there sept/oct too.
Buen camino
Annie
I did see her notes. I got the same guidebook. I am making notes on the guidebook and will follow. Buen Camino!
 

ParistoCapeCod

"Come on mom this 14k isn't going to walk itself."
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese, Primitivo, Norte. Hospitalera
Just to update this thread, apparently there are backpack transport services; on El norte"; "Le petit bag" and "Peregrino express". And on Primitivo trail, the "Taxicamino". I am settling on May 23/24 as a start date from Irun.
Thanks everyone for your feedback.
Dear Raj, Do you have contact info for the bag services on the Norte? I don't want to scramble for it when I really need it! Leaving June 20. Buen camino! Thank you, Lisa
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
Hi
Dear Raj, Do you have contact info for the bag services on the Norte? I don't want to scramble for it when I really need it! Leaving June 20. Buen camino! Thank you, Lisa
Hi Lisa,
Yes, it was not easy to find, I had to Google it:
*Irun-bilboa, Carmelo 635 73 08 52

*Bilbao-llanes, mikel 633 67 15 05, transmikel@hotmail.es

*Llanes-Ribadeo, Miguel. 696 14 08 71, also for primitivo, asturperegrino@hotmail.com


*You can text to Carmelo, others email , call.
*They advertised 12 euros per stage, but changed to 20, claiming I am the only pickup, what can one do no competition.
*Most alberques don't open early to receive your luggage, forces you to pick private or hostals. You also have to call and confirm.
Good luck
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
Wow...20 euros per stage plus no albergues for the most part.

Adds a lot of daily expense.
Advertised 12 euros for 1-3 bags, soon they changed claiming not many transports, we need some serious competition. Yes I am running 50/day.
 
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Metropolly

Guest
Advertised 12 euros for 1-3 bags, soon they changed claiming not many transports, we need some serious competition. Yes I am running 50/day.
Good for you, that the necessary extra expense hasn't stopped you doing this Camino. You know it's worth every penny! And you have boosted the local economy more than the average pilgrim. I hope you enjoy every step of the way
 
D

Deleted member 12253

Guest
I did the Camino Frances October 2013 and loved it, didn't plan much just went to SJDP and followed the local recommendation on alberques etc. This year i want to try the Norte. From what i read, it is more challenging.

My question is what is the best time to do this route, weatherwise. I do not particularly like rain, specially cold rain. There is really no protection, you get wet either way; you sweat inside with a waterprrof or not sufficient waterproof.

Other question is, is there a luggage transport service on Norte. On CF, there were two transport companies offering to transport your bag for 3-7 Euros. That made my walk much more enjoyable.


I walked the Norte from irun to Oviedo starting 1st May, not a drop of rain , lovely sunny days, walked primitivo to Santiago arriving on 3rd June , no rain. Did not see anybody using bag transfer, found both Norte and primitivo easy. I am 65 yrs old, average daily walk 29 km. if you are fit no problems
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
I walked the Norte from irun to Oviedo starting 1st May, not a drop of rain , lovely sunny days, walked primitivo to Santiago arriving on 3rd June , no rain. Did not see anybody using bag transfer, found both Norte and primitivo easy. I am 65 yrs old, average daily walk 29 km. if you are fit no problems
I just completed my Norte/primitive on JUne 27th. You must have seen a lot of people with small packs on their back? They are all using transport! Yes, i cannot stand those older retired folks pass me everytime! Good for you.
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
Good for you, that the necessary extra expense hasn't stopped you doing this Camino. You know it's worth every penny! And you have boosted the local economy more than the average pilgrim. I hope you enjoy every step of the way
Just don´t like being taken advantage of. When you advertise a price, stick to it. If there is competition, this kind of thing would not happen. If i want to contribute to the spanish economy, i would find some other ways.
 
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Metropolly

Guest
Just don´t like being taken advantage of. When you advertise a price, stick to it. If there is competition, this kind of thing would not happen. If i want to contribute to the spanish economy, i would find some other ways.
True. I hope the extra expense didn't spoil your incredible journey. Did you manage to avoid too much rain?
 

