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Navigating my way around the forum, and questions

Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
Hello, Can any one help me with where I can find the following on the forum please:
  • Where can I find the list of albergues that are open on the Northern, French and Olvidado Caminos please?
  • Some people seem to be saying that the municipal albergues are all closed. But when I looked up the Wise Pilgrim list for the Norte, it looks like there are quite a lot which are open, but I'm not completely convinced.
  • I'm arriving in Bilbao on Sunday and have emailed the ALBERGUE DE PEREGRINOS DE BILBAO which Wise Pilgrim says is open (I think - but no reply). Does anyone know for sure if it is open please?
  • If the Norte is going to be super-crowded with tourists and not many albergues, and the Olvidadao has no accommodation, I suppose I'd better walk the French. Are there enough albergues open there?
I'm really looking forward to returning to Spain and walking, but becoming a bit confused with trying to find out the answers to these questions.

I'm normally really good at navigating this forum, but recently been finding it difficult, there is so much information, topics and sections, that I'm getting really lost. I think I need a tutorial! However, it is the best of resources and I love it. Thanks to all who make it happen.

(Btw, I wasn't too sure where to put this thread)

Thanks everyone, have a good evening / morning.
 
Last edited:

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Hi Pierre,
Our friend just walked from León to Santiago (arrived in Santiago on August 1) and she said that she had no trouble with albergues on the Francés. The only hiccup was her first day of walking when she called ahead and reserved a place, and then when she arrived there was a sign on the albergue that said it was always closed on Mondays. That was a bit frustrating and led to a 34-km first day! But otherwise she was able to find a place every night, and with fewer pilgrims there was a good mix of solitude and community on the trail. Also, the albergues did a good job with disinfecting/ distancing.

Hope that helps a bit!
Faith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
Thanks Faith, that's great to hear, it'll help me to make up my mind over the next three day! Really good to know.
 

arthur1218

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Tortuga
According to Gronze the albergue you were trying to reach is closed in 2020 (link)
In general those albergues run by volunteers in Basque Country didn't open this year (that would also include the municipal albergues in Portugalete and Pobeña) but since you are starting in Bilbao, you will leave Basque Country and enter Cantabria probably in one and a half days. Gronze has always been a good friend of a pilgrim! 🐢
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
Thanks Arthur, I usually use Gronze a lot, but I didn't know it was being updated at present. I'll have another look, I had thought Wise Pilgrim was the go-to-guide at the moment. Better quickly book somewhere in Bilbao!
 

arthur1218

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Tortuga
When I walked the Camino del Norte from Irun (French border), I did walk through Bilbao metropolitan area for the sake of continuity, but it wasn't fun (at least for me). If I flew into Bilbao, I would be more than happy to take the 🚇 metro L2 (underground) to Portugalete, and from Portugalete a A3321 bus (link) to the Playa La Arena 🏖 and start walking right from there (just find the yellow arrows). The Camino from Portugalete to La Arena is nothing but pure asphalt with little shade (a 11 km bicycle road).
Buen Camino🐢
 
Last edited:

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Thanks Arthur, I usually use Gronze a lot, but I didn't know it was being updated at present. I'll have another look, I had thought Wise Pilgrim was the go-to-guide at the moment. Better quickly book somewhere in Bilbao!
I have been recommending the Wise Pilgrim site, but it looks like Gronze might be more accurate. They are showing the municipal albergue in Bilbao as being closed for 2020.

 

arthur1218

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Tortuga
As far as I understand, whatever is marked red 🛑in Wise Pilgrim is closed, whatever is marked green ✅ is open, but some entries are white or grey (like the albergue in Bilbao) and I am just guessing those have not been confirmed yet.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
I have been recommending the Wise Pilgrim site, but it looks like Gronze might be more accurate. They are showing the municipal albergue in Bilbao as being closed for 2020.

I'm wondering if neither is completely accurate though? Gronze says the Albergue de Peregrinos is closed, but not the Claret Enea. I wrote to them this evening, and they emailed back to say they're closed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
When I walked the Camino del Norte from Irun (French border), I did walk through Bilbao metropolitan area for the sake of continuity, but it wasn't fun (at least for me).
Buen Camino🐢
Thanks, I've only walked out of Bilbao on one route, the east side of the river. I actually didn't mind it because there some interesting river buildings and old docks to look at, it was fun walking along that wall by the side of the road too, and I loved crossing the moving bridge into Portugalete. I agree though, the way you describe by public transport would be a good solution. I've not walked the other way out of Bilbao, and wondering what that is like?
 

