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Camino del Salvador - May 2018

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#1
Monday morning started with what turned out to be a minor hick-up, but what could have been a major disaster. Pretty much all the trains from my hometown to the airport were cancelled during my window of transportation.

After some shuffling with possibilities it turned out okay, so I arrived later but not too late at Schiphol. Never assume, Purky! Sure thing, buddy. Everything else went smooth.

I was well taken care of at hostal Linares in SdC. Three Italians and a Dane shared a room with me. One of them snored, but I don't know which one. I suspect it was one of the Italian ladies, but Ohropax saved the night.

Today, Tuesday, was train day again. SdC to Leon, just about five hours. The plan was to arrive in Leon, get my Salvador credencial at Albergue de Peregrinos "San Francisco de Asís" and move fast to the Parador, where the Camino del Salvador starts.

Because I have limited time, I wanted to combine train day with the first leg to Cabanillas, 17 km in. I left Leon around 14:30 and arrived at the albergue at six. So that worked out well: cutting the Salvador in four-and-a-half days.

Before I left I was a bit worried about the weather, but that turned out good too. Good? Glorious! I couldn't have hoped for better. So now I'm settled in at the albergue in Cabanillas, which I have to myself, preparing for an early night. No bars here, and I can't be bothered to walk 2 km for a drink. (And 2 km back)

I'm aiming for Poladura tomorrow, 34 km from here. Start early and keep moving. It might be too soon to say, but after leaving Carbajal I'm very happy with the Salvador. Hoping for more tomorrow.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles (Nov 2018)
#4
Thanks for taking time to post Purky. Buen camino and please continue to post. I finished El Norte 6 weeks ago and already know I want to do the Salvador-Primitivo next spring.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
#5
Monday morning started with what turned out to be a minor hick-up, but what could have been a major disaster. Pretty much all the trains from my hometown to the airport were cancelled during my window of transportation.

After some shuffling with possibilities it turned out okay, so I arrived later but not too late at Schiphol. Never assume, Purky! Sure thing, buddy. Everything else went smooth.

I was well taken care of at hostal Linares in SdC. Three Italians and a Dane shared a room with me. One of them snored, but I don't know which one. I suspect it was one of the Italian ladies, but Ohropax saved the night.

Today, Tuesday, was train day again. SdC to Leon, just about five hours. The plan was to arrive in Leon, get my Salvador credencial at Albergue de Peregrinos "San Francisco de Asís" and move fast to the Parador, where the Camino del Salvador starts.

Because I have limited time, I wanted to combine train day with the first leg to Cabanillas, 17 km in. I left Leon around 14:30 and arrived at the albergue at six. So that worked out well: cutting the Salvador in four-and-a-half days.

Before I left I was a bit worried about the weather, but that turned out good too. Good? Glorious! I couldn't have hoped for better. So now I'm settled in at the albergue in Cabanillas, which I have to myself, preparing for an early night. No bars here, and I can't be bothered to walk 2 km for a drink. (And 2 km back)

I'm aiming for Poladura tomorrow, 34 km from here. Start early and keep moving. It might be too soon to say, but after leaving Carbajal I'm very happy with the Salvador. Hoping for more tomorrow.
Stunning!
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#6
Cabanillas to Poladura de la Tercia today. Just in case anybody ever sleeps alone in the albergue in Cabanillas: the wooden structure of the roof is very active. There's a lot of peeps, groans, snaps and pangs going on. Took me a while to get used to but I slept like a log after.

The walk out of Cabanillas is great. After that, between Cascantes and Buiza, there is a lot of tarmac involved. I don't mind, and there was plenty to see. Just after Buiza things got more serious, so a little break was in order.

The ascent to the Forcadas de San Anton, beginning in Buiza, was a bit of a belter. But the reward after about 3 km of climbing was priceless. I must have stood there for minutes, just taking it all in. And it got even better after that.

Poladura albergue is almost full tonight, with a lot of older Spanish gents. I counted one bed empty. Make sure to call ahead for a meal when you stay here. Tomorrow I'm heading for Benduenos. According to Sandra, who I spoke briefly with on the phone, it'll be a tough stage.
 

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#9
If I'm not mistaken, I just had a coffee and a bocadillo to go at the former Parador near Pajares. Operated by Mirador?
Hi Purky
As I sit in Barajas waiting to board my flight home, posts like yours just ratchet up those camino yearnings! Sounds like the Hotel part still hasn’t opened. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...-parador-cafeteria-reopens.52061/#post-573552. Maybe they will put in an albergue floor like the Hotel in Tineo.

