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Camino del Norte / Promitivo concer - will I be the only one there in April?

Discussion in 'Camino del Norte' started by pdyvppl, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. pdyvppl

    pdyvppl New Member

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    Hello,

    I planned my first camino for April 2012. I've looked through the forums and sources and learned almost everything i need to know.

    But still, I have a concern about availability of albergos along the northern route and later along camino primitivo. The guidebooks mention that some albergos are open year-round, but for others no such info is available. This is important for me as April is not exactly the time of year when you'd want to sleep outdoors if you want to make it all the way to SdC in decent shape.

    I have also read about the necessity to look for keys / hospitalieros of the albergos - even if they are open in theory. That could be a problem, since i have only just started to learn basic Spanish and language could be an issue.

    Looking forward for advice of those who travelled in similar time of year. I can still switch to the French route, but the coast and mountains along norte / primitivo are very tempting.

    Best,
    Przemek
     
  2. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    If you stretch your Spanish skills some you could find your answers through the free Consumer Eroski guide at El Camino del Norte | Guía del Camino de Santiago | EROSKI CONSUMER . This site has fairly detailed info about each albergue, including opening dates/times, and has the added advantage of having a PDA app you can download and take with you. There's also a section on Camino Primitivo available on the site.

    Expect rain and fog in April on the Camino del Norte, and also a fair amount of solitude. You'd find warmer weather on the Camino Frances and the comfort of companionship, as well as many more overnight options. If you get cold and lonely you can switch, but I'm sure you'll have a great time on either route. Buen camino!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  3. pdyvppl

    pdyvppl New Member

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    Thanks for the info and link. It's realy helpful.
    Trying to convince myself to stick to norte / primitivo :)
     
  4. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    Any idea of start dates yet ?I am looking at a flight 25th April. If it is like Ireland (and I believe it is ) this is good walking weather (last year I had heat wave). I like the promise of spring time , nervous, as I will be on my own, don't have a JB guide book with maps but otherwise...hope plan works as well as CF last year.
     
  5. unadara

    unadara New Member

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  6. pdyvppl

    pdyvppl New Member

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    Thanks unadara, another great helpful thing!
    I fly into Madrid on the 2nd, and start the camino on the 3rd from Santander. By the 25th I should be thanking St. James for what I've experienced and my flight back is on the 27th. I didnt really plan to be on-line during the camino, but I promise to post any significant info / warning here if I see something during the walk.
    Buen Camino!
     
  7. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Thank you so much for this Unadara We are going to walk the CN to Santiago at the end of May and this is so useful

    Best wishes

    Jackie
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  8. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Jackie, when are you starting? I've changed my plan from the Via Francigena and instead am walking the CdN beginning May 28 in Bilbao. It'd be great to meet you!
     
  9. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    I too have changed my plans ( not really but!) and am starting in Irun on the 19th April, as I got 32 days of blistering heat last year I thought I'd chance some spring showers (just like home). I have the pdf from tourismeusakadi, brochure listing the Northern Routes, and will get the CSJ booklets too. Any idea yet what books, guides, maps you Jackie and Sandy will bring ? It will be great to compare notes afterwards, just a pity I am going earlier, as this time I camino alone. Will you go Primitivo? or coast ? Sandy, how many weeks/days have you ?
     
  10. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Great, Una. Sorry to miss you by a month. I'm flirting with this Spanish guidebook Gua actualizada del Camino de Santiago: albergues, etapas, rutas... and also with the Consumer Eroski iPhone version of this guide: El Camino del Norte | Guía del Camino de Santiago | EROSKI CONSUMER. I used the latter on my Via de la Plata in 2010 and it worked fine. I'm also interested in the Eric Walker guides that were updated in 2010 available at the CSJ bookstore Confraternity of Saint James Pilgrim Guides to Spain. Are those the ones you mentioned, Una?

    I have 30 days, so my current plan is a rest day at the start in Bilbao, a rest day in Santander and a rest day in Luarca. That will give me 700 km for an average of 25 km/day (27 walking days), though unfortunately some days are longish. I've heard great things about the Camino Primitivo, but it looks like it joins the CF early -- at either Palas de Rei or Melide, which is in my least favorite stretch of the CF. With the CdN you apparently join the CF at Arzua. From there it's a long, single day to Santiago. So that seems most logical to me right now. I've heard so many good things about the CP that I could certainly see changing up as I approach Gijon.

