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El Brusco - That hill between Berria and Noja

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
When we walked the Norte we both became ill and virtually gave up on this stage and took the bus from Santona to Noja... the next day we bused on to Santander as we were so ill. As a result we missed El Brusco... the big hill into Noja.

I'm thinking maybe next year of going back for a week and cherry picking my favourite sections... I'd like to do the walk from Santona to Noja and on to Santander but oh I hate downhills.

How does this hill compare to other downhills?

(and what's the downhill like into Deba as we skipped that one too)

thanks :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
It was not the downhill I found difficult, but the uphill. A very steep narrow path and the day we walked it was rainy and slippery and I had on a 14kilo pack (with tent etc) and it felt very unsafe. I was thinking how difficult it would be to rescue me if I slipped and broke something.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
It was not the downhill I found difficult, but the uphill. A very steep narrow path and the day we walked it was rainy and slippery and I had on a 14kilo pack (with tent etc) and it felt very unsafe. I was thinking how difficult it would be to rescue me if I slipped and broke something.
I've looked at lots of photos and it does looks tough... there were many sections in the first few days that were tough and as this week will be a holiday not a camino I'm not sure about tackling it... but the views look so amazing I don't want to miss out 😂 I wonder how it compares to some of the hills on the Primitivo? I am nervous going down and I've read some hairy reports of this hill!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Those tiny little black marks on the beach below, are people (not the rocks)
pQcfuyKTR+in5LVBcE+H1Q_mini_106a.jpeg
 

bjorgts

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos in Spain, France, Portugal, Germany since 2003. Last: Malaga - Cordoba November 2019
Giving advice to others about what's too steep for them is almost impossible. We experience this very differently. I think it depends a lot on what kind of terrain you are otherwise used to walk in. I remember this stretch well! I remember that it was steep, but that's not why I remember it. I remember it for the great views both backwards and forwards from the top. And not least: the beautiful walk across the beach to Noja. The cliffs in the water are special. The day we walked, the sea was bright green and blue. I remember those things best. :)

A small suggestion: Consider walking aroud the peninsula of Buciero from Santoña instead of walking straight across to Berria, and maybe even go all the stairs down to Faro de Cavallo.
 

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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@LesBrass there wasn't anything on the Primitivo that was as bad. It is partly because the path is so narrow.
 

Heikki

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Burgos to Santiago 2008, Madrid to Sáhagun 2012, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2014, Camino del Norte 2020
It was not bad for a 62 years old male with 14 kg backbag. I’m used to hike in Norway. I wore leather gloves on my hands so I could grasp bushes to keep my balance. I did this last month.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I don't remember it as very difficult but still I did trip ( stumble) over a stone and made a fall that could have ended very badly for me or my wife. The cause of the fall was that I walked to close behind her an did not see that the stone on which I stepped was far from horizontal. Luckily I managed to control my fall, I landed sideways in the bushes and did not push my wife in her back. Such an unexpected push could easily have had bad consequences. You can avoid the climb by walking along the road.
 

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 remember that big hill well. Reddish, sandy soil, narrow path...I was a tad concerned, but my brawny son helped pull me up the steepest section and walked right in front of me on the way down in case I'd fall. Both the up and down were rather precarious. Although almost four years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday! That said, the views were stunning!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
When we walked the Norte we both became ill and virtually gave up on this stage and took the bus from Santona to Noja... the next day we bused on to Santander as we were so ill. As a result we missed El Brusco... the big hill into Noja.

I'm thinking maybe next year of going back for a week and cherry picking my favourite sections... I'd like to do the walk from Santona to Noja and on to Santander but oh I hate downhills.

How does this hill compare to other downhills?

(and what's the downhill like into Deba as we skipped that one too)

thanks :)
The hill between Santona and Noja is difficult because it is really a large sand dune (no firm footing). Throw in the steepness and it becomes a challenging but short climb. The descent on this hill is gentle, imo.

I do not recall many difficult downhills. One that comes to mind is the descent to the beach after Ballota.

Uphills, there were many.

Still my favorite Camino.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Last edited:

spursfan

Veteran Member
I stopped at the bottom to let what I thought was a single jogger go by - it turned out that he was leading a group of army cadets running up the hill - so I really had little choice but to race up
It's more of a short, sharp sandy path - go steady on the descent and keep an eye out for bushes
 
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