I hope the bar across the street doesn’t fail because of this more upmarket competition.

Enjoy your time with Sandra. Without a doubt, one of the most wonderful albergues anywhere. THanks for filling my airport waiting time!
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#10
Poladura de la Tercia to Bendueños today, according to schedule. I think it might be just over 30 km, so don't despair if it takes a little longer at the end. A tough stage, but doable. Took my time, about nine hours including breaks. The downs are easy, going up is not my strong suit and that is a handicap when it comes to the Salvador.
The albergue at Bendueños came highly recommended on this forum. I concur. The place is just my kind of quaint and Sandra is a whirlwind born to this. I'm going to keep this post short: I want to enjoy the hustle and bustle of this place.
Tomorrow to Mieres, about 25 km. The two longest stages are done. A bit sad actually: it means I'm over halfway. Although I'm not one for labeling caminos: as @Tincatinker already said, this one is a cracker.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#11
Your posts are great, @Purky. Thanks for sharing your observations and photographs. My draft plan for the Salvador is similar to what you're doing, including walking to Cabanillas on arrival in Leon. It's good to know that this worked out well for you.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#12
@NualaOC: glad to be of help!

@peregrina2000: the café across the street (Venta Casimiro) still exists, and is liked by both pilgrims and locals. A Spanish pilgrim informed me that it was closed today because the owner is on a two week holiday.
According to him the old Parador was taken over by a private company (so not Mirador) and not up to former standards. His words.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#13
@NualaOC: glad to be of help!

@peregrina2000: the café across the street (Venta Casimiro) still exists, and is liked by both pilgrims and locals. A Spanish pilgrim informed me that it was closed today because the owner is on a two week holiday.
According to him the old Parador was taken over by a private company (so not Mirador) and not up to former standards. His words.
I really hope it will be open tomorrow, I’m at la robla right now. :0
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#15
Leaving Pola de Lena I messed up. There is a lot of conflicting signage going on and I ended up following the AS-242. A bit dodgy, and not at all without traffic. So I missed the service road mentioned in Enders guide.

Once in Villallana, I kept following the AS-242 towards Uxo, but instead of 500 meters (stated in Enders guide) it is a little over 3 km. Somewhere in between, at Sanriella, it is possible to take an overpass over the river and the A-66. There I followed a gravel path into Uxo where I found myself back on track.

After that an easy and somewhat uneventful walk to Mieres and ultimately La Peña, where the albergue is located. But also a very eventful and fun dinner with five fellow pilgrims, where politics, religion and life itself were playfully discussed. The ways of the camino are often unexpected, but never dull.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#17
Okay, short recap of my stages (distances are approximations):

Day 1 – León – Cabanillas 17 km
Day 2 – Cabanillas - Poladura 34 km
Day 3 – Poladura – Bendueños 31 km
Day 4 – Bendueños – Mieres 25 km
Day 5 – Mieres - Oviedo 19 km

Of these stages day two and three stood out the most for me. That is where the heart of this camino lies, if I may be so bold. If you have more time, I'd try to shape those two days into three stages. Bendueños is a must-stay, by the way.

Day four, especially after Campomanes, was the least interesting in my view. A lot of tarmac, and the constant noise of the highway (which runs parallel and close to the camino for most of the way) annoyed me.

I am glad however that the last stage was a short one too (as was the first). This enabled me to really take the time to walk around Oviedo. Lots to see and enjoy. The walk to Oviedo wasn't bad either, especially the middle on the Senda Verde.

As for waymarking: if you have Enders guide and keep your eyes open, it is virtually impossible to get lost. Lots of arrows (sometimes even too many, I think) and markers. The guide is really only needed as back-up check and source of background info. Tremendous job by Ender and Laurie (translation).

I'll be spending the rest of the evening and night in Oviedo. Booked a cheap but very comfy room around the corner of the cathedral square. I needed it after spending two out of four nights with an Olympic grade snorer at the albergues.

For tomorrow I booked a rideshare back to SdC (Blablacar) that will cost me at least 12 euro's less than the bus and cuts an hour or more off my travelling time. Worth looking into... I'll let you know how it went.
 

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Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#21
Well, that turned out to be quite the night in Oviedo. First a parade with gaiteros and a statue being carried into a church. Then running into two English pilgrims I had met earlier.

The three of us ended up in Calle Gascona, el bulevar de la sidra. A big thing here, cider. One of my new friends launched into a lengthy lecture about the difference between cider and scrumpy, all the while being amazed by the slightly odd way of pouring the drink.

