Camino del Norte, 2014, Spain

From Bilbao to Santiago De Compostella. 710 km. 28 day.

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The most famous pilgrimage rout – the mother of all pilgrimage routes – is the “Camino Frances”.
That’s the one Shirley Temple has written about.

Totally overcrowded. Not my thing.

This is why I chose to walk the tranquil Camino Del Norte.

It goes along the coast of Northern Spain. Awesome!

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cdn_northern_way_map

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Post Trail Thoughts – or – what I learned the hard way.

Camino del Norte Spain

Learning 1:

Feet can hurt. Feet can hurt very very much.
Take care of your feet while hiking. Have some breaks and pull off your shoes and socks.
Air your feet. Sit down and throw your legs over your pack to elevate them a bid.
Do this at least twice per day.

Learning 2:

Your pack must be as light as possible.
Think before you pack and ponder over every single item whether it is a “need” or a “want”.
If it is a “want”, leave it at home.

Learning 3:

Do not plan too much ahead. Be open. Everything will be just fine.

What I would do exactly the same again:

Start alone (you will meet plenty of great people out there on the trail).
Start in May.
Hike with hiking poles.

What I would do differently now:

Start in Irun, not Bilbao.
Hike in trail-runners, not hiking boots (!).
Take several breaks during the day.
Take at least one zero day (where you not hike at all).
If I feel a blister developing in my shoe, I stop immediately and take care of it.
Learn a bit of Spanish before I go to Spain.
Take a better camera than just the phone (even though its heavier and contradicts what I said above).
.. and, very important, book a room prior to arrival in Santiago (!).

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