Jodipup

Member
Past OR future Camino
del Norte, Primitivo, Finisterre 2014, Portugeuse 2015, Frances 2016,2017, del Norte 2017,
I walked the Norte from irun to Oviedo starting 1st May, not a drop of rain , lovely sunny days, walked primitivo to Santiago arriving on 3rd June , no rain. Did not see anybody using bag transfer, found both Norte and primitivo easy. I am 65 yrs old, average daily walk 29 km. if you are fit no problems
Hi. So glad you were lucky and had good weather. My husband and I are walking the same route as you in September. I am a bit worried about difficulty of the route. How much walking had you been doing as training for your Camino?
Thanks
Lesley
 

NW Explorer

New Member
Hi. So glad you were lucky and had good weather. My husband and I are walking the same route as you in September. I am a bit worried about difficulty of the route. How much walking had you been doing as training for your Camino?
Thanks
Lesley

I am also planning to walk the Camino in September, and I am considering the Del Norte route because the weather is cooler and it's less busy (and also, I love mountains and sea). I would like to hear any advice on personal safety as compared to the Frances route, alternate accommodation options, and in particular, how long does it take? I would leave from Biarritz. Thanks! Heather
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
I am also planning to walk the Camino in September, and I am considering the Del Norte route because the weather is cooler and it's less busy (and also, I love mountains and sea). I would like to hear any advice on personal safety as compared to the Frances route, alternate accommodation options, and in particular, how long does it take? I would leave from Biarritz. Thanks! Heather
How long it takes depends on how much you can walk, but it's only slightly longer than the Frances so it's around a month of walking. You have the choice of continuing on the coast or taking the Primitivo to link to Santiago. You don't have to decide until you get there. I found it safe enough, and I'm a woman who walks alone. There is plenty of accommodation of all kinds, and out of peak season (July, August) even the seaside hotels are very reasonably priced. It's a very nice route, the only downside for me being that, in seaside resorts that are used to catering for big-spending tourists, the pilgrim can sometimes get a more lukewarm reception - even the big-spending pilgrim!
Biarritz is a great place to start. But, at the risk of lengthening your Camino (but only by one day), it might be worth setting out further back in Bayonne. The Cathedral there is beautiful, and you can get your first pilgrim stamp there. The pilgrim desk is very helpful and will give you lots of information on the route
 

NW Explorer

New Member
Thanks for your reply! You walked it in a less-traveled month as well, so was just wondering, did you encounter enough people to have some company each day? Thanks for the advice on the German guide - if you can recommend a particular one, that would be great.
 
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Hi

Hi Lisa,
Yes, it was not easy to find, I had to Google it:
*Irun-bilboa, Carmelo 635 73 08 52

*Bilbao-llanes, mikel 633 67 15 05, transmikel@hotmail.es

*Llanes-Ribadeo, Miguel. 696 14 08 71, also for primitivo, asturperegrino@hotmail.com


*You can text to Carmelo, others email , call.
*They advertised 12 euros per stage, but changed to 20, claiming I am the only pickup, what can one do no competition.
*Most alberques don't open early to receive your luggage, forces you to pick private or hostals. You also have to call and confirm.
Good luck


Hi Raj

Never 12 per stage !
1 or 2 bags ==> 20
3 bags ==> 25
4 bags ==> 30
etc...

Sorry but in Camino Norte 7% of all Pilgrims !
In Camino Frances 70% !!!

Yes, no competition ! because it is not profitable !

