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water availability and signs. In the North Way

amido hicho

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
first timer
Hi, On April 2014 I did Camino The French Way I did it in 27 days and I had the experience of a life time. It was such meaningful experience that I am ready for more. My concern about El Camino Del Norte is: If it has the same facility for water as I found in The French Way, since I did not experience any drinking water issues since I found that the fountain water in must of the places suited me well for my drinking needs. I also found that the french way to be very well signalize so it was almost impossible to get lost even dough I walked some sections at night, eg, Meseta . I am planning to do El Camino del Norte on or about mid April of 2015 God wiling. Can any one please shed some light on how is the water situation and if the Norte Way signs are as well define as the French way? Thank you all and Buen Camino.
 
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Anemone del Camino

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Hi, On April 2014 I did Camino The French Way I did it in 27 days and I had the experience of a life time. It was such meaningful experience that I am ready for more. My concern about El Camino Del Norte is: If it has the same facility for water as I found in The French Way, since I did not experience any drinking water issues since I found that the fountain water in must of the places suited me well for my drinking needs. I also fount that the french way to be very well signalize so it was almost impossible to get lost even dough I walked some sections at night, eg, Meseta de Leon. I am planning to do El Camino del Norte on or about mid April of 2015 God wiling. Can any one please shed some light on how is the water situation and if the Norte Way signs are as well define as the French way? Thank you all and Buen Camino.

You won't find any problems with water on el Camino del Norte, as long as you have a 1.5 or 2 l. Camel Back. I didn't see fountains in villages as much as we see on the Frances but you will find homes with hoses you can use to refil your Camel Back or bars along the way. There are a few parts with 15ks without anything, but not so many of them. On those days just carry more water with you. As far as signalisation goes, just pay attention: I looked for arrows a few times - they were right in front of me. In Deba do stop at the Tourist Info Office, where you need to pick up a key to the albergue, they will give you instructions on the correct path - to make up from the signs hidden by a local land owner. Not an issue either. I had been afraid about this Camino for 6 years: distances too long, to hard, etc. I don't know if that was really the case back then, but today it is no different from the Frances, except for the distance between bars/cafes. "Just keep calm and put a foot infront of the other".
 

rickster

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012), LePuy (2013), Coastal Portuguese( 2013), Norte (Fall 2014)
I have found that it is important when asking for feedback to be specific about describing your Camino characteristics such as you walk all the way, carry your backpack, in the case of the del Norte "want to make every effort to stay close to the sea, even if it includes more difficult alternative routes", approximately how far you plan to walk daily, where do you plan to start, etc. I have seen responses posted that the del Norte was not any more difficult than the Camino Frances, only to find out later that they used a service for their packs, did frequent busing, started after Bilbao, stayed off the alternative routes that might be more difficult, such as the "alpinist" route on the first day out of Irun, walked 12 km/day, etc. There is nothing wrong with any of these choices, but they do make a difference in the difficulty of the del Norte, which in my humble opinion, found to be considerably tougher than the Frances, especially the first week prior to Bilbao. Even on the first day, the degrees of difficulty were significant, depending on which route you took. Even if you took the alpinist route, there were several choices along the route that were easier than the route to the ridge, that was not well marked in places and was difficult to navigate into Pasajes de San Juan, with cables provided in some areas to assist with balance. Anyone with vertigo is not going to be happy at that point, especially if they are alone. Not trying to scare anyone away from this beautiful Camino, because it is stunning and doesn't take a great athlete to accomplish; just make sure you know the whole story about what you're signing up for. There are choices that may make it comparable, but there are also choices that will make it considerably more difficult, especially in the beginning, than the Frances.
 

Vicki

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino de norte (2014)
I totally agree with Rickster. I have just returned from the Norte - it was stunning and beautiful. I am an avid walker and hiker but was still surprised of all the ups and downs on a daily basis - to prepare for this walk I would recommend you do lots of mountainous hikes,with steep climbs (not switchbacks) if you are able, as you will be ascending and descending all day long, most days. For the most part the waymarks were good with the exception of the Asturias region - so just be sure to talk to the hospiteralos before you head out the next day. I would recommend staying next to the coast as much as possible - it's just to beautiful not to. Again, I am not trying to scare anyone off the Norte - do it!
 

amido hicho

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
first timer
I appreciate all the advice that are given, and well take them all to good hearth and use. As well as the as, I will analyzed all the pros and cons online here so I will intelligently gauge the calculated risk I need to take. I agree with Rickerter about the intention on how long and how, level of comfort or lack of it that one is welling to put up with while in the way, as well as his/hers expectation. physical condition, and experience.
As for me I am a 66 years ex-military, retired peace officer. I consider my self in an excellent physical shape thanks God, who can log 50 k a day and wake up the next day and go back at it. I am the kind of individual who rather pack a first aid kit than water or food, since I know how long I can walk with out water or food in a harsh environment, but I do not know whats will happen at the turn of the next corner. I was very surprise to find so many people stranded with serious trauma or foot issues. but, nothing to treat it with. But, yet with great looking hot. Ok this is another issue. Again, thank you all and Buen Camino. God bless
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
If you look at the Gronze site you will find the outline maps and elevations for the route along with a list of albergues. If you invest in the CSJ guides (2 booklets) for the camino del Norte then you will find extra information about stopping places etc, also the Cicerone Guide to the Northern Caminos (Amazon). Combined with the wealth of information here you will be able to see what you need and where to find it.
I think that many people do not take into account that a coastal route will go over ranges of hills and then down to sea level at river mouths as the route crosses the valleys, and if there is no bridge it must detour round. Just west of Santander pilgrims were walking the railway to avoid an 11km trek round to a crossing point. We heard that they are being encouraged to take the little train for a couple of kms to avoid the danger of walking the railway!
Happy planning and Buen Camino.
 

amido hicho

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
first timer
Shefollowsshels, Thank you very much for your comments and input. as per your great quote ( with Berry's Manilow root, lol) "...This Camino is for you" As being perfect; well see, if it is perfect will not be as challenging. I like to stir away from perfection sense few things in life are perfect, which soot me well. I do subscribe to the idea that say "star slow and press hard when see the finish line". I agree with you in the water bladder, not in a hike where towns are with in 6 to 10 k apart.
The notion of carry the water IN me not On me works very well for me, it allows me to travel light. Again thank you very much. Buen Camino and God bless you all.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
none yet - hoping to do so this year, not sure which one yet
hello everyone -

i had started a different thread in general but found this one and have specific Camino del Norte questions: what do you all think about the weather on the Norte in June/July/August? and a little bit more detail about the signage, please: were there points where you got lost, or almost did, or feared you would? i ask bc i will be doing it solo and what with the reduced number of people on the norte, i don't want to veer off the camino!

also, i am a freelancer and so must take my laptop with me and do some intermittent work (ugh, i know!) - so i will be looking to stay in non-albergue housing so i can get work done (more quiet, letss pleople) - so i will need dependable WiFi - did you find that there are a good number of non-albergue accommodation options with WiFi along the Norte? and if you have good websites (or even specific suggestions of names of hostales, pensiones, casas rurales, etc.) where i can find them listed, please send along!

and a final question - will i need to haul along a sleeping bag for those months and staying in non-albergue options?

many thanks!!
 

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