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Where to go in Irún to get started

Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2018/current)
#1
My wife & I start the Camino del Norte on Friday and we haven't been able to find any info about how to get started in Irún. We have our Pilgrim credentials and we we're wondering if there was a Pilgrim office in Irún or some other designated starting point where one gets a stamp and a shell. Thanks for any help you can give us!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#2
There is an albergue which would probably stamp your credencial even if you are not staying there. Most businesses in Spain seem to have a sello - bars, shops, hotels, supermarkets,.... That is not usually hard to find. There is no need for an "official" start to your Camino. Another thread says the yellow arrows begin at the railway station. As for a shell - there is nothing very special about those. You could just ask a fishmonger for one! I saw some in the freezer cabinet of a local supermarket at Christmas :)

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/start-point-in-irun.49485/
 
#3
The albergue - and one thing I like to do in the evening is to trace the first few minutes of the next morning's walk - I'm not too bothered about shells (indeed some say that medieval pilgrims only wore them on the way home)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#4
- I'm not too bothered about shells (indeed some say that medieval pilgrims only wore them on the way home)
That was certainly my understanding on my first Camino. So I did not carry a proper shell on that journey. I did wear a small silver scallop on a cord around my neck though: made by my very remarkable mother-in-law who is a silversmith amongst her other talents and made it for herself as a memento after walking from SJPDP to Santiago in 1985. Had to give it back when I got safely home though :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances Sept/Oct 2016
Camino Portuguese Oct 2017
Del Norde Start 2nd May 2018
#5
I'll be interested to see how you are getting on. Was considering flying out next week and doing the Norte from Irun but various posts talk about a lot of Albergues being shut and few pilgrims on the trail. Happy to walk in my own company but do like to mix and socialise with others at times. You can only have so much of your own company! Horses for courses I suppose.
 
Camino(s) past & future
The French Way (2016)
#6
See you all out there, Will start from irun May 8, barring any SNAFUS with the train from Paris. I hear that they strike on Mondays and Tuesdays. Is this even possible???
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago
#7
My wife & I start the Camino del Norte on Friday and we haven't been able to find any info about how to get started in Irún. We have our Pilgrim credentials and we we're wondering if there was a Pilgrim office in Irún or some other designated starting point where one gets a stamp and a shell. Thanks for any help you can give us!
You can get a stamp from the Cathederal in Irun. It’s hours may be erratic check. We got one there. It’s just down the road from the train station.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2018)
#8
Hi, we started from Irun on Monday. You can get credentials and stamps at the main Albergue, they open at four pm every afternoon and were very helpful. If you have a Mapsme app (highly recommend as it is free, works offline and has all trails etc) the Albergue is noted on that. The Albergue also has a helpful map on their wall tracing the way out of town- which is fairly straightforward. We encountered approx. 6 other pilgrims, all of us sauntering out of town between 7am and 9am. The trail was easy to spot.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April 2017 or Sept 2017
#9
Hi, we started from Irun on Monday. You can get credentials and stamps at the main Albergue, they open at four pm every afternoon and were very helpful. If you have a Mapsme app (highly recommend as it is free, works offline and has all trails etc) the Albergue is noted on that. The Albergue also has a helpful map on their wall tracing the way out of town- which is fairly straightforward. We encountered approx. 6 other pilgrims, all of us sauntering out of town between 7am and 9am. The trail was easy to spot.
I have Maps.me but being technically challenged I don’t know how to find the trail. Can you give me a hint. We start in San Sebastián on May 14. Thanks
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2018)
#10
I have Maps.me but being technically challenged I don’t know how to find the trail. Can you give me a hint. We start in San Sebastián on May 14. Thanks
San Sebastian is fairly easy to leave from. You follow the main road out of town along the beach called la Concha (beach to your right). At the end of the beach, you cross a park (between the road and the beach) and go up to the right along a road towards a hill. Its all marked from there. If you have time, you could pop into the tourist information office the night before and ask them to draw the way out on a map for you - they speak English and are very helpful. You'll find that most people will direct you very helpfully if you look a bit bemused! We also have found that if you get walking between 7am and 9am, there's a good chance you'll connect up with other people walking out. The Camino is pretty well marked overall- in cities there are little plaques in the ground to point you along, and in the countryside there are arrows spray painted on rocks and trees. Do you have the Wise Pilgrim app on your phone? I'd advise getting it, its helpful for 'how to get out of town instructions' and other notes- and its all in English. I also have a Spanish app (Eroski Consumer), which while in Spanish, has elevation clearly marked. Even if technically challenged (I am too!), don't worry, these are easy to use and helpful back up. enjoy!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2018)
#12
But how do you find it n Maps.me
Thanks
It isn't on Mapsme labelled as 'the Camino', you need to just use Mapsme as a back up (it shows various trails and albergues etc but only in general, not specifically for the Camino). better to use other sources for specific Camino instructions.
 
