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Live - Cam. Norte Santander to Santiago (July/August 2020)

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Hello fellow Pilgrims, due to the COVID-19 situation I and my partner Pippa had to cancel our Camino Primitivo pilgrimage we planned for the this April, we also had to cancel our June trip to Mexico... Moreover, we had to spend the last 12 weeks apart, as our university shut down and I moved back to the Czech Republic and Pippa stayed in the UK.

When Spain opened we decided we are gonna walk the Camino no matter what as it has a special meaning for us, we met for the first time on the Camino Frances two years ago.

I would like to map the journey to provide information for pilgrims that are still considering walking this summer.

Our plan is to meet up in Santander on the 16th of July (we fly from different countries and it was the best option), we will spend two days there and meet with one of our friends. On the 19th of July, we will start walking the Camino Norte. The first interesting crossroad happens in Oviedo, where we could continue on the Primitivo, continue via Norte or reach Leon via San Salvador. We have quite a free timeframe so this will be decided based on our experience/people we meet/recommendations we get.

So far, we have had no troubles finding flights and as we had some Ryan Air coupons we used those. We got some minimalistic equipment and an ultralight tent (1.4kg) for two people just in case we will have troubles finding accommodation, the rules will be too strict or we would have the chance to camp in an Albergue itself. Airbnb prices skyrocketed in Santander as the UK is about to introduce the air bridges so we got the first two nights in an apartment via Booking which was confirmed with no troubles.

I will be updating this thread daily on the Camino. I might also post something during the upcoming days if we face some major issue that might affect our journey and might be useful for the pilgrims
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
God bless and protect you. Buen Camino! Looking forward to your posts!
 

mvanert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Bits and pieces - 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020?
Hello fellow Pilgrims, due to the COVID-19 situation I and my partner Pippa had to cancel our Camino Primitivo pilgrimage we planned for the this April, we also had to cancel our June trip to Mexico... Moreover, we had to spend the last 12 weeks apart, as our university shut down and I moved back to the Czech Republic and Pippa stayed in the UK.

When Spain opened we decided we are gonna walk the Camino no matter what as it has a special meaning for us, we met for the first time on the Camino Frances two years ago.

I would like to map the journey to provide information for pilgrims that are still considering walking this summer.

Our plan is to meet up in Santander on the 16th of July (we fly from different countries and it was the best option), we will spend two days there and meet with one of our friends. On the 19th of July, we will start walking the Camino Norte. The first interesting crossroad happens in Oviedo, where we could continue on the Primitivo, continue via Norte or reach Leon via San Salvador. We have quite a free timeframe so this will be decided based on our experience/people we meet/recommendations we get.

So far, we have had no troubles finding flights and as we had some Ryan Air coupons we used those. We got some minimalistic equipment and an ultralight tent (1.4kg) for two people just in case we will have troubles finding accommodation, the rules will be too strict or we would have the chance to camp in an Albergue itself. Airbnb prices skyrocketed in Santander as the UK is about to introduce the air bridges so we got the first two nights in an apartment via Booking which was confirmed with no troubles.

I will be updating this thread daily on the Camino. I might also post something during the upcoming days if we face some major issue that might affect our journey and might be useful for the pilgrims
Looking forward to reading of your camino.
 

jcorn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Sept 2019
Camino del Norte -Aug/Sept 2020
Camino Madrid -Sept 2021
Buen Camino ! I look forward to reading about your camino. I hope you do not have any problems.
 

Ecuador12

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 Frances, 2019 Frances & Primitivo, (2020) Le Puy & Primitivo
I'm following your posts! I plan on doing Salvador and then the Primitivo starting Oct 8. I would like to see if Albergue's are open along the Salvador. I may take a tent also, but October could get very cold.

Buen Camino
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Thank you all for the words of support! We really appreciate it.

No issues appeared during the last few days and I am slowly starting to make a list of things as the date of departure is slowly approaching. This is gonna be my fourth Camino (Pippa's second) and hopefully this year I will do a bit better with the packing than during the last pilgrimages. I remember my first Camino which was a high school trip with a bunch of professors and five students. I carried 60l / 13kg backpack with underwear for every day (my mom's idea :D), two hiking shoes, reading lamp and 700 pages book. I learnt gradually from that and now, my bag of choice is 34l Osprey Stratos. It is a more pricey rucksack, yet it will last you forever and if you adjust it correctly, you can't even feel the weight :D

This year, I needed to think more as I will have to carry more essentials because of the COVID rules.