The streets in Oviedo were slick with sidra, and we watched the locals practicing their 'paseo', eating, drinking and having a fun night on the town. A fitting end to my time in Asturias.
 

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Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#23
Blablacar is awesome. It depends on the person, but the calm Basque driver who shared his car with me has two distinct traits that I know of. He is a man of few words and has a blatant disregard for maximum speed. Oviedo-SdC: 2 hours, 30 minutes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#26
Well, I got two and a half hours worth...
O my goodness, Purky. Glad you are still alive to tell the tale. I have used blablacar twice, both times from Bilbao to Pamplona, and cannot complain at all, it has been excellent for me. I just googled distance from Oviedo to Santiago. WOW!
Screen Shot 2018-05-20 at 17.09.09.png
 
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Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#27
O my goodness, Purky. Glad you are still alive to tell the tale. I have used blablacar twice, both times from Bilbao to Pamplona, and cannot complain at all, it has been excellent for me. I just googled distance from Oviedo to Santiago. WOW!
View attachment 42713
Oh, I wasn't complaining! He drove well and got the trip done real quick. I didn't mind one bit.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#28
Oh, I wasn't complaining! He drove well and got the trip done real quick. I didn't mind one bit.
I didn't think you were complaining. It was just my own projection of holding my breath when someone is driving too fast for my liking! And a great thing about blablacar, you are encouraged to comment on drivers, and they on passengers... very transparent.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
#29
Okay, short recap of my stages (distances are approximations):

Day 1 – León – Cabanillas 17 km
Day 2 – Cabanillas - Poladura 34 km
Day 3 – Poladura – Bendueños 31 km
Day 4 – Bendueños – Mieres 25 km
Day 5 – Mieres - Oviedo 19 km

Of these stages day two and three stood out the most for me. That is where the heart of this camino lies, if I may be so bold. If you have more time, I'd try to shape those two days into three stages. Bendueños is a must-stay, by the way.

Day four, especially after Campomanes, was the least interesting in my view. A lot of tarmac, and the constant noise of the highway (which runs parallel and close to the camino for most of the way) annoyed me.

I am glad however that the last stage was a short one too (as was the first). This enabled me to really take the time to walk around Oviedo. Lots to see and enjoy. The walk to Oviedo wasn't bad either, especially the middle on the Senda Verde.

As for waymarking: if you have Enders guide and keep your eyes open, it is virtually impossible to get lost. Lots of arrows (sometimes even too many, I think) and markers. The guide is really only needed as back-up check and source of background info. Tremendous job by Ender and Laurie (translation).

I'll be spending the rest of the evening and night in Oviedo. Booked a cheap but very comfy room around the corner of the cathedral square. I needed it after spending two out of four nights with an Olympic grade snorer at the albergues.

For tomorrow I booked a rideshare back to SdC (Blablacar) that will cost me at least 12 euro's less than the bus and cuts an hour or more off my travelling time. Worth looking into... I'll let you know how it went.
Hi Purky - I'm getting sorted for the del Salvador & Primitivo in Sep-Oct. This is all great info, thanks. I like your recommendations and will try to work with them. I'm looking forward to the Camino. Keith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
#31
Monday morning started with what turned out to be a minor hick-up, but what could have been a major disaster. Pretty much all the trains from my hometown to the airport were cancelled during my window of transportation.

After some shuffling with possibilities it turned out okay, so I arrived later but not too late at Schiphol. Never assume, Purky! Sure thing, buddy. Everything else went smooth.

I was well taken care of at hostal Linares in SdC. Three Italians and a Dane shared a room with me. One of them snored, but I don't know which one. I suspect it was one of the Italian ladies, but Ohropax saved the night.

Today, Tuesday, was train day again. SdC to Leon, just about five hours. The plan was to arrive in Leon, get my Salvador credencial at Albergue de Peregrinos "San Francisco de Asís" and move fast to the Parador, where the Camino del Salvador starts.

Because I have limited time, I wanted to combine train day with the first leg to Cabanillas, 17 km in. I left Leon around 14:30 and arrived at the albergue at six. So that worked out well: cutting the Salvador in four-and-a-half days.

