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Starting the Camino del Norte May 5th


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I was reading some of the posts about the camino stretch between Irun and Bilbao and will let you know more about it later after I walk it. I do not want to miss it since I heard it is so wonderful.
I start tomorrow, finally!!! I will begin in Irun.
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Have a WONDERFUL walk!! Will be following you in spirit.
From Irun to La Ermita de Guadalupe, know that any trail you take up that mountain will lead you to it.
After you leave the Ermita, yo have an option to go around or up the mountain. I chose up the mountain in what is, I am sure, a 60 degree rise. Very hard, but you do lose the arrows. No matter, you will find your way. The first albergue in Donosti (San Sebastian) burned down and is in the process of rebuilding. That took us in circles and luckily was approached by a group of people who allow pilgrim to spend the night at their home. It was wonderful, with wonderful people.
Today was very wet, did not get lost, and after the initial mountain outside of Donosti was conquered, the trail was very rocky and hard on the legs.
Tonight we are walking like very sore sore pilgrims,which we are. Rosa, the hospitalera at the Orio albergue (San Martin albergue) is wonderful and I recommend her place.
Until the next time.
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Hi Lillian,

It is amazing how quickly, after all the preparation, we still end up with the Pilgrim Shuffle within days of the pilgrimage. I've always been surprised at how fast pilgrims are with a pack on their back and how slow they become after the pack is removed. :lol: Take care and take your time! I'm sure sunny days are ahead.

Buen Camino,
Thank You.
Here is a new one on me.
Descending into Deba....extremely steep descent. Some people were walking it backwards, for it is hard on the knees, and very long. My niece said it is probably a 60 degree angle. Then you are at the top of town and there in front of us is an elevator. Did I take it? Hell, yeah! Then a second one. Highly recommended. Fun fun fun.
THe weather cannot make up its mind. Rain, sun, mist you name it.
MermaidLilli said:
Descending into Deba....extremely steep descent...

It was raining and extremely slippery when I negotiated that part. We were four pilgrims in Indian file when the first one slip and felt on his back. In trying to stop, all others ended up in the same position in a domino effect.

There we were, all four on our back, with a string of school kids going in the opposite direction and laughing their heads off. We couldn't help it and did the same. Luckily, no one was hurt but in their pride.

We also took the elevator!

Best of luck for the rest of the trip
Be part of the Camino Cleanup team! Help us pick up litter from Ponferrada to Sarria.

That elevator.....I did not know what I saw there!

For all the others, here's a picture:

Have a great time and don't forget to put your shoes off and walk a part along the sea-side! Tip: do the last part of the stretch Ribadesella to La Isla along the beach. Via La Isla you can easily get back to the route and it is not more km!!
La Isla is a also the name of the one hotel that is there: great view from the rooms which are all at the seaside. We paid about 50-55 Euro for 2 persons.
Buen Camino!

After all that downhill, I would have taken the elevator, no discussion necessary. hahaha! Good work everyone! That is probably some of the roughest parts I would imagine. A lond day of uphill then sharp downhill in wet weather. You all are doing excellent! I'll bet the scenery was awesome.

Buen Camino,
If you walked over the Pyrenees from SJPP to Roncesvalles, this is what it is like. Most beautiful scenery around every corner. It also means steep up and down hills. Wonderful route, for sure.
It has rained for so many weeks (or months) that the caminos are full of shoe sucking mud. On and on. Yesterday was extremely difficult due to the mud. I slipped and fell 5 times, one other lady fell a few times as well. I looked a mess, but cute! Hahaha
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.

Good on ya girl...I can picture you wallowing in the mud and laughing your head off. What a sight to see.

I've read the guides for most routes but find that the descriptions provided by pilgrims currently on the Camino are the most interesting and colorful.

Be safe out there and have a wonderful time along the Way.

Thanks for your informative posts. I've just rather impulsively bought a ticket for Spain and in just over a month will be following in your footsteps. I'm taking lots of notes. Hope the mud dries up for you. Have fun and buen camino.
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Thank You, all. There are quite a few peregrinos on the route now, but not so many that the albergues get full. Two places had albergues that had only 8 beds...:Deba and one other at a monastery. Pobeña´s albergue opened a week ago and is very nice with many beds. Morga was a spectacular place, I recommend it as a stop. Today I walked a short stage so that I can arrive in Castro-Urdiales early and wash some clothes in hope they will dry before tomorrow. And to give my toes and my knees some needed rest. My pace going uphill is getting better especially now that my cold has gotten better. Since Bilbo it has been all road walking which is tough on my little bones. :| I am actually hoping for more of that shoe sucking mud instead of more road. While I sit in this internet place, the clouds are clearing and I can see blue sky!!! Looking forward to that week of sunshine!
Hope you get lots of sunshine, and that the paths that had shoe-sucking-mud a few days ago quickly dry out! Thanks for sharing your walk with us~
A must stop is Güemes at the albergue of father Ernesto. His albergue is in a beautiful location and there are several volunteers there that made our stay so welcome. Ernesto then will have a chat giving history of the area as well as a tip of an alternate camino along the cliffs, which so far were the highlight of the walk. It was so beautiful. I am leaving this morning from Santillana del Mar, which has a nice albergue. The town is preserved in mideaval mode. Beautiful.
On I go.
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Hi Lilli,

So glad to hear from you. It looks like the weather has been much kinder to you. I will be starting from Santander in four weeks. I really look forward to hearing your reports as you progress to Gijon. I wish you a wonderful journey filled with amazing experiences.

Buen Camino,
Another great albergue tonight, with communal dinner and wonderful hosts at San Vicente de la Barquera.
Was in Comillas last night and as I left this morning I got to admire and hang out at Gaudi´s palace in Comillas, El Capricho de Gaudi.
Will be with Rebekah in MOratinos tomorrow for the hospitalero training and back here to continue the camino on Monday.
Hi Lilli,

Great to hear the camino is treating you so well. You are the second person to recommend the albergue in San Vicente. I have marked it with a star on my itinerary. My fondest memories are communal pilgrim dinners. Thanks a lot for the posts. I have only three weks till leaving and I love reading your posts. :D

Buen Camino,
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