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A Rest Day on the Camino: A Beachside Campground

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We gave ourselves a rest day on Day 9 of walking the Camino del Norte. Our bodies just needed it and the beachside campground at Camping Playa Arenillas was a beautiful place to rest.

We honestly thought we would go to the beach and splash around in the water, but we couldn’t be bothered to do anything but lounge around and drink sangria. That’s what you call a rest day!

The Day We Didn’t Move:

I took the time to catch up on a few things, including making a video about my new, intensive foot care routine:

My foot-care routine as of Days 8 and 9 on the Camino

With a day off and no ambition to move, we also caught up on our “chores”. We planned the next three stages, sent postcards to our family, and washed every piece of clothing in our backpacks.

We also had time for a little reflection.

For me, the first nine days on the Camino de Santiago brought with them a major decision. Northwestern Hospital, where my partner died of cancer the previous June, needed to either move his sperm to long-term storage or destroy it.

There is something about the simplicity of walking The Way and simply listening to the muted footsteps, the clicking of walking sticks, and the rhythm of your own breath that clears the mind and makes it easier to make really difficult decisions.

I made the decision to move forward both literally and metaphorically. I decided not to have my partner’s child.

It would be the first of many major decisions that I would make on the Camino de Santiago.

Lessons Learned on the Camino del Norte:

  1. We have a new definition of dirty, but we also have a new definition of clean. Since we didn’t walk on this day, we felt no need to take the daily shower that is part of the real-world routine.

Tips from a Post-Camino del Norte Perspective:

  1. It’s a lot easier to plan stages on days when you aren’t walking. We planned three stages on this day off, complete with beds booked in advance. Prior to this, we planned the very next stages late the night before or even over coffee in the morning. However, while it’s helpful to know the routes, it’s impossible to know how your body will feel in three days. Forgive yourself if you deviate from the plan. Or if the Camino has another plan in store for you – as it did for us.

Our Pilgrimage Stats After Day 9 on the Camino del Norte:

No map updates on Day 9, since we didn’t move. Or even think about moving.

Stage Miles: 0

Actual Miles Walked: 0.5

Bus forward Miles: 0

Total Miles Walked So Far: Still 100(!!)

Up Next: Day 10 on the Camino del Norte Islares to Laredo

Additional Camino Resources


The Buen Camino app will help you plan stages & find albergues: for iPhone for Android


Accommodations: When we didn’t stay in an albergue, we used the Booking.com app to find hotels


Travel Insurance: I used World Nomads


My Audible membership allowed me to listen to audible books while walking


Search for used outdoor gear at GearTrade


My Camino Resource Guide has everything you need, including this essential hiking survival kit for your backpack.

About the Author

Hi! I’m Jen!

I’m a freelance writer and travel blogger who quit my nine-to-five after my fiancé, Jeff, died of cancer at the age of 40. When he died, I realized that life is just too short to delay our dreams. Since my dream was to travel and write, I now travel and write full-time. Today I wear hiking boots instead of heels and collect experiences instead of things.

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