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Back from the Salvador - Wow! And bird warning :)

Discussion in 'Camino del Salvador' started by WestKirsty, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. WestKirsty

    WestKirsty Member

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    De San Salvador (August 2017)
    I finished up the Camino de San Salvador this past week and what a wonderful walk! The views were incredible, despite some serious weather to contend with.

    Thanks for all of the previous suggestions and descriptions in this forum. I stayed in Benduenos and had a wonderful night. I didn't want to leave and think of that place often.

    For those heading out on the trail soon, a few words of caution. On the first day, just as I left the paved path getting out of Leon and surrounding villages, I had an encounter with a hawk. No big deal but it did catch me by surprise! I was actually just petting a big dog and turned around to head into the trees when something "hit" me in the back of the head. I was really surprised and turned around to see the big dog also looking back at me (he looked confused too!). Then I looked up and there was a beautiful big hawk just above me. I laughed to myself and watched it fly back to a roof top. I turned back to the trail and a few seconds later, it did it again! Not sure if it was being territorial or thought my ponytail was breakfast :) I spoke to some other walkers later that day and they also had a run in with the bird.

    On the last day of walking a few of us had a potentially more serious encounter with a guard dog. After you leave Mieres, the trail climbs steadily and you walk on the side of a road. About half way to El Padrun there was a house on the left with an old metal fence right at a curve in the road. A heard a car approaching so moved to the side of the road, close to the fence. It turns out there is a German Shepherd guard dog in the yard. It is on a chain, though the chain is long enough to allow half its body out of the fence. It lunged at us as we walked past and gave us all a good fright! Again, I spoke to other walkers that day and they had the same experience. It was too close for comfort.

    Anyway, thanks again to everyone who posts information here. It was so valuable and I had a wonderful time on the Salvador!

    And watch out for the wildlife ;-)
     
  2. kirkie

    kirkie Active Member Donating Member

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    Delighted you had such a good experience. My toes are still slightly numb from having walked that Camino in July! Maybe I need to check out how I lace my boots. It certainly is a sight for sore eyes, and one spectacular moment was when our group was leaving Herías after spending the night in Bendueños when we just missed by seconds a foal being born! We watched the next 40 minutes of mare and foal and then set off again.
     
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  3. nycwalking

    nycwalking Veteran Member

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    Congrats.
     
    WestKirsty likes this.
  4. Dorpie

    Dorpie Member

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    I accidentally walked 25kms of the Camino San Salvador having missed where the paths split. What a wonderful mistake it was. Beautiful scenery and an absolutely lovely family near Cuadros who fed us and then helped us get back to Leon to try again the next day.
     
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  5. WestKirsty

    WestKirsty Member

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    Wow! What an amazing experience!
     
  6. WestKirsty

    WestKirsty Member

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    Sounds like a perfect mistake! People were incredibly friendly on this route. One couple in Buiza tried to set me up with their son! They weren't happy that I was walking alone and were quite insistent :D
     
  7. Paladina

    Paladina Member

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    You need eyes in the back of your head! Sewing a pair of "eye" patches to the back of your cap is often recommended for protection from divebombing birds. A research scientist studying bird strike allegedly found that wearing sunglassses on the back of the head deterred aggressive magpies. I don't know if it would work on hawks.
     
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  8. Davie Blisters

    Davie Blisters Ministry of Silly Walks

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    That's crazy - I've had similar problems with Seagulls, but not hawks!
    Maybe time to purchase one of those fitted hiker-umbrellas! :D
     
    WestKirsty likes this.
  9. WestKirsty

    WestKirsty Member

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    Some pictures for those interested:
     

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  10. gittiharre

    gittiharre Veteran Member

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    Thank you. Sounds amazing. I will be walking this route next year.
     
  11. Earthkeeper

    Earthkeeper New Member

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    Well done! I'm on my way to Leon tomorrow, and setting off from there on Wednesday for Oviedo and SGC, solo. I hope I see this feisty hawk! She probably has a nest there and is fed up with us all traipsing past her brood.
    A question - serious weather means what exactly? Although having asked the question, I must say I am so looking forward to the pilgrimage on this route, I don't mind what the weather offers me.
    Hasta luego.
     
  12. WestKirsty

    WestKirsty Member

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    The weather was part of the adventure for me! We had heavy wind and rain on the walk from Poladura to Benduenos. The wind was really strong and I was very thankful for my rain gear. That night, there was a great thunder/lightening storm when I was in the Albergue in Benduenos. I stood at the patio door for a long time to watch the show! Some hail too!
     
  13. SabineP

    SabineP Veteran Member Donating Member

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    @WestKirsty : you are one brave pilgrim! Agressive birds are my personal idea of hell ( very phobic ).
    There goes my idea about walking the Salvador on my own.

    Thank you for the wonderful pictures.
     
