North Camino a delicious route.
by Esther Muro
North Camino a delicious route.
I would like to start by introducing myself, I’m Esther a Camino guide and a member of the Marly Camino Family and I have to confess I’m truly madly deeply in love with the Camino de Santiago, especially with the North Coast Route.
About 11 years ago I walked the Camino for the first time (the last 100km) and then again 5 years ago, at that time embarked myself to a bigger adventure, the entire French Way, and friends, after a month on the Camino, I can tell you my experience was beyond magical! The journey helped me I realized I needed a change, I had been working for over 10 years with Non-Government Development Organizations (NGDO) and somehow I wasn’t happy, so I decided to take a new and different path, The Camino Path. I started working with Pilgrim’s along the Way, devoting my days and steps 😉 to make sure they felt safe and confident during this unforgettable experience, I helped them achieve their dreams, just like I did. Now my job is tremendously fulfilling and rewarding, and I owe it all to the magic of the Camino.
Now you might be wondering, why am I so in love with the North Coast Camino? (specially Marly’s route).There are some many reasons, but the main one is because it’s a “Delicious Route” or “a true delight for the senses!” It has been said the Camino helps us to reconnect with ourselves and the world around us, it stimulates all our senses and it helps us feel emotions we hadn’t felt in a long time. So I’m going to use the Human Senses to share with you why I and all the Pilgrims along the way love more and the Camino at every step and why we consider the North Camino a Delicious Route for the senses… Before I begin, I would love to hear if you agree with me and why you love the Camino so much, I’m sure we have plenty of things in common.😊
“Human beings think that they stop falling in love when they get old, without knowing that they get old because they stop falling in love”.
Gabriel García Márquez
The sense that it delights us when we come to the Northern Camino tour, with the landscapes full of green of different shades, those meadows, those forests, those hills covered with trees and plants, those parks, squares, and walks, all accompanied by the always present the Cantabrian Sea, with its intense blue, which penetrates your soul, Its beaches, its cliffs, its docks, and lighthouses. Starting in the Basque Country (San Sebastián and Bilbao), continuing through Cantabria (Castro Urdiales, Santillana del Mar, Comillas, San Vicente de la Barquera), continuing through Asturias (Cangas de Onís, Picos de Europa, Covadonga, Oviedo, Cudillero) and finally reaching Galicia (Ribadeo, the beach of the Cathedrals), to start walking inland through TerraChá, Sobrado dos Monxes and finally join the French Way, to finally reach Santiago de Compostela.
Enjoy works of art that are integrated into the environment in which they find themselves, such as the sculpture of El Peine del Viento, by Eduardo Chillida, in San Sebastián; or the very building of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which, depending on the perspective and the light of day, can turn into a boat or a silverfish, in our eyes or “The puppy” of Bilbao, Floral sculpture by Jeff Koons, symbol of the city and that faithfully receives all its visitors in front of the Guggenheim museum, of which it is part of its permanent collection
Discover the so-called “Paleolithic Sistine Chapel” in the Altamira Cave, or visit the “Holy Chamber” in the Cathedral of El Salvador, in Oviedo, where the holy relics, such as the Holy Shroud, are guarded which, according to tradition, corresponds to that which was placed on the face of Jesus Christ in the descent of the cross and until its definitive burial, or the precious Cross of Victory, teaches of the Principality of Asturias and the main representative symbol of this principality.
The view of the impressive Cathedral of Santiago’s facade, at the Plaza del Obradoiro and admire the figure of Santiago, right in front of your eyes, and feel how your blood rushes when you say “Hi, Santiago, here I am! I have come to see you.”
Seeing the Tiraboleiros*, in the Cathedral of Santiago, that make possible the flight of the Botafumeiro or of the same flight of the Botafumeiro*, would definitely be a flight that we will never forget!
“Here is my secret, which can not be simpler: only with the heart can you see well; The essential is invisible to the eyes”.
The Little prince. Excerpt.
What a glee it is to feel the sea breeze caressing our faces, while we walk barefoot along the beach of La Concha, in San Sebastian, or the beach of San Vicente de la Barquera, feeling the sand massaging our feet and the waves refreshing us.
Walking along pathways that offer us the opportunity to go along stroking the grass and feeling how it tickles the palm of your hands. Petting an animal that crosses our path and feeling the peace that it delivers us. Go along touching the stones from the walls that raise up on the road, from the the walls of the Church of San Salvador de Priesca (in Priesca, Asturias), the monastery of Sobrado dos Monxes (in Galicia), the cathedral of El Salvador (in Oviedo) and Santiago de Compostela (in Galicia), all of which were built hundreds of years ago, feeling its energy, and trying to imagine how life was like in those days.
Embracing our fellow pilgrims and feeling how we open up to ourselves, and to the world, allowing our hearts to fly fearlessly and with confidence, and letting our mind to open and continue its path.
And ending our tour feeling the immense happiness when hugging Apostle St James’ statue, located right on the main altar in Santiago de Compostela’s Cathedral.
Hearing the countryside’s silence (and often hear the noise of silence in our minds), accompanied by the singing of the birds, the mooing of the cows, the barking of the dogs in the distance. The sound of the sea crashing upon the shore, or against the rocks where barnacles and other mollusks live, which makes the main products of seafood from the Cantabrian coast, and one of the most delicious in the world.
Feeling the delight with the laughter of our fellow pilgrims and our own, to experience that we are living one of the most incredible trips of our lives! And enjoy with the singing in the pilgrim’s mass, in the Cathedral of Santiago, where the Sister María Victoria delights us with her angelical voice, transmitting all her love and joy, and finishing with Santiago’s anthem, which we will hear during the Botafumeiro swing.
The smell of wet soil, seawater, and the countryside. The exquisite sensation of smelling the most delicious dishes that we are going to taste, from a pintxos tour in San Sebastian to the most exquisite Michelin star restaurants in San Vicente de la Barquera (Cantabria) San and Sebastián (Basque Country), and knowing that this experience will culminate unforgettably.
And how to forget the smell of burnt incense perfume that of the Botafumeiro gives off in its flight through the Cathedral of Santiago, after the pilgrim’s mass.
And just imagine the fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, fish, cheeses, meats, pintxos, all paired with the best wines and traditional drinks, such as, the txacolí (Basque Country), cider (Asturias), the orujo (Galicia), and much more… my mouth is watering, and which probably makes this route, an even more delicious route!
And so, I could continue and continue explaining all the things that make this Northern Camino tour and this northern route, a delicious route… but I prefer that you come and enjoy all of these delights and experiences for yourselves, and tell me if, you have fallen in love with this delicious route, as I did.
Botafumeiro: Huge censer that can only be admired in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in solemn Masses. For many pilgrims, it is a symbol of purification and new life after the pilgrimage.
Tiraboleiros: they are in charge of making the Botafumeiro of the cathedral of Santiago work, giving it its characteristic pendular movement, with almost mathematical precision, at a speed that reaches 68 km / h and a height of about 20 m. There are usually eight – until now always men – and also take care of them. They are dressed in broad, long and characteristic mauve-colored layers, called roupóns.