HYGIENE EXTRAS:
1. Pack of single-use face masks
2. A cotton face mask
3. Few pairs of single-use gloves
4. Disinfection gel/spray
5. Hand Sanitizer
6. Tiny nature-friendly hand soap (using the alcohol-based gels too often can harm the skin and experts say, that classical soap is for that reason a good substitute)

I also decided to bring a tent as we don't know how the situation is gonna be concerning the Albergue openings. That means to also bring a mat and some form of a pillow. I had some older equipment at home, yet due to its size I would have to carry a bigger backpack, also its weight is quite brutal. I tried it a month ago on a few days trip and it was just terrible.

So, I browsed the internet and was actually surprised that the ultralight equipment is not that expensive as it used to be a few years ago. I purchased a floatable pillow with a fleece cover, 5cm floatable mat and a light sleeping bag (comfort level at 10 degrees). Also, we purchased a tent. The problem with these ultralight tents is that most of them are meant for extreme conditions and therefore the price is around 200 pounds. Luckily, we found a cheaper alternative for around 50 pounds that would not be ideal for a storm, yet it can hopefully survive Summer in Spain.

Eventually, the weight of these items is not that terrible (+- 2.6kg)

1. Sleeping bag (550g)
2. Mat (480g)
3. Pillow (180g)
4. Tent (1 400g)

The tent can be easily carried outside, the mat and the pillow can fit into the pockets for bottles (I use primarily camel bag for better weight distribution), the sleeping bag then easily fits along with sandals to the bottom pocket and I still have the majority of space available for clothes etc...
equipment.jpgbackpack2.jpgbackpack1.jpg

As I have a checked backpack I will carry the tent inside and have my clothes in some smaller bag that I will then fold and use for groceries.

Besides the usual two sets of clothes, running shoes (I can walk in them with no issues and the light fabric dries out incredibly fast), sandals, rain cover, credential (we got them from the Camino Store, thanks @ivar ) buff... I will have my ebook reader, phone, charger, spork, knife, bowl, fleshlight, light towel, camel bag, bottle, paper guide (we am using the Dave Whiston's one for Camino Primitivo and Norte), essential hygiene stuff, COVID stuff, painkiller, digestion issues pills, suncream and blister plasters. Also, I can't forget about thick deodorant which is along with good socks the best friend against blisters as it reduces the sweating of your feet.

In case you have any tip for something that you consider essential on the Camino don't hesitate and tell me :)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, @Albert,

My suggestion has nothing to do with your pack, but because I see you are starting in Santander, I can’t resist telling you about a beautiful alternative out of Santander that follows the coast and not the Camino. It is really a gorgeous way to start your camino, IMO. You can read about it in this thread by @Dave. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/following-the-coast-from-santander-to-boo.42660/

That leads me to a broader comment about the Norte generally. There is a lot of asphalt walking on the Norte, and it can be hard on your feet. And it is frustrating to know you are so close to the ocean but the camino takes you on the road. Several of us did a fair amount of research a few years ago and came up with some alternative coastal stages, no more than a km or two from the road the camino goes on. They are all pretty spectacular. You would need a GPS or some device to get you from the Camino to the ocean path, because there is no marking to indicate how to join up. But there are directions and lots of suggestions in this thread.


Good luck with your plans, and thank you for your willingness to report back to those of us who are locked down with no opportunity to get back to a Camino!

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
@peregrina2000 Thanks a lot, I walked Norte from Aviles 4 years ago and some parts were quite urbanish... I actually did download the coordinates and the PDF from your thread this morning after reading about it in @Dave guide. We are most likely gonna take the Coastal variant from Santander :) to Boo de Pielagos and then continue on the official route through Arce and Oruňa. I also read about a forbidden alternative across some ferry bridge from Boo to Mogro, yet it sounds kinda irresponsible to walk along trains .
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@peregrina2000 Thanks a lot, I walked Norte from Aviles 4 years ago and some parts were quite urbanish... I actually did download the coordinates and the PDF from your thread this morning after reading about it in @Dave guide. We are most likely gonna take the Coastal variant from Santander :) to Boo de Pielagos and then continue on the official route through Arce and Oruňa. I also read about a forbidden alternative across some ferry bridge from Boo to Mogro, yet it sounds kinda irresponsible to walk along trains .
The bridge from Boo is a train bridge, and many pilgrims have in the past walked over it (I confess to having done it years ago when I was a much less responsible youngster in my 50s). If you stay in Boo, though, it is easy to get up in the morning, eat breakfast, and wait a few minutes for the train. The train stop is about two minutes from the albergue.
 

