2016…the next camino

There are four ‘northern’ pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela
the Camino del Norte
the Camino Primitivo
the Camino Ingles
the Camino Finisterre

norte map

I will set off on my latest camino adventure on 22 April from the town of Irun situated at the most easterly point of the north coast on the Spanish side of the French border.

Many pilgrims who commence the Norte drop down at Villaviciosa to continue on the Camino Primitivo which passes through Oviedo and Lugo and joins the Camino Frances at Arzua, 40 kms short of Santiago de Compostela.

Others continue on the Norte, which at Ribadeo also drops inland to join the Frances route at Arzua.

I am planning to walk from Irun to Ribadeo (approximately 625 kms) and then leave the Camino del Norte to continue along the coastline to Ferrol. This is not a section of the Camino de Santiago and there is not the recognised pilgrim infrastructure of signage and albergue accommodation. There are various walking routes across this area but they are normally used as day-hikes, not through-hikes where a bed is needed at the end of the day.

So this (by my rough reckoning 210 kms) will be the challenging part of my camino – making my way across this stretch of Spain without the support of the camino amigos. If the weather is particularly bad and it is forecast to remain so for some days to come, I may not take up this challenge but choose the easier option and remain on el Norte.

Once I reach Ferrol I will be at the start of the Camino Ingles and will walk the remaining 116 kms to Santiago de Compostela.

I may or may not continue to Finisterre, depending on how I feel at the time.

The kilometres add up to around 950 plus an additional 90 if I walk on to Finisterre.

It is a stunningly beautiful hike with the coastline to the right and mountains to the left. On many occasions it trails across beaches, at other times it’s necessary to take a ferry across a port or the mouth of a river. It passes through some really interesting towns and cities and the region as a whole is renowned for its fabulous food. There are a lot of ups and downs, particularly during the first week and it is considered one of the most strenuous caminos.

You might expect that as an ‘old hand’ at this lark (perhaps more appropriately ‘old foot’!) I would take it all in my stride (pun intended), but I’ve been experiencing many waking hours in the middle of the night and my poor brain is jumping around with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. The adrenaline will be pumping just as much on this camino as it was on my first.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
This entry was posted in Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino del Norte, Camino Ingles, Ruta do Mar and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to 2016…the next camino

  1. My advice – for what it’s worth – is not to miss Oviedo. It’s a lovely city and the pre-Romanesque churches are pretty spectacular. I made a special pre-Camino visit last year and then took a bus to Ponferrada to walk the last part of the CF.


    • magwood says:

      Hi Margaret. I don’t think I will make it to Oviedo this year, but there may well be a future camino that includes the Salvador and Primitivo.


  2. mary lynch says:

    Maggie you are one brave woman. I know you
    are an old hand at this now but to walk some of the Camino without amigos and fellow pilgrims sounds lonely to me. Do you ever get lonely? I imagine the scenery along the coast will be stunning and I’m looking forward to your reports every day xxx


  3. kathyfoote says:

    You will always be walking with camino amigos – at least in spirit. Your excitement is infectious.


  4. Cindy Jones says:

    Kathy, this is the blog from my friend that has done three walks to Santiago de Competition, thought you’d find it interesting. I’ll meet you there, Love Cindy xxxxxxxxxx

    Sent from Samsung tablet


  5. David High says:

    Good luck walking Maggie,will be anticipating plenty of blogs,buen camino.David


    • magwood says:

      I’m hoping to post to my blog every day David. I shouldn’t be so dependent on wifi this year as I now have an iPad with sim card. But I’ve certainly learned from past experience that gadgets are likely to let you down when you most need (want) them.


  6. Good luck on your new journey. Scary to me that stretch without regular support or amigos. If you choose to do it, we will walk with you. ❤ ❤ 🙂


  7. One day I will finish this Camino (probably summer 2017), but I am also thinking about doing what you’re doing, to go along the coast to Ferrol, so I am looking forward to your entries! And hoping we can meet up for a pintxo and vino while you’re in Bilbao, la capital del mundo 😉


  8. kopyman says:

    I envy your life. You must have a great Partner.
    Before you set off, I have an unrelated question. I had trouble finding a restaurant in Santiago. My limited Spanish limited my ordering of the fast action Tapa Bars. I am looking for mid-range priced restaurants, with good food. Will you recommend some.


    • magwood says:

      You are right, life is good. I wake up each morning to a stunning view from my bedroom window and I have the support of a very good man.

      I haven’t eaten a many full meals in Santiago – I tend to graze. But when I met up with George last year we ate at Casa Manolo, which was certainly inexpensive, very rapid service and good sized portions. There are also a couple of restaurants just below Praza do Obradoiro – with the cathedral behind you, take the steps to the left of the square and there are a couple of places at the foot of the steps. It is also a great vantage point to photograph the cathedral.
      Buen camino!


  9. Katherine Paterson says:

    Wow Maggie, I see you are off again soon. Hardly seems any time since you finished you last Camino. Good luck and I will be following your journey.


  10. Great news. Look forward to walking with you x


  11. Kay Parkyn says:

    Maggie, what would you say is your main reason for taking part in these caminos? Is it a spiritual journey, an emotional journey (pitting yourself against the unknown) or a case of ‘Because it’s there to be done’, kind of thing?
    I would find it very trepidatious to do it solo but would love to do one with my husband. We just need to save up a bit first 🙂
    I love reading your daily blogs – you are such an inspiration!!!!
    Good luck with your new venture (adventure)


    • magwood says:

      I would have to say it is all of the above. Spiritual rather than religious, certainly a challenge, and it has now become part of my life – a rather large part. If my daughter had not invited me to join her on the Camino Frances I would not have walked any of these caminos, or written the blog.
      Thanks for your comment and for your company along the way.


  12. Karon says:

    I will definitely be following you and will be there in spirit ! Buen camino!


  13. Marilyn van Graan says:

    Maggie this sounds absolutely fab and that challenge bit – mmm I like that a lot – cannot wait to read your blog whilst I slog solo way down south – so looking forward to meeting up with you.
    Buen camino and in friendship


  14. Karen says:

    My husband and I just returned home from walking the Norte coastal route, from Irun, ending in Santiago. Then we took a train to Oviedo and walked the Primitivo. We loved the coastline and walked as close as we could on the beach, jagged rocks and paths. Sometimes we took the gre-9 Judt to keep the sea within view. Spectacular’. The Primitivo is absolutely stunning and you may want to consider it for next time! Buen Camino!


    • magwood says:

      Next time? There probably will be one, but I am not thinking about it at the moment. That was some walk that you took – Norte and Primitivo. You must have been super-fit by the end.


  15. Dave Marquez says:

    Are you doing a camino in 2018?
    Your website has been very helpful, informative, and inspiring.
    I am set to do the Camino del Norte/Primitivo stating in Irun about 6 April 2018


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