Regards
Carmelo
 

americansue

Duchess of Dartmouth
Past OR future Camino
'17 Camino del Norte
'09 Saint-Jean-Pied-de-port to Burgos
I blew out my knee in March (the first time I walked 14 klms with a full pack) and X-rays showed that my kneecaps are subluxed. (there is a surgery but it is only 50% successful - not worth the risk) I've been going to PT, learning a new way to walk. My CRP (marker of inflammation) is moderately high and I have chronic low level eosinophilia. My Dr told me to take Ibuprofin, which I did for a week, then my stomach burned for hours one night - bleeding. BUT I look like a reasonably fit 58 y/o woman. I walked 20 klm in San Francisco with my full pack yesterday and the day before. I did OK but I only did a few hills. I do not have time to do more training other than 6 mile daily walks and two more long weekend walks.

My point is I will walk the Del Norte in two weeks in knee braces, my longest stages will be 24 klm, I am allowing 44 days (a rest day once a week) I will stop and flag down a car/bus/taxi if necessary AND I will use baggage service. It would be stupid to blow out my knee or become unbalanced and fall just to prove I can carry a pack the entire distance.

As for those who sneer at people using baggage services this is just the modern equivalent of a donkey - traditionally used by pilgrims. Hurting oneself IS NOT part of being a pilgrim. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit...therefore honor God with your bodies.
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Frances, 1wk, Jan 2017
In case you didn't notice, this thread has been dormant since 2014, hopefully people are more accepting now of diversity. Correos has a baggage transfer service now, I am not sure if it is active on the Norte.

Buen Camino
 
Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
I walked the Norte this spring, in May/June this year and for the first part faced torrential rain. I later heard that this had been the wettest spring for 100 years. The paths flowed like rivers and everywhere off road was deep mud which made for heavy going. Having said that it was a fantastic walk, and I would heartily encourage you to do it. At that time of year and in the early part of the camino there were many retired people walking the route, as they had the time and money to spend several weeks walking, and wern't confined to normal holiday times. There were also a wide range of nationalities and ages which made for interesting and varied company. I returned briefly in September when the weather was sunny and met one pilgrim who said he had encountered virtually no rain at all. In contrast a friend on the French route had many days of bad weather, so there really is no safe or set time to avoid rain. My suggsetion is to be prepared for all weathers, and enjoy the sun when it comes. The north route allows for a really great walk. Buen Camino!

Thanks for a great post on El Norte. I completed my first CF then on to Fisterra and Muxia starting in SJPP 19 March finished 29 April. We had 2 half days of rain/snow only in March - was the driest April in 42 years. I don't like heat being Canadian from a Ottawa. So I want to do El Norte and thinking again to start in March (2018) , I'm 59 an active hiker, love hills and I'm aware that El Norte is more demanding. Time is not an issue I'm retired. Do you think starting mid to late March is doable westhetwise ? Rain I can do and snow but not meter deep snow. Thanks
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Frances, 1wk, Jan 2017
The weather on the Norte is variable. It ranges from 16 degrees to high 20's. For example in 2010 March was 28-30 Celsius. By the time I arrived in May it was down to 16-20 degrees.

This year I was on the Norte - January 28-31 and it was 16-21 degrees.

The concern I found starting earlier in the year is the infrastructure. Are the hostels open? If they are open are you the only person at the hostel? If you are travelling with a companion that would not be such an issue.

The Norte was amazing and I would choose Spring time to do it again. Late March would be my thought.
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
The weather on the Norte is variable. It ranges from 16 degrees to high 20's. For example in 2010 March was 28-30 Celsius. By the time I arrived in May it was down to 16-20 degrees.

This year I was on the Norte - January 28-31 and it was 16-21 degrees.

The concern I found starting earlier in the year is the infrastructure. Are the hostels open? If they are open are you the only person at the hostel? If you are travelling with a companion that would not be such an issue.

The Norte was amazing and I would choose Spring time to do it again. Late March would be my thought.

Thank you I appreciate your sharing. I will share El Norte in 2018 with a wonderful new pilgrim girlfriend I met this spring on the CF. I don't like heat and as a Canadian love snow. I understand weather varies year to year and most on El Norte. We were considering mid March start. Thanks
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Frances, 1wk, Jan 2017
With at least two people and flexibility for accommodation, March would be great!
Buen Camino!
 

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