Espee84

...
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2018
VdlP 2019
2020 Hatching plans
That leads me to a broader comment about the Norte generally. There is a lot of asphalt walking on the Norte, and it can be hard on your feet. And it is frustrating to know you are so close to the ocean but the camino takes you on the road. Several of us did a fair amount of research a few years ago and came up with some alternative coastal stages, no more than a km or two from the road the camino goes on. They are all pretty spectacular. You would need a GPS or some device to get you from the Camino to the ocean path, because there is no marking to indicate how to join up. But there are directions and lots of suggestions in this thread.


Buen camino, Laurie
How is the section between Bilbao and Santander?
 
Camino(s) past & future
el Norte June 2020
Thanks for starting this thread. I look forward to following your trip. I would be coming close the end of the del Norte right about now as my first Camino were it not for C19. I am hoping to walk next year at this time.
Wishing you the best.
 

Alvaro Lara

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French (2017), Portuguese (Central 2017, Lisbon-Porto 2018, Coastal 2019), Primitivo (2018 x2)
Good luck on your Camino!

I'm starting from Santander this Wednesday July 8th. Flying in from London. The plan is to do the Norte from Santander to Oviedo, then the Primitivo, and perhaps the Camino Verde after Lugo. I'll play it by ear though.

If I'm honest, I'm banking on a good share of albergues being open. I do plan to call albergues a day ahead to confirm though.
 

Tantalu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances(2018, 2019), about to walk Camino Norte
I am heading to the norte on foot heading into San Salvador, in August. I will be following this thread closely. Please include updates on the public hostels are open and most importantly if the charge more than the usual 6-10 euros? I am on a very strict budget so it might affect whether I go or not after all. Send me a pm if you like and we can also exchange contact info if you wish (not gonna use it to spam you, just might send you a message for specific practical advice while walking since you will be ahead). Thanks a lot and buen camino!
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
@Tantalu I will try to include as much relevant information as possible so members of the forum can get a sense of what Camino looks like during these turbulent times. You can also send me a message anytime and I will try to reply as good as I can. Based on some other discussions here, it seems the Camino is alive and pilgrims are walking. I think Ivar mentioned yesterday that around 200 pilgrims a day visit the Pilgrim's office in Santiago.

Just a quick update for the rest of the pilgrims following the thread. Our flight or accommodation in Santander was not cancelled... So we are going. I contacted several albergues via email about if they are currently open and I received mostly positive answers which is relieving.

In terms of our itinerary, I just planned the first few stages as the plans might change. We are currently decided to walk the Camino Norte, yet if there will be a lockdown we would have to alternate to Primitivo or San Salvador in Oviedo.

I just planned out a few days, so if you have any recommendations for accommodation or interesting places to see, don't hesitate and tell me :)

DAY 1 (18.7.) - Santander to Boo de Piélagos (30 km)
We plan to take the Coastal detour around Santander and finish around Boo area where we would camp as the Albergue de Piélagos has no space on that day.

DAY 2 (19.7.) - Boo via Morgo to Caborredondo (28 km)
We will take the train to Morgo, walk to Santillana del Mar (which should be around 20 km) and then we will continue Caborredondo where we plan to stay in Albergue de Peregrinos Izarra which is open.

DAY 3 (20.7.) - Caborredondo to San Vicente de la Barquera (27 km)
We would like to finish somewhere near San Vicente de Barquera and either sleep in one of those camps or maybe going for private accommodation. We will adjust based on weather and time. Recommendations for accommodation welcome

DAY 4 (21.7.) - San Vicente de la Barquera to Pendueles
(28 km)
Albergue Aves de Paso is open, so we are heading there.

DAY 5 (22.7.) - San Vicente de la Barquera to Llanes / Poo (13-16 km)
It is my birthday, so we are planning to have a shorter day, having a nice meal, going to the beach and sleeping in a nice hotel.

