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where to begin?

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I want to walk a piece of the Camino del Norte the last week of March.
I take up my duties at the refugio in Miraz April 1.
So... where should I start walking, in order to reach my destination on time? I love Mondoñedo, but is it too far from Miraz to make it in a week?
And which of the many CSJ Guides includes this section of trail? The old one I have only goes to Lugo.
Help me out, O wise ones!

Reb.
 
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Arn

Veteran Member
I was just checking a few sections and La Caridad looks pretty good as a start.

There are some beautiful churches and sights along the CN...I especially like the beaches and ocean. but at this point you seem to be dropping inland.

Over my head...but still floating

Arn
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Hi Reb,
How far is Miraz from Lugo? Pola de Allande to Lugo is 120km. Or you could start a bit further back at Tineo, Salas or Grado. You might have to go up to Oviedo and get transport from there to your starting point?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Rebekah,

Here are my stages from Mondonedo to Miraz:

Mondonedo to Gontan (I was in Gontan in 2006, an albergue was just about to open, so it should be open by now) (16 km)

Gontan to Villaba (20 km) -- my notes say it's flat and very pretty. The albergue is a huge modern structure about 1 km outside of the town. It was not well cared for when I was there.

Villaba to Baamonde (19 km) -- very nice albergue, and great meal with one of the camino characters at Restaurante Galicia.

Baamonde to Miraz (about 15 km)

So, it looks like you could start further back -- maybe at Navia? Incredible albergue, right on a cliff looking over the water. And there are some beautiful coastal sections just before and after Navia. I have a post with notes from my walk entitled "pictures from norte" that shows my stages.

There are two CSJ guides to the norte, part one goes from Irun to Villaviciosa, part two, from Villaviciosa to Santiago, at least that's how it was in 2006. I don't think you mean Lugo, because Lugo is on the Primitivo.

Laurie
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Laurie,
Although the Camino del Norte follows the coast from Gijón to Tapia de Casariego and Vilalba, the Camino Norte Variante comes down Oviedo and Lugo. From there you have to walk to Palas de Rey and join the Camino Frances route.
 
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DavidF

New Member
Hi Rebekah (and Laurie),

The albergue in Gontan is open and is really nice although Gontan itself is not my favorite place! The stretch from Mondoñedo to Gontan is quite challenging in terms of hills. If you only have a week I think that Navia would be do-able but definitely a challenge: there is a lot of climbing after Ribadeo and if the weather doesn't cooperate it might be hard going. Starting in Ribadeo could be a bit easier and you'd avoid having to cross the bridge which is pretty nasty unless the construction is finshed. We did part of the Norte in September and ended up sleeping in the garden of the albergue in Miraz and got rained on (no tents) but it was really a wonderful experience to stay there and the coffee and bread for breakfast were great!

Alsa has a bus service to Navia I believe. Tapia is also quite nice and is a bit farther west than is Navia.

http://www.alsa.es

David

ps: you want this guide - extremely good and do take the time to tomar algo in the "useful bars" that it points out along the way:

http://www.csj.org.uk/acatalog/The_CSJ_ ... 3.html#cdn

Los Caminos del Norte, A: Ruta de la Costa, 2:Villaviciosa-Gijón-Arzua
Eric Walker. CSJ, London, 2007. 88 pp. (Pilgrim Guides to Spain #4A2)

This guide covers the second half of the Ruta de la Costa, from Villaviciosa -Gijón along the coast to Ribadeo, and its inland continuation via Mondoñedo to Arzua on the Camino Francés

New edition 2007, fully revised.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Oh, yes, the bridge to Ribadeo. I was lucky to be crossing on a Sunday, and the intrepid Swiss pilgrim I was with rightly pointed out that the construction lane itself (which was in the middle of the bridge) was the safest place to cross since there was no work going on on Sunday. I don't know how people crossed it during the week, there were many threatening road signs telling walkers to stay away. I suppose hitching across would have been easy. But that was more than 2 1/2 years ago, so I'm assuming the construction is done. Can anyone confirm that?

And, Reb, yes the FEVE does stop in Navia. Here's an old timetable
http://www.feve.es/horarios_tmp/2004-2005.pdf

From Navia to Ribadeo, hug the coast. The actual camino is not along the coast for much of those short, flat 8 or 9 km, but there is a coastal path that is unbelievable. Locals all know it.

Your original post mentioned Lugo -- if you had a hankering to walk into Lugo from the Norte, I walked from Villaviciosa to Oviedo in two days, then on the Primitivo to Lugo in 7 long days from Oviedo. I thought Lugo was not only very pretty but had a great ambiente, but then I was there during their fiestas, so I guess that helped.

Lucky you. Laurie
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
yes, I did mention Lugo, and it´s still a possiblity, as access to Lugo is so good from here -- a 4-hour train ride right from Sahagún and voila! But then I have to figure out how to shlep the back roads to Miraz from there. I´ve driven that a few times, and it´s hair-raising in a car!

Anyway, I love hiking in the spring, and it´s always good, when you´re hospitalero-ing, to know the trail your pilgrims have covered (and are heading into). So hiking down the Norte from the coast would be ideal.

Now I only need to find someone to take over my garden while I´m away... :(

Reb.
 

DavidF

New Member
Laurie,

The bridge at Ribadeo wasn't finished in September 2008 and it looked like there was quite a bit more work to do. They had one lane open and so there were long queues of cars and trucks waiting to be allowed over. We walked down the middle, more or less as you say, in the part where the construction was going on. The workers in charge of traffic were very accommodating but it was not pleasant to cross although relatively safe. By the look of it, even when it's finished it will be an unpleasant bridge to cross - probably even worse then in terms of noise and fumes. The footpaths are very narrow and will be separated from the traffic - which is only a yard or so away - by hefty steel guards.

David
 
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