The Camino del Norte is seen by many to be one of the significantly longer branches of the ancient network of routes used by pilgrims from all over the world for spiritual enlightenment. These networks comprise the Camino de Santiago, which is also known as the Way of St. James, named after the saint himself who travelled a great distance to spread the word of God. It can go as far as 825 kilometres in approximate distance, starting from the French border, and going all the way through Santander. This path joins the Camino Frances, which is located in Arzua. There are certainly a lot of tourist worldwide traveling to Spain each year, and a lot of them are looking to escape the stresses and burdens accompanying urban living. They would want to travel to Spain in order to find peace and relaxation. However, there are also a few others that would welcome a spiritual as well as physical challenge. The Way of St. James is certainly that challenge, and is considered to be Spain’s major tourist attraction. Known for being such a religious country, this proves to be a welcome challenge to all those fascinated by Christianity and even those who are devoted practitioners of the religion. Below are some facts about this path:
- The scenery around this route is truly splendid, especially when one is treated to a lot of majestic views of the coast of Spain. For most of the entire route, there are hilltops to cross, and one can reach a bridge inland to traverse across several rivers spread throughout the area. This path is also a lot less crowded compared to the more popular Camino Frances, which makes the accommodation for pilgrims rather sparse in some places. However, there are certainly a lot of monuments and historically significant points of interest to come across. Churches & monasteries can be found in the area.
- Alberques are highly affordable, making lodging easy for pilgrims who want to get a good night’s rest after a long day of traveling. The prices for lodging can vary, ranging from small donations to a total of 16 euros for every night of stay. Many of these alberques are monasteries which have been converted with beds.
- One of the most worrying concerns for some travellers is the presence of bed bugs. There has been a massive case of bed bug infections back in 2006, which has led to the entire Camino de Santiago route getting fumigated for the safety of the pilgrims. However, there are still some occurrences of infections taking place. Therefore, it would be wise of trekkers and pilgrims to take anti-histamine pills with them all the time. To avoid getting bugs on the bed, sleeping bags must be shaken and thoroughly dusted off.
- There are certainly a lot of people to be met while on the way to the camino. Travellers as well as fellow pilgrims help establish a sense of camaraderie. New friendships will be made, making this one of the most rewarding experiences ever.
The Camino del Norte is certainly a route that will be filled with a lot of welcome sights as well as difficult challenges. However, if it is spiritual gratification that one seeks, there will be much of it to be found.