  14. WestKirsty

    WestKirsty Member

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    I am sorry if I have discouraged you in anyway from doing the Salvador alone! It is a great route and I loved walking it solo. I met just 6 other pilgrims but everyone was looking out for each other and I felt very safe.
     
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  15. SabineP

    SabineP Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Ha, only because of the birds ;). I don't mind walking solo on more remote routes, just the possible encounter with every bird bigger than a sparrow gives me shivers....;)
     
  16. laineylainey

    laineylainey Active Member Donating Member

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    Thank you @WestKirsty for your photos and story of the Salvador. Everyone it seems that walks this Camino seem to love it. I am looking forward to it myself in a couple of weeks after the Primitivo.
    It's rained non stop for a month in my part of Ireland so I am prepared for any rain! But a drop of Spanish sunshine would be just wonderful ...:)
     
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  17. Al the optimist

    Al the optimist Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Thanks for the pictures. Brought it all back to me. I agree that the scenery is fantastic on a clear day. It was the first time I walked in late May. I met Ender that time and he asked me if the snow had gone, so I must have been very lucky. Although I had some rain the day over to Parajes was bright sunshine. Unfortunately this Easter I had only one bad day and that just had to be it, didn't it? Oh well, another time maybe. I too found everyone very hospitable and friendly. This time in Poladora there was just two of us and the Casa Rural was closed. We scrapped by with what food we had a some artisan sidra from the farm just before the village. The Camino provides?
     
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  18. Magwood

    Magwood Veteran Member

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    On my springtime hike along the Salvador I had encounters with newborn calves, puppies, donkeys and horses, stunning butterflies putting on a show especially for me, and the most beautiful scenery of any camino experience, but thankfully no menacing birds. There was a lot of low cloud, but fortunately it cleared in time to see the high passes in all their glory. I walked the Salvador between the Caminos de Madrid and Primitivo. If you are interested you can take a look at my video, the section on the Salvador starts around minute 21.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
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  19. Earthkeeper

    Earthkeeper New Member

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    Hola Salvador peregrinos. The Birds. I arrived in LA Robla last afternoon, to find 3 peregrinos in the albergue who'd each had an encounter with The Bird. And her partner. Sadly it left me alone! Perhaps it was tired after its busy morning chasing the first 3. Some photos were taken. Blurred, no surprise when you are ducking and diving. But it looks like a sparrowhawk.
    On the route, just to say I followed the Enders guide alternative route from Cascantes coming in to La Robla. Winding in and out making wide loops away from your direction of travel. Loose gravel that is not nice walking. It adds a few extra kms which at that late stage of a long walk was really not welcome. To put it mildly. It goes aaaalllll the way around the power station and under and along the very high tension electric cables that buzz and crackle frighteningly and set your harmonies out of sync even more than the extra slog of kms do. And turn the air bluer than it already was. Grrrr! Lucky there is not a human to be seen on the detour, they would have heard some choice language!
    I'm a bit tired today to think I'll do a short walk to Buiza today. But your opinions welcome as I walk. Today will be a no - detour day.
    Buen camino!
     
  20. WestKirsty

    WestKirsty Member

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    The bird strikes again!! :D

    For me, the trail really got good just after Buiza. Then it was away from roads for a while and into the mountains.

    Just don't forget about food over these next sections! If I recall correctly, there aren't places to stock up in Buiza or Poladura (nor any restaurants or bars) so dont forget to stock up today!

    Buen Camino!!
     
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  21. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Due to bad weather I took Villamanin option but I remember from others posts that there is a restaurant (CR?) in Poladura but you have to pre-order your meal.
    There is also kind of Centro Social in Buiza which can or can not be opened on the day you are there. Villagers open it if they have some local agendas to discuss and then you can get a drink. Hospitalero would know if it is opened on certain day.

    Ask me for a bar/restaurant on Caminos I have walked and I will have the right answer for you :D
     
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  22. uniQ

    uniQ Member

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    The Salvador is a wonderful walk. Some of the most memorable views I've had were on this Camino :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Anthony Rocco

    Anthony Rocco New Member

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  24. Anthony Rocco

    Anthony Rocco New Member

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    Many thanks for all these comments. My wife and I begin Salvador on Monday. We are very excited about this hike and the Primitivo afterwards. Since we planned for 21 days walking, if we make it to Santiago with time left, we will bus to A Coruna and walk back from there. We call this our Camino Combinado de las Colinas (3C).
     
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  25. WestKirsty

    WestKirsty Member

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    Stunning photo! Thanks for sharing!!
     
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  26. laineylainey

    laineylainey Active Member Donating Member

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    Thanks Earthkeeper, I think I will just do the road walk into La Robla, instead of Enders detour which I have read about. As you say it's a long first day if you start from Leon and my hair goes curly enough without the added possible static from electricity pylons!!
    Hope you keep posting. I start from Leon next Thursday, can't wait!
     
  27. kirkie

    kirkie Active Member Donating Member

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    You are choosing well, laineylainey. I thought that detour would never end, and we were right there in a rumbling storm.
     
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