After that, we will see how it all goes :)
 

mario juan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
One
@Tantalu I will try to include as much relevant information as possible so members of the forum can get a sense of what Camino looks like during these turbulent times. You can also send me a message anytime and I will try to reply as good as I can. Based on some other discussions here, it seems the Camino is alive and pilgrims are walking. I think Ivar mentioned yesterday that around 200 pilgrims a day visit the Pilgrim's office in Santiago.

Just a quick update for the rest of the pilgrims following the thread. Our flight or accommodation in Santander was not cancelled... So we are going. I contacted several albergues via email about if they are currently open and I received mostly positive answers which is relieving.

In terms of our itinerary, I just planned the first few stages as the plans might change. We are currently decided to walk the Camino Norte, yet if there will be a lockdown we would have to alternate to Primitivo or San Salvador in Oviedo.

I just planned out a few days, so if you have any recommendations for accommodation or interesting places to see, don't hesitate and tell me :)

DAY 1 (18.7.) - Santander to Boo de Piélagos (30 km)
We plan to take the Coastal detour around Santander and finish around Boo area where we would camp as the Albergue de Piélagos has no space on that day.

DAY 2 (19.7.) - Boo via Morgo to Caborredondo (28 km)
We will take the train to Morgo, walk to Santillana del Mar (which should be around 20 km) and then we will continue Caborredondo where we plan to stay in Albergue de Peregrinos Izarra which is open.

DAY 3 (20.7.) - Caborredondo to San Vicente de la Barquera (27 km)
We would like to finish somewhere near San Vicente de Barquera and either sleep in one of those camps or maybe going for private accommodation. We will adjust based on weather and time. Recommendations for accommodation welcome

DAY 4 (21.7.) - San Vicente de la Barquera to Pendueles
(28 km)
Albergue Aves de Paso is open, so we are heading there.

DAY 5 (22.7.) - San Vicente de la Barquera to Llanes / Poo (13-16 km)
It is my birthday, so we are planning to have a shorter day, having a nice meal, going to the beach and sleeping in a nice hotel.

After that, we will see how it all goes :)
Great to read your posts as I’m hoping for the Norte in September. Any idea why the Albergue in Pielagos would be full?? Is it because they’re only allowing a small number to stay or lots of Spaniards are having summer holidays maybe..
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Great to read your posts as I’m hoping for the Norte in September. Any idea why the Albergue in Pielagos would be full?? Is it because they’re only allowing a small number to stay or lots of Spaniards are having summer holidays maybe..
Well, I checked booking.com and they either offer the whole accommodation capacity or a double room. You can't just get a bed or two... You have to get the 6 beds they offer. Other dates are actually free, the one we needed was full :/
 
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino from 2013 to 2019" paused for now...
@Albert_Hadacek


Re: San Vicente de la Barquera

The Albrgue was closed there in summer 2019. There were some rooms in the town for pilgrims in an apartment, but cleanliness then was dubious...

There are some surfer hostels in the neighbourhood before San Vicente de la Barquera. Check Gronze and the other thread in this forum on CdN and current accommodations.

Whoever put you up the previous night will probably have suggestions...
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
DAY 0 - Santander

We are not walking yet, but still, I would like to share a few insights from our journey. I departed from Vienna Airport which was actually quite busy and we landed 2:30h later in Santander. The health check in Spain is nothing to be scared of. There are either cameras screening the temperatures or you get scanned by an airport staff member. Then you just scan your QR code and you are free. In case, you forget to fill the form, you can do it in Spain at the airport. So, the journey itself went absolutely smooth for both me and Pippa. Pippa had to take a bus from Bilbao and it went without any problems.

We met at Santander Airport and took a cab to our Hotel in the city centre. Cantabria introduced mandatory masks everywhere policy from yesterday, which probably made more people go out. The city was properly busy, easily comparable to Prague in the normal summer season. Pubs and restaurants were full, stores were open and besides the masks, it did not look like there is anything unusual happening in the world.

Today, in the morning we went to see the cathedral, the markets and after lunch, we plan to go to the beach. In the evening we have a meet up with Pippa's friend and tomorrow, we are starting our Camino. We made a slight change in our schedule and we decided to skip the coastal detour. We are taking a train to Morgo, where we start walking. Tomorrow's goal is to reach Caborredondo.
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
DAY 1 - Santander - Mogro - Santillana del Mar

The first walking day is behind us. We took a train from Santander to Mogro and from there we connected to the new official Camino in Mar. As we left a bit late we and today it was around 32 degrees C, we ended up just in Santanilla and found an open albergue there (Albergue Solar de Hidalgos, 15€/bed).

