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del Norte Pilgrim route via two wheels....

erinlempriere

New Member
Heya fellow Perigrinies...
Is it all good to follow the walking route on a bike? I hear of many people also taking major roads on and off it....but I'd rather follow trail as much as possible. Is it likely to be a struggle on a touring bike packed with all living stuffs???

I'm also planning to begin around mid February should I be taking a snow jacket?

Cheers to any wonderful people who could comment

peace
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
erinlempriere said:
Heya fellow Perigrinies...
Is it all good to follow the walking route on a bike? I hear of many people also taking major roads on and off it....but I'd rather follow trail as much as possible. Is it likely to be a struggle on a touring bike packed with all living stuffs???

Hi erinlempriere,
I would reckon the 'trails' between Colombres and Villavisciosa on the Norte will be impossible with a touring bike. From Llanes to Ribadesella the old main road A263 is little used by heavy traffic, likewise the N632 from Ribadesella onwards so there are alternatives. Many of the trails were rough and muddy, (needing a scramble up the bank in places,) in April / May this year and would be difficult with a mountain bike. One thing about Spanish road improvements along the north coast is, that they have left the old road system intact. - New dual carriageway, not road 'improvements' as in the U.K.

Buen Camino
Tio Tel
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
We have cycled the del Norte so far only from the border as far as Gernika, on touring bikes. We have not taken any off road routes and do feel that we may have been missing out on some special places. So we are wondering whether to continue on this route on foot.

For example: Sometimes (well, usually) when we could have taken a side trip to a particular village mentioned in the guide (we were using the CSJ Eric Walker's one, which is rather confusing and needs a good editor) we couldn't face it because it would have been a two-way deviation with no forward progression, usually with one steep climb involved, and because we had a long way to go to the next refuge for the night. Mind you, we were at the end of our trip and our (Bridget's) legs were getting tired and there were a LOT of steep climbs. Sometimes it seemed that the walking route would have been much more satisfactory - for example from the monastery at Zenaruzza (high above the village of Bolibar) we had to cycle back down the steep hill we had come by, immediately up a very long drag that took us ages and ages and brought us higher than the monastery (which was just across the valley by this time) and it was much further on when we crossed the walking route which had been able to contour round the head of valleys in a much more pleasant way! Eric says for this bit :

There are now arrows marking a new and quite involved route, I have not walked it but I am, given to understand that it can be very heavy going if the weather is bad... I will describe the route which I took and which is suitable for cyclists if the are willing to push and carry a little on the first section ... shortly turn left up a short ,slippery track...

You can see why we chose to follow the roads!

NB the mentioned dormitory accommodation at the monastery was awfully bleak and cold looking (and we are not easily put off) in October, with no facilities other than a loo, as far as we could tell. The friendly hotel nearby has lovely refuge facilities with a kitchen, plenty of showers and bar and restaurant if you want. The monastery itself is well worth visiting.

One day soon I will complete the account on our blog which should show the route we took on out bikes.

Bridget
 

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