    I recently read this blog 2011 Walking France and Spain: Introduction that seems to focus on the difficulty in finding beds on the CdN. I'm hoping that the June/July timing was the problem and that it'll be less busy in May/June.

    I'll be interested to know how it goes for you, Una. What are your plans?
     
  11. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Hi Sandy

    perhaps not so great as I'm a champion snorer. Alan and I hope to start from Irun on 1st June

    Best wishes

    Have you done this route before?
     
  12. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Ah, so I'll be ahead of you by about ten days, then. So sorry! Nope, I haven't done this camino before, so it'll be a nice adventure!
     
  13. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    I haven't read the literature I mentioned above that comes from tourismeusakadi but it is a free download and lovely colour brochure, it includes all the Northern Routes including a tunnel route (for another day). I have just ordered the CSJ books by Walker, for the alberque informations. On the CF an american friend had the csj and it gave "comments" on alberques in particular association ones and she liked to look for these, she seldom went wrong. I hope to spend a day in Bilbao, San Sebastien, SanTander (maybe), more reading to do, and will read the blogs you mention too. I haven't booked a return flight yet, I will soon though as prices go up so quickly. My trip must be a budget trip as we may yet walk the VdeP in Oct!. I can't wait to walk as on a personal note my mum died on Dec 27th and my eldest sister is halfway through Chemo for Melanoma:Stage 4, so lots of prayers needed, spiritual space, where better than a Camino.
    I love the sea and hope to swim most days, I swim all year round and love the cold sea! So I will walk with hope, anticipation, ready for what the Camino provides.
    Thanks to you both
     
  14. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    Jackie/Sandy
    I have now nooked return flight 24th May, gives me 35 days to walk 867km. If there are any short cuts I might take them. I found it hard on the CF to be a walker one day and tourist the next so i don't know will I stop and go to the Guggenheim (have to see it sometime) and if rest days are needed will I be able to be a sightseer?. I rested in Leon on CF but was quite ill, though with encouragement got to see a few Cathedrals and the Parador there. So for you two I will be there and back and blogging I hope, it was difficult to post on the CF so I will keep usual notes and note important details, which alberques, shops, places to get coffee/breakfast,eat etc for you both. Jackie , aren't you lucky Alan has taken to the Camino with you ? I walk on my own this time, and look forward to the different experience. I haven't received the CSJ guides yet and read here on a blog they are no good ? can't imagine that somehow. Will report on those as well.
     
  15. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    Una, you're very kind to blog with us in mind. I've found very few satisfying blogs of the Camino del Norte, so I'm certain yours will be the best out there. :) You are ambitious with your km/day goal, but as an experienced pilgrim you will obviously do fine. The distances between stages sometimes seem rather large, I notice. So I've planned a couple of rest days for my decaying 54-year old body. My planned itinerary is at this link, if you're interested: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AiL-iVNShIOVdGhpM3hDWlVYTG1pYXpiT0dKNmxzd1E&output=html . Too bad we three Forum regulars will miss each other by a few weeks or days! Will your blog link be the same as your 2011 camino link?

    All the best ~
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  16. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Thanks Una
    I look forward to reading your blog although being the fickle creature that I am we may now try to walk part 1 of the Via Francigena instead in which case we would start in July in th ehopes of better weather. In the meantime I hope everything goes well and I really look froward to hearing from you. Best wishes Jackie.
     
  17. carelbarel

    carelbarel New Member

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    Hi Una
    I am planning to do camino del Norte in April, just building up fitness and researching options, would you be interested in meeting up before your trip ? I will be in Dublin on the 21 March and maybe we could chat and exchange contacts. I am looking forward to this trip and will enjoy the sea views etc best wishes Carol
     
  18. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    Carol
    yes we can make a plan nearer the 21st if you want. I can pm you here with contacts if you want me to do that. Have you a plan to get an Irish credential/passport from the Friends of StJames ? Have you booked flights ?
    Una
     
  19. carelbarel

    carelbarel New Member

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    Hi Una
    It was a lovely surprise to make contact, thank you for your reply, no flight booked yet! but wil be away til 21st of March, plans will fall into place then, I am training and getting used to the idea at the moment, also tryin to get my brain to retain a few Spanish words which is proving difficult, looking forward to meeting if at all possible on the 21st March,
    All the best
    Carol
     
  20. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    Perhaps Sandy can advise here ? I did ok on the CF with my basic Spanish, however will Spanish do on the Norte, should we have a little euskadi ? phrases ?. I can't retain the place names as they have no easy guide to pronunication. I thought I might call each place something easy to recall, I read somewhere that "ee you a nun" is hello!
     
