Archives For albergue

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I often get asked what sections that a pilgrim may want to bypass during their walk on the Camino del Norte. Although I don’t advise missing any of the Camino, the stretch west of Bilbao has kilometers of urban sprawl and pavement through the suburb of Cruces. You can also skip one morning climb if you stayed at the municipal albergue and two if you stayed downtown.

I left my last post, On the Camino del Norte in Bilbao, Spain, in well…. Bilbao, Spain. I arrived exhausted to the municipal albergue and was lucky to get one of the last beds. After a good dinner with fellow pilgrims, and some much-needed rest, I was off early with our small group.

The Camino was very quiet here as many pilgrims took the bus to Cruces, Portugalete, or even further. I walked the Camino and this first section was actually quite enjoyable….

Euskadi Bilbao camino del norte spain

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About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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Although I was happy to be no longer climbing Monte Avril, the long first few days on the Camino del Norte, mostly in the heat, had really taken it’s toll. I was sick and felt like laying in the shade under a tree in the park that the Camino passed through as we began to descend into Bilbao. I kept going, as other members in my group weren’t feeling well either. Similar to other Camino cities, the municipal albergue was still a long walk away.

I left my last post, On the Camino del Norte, Lezama to Bilbao, Spain, overlooking Bilbao. If you’re tired or not feeling well, the climb along the Camino up Monte Avril can be bypassed by either walking along the lower main road or even taking a bus from one of the suburbs. Let’s continue into the city, one I had been looking forward to seeing.

monte avril Bilbao camino del norte spain

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About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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It was getting late in the afternoon in the Basque town of Guernica and I had to make a decision. The main albergue was full and I had to choose if I wanted to stay at another that was “packed” with just a bed or two available, or climb the hill to another over 10 kilometers away. There was an albergue in the rural village of Pepiena, but if that was full, I could be in some trouble with a lack of daylight and energy. I’ll make a decision soon, but wait! Our visit to Guernica is not over yet!

I left my last post, On and Off the Camino del Norte in Guernica, Spain, at the Church of Santa Maria after a very touching and inspiring walk around this modern, historically important town. Here is one of the lesser know churches, the Iglesia y Convento de Santa Clara. I can’t seem to find any information online.

Guernica Church iglesia Santa Clara Gernika Bizkaia Basque Spain

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About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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If you are walking the Camino del Norte in the hills west of Markina-Xemein, please give yourself some time to visit the Colegiata de Zenarruza or Monasterio de Zenarruza. I wasn’t expecting the monasterio and was quite surprised when I visited late into a very long day. I was absolutely dead tired after walking over 32 kilometers from Deba, of which the last two hours were not planned. I arrived to the quiet grounds and felt a sense of peace and started to regain my strength. It also helped that I wasn’t carrying my backpack, as I left it in the near-by albergue where I would be staying the night.

I left my last post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Markina-Xemein to Bolibar, in the town of Bolibar. Let’s continue climbing with about 150 meters of elevation gain to Zenarruza. I couldn’t figure out what Ziortzara Doan Bidarria refers to. If you know, I’d appreciate a comment below. We’ll go right here…

Ziortzara doan bidarria sign spain

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About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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When I think about the Camino del Norte, the stretch between Deba and Markina-Xemein always comes to mind. This wasn’t the Camino Francés that was relatively tame for days after the initial climb through the Pyrenees. Between the two towns is over 25 kilometers of steep climbing, 3 altos, and numerous ups and downs. There were few facilities, and after misjudging my water needs, I found myself lacking in the afternoon. After walking 42 kilometers the previous day, my out-of-shape body was really tired, and my energy waned. And while the previous day was warm, this day was downright hot!

The stretch is very peaceful and pleasant through forest and farmland, and has some beautiful views early on. Please don’t take it lightly though, as it will feel like 35 kilometers for many pilgrims. Carry enough water and energy food, and take it slowly if needed on the climb from Deba. Fill your water at Olaz and carry extra. If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to stay the night at the albergue west of the Ermita del Calvario.

I left my last post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Itziar to Deba, at the municipal albergue after a long day. I started a little late and stepped out to this fine view over the town of Deba (formally Deva). Tourism and sevice industries along with more traditional ones such as fishing and farming are important to the town’s economy. The municipality of Deba has 130 hamlets scattered and we’ll visit a few of them along the Camino del Norte.

Deba Gipuzkoa Spain Camino del Norte

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About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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I learned something on my first two days on the Camino del Norte that would be a common theme for most of my days  — once you descend to sea level, there is usually a climb right ahead. So I had just completed over a 350 meter climb from San Sebastián to the farming community of Munioetazar and began my descent to the town of Orio. This day was also typical of most by the sea for each climb had a series of descents where you made up the lost elevation. Each descent usually had climbs soon followed by a loss of that elevation and more. It was no wonder that I was exhausted by the end of each day!

I found my walking companions on a patio of a café in one of the small communities before Munioetazar, and after a short break of my own, we were on our way. I left my last post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, San Sebastián to Munioetazar, overlooking this beautiful scene with the Basque farmhouse and the Bay of Biscay. A nearby sign stated that we have nine kilometers to Orio. Let’s continue…

Basque house Sea Munioetazar Camino Del Norte, Spain Continue Reading…

About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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