Before I left I was a bit worried about the weather, but that turned out good too. Good? Glorious! I couldn't have hoped for better. So now I'm settled in at the albergue in Cabanillas, which I have to myself, preparing for an early night. No bars here, and I can't be bothered to walk 2 km for a drink. (And 2 km back)

I'm aiming for Poladura tomorrow, 34 km from here. Start early and keep moving. It might be too soon to say, but after leaving Carbajal I'm very happy with the Salvador. Hoping for more tomorrow.
Hi purky
A bit behind time I know!
But looking at these great photos are making my feet itch

We are off in under 2 weeks now to walk the Salvidor
Will give ourselves 7 days though
Many thanks
Annette
 
Camino(s) past & future
CP Coastal July, 5, 2016
CP Central July 25, 2015
CP Interior or Burgos to Santiago 9/18/18???????
#33
Hi Purky,

Great info, but wondering how difficult the terrain really is? I am in great physical health but a little
cautious as I fractured my femur 2 yrs. ago walking the CP coastal. I am planning my 3rd camino next month
and thought I would walk Burgos to Leon and then head over to the CP again, but looking at your post, my mind is going back and forth! Ugh, the decisions, but how lucky I am to be able to walk another camino, God is Good! Bom caminho
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#35
Hi Purky,

Great info, but wondering how difficult the terrain really is? I am in great physical health but a little
cautious as I fractured my femur 2 yrs. ago walking the CP coastal. I am planning my 3rd camino next month
and thought I would walk Burgos to Leon and then head over to the CP again, but looking at your post, my mind is going back and forth! Ugh, the decisions, but how lucky I am to be able to walk another camino, God is Good! Bom caminho
The thing that is most strenuous on the Salvador is the climbing and descending. Technically it isn't difficult. I'm no doctor, so can't advise professionally on a formerly fractured femur, but I don't think it should hold you back from walking the Salvador. Especially if you bring trekking poles. Consult with your doctor?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CP Coastal July, 5, 2016
CP Central July 25, 2015
CP Interior or Burgos to Santiago 9/18/18???????
#36
The thing that is most strenuous on the Salvador is the climbing and descending. Technically it isn't difficult. I'm no doctor, so can't advise professionally on a formerly fractured femur, but I don't think it should hold you back from walking the Salvador. Especially if you bring trekking poles. Consult with your doctor?
My thoughts exactly Purky, my doctor just thinks I'm nuts for wanting to walk such distance! He did suggest poles and I've been using them since and will definitely bring them with me. I guess the only way to find out if I can do it and if it's too difficult, I switch to my original route. How is the weather in Sept/October?
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breathe properly.
Stay curious.
And walk a camino.
#37
How is the weather in Sept/October?
I'm probably the last person you want to ask a weather prediction from. I just fled the St Olavsleden in Norway because of heavy rain and cold I never saw coming... :rolleyes:
But Google provides plenty of weather sites where you can check out averages for Sept/Oct for every region in Spain.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
#38
Hi Purky,

Great info, but wondering how difficult the terrain really is? I am in great physical health but a little
cautious as I fractured my femur 2 yrs. ago walking the CP coastal. I am planning my 3rd camino next month
and thought I would walk Burgos to Leon and then head over to the CP again, but looking at your post, my mind is going back and forth! Ugh, the decisions, but how lucky I am to be able to walk another camino, God is Good! Bom caminho
It is very doable if you take your time and cut the up and down days short. Take 8 days to do it.
I found the mountain bits much easier than sections on the Via Gebenennsis.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014); Madrid, Salvador (2018)
#39
Hi Purky,

Great info, but wondering how difficult the terrain really is? I am in great physical health but a little
cautious as I fractured my femur 2 yrs. ago walking the CP coastal. I am planning my 3rd camino next month
and thought I would walk Burgos to Leon and then head over to the CP again, but looking at your post, my mind is going back and forth! Ugh, the decisions, but how lucky I am to be able to walk another camino, God is Good! Bom caminho
Hi Liana. I walked the Salvador a couple of weeks after Purky with two other Canadian peregrinas. Two of us are in our mid- fifties and one turned 60 ennroute. We took nine days to walk the Salvador and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a truly glorious experience being in those mountains. There are some very steep climbs and descents but if you take your time and spread it out over a longer time it might be doable. Also in the highest parts there are what Ender and Laurie’s guide refers to as “false flats” which give you a bit of a break between the steep ups and downs. I had a twingy knee for a couple of weeks afterwards— no lasting problems though. One thing you should do if you do walk it is call ahead to the albergues to be sure they are open and expecting you. Also call ahead to the posada at Poladura de la Tercia to get a meal for the evening. Nowhere else to get food and they need advanced notice to buy supplies with which to feed you. I highly recommend getting Ender’s guide. Laurie (@peregrina2000) translated it into English and it is very helpful.
 

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