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances2013 camino primtivo2015 camino portugues2017
#14
My wife & I start the Camino del Norte on Friday and we haven't been able to find any info about how to get started in Irún. We have our Pilgrim credentials and we we're wondering if there was a Pilgrim office in Irún or some other designated starting point where one gets a stamp and a shell. Thanks for any help you can give us!
 

twh

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from SJPdP May/June, 2018
#16
Gloria, tonight I found this website at the end of this note.
It will copy all of the Camino Paths into Maps.me or google earth and it's only 2 megabytes. When you finish loading it, it will show a line marking the trail and of course your position on the map so you can't get lost.
When the landing page loads, go to the top right of the page and click the small Great Britain flag to translate the page to english. There will be other pages you will need to translate, don't go back to the British flag top right, it puts you into an endless loop. Instead, go to the left margin of the page and look for the box where you can select English. I am not tech savvy and usually easily confused by unfamiliar screens. If you take your time you can probably figure it out along with the directions they provide. I was using an iPhone 6s which until somewhat "recently?" you could not store a file on the phone. You can now since version 11.? Prior to this you had to store the trail file in a cloud app like dropbox which does you no good if you don't have wifi or a phone signal. The great thing about maps.me is you don't need wifi or data phone signal to use it. Good luck with your download experience. There is also a file at the same site where you can download into maps.me Alburge and other accommodation information on to the map.
https://www.santiago.nl/smartphone-on-the-camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo (May 2015)
#18
Starting the Norte next Sunday! for those of you on it now how are you finding things? weather? other pilgrims? trail markings? I did the primitivo a few years ago and my plan for this one is really just to show up and start walking. Grateful for any tips or oddities you've picked up along the way on this specific trail. Any albergues you particularly liked so far or that were closed? restaurants? I'm also a female walking solo so if anything struck you as odd please let me know! And if you spotted any areas you thought would be great for camping as you walked past please let me know :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances Sept/Oct 2016
Camino Portuguese Oct 2017
Del Norde Start 2nd May 2018
#19
Started the Del Norte on May 3 from Irun and due to personal logistics was only going to walk a small section of it to Bilbao.
For those that have walked the Frances and loved the social liaison with other walkers just beware as pointed out by many this Camino is very different. Obviously a lot fewer walking it and unless by design you can sometimes not see more than a few Pigrims never mind talk to them . I am one that likes sometimes a little company to take my mind off the punishment I am putting my body through!!
The first 5 days is very hard physically as the hills never seem to end and the descents are steep and can be painful on the joints. The terrain varies but a lot of it was loose rocks and mud. Yep there is plenty of mud to wade through.
Never had a problem finding a bed but be aware a lot of the Albergues do not open till June so you need to plan your stops accordingly. Also a lot of the options to stay are Hostels and not just for pilgrims and are more expensive.
The most frustrating thing I found was the lack of cafes and eating spots on the trail. You need to keep your energy levels up with with regular food intake but you could not guarantee to find anywhere and if you did the chances are it was closed.
As a result it is essential you buy and carry your own food as genuinely you can go 3-4 hours with no availability to purchase anything.
The views are as expected quite stunning and the area is beautiful, I mention these points as I as a 58 year old in reasonable condition found this stage quite challenging with the combination of the hills, the mud, the solitude, the lack of cafes etc.
Not that of course it should be an influence but the majority of the Pilgrims I encountered were Spanish totally non English speaking, hey that's my problem and not there's. Popular route with the Germans. Only met a few from Anglo Speaking Countries.
Buen Camino
 

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