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Is this feasible: picnic lunches on Camino del Norte?

kevinz

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Hello, all,

I'm planning my first Camino hike for the second half of August this year. I'll be walking the Camino del Norte, starting around Irún and walking by myself (no bag transport) for two weeks.

Instead of stopping in a town for a midday meal, I thought of buying supplies (bread, cheese, spoil-resistant meat [summer sausage], fruit, drinks, etc) either the night before from a grocery store or during the morning from farmer's and town markets, then eating lunch picnic-style somewhere on the Camino.

Is this a feasible plan? What kinds of foods would I find that would work for this? I'm not big on just fresh veggies (carrots, celery, etc.), but I often backpack with bread, cheese and preserved meats. Other than sodas and water, what kinds of drinks would I find? Juices? I remember one video I saw of a pilgrim who bought boxed gazpacho for lunches; this might be fun once or twice for me, but wouldn't work long term.

Thanks for any suggestions or advice. Buen Camino!

-Kevin
 
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A two-part workshop that guides you into creating a credencial and shares it online
Time of past OR future Camino
2014, 2016, 2018, 2022
Everyone has different tastes, but my wife and I more often than not just take a small loaf of bread, some sliced sausages in the non-refrigerated section of the supermercado, and some cheese. Round that out with an apple or orange and some chocolate or other candy and you're eating in style with a view that can't be beat! We just drink water during the day - it's always available and no worries about sticky containers and all that. If you come by a convenient bar that's open at a convenient time, the food you pack will probably keep until the next day, so an opportunistic meal is often a welcome option too.
 

jiggy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012
Camino Frances 2013
Camino Frances 2014
Le Puy 2015 to SJPP
Hello, all,

I'm planning my first Camino hike for the second half of August this year. I'll be walking the Camino del Norte, starting around Irún and walking by myself (no bag transport) for two weeks.

Instead of stopping in a town for a midday meal, I thought of buying supplies (bread, cheese, spoil-resistant meat [summer sausage], fruit, drinks, etc) either the night before from a grocery store or during the morning from farmer's and town markets, then eating lunch picnic-style somewhere on the Camino.

Is this a feasible plan? What kinds of foods would I find that would work for this? I'm not big on just fresh veggies (carrots, celery, etc.), but I often backpack with bread, cheese and preserved meats. Other than sodas and water, what kinds of drinks would I find? Juices? I remember one video I saw of a pilgrim who bought boxed gazpacho for lunches; this might be fun once or twice for me, but wouldn't work long term.

Thanks for any suggestions or advice. Buen Camino!

-Kevin
Brilliant idea, we do this all the time wherever we travel. Especially when we do the Camino or other long distance hike. We also have a flask and make hot tea to take along 👣👣👣👣
 
Time of past OR future Camino
First timer, leaving April 3rd from SJPDP
After about a week on Francis, a trailmate and I started buying a fresh loaf, packaged meat, cheese, small oil and fruit each morning and then had a picnic lunch every day. It was a good time to rest, chat and visit with the people walking past, whatever tree we were shading under. I now do it regularly when hiking at home.
 
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makingtrax

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
Hello, all,

I'm planning my first Camino hike for the second half of August this year. I'll be walking the Camino del Norte, starting around Irún and walking by myself (no bag transport) for two weeks.

Instead of stopping in a town for a midday meal, I thought of buying supplies (bread, cheese, spoil-resistant meat [summer sausage], fruit, drinks, etc) either the night before from a grocery store or during the morning from farmer's and town markets, then eating lunch picnic-style somewhere on the Camino.

Is this a feasible plan? What kinds of foods would I find that would work for this? I'm not big on just fresh veggies (carrots, celery, etc.), but I often backpack with bread, cheese and preserved meats. Other than sodas and water, what kinds of drinks would I find? Juices? I remember one video I saw of a pilgrim who bought boxed gazpacho for lunches; this might be fun once or twice for me, but wouldn't work long term.

Thanks for any suggestions or advice. Buen Camino!

-Kevin
I think u answered most of your questions yourself. FYI u can buy 1€packs of cheese and or ham slices from many supermarkets in Spain. That with small loaf french style bread and fruit u can have delicious picnics everyday. Bon camino.
 

Arleene

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017
Hello, all,

I'm planning my first Camino hike for the second half of August this year. I'll be walking the Camino del Norte, starting around Irún and walking by myself (no bag transport) for two weeks.

Instead of stopping in a town for a midday meal, I thought of buying supplies (bread, cheese, spoil-resistant meat [summer sausage], fruit, drinks, etc) either the night before from a grocery store or during the morning from farmer's and town markets, then eating lunch picnic-style somewhere on the Camino.

Is this a feasible plan? What kinds of foods would I find that would work for this? I'm not big on just fresh veggies (carrots, celery, etc.), but I often backpack with bread, cheese and preserved meats. Other than sodas and water, what kinds of drinks would I find? Juices? I remember one video I saw of a pilgrim who bought boxed gazpacho for lunches; this might be fun once or twice for me, but wouldn't work long term.

Thanks for any suggestions or advice. Buen Camino!

