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How Tough Is Walking Comino Del Norte

Discussion in 'Camino del Norte' started by davidwells, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. davidwells

    davidwells New Member

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    We are 4 reasonably fit 70 yr olds and are wondering how tough is the walking on the Comino del Norte. We are not going to rush but most importantly enjoy the experience. Is it the toughest route ? General comments will be helpful.
    Many thanks
     
  2. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi David, Camino del norte is probably toughest Camino..It will be your first Camino? I think for first Camino, if you don't want to walk C. Frances, is better /easier option Via de la plata or Camino portugues.
     
  3. MichaelSG

    MichaelSG Active Member

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    David, if you are flexible and sensible, it would certainly be possible. It is a challenging Camino in terms of climbs and descents but if nothing is pushing you to hurry, it's just a walk. I walked for a bit with a 84 year-old South African man on the Primitivo last year and he even did the Hospitales route. He was slower than everyone else but he walked until he was tired then found a bed in the closest town. If had to grab a taxi or bus for some reason (he didn't before we met him), he would not have been bothered by it. If he found that he could only walk 20km instead of 25km and that meant that he would not make it all the way to Santiago, he didn't care. He was there to walk and enjoy that.

    That said, I also walked with an elderly French man that was not in shape at all. The day we met him, we stayed with him because he looked like he was going to have a heart attack. He slowed down after that day but a few days later decided wisely to end his walk and finish his adventure by bus.

    Be prepared, be flexible and be sensible!
     
  4. Lirsy

    Lirsy Member

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    Hi David,

    I walked the Primitivo with two Irish guys, one of them +70 and we didn´t have any problem. I would say that this is an issue of adapting how much do you intend to walk to your own capabilities. The net of albergues allows you to do so without any problem.

    Buen Camino & Ultreia!!
     
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  5. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi David

    Welcome to the forum

    I enjoyed my Camino Norte immensely, but the way I tackled it was to split it into two (Well actually three if you include The Camino Primitivo) sections as I couldn’t get sufficient time off work to complete the route in one go + I always knew that one day that I would walk out of my front door of my home in Cumbria and walk to Santiago de Compostela, so I saved the section of the Camino Norte from Santander to Santiago de Compostela until I was able to do that :)



    As danvo says, it isn’t an easy Camino as it has a lot of ups and downs, but nothing as significant as the crossing of the Route de Napoleon on day one of the Camino Frances – So as long as you allow yourself plenty of time and don’t overstretch yourselves by trying to walk daily sections that are too long, and also build in plenty of rest days, then I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t give it a go :)



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  6. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    David, one other thing I forgot. The Norte to Villaviciosa, at least, is especially good for having options to exit should you need or wish to do that. ALSA, local buses and Renfe's FEVE rail serve many if not most of the towns along the way.
     
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  7. Magwood

    Magwood Super Moderator

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    I found the most difficult aspect of this camino was the amount of road walking. And often, when I did get off road the tracks they were very muddy. Definitely a camino to use walking poles and for good padding underfoot (i.e. decent insoles and outer soles)
     
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  8. samantha davies

    samantha davies Member

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    The Camino del Norte was my third Camino for a reason. You not only need to be physically prepared, but you also need some previous experience in pilgrimage to be able to do it fine and enjoy it properly. There are some handicaps, tips and experiences that you only learn during a pilgrimage and will help you for your next trips. If it is your first time doing the Camino, rather do the French or Portugese Way, enjoy the trip, live the full pilgrimage experience and then you'll be ready to do the Northen Camino.
     
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  9. calowie

    calowie Active Member

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    DavidWells: We were like you- we did the Camino del norte and the Primitivo as our first caminos as 57 year olds. We did so because we love the mountains and the seacoast, and did not want to be crowded by the reported number of peregrinos on the French trail. We thoroughly enjoyed these trails and are sure we made the right decision. Are there hills- yes there are! They were a challenge, not a roadblock. Was there some road walking- there was some, more due to our getting lost. So read all the material you can, including everything on this site, weigh the pros and cons, and pick your route! Buen camino. Our blog is at https://carlosandmick.wordpress.com/
     
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