We are alone in a room with a private bathroom. It seems there is one or two more pilgrims. The other two albergues in Santillana are closed. The albergue in Requejada seemed to be opened as the lights were on.

Along the way we just met a family of four walking on the camino with backpacks.

All the cafes, stores etc... were open and busy. Santallina is actually crowded with mostly Spanish visitors. People in shops/cafes were very friendly and wished us Buen Camimo with a smile on their face.

The masks are currently mandatory in Cantabria and in cities people strictly wear them. Its a bit relaxed in the villages around. We always have it on in the crowded areas and indoors, then we take it down.

Tomorrow, we plan to camp as the albergue in Comillas is already fully reserved and the municipal seems to be closed. We will see how much further we are gonna get and also, there is a beach along the way, so we might spend some time there.
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
DAY 2 - Santillana - San Vicente

A long day behind us. We started around 8:00 in Santillana and since the early morning we were meeting pilgrims. At a cafe in Caborredondo we met other 5-7 pilgrims, including a group of three foreigners. During the whole day we met around 15 pilgrims in total.

We had no accomodation plan and as the albergue in Camillas was all booked and the cheap hostel in San Vicente as well, we decided to camp near a beach right before San Vicente. We would reach the city around 8:00 in the evening and paying 70e just for a sleepover was not very attractive.

We walked part of our day with the group of foreigners (Luxemburg, China, France) and it finally seemed that we are back on a normal Camino full of friendly pilgrims.

As we walked along the coast with many beaches the amount of tourists in the cities and sunbathing was just incredible. Mostly Spaniards.

Tomorrow, we plan to go Pendueles where we booked a night in an albergue.

Due to the fact, that some albergues are closed and its high season most affordable accomodation is sold out even with the relatively low number of pilgrims walking.
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Day 3 - San Vicente - Pendueles

Another day behind, yesterday we camped near San Vicente and managed to start quite early on around 7:00.

We continued and had a lovely breakfast and a cheeky bottle of local Cider in Serdio.

IMG_20200720_103504.jpg

Then we continued to Colombres and I tried the local river. Lovely fresh and clear water.

IMG-20200720-WA0005.jpeg

Our goal was to reach Pendueles where we booked a bed in the Albergue Aves de Paso.

It is becoming a race as the camino is becoming more crowded and some albergues are still not opened. Also the prices of hostels are quite high due to the summer season and there is not much affordable places to stay.

We called all albergues on our tomorrow's journey and everything between Llanes and Piňeres are either closed or fully booked. Yet, we managed to get places in some hostel via Booking.com.

Besides accomodation, the bars, stores and cafeterias are open as usual. Yet to say, there are very busy.

So, tomorrow we have a short etape which ends near a beach area. So, that will be nice after two 30+ km days :)
 

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)
@peregrina2000 Thanks a lot, I walked Norte from Aviles 4 years ago and some parts were quite urbanish... I actually did download the coordinates and the PDF from your thread this morning after reading about it in @Dave guide. We are most likely gonna take the Coastal variant from Santander :) to Boo de Pielagos and then continue on the official route through Arce and Oruňa. I also read about a forbidden alternative across some ferry bridge from Boo to Mogro, yet it sounds kinda irresponsible to walk along trains .
The train bridge is less than a 100 meters and very easy to walk across. I posted pictures when I walked across. There is a nice albergue in Santa Cruz de Bezana. Nieve who run it will give you a map and options. The Albergue is actually her home. One of my favorite camino stops. It is right near a bar and Eroski grocery store.
 

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)
Day 3 - San Vicente - Pendueles

Another day behind, yesterday we camped near San Vicente and managed to start quite early on around 7:00.

We continued and had a lovely breakfast and a cheeky bottle of local Cider in Serdio.

View attachment 79133

Then we continued to Colombres and I tried the local river. Lovely fresh and clear water.

View attachment 79134

Our goal was to reach Pendueles where we booked a bed in the Albergue Aves de Paso.

It is becoming a race as the camino is becoming more crowded and some albergues are still not opened. Also the prices of hostels are quite high due to the summer season and there is not much affordable places to stay.

We called all albergues on our tomorrow's journey and everything between Llanes and Piňeres are either closed or fully booked. Yet, we managed to get places in some hostel via Booking.com.