arthur1218

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Tortuga
I've not walked the other way out of Bilbao, and wondering what that is like?
Hi Pierre,
I don't remember very well the Camino through Bilbao on the west side of the river, as I walked that way just once, 12 years ago, so maybe someone else could help. On another occasion I also walked on the east side of the river by the docks. After that I decided to invent my own camino from Lezama straight to Portugalete via the Vizcaya Bridge that you mentioned. This last version of crossing (or rather bypassing) Bilbao became my favorite. It actually passes right by the airport where you will land. It roughly looks like that: https://goo.gl/maps/7davj67kv7hiY7Us7 🐢
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
When I walked the Camino del Norte from Irun (French border), I did walk through Bilbao metropolitan area for the sake of continuity, but it wasn't fun (at least for me). If I flew into Bilbao, I would be more than happy to take the 🚇 metro L2 (underground) to Portugalete, and from Portugalete a A3321 bus (link) to the Playa La Arena 🏖 and start walking right from there (just find the yellow arrows). The Camino from Portugalete to La Arena is nothing but pure asphalt with little shade (a 11 km bicycle road).
Buen Camino🐢
If you would want to avoid walking on asphalt on the norte you would have to take a bus, train or taxi quite a lot. I started walking in Portugalete and did not find the cycle road a nuisance. In fact I liked the way they build such a nice infrastructure for bikers ( as far as I remember there was a separated stretch for walkers)
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I'm really looking forward to returning to Spain and walking, but becoming a bit confused with trying to find out the answers to these questions.
I'm normally really good at navigating this forum, but recently been finding it difficult, there is so much information, topics and sections, that I'm getting really lost. I think I need a tutorial!
I'm wondering if neither is completely accurate though?
I think that the confusion is universal. There simply is no one source of accurate information that is updated daily by knowledgeable sources, that forum members can point you to. The situation changes daily and everyone is scrambling to keep up. That is an unavoidable challenge of walking these days. :(
 

Daddyfrog

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2018)
When I walked the Camino del Norte from Irun (French border), I did walk through Bilbao metropolitan area for the sake of continuity, but it wasn't fun (at least for me). If I flew into Bilbao, I would be more than happy to take the 🚇 metro L2 (underground) to Portugalete, and from Portugalete a A3321 bus (link) to the Playa La Arena 🏖 and start walking right from there (just find the yellow arrows). The Camino from Portugalete to La Arena is nothing but pure asphalt with little shade (a 11 km bicycle road).
Buen Camino🐢
Just shows everyone is different! We found the walk by the river out to Portugalete quite interesting, and the walk to the beach along the bike track easy and not at all tiresome!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I've not walked the other way out of Bilbao, and wondering what that is like?
On my first Norte, I walked the ”western way” to Portugalete. Based on what Gronze shows, it looks like it has been re-routed. But here is what I remember — going first through an area with very small houses on a ridge (all one story in a row, kind of like the miners’ houses I’ve seen on other caminos) and then through an industrial area that was clearly in decline. We ate lunch on the river walk in Barakaldo, but Gronze doesn’t show that the Camino goes by the river any more. From Barakaldo to Sestao was an adventure, and entering Sestao we walked through an area with an abandoned but clearly “occupied” apartment building where there were drug deals going on (at least that’s the only sense we could make of the several BMWs that swooped down, stopped for a minute and then roared back up the hill). It was pretty spooky. Has anyone walked the route that Gronze now shows? Sestao is actually a very decent modest suburb of Bilbao, so I don’t want to tarnish it with the comments about the ocupied building.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
Hello, Can any one help me with where I can find the following on the forum please:
  • Where can I find the list of albergues that are open on the Northern, French and Olvidado Caminos please?
  • Some people seem to be saying that the municipal albergues are all closed. But when I looked up the Wise Pilgrim list for the Norte, it looks like there are quite a lot which are open, but I'm not completely convinced.
  • I'm arriving in Bilbao on Sunday and have emailed the ALBERGUE DE PEREGRINOS DE BILBAO which Wise Pilgrim says is open (I think - but no reply). Does anyone know for sure if it is open please?
  • If the Norte is going to be super-crowded with tourists and not many albergues, and the Olvidadao has no accommodation, I suppose I'd better walk the French. Are there enough albergues open there?
I'm really looking forward to returning to Spain and walking, but becoming a bit confused with trying to find out the answers to these questions.

I'm normally really good at navigating this forum, but recently been finding it difficult, there is so much information, topics and sections, that I'm getting really lost. I think I need a tutorial! However, it is the best of resources and I love it. Thanks to all who make it happen.

(Btw, I wasn't too sure where to put this thread)

Thanks everyone, have a good evening / morning.
My husband walked the Norte last year. There were few pilgrims and at times no albergue.
 


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