-Kevin
Yes picnic lunches are the best! It helped my slow down and savour the moment and I met some interesting people both locals and pilgrims. Also you will find like minded people for a shared picnic. Some of my favourite picnic spots were under the olive trees, sitting on a rock with the cows nearby, with my feet in a stream, watching the farmers herding their cattle, and on top of a little rise with a great view and the pilgrims walking just below me (no one knew I was there). And there was plenty of food to choose from. I enjoyed the little packs of olives and individual packs of yogurt keep well for 2 days.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I do not think there is a better camino to pack your lunch and eat as you are walking. Especially if you take the Variants that will keep you along the coast. I cannot tell you how many days I stopped and had a lunch or a snack sitting on a flat rock relaxed and looking out at the ocean enjoying a tin of Sardines or taking out my baguette, cheese, tomato and sliced meat and fruit and loving every moment.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Don’t forget the excellent canned tuna you can find in Europe!
 

tpatnode

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Hello, all,

I'm planning my first Camino hike for the second half of August this year. I'll be walking the Camino del Norte, starting around Irún and walking by myself (no bag transport) for two weeks.

Instead of stopping in a town for a midday meal, I thought of buying supplies (bread, cheese, spoil-resistant meat [summer sausage], fruit, drinks, etc) either the night before from a grocery store or during the morning from farmer's and town markets, then eating lunch picnic-style somewhere on the Camino.

Is this a feasible plan? What kinds of foods would I find that would work for this? I'm not big on just fresh veggies (carrots, celery, etc.), but I often backpack with bread, cheese and preserved meats. Other than sodas and water, what kinds of drinks would I find? Juices? I remember one video I saw of a pilgrim who bought boxed gazpacho for lunches; this might be fun once or twice for me, but wouldn't work long term.

Thanks for any suggestions or advice. Buen Camino!

-Kevin
Hello, and I hope you have an excellent Camino walk. I completed a 10 walk on the Camino Frances in early May. I also would by bread and cheese for lunches. There seemed to be a lack of picnic areas for pilgrims to stop rest, and have their lunch. Lots of cafes along the way with outdoor tables and chairs, but if you sit there, you have to purchase something, defeating the purpose of making your own lunch. Sometimes we would buy a beer, but when it was cool, I brought a backpacking stove and espresso pot to make espresso.

My hope is that additional picnic areas are added before my next Camino.
 
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Mad Manx

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
English
My partner and I go to the supermarket deli counter and buy fresh cheese and sliced meats and fresh fruit and bread and I make up sandwiches for the next days breakfast and lunch. This year I’ve bought a new Swiss Army knife for picknicks and have made up a lightweight cool bag from a Iceland carrier bag
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
@kevinz, Yes, your plan is entirely feasible! I often carried the standard bocadilla supplies and added sin olives with the bread, meat and cheese for a bit of variety on the Norte....and chocolate for dessert or snacks, in addition to a small bag of nuts. Fresh squeezed orange juice is always a refreshing drink mid-day when available at the bars. I always looked to see if they had "the machine" behind the counter. We had no problem packing our own lunches, but I always looked forward to a hot meal for dinner/tea at the end of the day.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Take tablet or a bottled electrolyte -- Aquarius or Kashi (sp?) each day. First day out of Irun is up up up. Beautiful scenery. Take some euro coins, there is s cold drink machine at the the bar (usually closed) just beyond the first ermita. By then you will be thirsty. Buy your lunch goodies in the supermercado near the albergue the night before you leave. If you get to Irun before 2 pm you can get your credencial stamped at the Cathedral office (to the left of the main Cathredral door), or after 9 am the next morning -- which is a little late to be leaving. If you take the high route (tough, spectacular) when you reach the radio tower/station the trail is at the very bottom -- to the right -- of the fence. Very faded yellow arrow in 2017. DO NOT try to bushwhack through the gorse! Stay on the trail. Best ever Tex/Mex chili with corn bread at the Yellow Deli in San Sebastian. One block north of the Camino in Old Town. Buen Camino
 

leluck

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte (Summer 2018)
Your plan for lunch is great. On my del Nortes (2018 and 2022) from Gijon, we started the day, and after walking a half an hour or so to warm up, we would break fast with a hunk of bread and a squeeze of honey. Maybe a chunk or two of Laughing Cow or similar cheese. The café con leche and pastry would follow in a couple hours. But the squeeze bottle of honey was a winner. Buen Camino.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
First timer, leaving April 3rd from SJPDP
One day, I had lunch for two in my pack, but ended up walking alone. I stopped under a friendly shade tree where a guy was sitting alone. We never managed to figure out a language we had in common. To this day, I will never understand what language he was speaking, but we had a nice lunch together trying 😉. Head shaking and hand gestures was all it took!
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Instead of stopping in a town for a midday meal, I thought of buying supplies (bread, cheese, spoil-resistant meat [summer sausage], fruit, drinks, etc) either the night before from a grocery store or during the morning from farmer's and town markets, then eating lunch picnic-style somewhere on the Camino.
Hi Kevin, and Buen Camino!

When in Spain I try to adopt the Spanish meal schedule. Spain does not eat lunch until about 2pm and dinner at night until 9:30 or 10 pm. Lunch at about 2 is the main meal of the day. Because of that it is difficult to find anything other than "pilgrim menu" (which is often not very good) for dinner at night during the hours we usually eat.

I'm not suggesting you idea is not sensible, but if you want to consider alternatives my practise is to start the day with just a hot drink and piece of fruit or yogurt or even cake, walk until about 10 and have a "second breakfast" at a bar, have my main meal at between 2 and 3 pm after I stop walking, and then have a few tapas at night. Or join other pilgrims for whatever they are doing (mainly for sociability!).

I do find it suits me to have a light meal at night, rather than something heavy.
 
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Daddyfrog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte (2018)
Kevin, you're on the right track. I'd say a picnic lunch is almost essential on the Norte, where you often find yourself in the middle of nowhere at lunch time. We had many memorable picnic lunches, often with magnificent mountain or seashore views. Plenty of suggestions from others, much along the lines of what we did. Buen Camino!
 

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