  21. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    I'm planning to blunder along with my Spanish and hope for the best. Why not bring along a Euskadi phrasebook? I think that's a super idea and might make for some gratitude and appreciation from locals. Great idea.
     
  22. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    I have a friend here who is from Jaces (on Aragones), Basque Country, I'll ask her advice. We might make a list of useful phrases and see can she help me with pronounciation. I read that a man had got the "lingo" for a "claro"-beer/limon and in the next bar loudly called out his order, they didn't understand, he had crossed another border, there is more than one country in Spain.
     
  23. carelbarel

    carelbarel New Member

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    Hi Una
    It is great to view online threads and thank you that I can join in the chat. What does "thanks " mean I see it quoted in a lot of replies but, do not understand what this refers to and how is it calculated etc, aplologies that I am so ignorant.
    Planning to start Camino around th 15th April and posted my request for credencia to Irish Friends of St James' yesterday. If you are thinking that euskadi is necessary then I will be complrtely lost!!!!
     
  24. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    If you are thinking that euskadi is necessary then I will be complrtely lost!!!![/QUOTE]

    Even if we had the phrase book we would have no chance of getting the pronounciation. I have received my CSJ's guides, I got these from the english Confraternity of St James. I am told they are very useful. I am however now reading the mundi site htp://www.mundicamino.com/rutas, and have the pdf from the tourism eusakadi. We can look at these together if you have other sources. Our issue is going to be alberques not open as we are walking early in the season. So planning a few days in advance, or knowing options for a long/short route will be necessary. There will be dearer options, however I don't think I will be able to afford them, unless I can share with another pilgrim, this is always feasible on the Camino Frances.
    The route itself looks like a good walk, lots of coastal routes, options for off-road etc too.
    To say Thanks, there is a button on the left bottom of a post. Sometimes you need to be posting for a while before these options appear. I will send you a private message too.
    Una
     
  25. carelbarel

    carelbarel New Member

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    Thank you for your reply Una, I found the 'thank you' button, I have just started to look at the options and am trying to translate a spanish book on this route as I could not find any good english guides for this camino all info seems to be for the Frances route, I will look forward to meeting up if at all possible I will let you have my mobile, take care Carol
     
  26. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    Good english guides from CSJ site, all info there re beds, routes (lots of options) and Euskadi tourist pdf had good stage maps. I don't think we need any more. I will send you the pdf's. When you are on this site check your messages. They are at the top. Just in case I post here. Happy reading, I suggest you read MundiCamino too, hit the translate button and drill down, sections, alberques etc.
    Tourist leaflets | Euskadi the pleasure´s all yours | Tourism Euskadi
    go down the page to The Northern Ways and download both book and maps.
    ::: MUNDICAMINO ::: los Caminos de Santiago
     
  27. How can one find out how difficult the Camino Del Norte is ???????
     
  28. backiej

    backiej Member

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    Hello

    Una posted a really helpful link about this
    http://tourism.euskadi.net/contenid...os/2011/santiago/Caminos del Norte INGLES.pdf


    I think you will find everything you need to know there.
    Buen Camino and look out for Sandy

    Jackie

     
  29. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    Etapa 12 del Camino Del Norte: Laredo - Güemes | Guía del Camino de Santiago | EROSKI CONSUMER
    Ronel
    You can translate and read each stage in detail included heights . I have now read most of it. The difficulty may be a lot of road walking and length of stages. I walk 19th April-24th May and intend to keep a record of stages. CSJ guides are very comprehensive and tell you when to stay on road or options. As Sandy says our difficulty in April may be the fog, rain, erratic weather. As I had a heatwave last year I expect another 35 days of glorious sunshine..God knows what we want before we ask for it! hehehe...
     
  30. pdyvppl

    pdyvppl New Member

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    I've one more question, and that's regarding rain protection. Can I responsibly leave any of these at home:

    1 overall poncho - that's for heavy rain, 480g
    2 waterproof jacket - my only wind protection and presumably mandatory for mornings and colder days or higher altitudes on primitivo - ca 600g
    3 waterproof, long trousers - 320 g
    4 backpack rain protection- planned for lighter rain as it does not cover the back side (front side?) of the pack, but i was hoping to avoid putting the poncho on too often.

    I'd like to save some weight, but I do not want to risk getting wet in April weather.
    What would be your edvice for typical camino spring?

    Przemek
     
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