Besides accomodation, the bars, stores and cafeterias are open as usual. Yet to say, there are very busy.

So, tomorrow we have a short etape which ends near a beach area. So, that will be nice after two 30+ km days :)

There is an Albergue in Cuerres. It is a private home that is wonderful. A German couple Manfred and Bridgette I believe.
 
Camino(s) past & future
October 2020
Hey, I was wondering what Pippa is packing in her backpack? How many sets of clothes, etc.. I was thinking of taking 2 sets of clothes plus the one I would wear on travel day or is this too much? I am still hopeful for our October camino.

Thanks!

I
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Hey, I was wondering what Pippa is packing in her backpack? How many sets of clothes, etc.. I was thinking of taking 2 sets of clothes plus the one I would wear on travel day or is this too much? I am still hopeful for our October camino.

Thanks!

I
From Pippa:

Hola Jalluisi
I think 2 sets plus the travel one would work best. You don't always get the chance to wash your clothes every evening (generally you do, but not always) so having a spare set of walking clothes is a good plan. The travel clothes you can then change into after the day's walk. Hope this helps and buen camino for october !
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Day 3 - Pendueles - Poo

Before I get into today's report I would like to share some events from yesterday. We stayed at Javi's albergue in Pendueles together with another 5 pilgrims. A freshly married German couple and our three friends from the previous stage. We had a lovely veggie comunal dinner and an evening full of interesting conversations that ended by the "Wish you were here" song played by Dan (from Luxemburg) on a guitar. It was just a great time and a sign that the Camino's spirit has not changed during the unprecedented COVID time.

We left the albergue at around 8:30 as a group of five and coninued on the beautiful coastal way to Llanes. We stoppend for a brunch and had a late lunch in Llanes (including a few bottles of the local cider).

Then the group split as some people stayed in Llanes. I and Pippa continued to Poo, which is around 2 km after Llanes, where we booked a night in a hoste. So, it was a shorter day, around 18 km.

IMG-20200721-WA0002.jpg

After few days of walking mainly on tarmac we finally had a chance to walk on a trail in the Asturian nature. The ocean on one side and the mountains on the other.

IMG-20200721-WA0003.jpg

In terms of health, we are all okay. Besides, some minor pilgrim's issues like blisters and tired legs 😉

The weather is great as it's finally around 25 degrees and not that sunny. Ideal for walking.

Our tomorrow's plan is to continue to Cuerres and we finally decided that we will go on the Primitivo when we reach Villaviciosa.
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Day 4 - Poo - Cuerres

Today, we did another shorter day, around 20 km. We left our hostel at around 7:45 in the morning and continued a few kilometers to Celorio where we got some basic supplies for the day.

Our albergue in Cuerres (Reposo de Andayon) opened at around 16:00, so we had plenty of time for stops and we did not really had to rush.

The stage was a mixture of highway walks and nature. Many places to stop and get a snack. The albergue here is in the beautiful Asturian nature.

Tomorrow, we have a longer stage ahead, so we will just get some rest today.

Reservations has became a standard as there are more and more pilgrims...

15954340994465000287908718415267.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 91789

Guest
Hi, @Albert,

My suggestion has nothing to do with your pack, but because I see you are starting in Santander, I can’t resist telling you about a beautiful alternative out of Santander that follows the coast and not the Camino. It is really a gorgeous way to start your camino, IMO. You can read about it in this thread by @Dave. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/following-the-coast-from-santander-to-boo.42660/

That leads me to a broader comment about the Norte generally. There is a lot of asphalt walking on the Norte, and it can be hard on your feet. And it is frustrating to know you are so close to the ocean but the camino takes you on the road. Several of us did a fair amount of research a few years ago and came up with some alternative coastal stages, no more than a km or two from the road the camino goes on. They are all pretty spectacular. You would need a GPS or some device to get you from the Camino to the ocean path, because there is no marking to indicate how to join up. But there are directions and lots of suggestions in this thread.


Good luck with your plans, and thank you for your willingness to report back to those of us who are locked down with no opportunity to get back to a Camino!

