First of all the usual two questions: Did I like the trail? Would I recommend it to a friend? In both cases the answer is a very definite NO. The Camino del Norte has been by far the worst bit of hiking on this whole trip. I would even go as far as to say that this has been some of the worst hiking in my entire outdoor career. Why has it been do bad? There are many negative factors:
Noise pollution: The costal motorway is paralleling the Camino as is the old National road. A lot of time you are within earshot of them and you cross the motorway endless times. Motorways are a fact of modern life but I prefer hiking trails that aren't constantly following them.
|Illegal garbage dump|
If you still want to hike the Camino del Norte here are some practical infos:
Trail marking: Generally very good though the quality varies a lot. It can be difficult in the bigger cities were trail marks disappear in city centres. But with a simple guidebook or by asking people you should not have any problem.
Water and resupply: There are water taps in almost every village and I never had to carry more than 2 litres. You come across a shop every day, often several times per day. Only beware of local fiestas when shops are closed.
Instead of walking the Camino del Norte I would rather cycle it. Most of it is on pavement anyways. And I would not do it in summer. It is very hot and what is worse, humid as well. Also accommodation is a bit of a problem in summer if you don't stealth camp. I passed several hostels that were already full in the afternoon. Spring and fall are much better and far less crowded.