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Del Norte or Frances + Post a bag to storage 2021?

Shans

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hello ☺️

Apologies in advance if these topics have been covered a lot. I'm super uncertain given 2021 changes.

Starting my camino 17 July 2021.

This is my first camino. I'm 30, fit, and have trained with my pack. I'll be walking solo. I'm very content alone but like to be social now and then. (Some connection is always great) I'm accustomed and comfortable with heat. No time limit.

I've always planned to do Del Norte, starting in Irun... but am having doubts. Accommodation feels daunting as many albergies appear closed. I'm reading that advanced booking is 100% essential. Hotels look pricey, esp if they become a regular nessesity. I'm mostly drawn the the Norte because I love the ocean! The north also looks particularly beautiful and natural. (I'm aware of some asphalt bits)
Previously, I liked the idea of the Norte being a little less busy with people. (now I assume everywhere is not super busy? )

I'm feeling conflicted - perhaps I should do the Frances under 2021 circumstances? I'm in Toledo right now, so I could begin in Pamplona or Roncesvalles (avoiding pcr tests required for French border? )
Would french way allow me to be slightly more 'go with the flow' as opposed to prebooking days in advance? I'm concerned about the Norte having less pilgrims - less opportunity for advise and information passed around under current unknown circumstances.
I like the idea of being able to walk as far as my body feels. (do 5km extra or less per day depending.)

Lastly, may I confirm that Ivar is accepting bags for storage? I plan to post my bag tomorrow. I've emailed a week ago but have not heard back. I'm a little nervous of sending my bag into the void! Will post my medium sized bag (somewhere) tomorrow evening!

Thank you so much in advance. Although I'm a solo kind of person, doing this alone in 2021 suddenly feels extra uncertain. Feels like a lot of unknowns and I'm nervous!

Any input so appreciated 🙏🏼☀️
 
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Shans

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hello ☺️

Apologies in advance if these topics have been covered a lot. I'm super uncertain given 2021 changes.

Starting my camino 17 July 2021.

This is my first camino. I'm 30, fit, and have trained with my pack. I'll be walking solo. I'm very content alone but like to be social now and then. (Some connection is always great) I'm accustomed and comfortable with heat. No time limit.

I've always planned to do Del Norte, starting in Irun... but am having doubts. Accommodation feels daunting as many albergies appear closed. I'm reading that advanced booking is 100% essential. Hotels look pricey, esp if they become a regular nessesity. I'm mostly drawn the the Norte because I love the ocean! The north also looks particularly beautiful and natural. (I'm aware of some asphalt bits)
Previously, I liked the idea of the Norte being a little less busy with people. (now I assume everywhere is not super busy? )

I'm feeling conflicted - perhaps I should do the Frances under 2021 circumstances? I'm in Toledo right now, so I could begin in Pamplona or Roncesvalles (avoiding pcr tests required for French border? )
Would french way allow me to be slightly more 'go with the flow' as opposed to prebooking days in advance? I'm concerned about the Norte having less pilgrims - less opportunity for advise and information passed around under current unknown circumstances.
I like the idea of being able to walk as far as my body feels. (do 5km extra or less per day depending.)

Lastly, may I confirm that Ivar is accepting bags for storage? I plan to post my bag tomorrow. I've emailed a week ago but have not heard back. I'm a little nervous of sending my bag into the void! Will post my medium sized bag (somewhere) tomorrow evening!

Thank you so much in advance. Although I'm a solo kind of person, doing this alone in 2021 suddenly feels extra uncertain. Feels like a lot of unknowns and I'm nervous!

Any input so appreciated 🙏🏼☀️
Ps. I'm likely to come back and do a another route another year, so this isn't likely a 1 time opportunity.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Hello ☺️

Apologies in advance if these topics have been covered a lot. I'm super uncertain given 2021 changes.

Starting my camino 17 July 2021.

This is my first camino. I'm 30, fit, and have trained with my pack. I'll be walking solo. I'm very content alone but like to be social now and then. (Some connection is always great) I'm accustomed and comfortable with heat. No time limit.

I've always planned to do Del Norte, starting in Irun... but am having doubts. Accommodation feels daunting as many albergies appear closed. I'm reading that advanced booking is 100% essential. Hotels look pricey, esp if they become a regular nessesity. I'm mostly drawn the the Norte because I love the ocean! The north also looks particularly beautiful and natural. (I'm aware of some asphalt bits)
Previously, I liked the idea of the Norte being a little less busy with people. (now I assume everywhere is not super busy? )

I'm feeling conflicted - perhaps I should do the Frances under 2021 circumstances? I'm in Toledo right now, so I could begin in Pamplona or Roncesvalles (avoiding pcr tests required for French border? )
Would french way allow me to be slightly more 'go with the flow' as opposed to prebooking days in advance? I'm concerned about the Norte having less pilgrims - less opportunity for advise and information passed around under current unknown circumstances.
I like the idea of being able to walk as far as my body feels. (do 5km extra or less per day depending.)

