The Camino del Norte – A Recap

Why hello, long time no see! It’s been an overwhelming few months since returning back from my camino. What started as an idea to merely shuffle across Spain in fact turned out to be an epic 922km traipse from San Sebastian to Muxia. (If you have no idea what I’m on about, check out my last camino blog here.)

In fact, let’s be honest overwhelming is a bit of an understatement. A lot has been happening and it’s been tough to keep abreast of all the updates. For starters; I started a new job, I moved house (over the bridge, gasp!), I reclaimed my four legged fury friend: Chad and I’ve been trying to comprehend the internal shifts a 922km walk can do to a person.

I guess my first thought coming home was “what on earth will I do with my spare time now?” when every resting second was consumed pouring over camino blog posts or podcasts. The need to plan my next adventure was tugging at my sleeve (and quite rightly, still is).

What did I take away from this experience? Honestly I’m still trying to figure it all out. My experience felt somewhat polarising compared to the books I’d read or the movies I’d watched. I guess my experience was similar in the sense that it was hard work, tiresome at times, delicious in moments and peaceful to no end, in fact if i had to use one word to describe it i would use the word peaceful… not what you’d expect huh?

There are a lot of loose ends I’m still piecing together, but we’ll leave that for another day. I was thankful to speak with Dan Mullins upon completing the pilgrimage, Dan hosts: My Camino – The Podcast, (you can listen to my chat with Dan here if you’ve got some time) which really helped to expand my thoughts and acclimatise to my new life post camino. I’ve caught up with Dan since and I think meeting fellow pilgrims, especially ones as gracious as him, really allow you to discover that being a pilgrim really is like being a member of a tribe, something I’m grateful to feel apart of.

So, before I pour my heart out over the high’s and low’s let’s go through the key facts, below I’ve listed a day to day recap of the stages I covered across the Camino del Norte, I’ll come back to complete my notes about the Camino Primitivo and the stunning walk out to Fisterra & Muxia later.

FACTZ:

Start: San Sebastian, along the Camino del Norte

End: Muxia, along the Camino Muxia, joining from the Camino Fisterra

How many days: 32 days

How many kilometers: 922km (not counting the thousands of steps consumed when lost and once actually arriving at ones destination for the day)

Pack weight: I can’t be too sure, around 8 or 9kg with water and food

I wrote a journal each day as I was sure I would forget the names of places and people met. Truly it was a good idea, I was only ever in a town for just one night and so names of places left my mind as quickly as they entered. For each day I chose a word to represent that day… I don’t know if it helped for me to decompress after a day or just to remind me of certain sections… either way, they’re listed below with a photo to describe the place, people or setting.

Any questions or comments, please ask! I’m more than happy to help any future pilgrims in their planning – knowing first hand how useful previous pilgrim advice could be.

Enjoy!

Day 1, Word of the day: Ecstatic

Distance: 26km ~ From: San Sebastian To: Getaria

IMG_1065
Only a few more to go…

Day 2, Word of the day: Mud

Distance: 22.4km ~ From: Getaria To: Izarbide

IMG_1086
Flysch: A geological phenomenon

Day 3, Word of the day: Pine

Distance: 30.6km ~ From: Izarbide To: Muntibar

IMG_1112
Little yellow flecha to guide the way

Day 4, Word of the day: Relentless

Distance: 30.4km ~ From: Muntibar To: Larrabetzu

IMG_1122
Tortilla & Beer…and then more beer.

Day 5, Word of the day: Space

Distance: 14km ~ From: Larrabetzu To: Bilbao

IMG_1149
The Guggenheim…better out than in I always say!

Day 6, Word of the day: Asphalt

Distance:28km ~ From: Bilbao (train to Portugalete) To: Castro Urdiales

IMG_1172
Scallop shells guide us through the city landscape

Day 7, Word of the day: Compliment-Sandwich (Great, Constructive, Great!)

Distance: 33km ~ From: Castro Urdiales To: Laredo

IMG_1210
Sand = Shoes OFF!

Day 8, Word of the day: Sandy

Distance: 24km ~ From: Laredo To: San Miguel de Muruelo

IMG_1301
Are you following me?

Day 9, Word of the day: Heaven

Distance: 28km ~ From: Muruelo To: Santander

IMG_1357
Surfed here…it was my FAVOURITE day!

Day 10, Word of the day: Rogue

Distance: 34km ~ From: Santander To: Boo de Pielagos

IMG_1438
Should have only taken 3 hours, but I went the long way via the coast…worth it though!

Day 11, Word of the day: Energy

Distance: 36km ~ From: Boo de Pielagos (train to Requejada) To: Comillas

IMG_1476
Gaudi never ceases to amaze!

Day 12, Word of the day: Laugh

Distance: 28km ~ From: Comillas To: Columbres

IMG_1495
If I walk down, that means I have to walk up…should I?

Day 13, Word of the day: Why

Distance: 24km ~ From: Columbres To: Llanes

IMG_1508
Very hard to get lost…except when deep in contemplation

 

Day 14, Word of the day: Drizzle

Distance: 30km ~ From: Llanes To: Ribadesella

img_1525.jpg
The mid-morning savor

Day 15, Word of the day: Adios

Distance: 31.5km ~ From: Ribadesella To: Sebrayo

IMG_1581
All roads lead to Santiago

 

Day 16, Word of the day: Mist

Distance: 24km ~ From: Sebrayo To: La Vega de Sariego

IMG_1584
Open every day… except for today!

Day 17, Word of the day: Itch

Distance: 27km ~ From: La Vega de Sariego To: Oviedo

IMG_1620
Made it! 471km down, only 451 to go!

Well, if you’ve made it this far, I’m impressed! The Camino del Norte was a lonely experience, mostly meeting with other pilgrims at meals times. It gave me plenty of space to get into my own rhythm and sneak in a few museum/Gaudi exhibitions. The weather was tumultuous. One day it would be divine & another it would be a disaster. I learned to let go and just put my head down and get on with it. The Spanish culture, language and pace of life continues to inspire, intrigue and delight.

Until next time, xoxo


2 thoughts on “The Camino del Norte – A Recap

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s