Buen camino, Laurie
Aaaah I just read this. I'm in Santander next week. I want to look into this. Does google maps count as GPS??
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Aaaah I just read this. I'm in Santander next week. I want to look into this. Does google maps count as GPS??
In the thread, there is a PDF with a link to the coordinates in some other app you can freely download and use as GPS.
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Day 5 & 6 - Cuerres - Ribadesella - Oviedo - Grado

Just a quick update, yesterday after leaving Cuerres we reached a coastal town called Ribadesella where we made a decision to just take a train to Oviedo and continue on the Primitivo.

The Camino Norte became a crazy race for beds due to the high prices of hostels, closed albergues and relatively high number of Pilgrims.

We tried to make a schedule, yet we always found some too long stage and so we called it a day and just calmly took a train to Oviedo, we slept in a hotel there, checked the city and got ready for the Primitivo.

We started in the morning by getting a bit lost so we had to walk extra 2km. We met around 10 pilgrims along the way. Mainly Spaniards. The Camino was a good ratio between tarmac and trails with several villages along the way.

We ended up booking a room in Grado as we expected the albergue to be full. There is only one operating at this moment.

Our plan for tomorrow was Bodenaya as our previous hospitalero Javi recommended it. Yet, David's albergue is fully booked for the whole weekend, so we ended up booking two beds in Albergue Fontenonaya, Poriles. So we have nearly 30km ahead.

Now we just plan to have some food, get some supplies and a good sleep.

So, currently we are at around 170 km with 300 more to go. Besides the classical issues we have no health problems. The only thing that is very annoying is the whole booking race.

I have never experienced it before on my previous 3 caminos and I am not a big fan. Especially, when people book few days in advance. We only book for the next day as we find it more fair and respectful (if we talk about classic Albergues).
 
Last edited:

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Google maps as GPS? Kinda sorta.... You should probably try open runner though. Free app using open source maps. On android, don't know about iPhone.
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
The race for beds is absolutely disgusting. The walk is so enjoyable. When you are walking... even when you think you are going to die on the hard parts, everything is calm and perfect and you experience so much joy...... Then you get to your destination ..... and there is an overwhelming amount of stress trying to find a bed for the next day. Literally hours of work. It completely ruins the entire day of pure bliss.

I hope the change works out for the better for you. Buen Camino :)
The problem is that some albergues run at 50 percent capacity and some municipales are closed, so then if there are normally two albergues in a town, the municipal for 30 people and a private one for 20 and now there are only 10 beds available... It is what it is.
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Day 7 - Grado - Porciles

A very rough day behind us. We started in Grado around 8:30 and continued to Salas, we had few stops along the road to keep hydrated. A cold beer never hurts in current weather conditions. Its around 30 degrees here in Asturias.

At around 4:00 PM we reached Salas, had a few cans of shandy and continued to Porciles where we booked a night in an albergue the day before. The whole road from Salas (around 6 km) is basically uphill both on tarmac and forest trail. It was very nasty, we did not have much energy left and the sun was not very helpful. Eventually we made without stopping as if had stopped we would not find the will to continue 😁

Now, we are accomodated and have a great service from the hospitalero Nicolas.

Tomorrow we plan to reach Borres and then continue on the Hospitales route. If the weather stays the same we should have great visibility in the mountains.

From what we were told, most albergues are open on the Primitivo, besides the municipales in Grado, Tineo and Borres. One of the albergues in Salas is also closed.

We met quite a lot of pilgrims today, so the Camino is quite alive even here.
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Day 8 - Porciles - Campiello

We started with a nice breakfast from our hospitalero and continued to Tineo. We found an open shop quite early on which was surprising as it was sunday yesterday.

Yesterday's etape was not really busy in terms of cities and villages, so we did not have many stops.

The last 12km frok Tineo are basically with no infrustructure. In Campiello both albergues were open running at lower capacity (around 50%). The bars and shops were opened as well. We stayed in the albergue Casa Ricardo which was accomodating 12 pilgrims instead of 26.

We stayed most of the time outside while talking to pilgrims and just slept and showered in the actual albergue which is sort of the norm these days.

Today, we have the Hospitales route ahead, the sky is clear so far, so lets hope it will stay that way.
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Day 9 & 10 - Campiello - Berducedo - Grandas de Salime

Yesterday we did the Hospitales route, the weather was absolutely stunning, but it was too hot at the end of the day. We had a bit of troubles with water managment, yet eventually we discovered a fountain around 4km before Berducedo.

We started at around 8 in the morning and managed the 28km stage quite quickly, we had only one stop therefore we managed to reach Berducedo at around 14:30. Bars were open there, yet only one albergue and one pension is working these days.