Lastly, may I confirm that Ivar is accepting bags for storage? I plan to post my bag tomorrow. I've emailed a week ago but have not heard back. I'm a little nervous of sending my bag into the void! Will post my medium sized bag (somewhere) tomorrow evening!

Thank you so much in advance. Although I'm a solo kind of person, doing this alone in 2021 suddenly feels extra uncertain. Feels like a lot of unknowns and I'm nervous!

Any input so appreciated 🙏🏼☀️
I understand that Casa Ivar is accepting bags as normal, but that the luggage operation is now managed by Michael. You could find him on here as @wisepilgrim and send him a private message. He does reply promptly in my recent experience. I’d also recommend his excellent apps.

look here:

 
Last edited:

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Also try looking for threads and posts on here tagged ‘live from the Camino’ there’s a fair chance that there is someone just a day or two ahead of you.
 

Mera

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
Hello ☺️

Apologies in advance if these topics have been covered a lot. I'm super uncertain given 2021 changes.

Starting my camino 17 July 2021.

This is my first camino. I'm 30, fit, and have trained with my pack. I'll be walking solo. I'm very content alone but like to be social now and then. (Some connection is always great) I'm accustomed and comfortable with heat. No time limit.

I've always planned to do Del Norte, starting in Irun... but am having doubts. Accommodation feels daunting as many albergies appear closed. I'm reading that advanced booking is 100% essential. Hotels look pricey, esp if they become a regular nessesity. I'm mostly drawn the the Norte because I love the ocean! The north also looks particularly beautiful and natural. (I'm aware of some asphalt bits)
Previously, I liked the idea of the Norte being a little less busy with people. (now I assume everywhere is not super busy? )

I'm feeling conflicted - perhaps I should do the Frances under 2021 circumstances? I'm in Toledo right now, so I could begin in Pamplona or Roncesvalles (avoiding pcr tests required for French border? )
Would french way allow me to be slightly more 'go with the flow' as opposed to prebooking days in advance? I'm concerned about the Norte having less pilgrims - less opportunity for advise and information passed around under current unknown circumstances.
I like the idea of being able to walk as far as my body feels. (do 5km extra or less per day depending.)

Lastly, may I confirm that Ivar is accepting bags for storage? I plan to post my bag tomorrow. I've emailed a week ago but have not heard back. I'm a little nervous of sending my bag into the void! Will post my medium sized bag (somewhere) tomorrow evening!

Thank you so much in advance. Although I'm a solo kind of person, doing this alone in 2021 suddenly feels extra uncertain. Feels like a lot of unknowns and I'm nervous!

Any input so appreciated 🙏🏼☀️
My heart is always there in Norte. Your concerns are all very real, but if you are young and fit, why not try? Just because you started Norte, that doesn't meant that you have to stick to it. If you don't enjoy it, you can always take a bus to CF and start there. Nothing is irrevocable there. There was a 17 year-old who died on CF while cycling with his class. His memorial says something like " The boat is safer anchored at the port: but that's not the aim of boats". Why not live and venture a little.
 

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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I think you would would absolutely love the Norte. I walked it in October/November/December so it was not crowded at all. I know those small beach towns can get very crowded in the summertime. Here are some suggestions.
If you are stressed about finding a place to stay especially on a limited budget then you may want to do the Frances. Having said that I would also:
Check the threads here especially the 'live" threads from the Camino. That will give you good info.
Gronze.com has done an excellent job of updating albergues open/closed.
I would also download Wise Pilgrim app and Buen Camino app for further choices of albergues. Here is another website with albergue listings;
The more resources you have the better to plan with.
I would say if you do the Norte make reservations a day or two ahead of time. You will see for yourself how crowded it is when you are walking.
Will it be crowded who knows. It will not be as crowded as the CF but also less infastructure.
Check out threads here about variants to avoid road walking. If you are well versed with Map apps you can avoid some of that road walking.
Personality wise you would seem to fit well with the "type" of pilgrims I noticed when I walked. A little more independent, more who prefer to walk alone, not many camino "families", but still just as warm and friendly as pilgrims you will meet anywhere.
As someone else said if you have issues you can always head south to the CF. It is an absolutely beautiful camino. I think more beautiful than the CF, also tougher but well worth it. Just one Pilgrim's opinion.
You may want to start in San Sebastian as the pilgrim albergue and the youth hostel are closed in Irun. There are hotels open of course.
Make sure you get an ice cream at Gelateria Boulevard. AWESOME!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I would do the Francés and save the Norte for a more "normal" year. July and August is prime tourist season on the Northern Coast, and many albergues are closed so you would be in competition with tourists for a bed.
I walked most of the Norte in July 2018, and found that albergues filled up quickly.

I do think that the Francés will allow you to more easily "go with the flow."
 

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