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To Norte or not to Norte...

BobY333

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Time of past OR future Camino
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I'm beginning planning for next May when I think I'll be heading back to walk another Camino on my own. It's always exciting and a little overwhelming to figure out which Camino to choose.

At first I considered walking my favorite combo (again) - the San Salvador/Primitivo.

But, the Allerano pictures and reviews look just too good. So, assuming I can figure Wikilocs out once and for all, I'll start with the Allerano using Ender's tracks (including figuring out how to get over to Boñar, which he doesn't include).

Here's my question: Once in Oviedo, do I walk the Primitivo again, which I absolutely loved (the number of people was perfect, the scenery was beautiful, and I stayed in amazing albergues)? Or, do I head north and walk the "second half" of the Norte? I have never stepped foot in the Norte, so that's appealing - the wonder of the unknown. I am concerned about (1) whether I'll have enough company and (2) if it's a lot of road walking. My guess is I would get to the Norte around May 7. How many days should I plan for this? 13?

Thanks for your help!
 
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Definitely the Norte. If anything it is now less popular than the Primitivo, but undeservedly so. You might be interested in an alternative: the Ruta Historica which branches off in A Caridad and heads through Vegadeo and Trabada then links up again with the Norte in Mondoñedo.
 
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I wouldn't suggest a repeat of the Primitivo, although I absolutely loved it. Spain has so much more to offer and I decided to finish the Norte from Oviedo this past spring. I really enjoyed it.
 
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I think it just depends on whether you are itching for a re-visit, or want to try something new. You’re becoming a repeat offender, so I’m betting this won’t be your last rodeo.

Re the Allerano — Boñar is on the Olvidado, so if you‘ve got lots of time, you could start in Bilbao and connect with the Allerano there. But if not, getting to Boñar is probably easiest from León, since Boñar is in the province of León.

Re the Norte - Yes, there’s lots of asphalt, but the coastal alternatives thread gives you some options. And my unscientific, very impressionistic thought is that there’s less asphalt on the ”second half” of the Norte.

I think May-June is the Norte sweet spot. Everything is open, there are few tourists, plenty of pilgrims but not crowds. There is a lot of accommodation, especially if you’re willing to to to private places. On several occasions, four of us got two-bedroom, two-bath apartments for ridiculously cheap. These places would cost much more in high summer.

The “inland” sections of the Norte, from Ribadeo on, are pretty, nothing strenuous, kind of bucolic.

Let us know what you choose!
 
Lots of great opinions and help here, as usual! I’m leaning toward the Norte and will likely go to it from Oviedo. As I said somewhere else, I’m no longer a Camino “purist”, so I’m okay with getting transportation to an alternative route if things aren’t working out (weather, etc).

“Repeat offender” - I love it! Yes, it’s true, I’m completely in on this crazy thing.

Re: the Allerano, Ender’s tracks start in León, and he has a variant from Boñar, so I was hoping he had connected the two. But maybe it’s one route if you start in León (to not include Boñar) and another that starts in Boñar if you’re coming from the Olvidado. I’ll plan to walk out of León, though I do see there’s transport that can get me to Boñar and at least one more stage out on the Olvidado and I can begin there. I’ll see how much I feel like riding transport further versus lacing up and getting going!

Thanks again everyone for your help!

Happy Thanksgiving (almost) to the American crew!

Bob/Paco
 
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