Today, we left at around 8:00 as well, we had a tiny breakfast in the village after Berducedo (in an open albergue) and continued to Grandas de Salime, where we booked a double room in the only open albergue. Weather has completely changed, we had an extremely foggy morning and it was finally a bit more chilly.

Yesterday and today, the hospitalero checked our body temperature for the first times. Normally, you are only obligated to wear a mask and desinfect your hands. In most places they desinfect hands or wear gloves while touching IDs/Passports.

The albergue we are in right now has the kitchen available for use, they also wash the dishes in dishwasher after the pilgrims clean them so they go through higher temperature.

So far, I would say everyone is following most of the rules to the limit they can. The most major things like masks and desinfections are omnipresent. Sometimes the albergues dont force you to put your backapack in a special room or in a black plastic bag. Yet, I consider those very miniature issues.

So far, everyone is really respectful, yet not crazily restricting. We as pilgrims want the albergues to run as they create a crucial infrustructure, so we follow the norms. The same can be said about the hospitaleros. They want their business to survive, so there is a mutual respect on both sides.

To sum up, after around 12 days in Spain (10 walking the Camino), I have not encountered any form of conflict in terms of the masks or COVID. People are generally very friendly towards pilgrims, we were offered fruit etc.. by the locals. They also almost always wish us "Buen Camino".
 

Albert_Hadacek

Young Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - 2015
Norte - 2016, 2020
Frances - 2018
Day 11 & 12 & 13 - Lugo

Today, we reached Lugo, so we have 100km left to walk. Last few days were just filled with sun and Spanish heat.

We registered, when we reached Galicia, yet it was not mandatory for people from Czechia and The UK.

We stayed mainly in double rooms as the price is usually just slightly higher than a private albergue for two, and the comfort of private bathroom and regular bedding is just worth it.

The weather is quite crazy. We usually have around 35 degrees Celsius during most of the days. We usually start our days around 8:00 or 8:30 as we are not awaken by early birds pilgrims in the albergue.

Lately, the infrustructure during the day was not that good, so we had few moments without water.

As we leave later than most pilgrims and we walk a bit slower as we already have around 350 km in our legs, we dont meet many pilgrims during the day.

Yet there are few groups of "regulars" we see everyday. We will see if the remaining part is gonna be busier.

Our plan is to reach Santiago in 4 days and then fly back to Czech Republic on the 5.8. or 6.8.
 
Camino(s) past & future
"Camino from 2013 to 2019" paused for now...
Day 9 & 10 - Campiello - Berducedo - Grandas de Salime

Yesterday we did the Hospitales route, the weather was absolutely stunning, but it was too hot at the end of the day. We had a bit of troubles with water managment, yet eventually we discovered a fountain around 4km before Berducedo.

We started at around 8 in the morning and managed the 28km stage quite quickly, we had only one stop therefore we managed to reach Berducedo at around 14:30. Bars were open there, yet only one albergue and one pension is working these days.

Today, we left at around 8:00 as well, we had a tiny breakfast in the village after Berducedo (in an open albergue) and continued to Grandas de Salime, where we booked a double room in the only open albergue. Weather has completely changed, we had an extremely foggy morning and it was finally a bit more chilly.

Yesterday and today, the hospitalero checked our body temperature for the first times. Normally, you are only obligated to wear a mask and desinfect your hands. In most places they desinfect hands or wear gloves while touching IDs/Passports.

The albergue we are in right now has the kitchen available for use, they also wash the dishes in dishwasher after the pilgrims clean them so they go through higher temperature.

So far, I would say everyone is following most of the rules to the limit they can. The most major things like masks and desinfections are omnipresent. Sometimes the albergues dont force you to put your backapack in a special room or in a black plastic bag. Yet, I consider those very miniature issues.

So far, everyone is really respectful, yet not crazily restricting. We as pilgrims want the albergues to run as they create a crucial infrustructure, so we follow the norms. The same can be said about the hospitaleros. They want their business to survive, so there is a mutual respect on both sides.

To sum up, after around 12 days in Spain (10 walking the Camino), I have not encountered any form of conflict in terms of the masks or COVID. People are generally very friendly towards pilgrims, we were offered fruit etc.. by the locals. They also almost always wish us "Buen Camino".
Thanks for the updates! Enjoy...
 

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