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Camino Primitivo Hospitales or Pola route

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Hi Pilgrims,

I am embarking on the Camino Primitivo on August 9th. I am torn between the two routes, the Hospitales or Pola route. I know this has a separate thread somewhere, but I just can't seem to find it! I am actually leaning toward the Pola route, for a few reasons; I live up in the Colorado mountains and get to see grand vistas when I hike so I am used to breathing in that awesome view; also I just love the quaint Spanish villages and I learned from my 2014 CF Camino to never pass by a village with a bar, either for a cerveza or café con leche..... never.... I did that on my Camino Portuguese from Lisbon and it made the experience ethereal!! The challenge of both is not an issue, I just would appreciate first hand knowledge!! Thank you Pilgrims!

Buen Camino!
Rosemary
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Here’s the thread. It’s a few years old, but I think the info is still pretty accurate.

You actually have more elevation gain if you go via Pola, so you’ll get a better workout! Both take you to the same mountain pass, so you will get some of the views. Not sure how the albergue in Pola is these days. I have never stayed there, and the last time I went by, it was badly in need of some TLC. But maybe things are better there. The little in-town hotel is nice if that’s within your budget and your taste.
 

Tom Cartwright

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Have completed through Agosta
Hi Pilgrims,

I am embarking on the Camino Primitivo on August 9th. I am torn between the two routes, the Hospitales or Pola route. I know this has a separate thread somewhere, but I just can't seem to find it! I am actually leaning toward the Pola route, for a few reasons; I live up in the Colorado mountains and get to see grand vistas when I hike so I am used to breathing in that awesome view; also I just love the quaint Spanish villages and I learned from my 2014 CF Camino to never pass by a village with a bar, either for a cerveza or café con leche..... never.... I did that on my Camino Portuguese from Lisbon and it made the experience ethereal!! The challenge of both is not an issue, I just would appreciate first hand knowledge!! Thank you Pilgrims!

Buen Camino!
Rosemary
I just walked haspitalas today. More extended beautiful views than Pola. IMO better is a nice day.
 

Mr Magoo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pilegrimsleden ( 2016).
Camino Primitivo ( 2017).
Yes, I went the Hospitales direction on a fine day, & was so glad . The climb up wasnt severe in my opinion, because it is a gradual incline. A long day, but I'd say well worth trying. Take enough water, none up there.
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino F 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 C Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016 & 17 Primitivo 2018
I have walked both routes - Hospitales last year and Pollo Alande this year, and believe me, there is absolutely no comparison. Hospitales is much easier, quicker, shorter and scenically it is far superior. You only walk through one village with a bar, Pollo, so you are not missing anything along the way..
 

Davie Blisters

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
It is eternity now, it always has been and it always will be. We are in the midst of it.
I took the Hospitales route on a beautiful day last week and loved every second - was even joined by 20 or so wild horses.
 

jimmyc

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
I took the Pola route because I could not walk the 36km distance to accommodation on the other way with such a mountainous climb. I was 78 at the time so I knew I could not attempt the Hospitales.
The Pola was a beautiful option and it does join the Hospitales at it highest point.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I took the Pola route because I could not walk the 36km distance to accommodation on the other way with such a mountainous climb. I was 78 at the time so I knew I could not attempt the Hospitales.
The Pola was a beautiful option and it does join the Hospitales at it highest point.
Hi, jimmyc, well you should congratulate yourself knowing that the route you took, through Pola, is actually harder than the route through Hospitales! It has several hundred more meters of elevation gain, and the stiff ascent right before the pass where it joins the other route is much steeper than anything you will get on Hospitales!

With an albergue a few kms beyond Borres at Samblisimo now, the distance to Berducedo on the Hospitales route can be as short as about 22 km. https://www.gronze.com/etapa/borres/berducedo

I agree with you about the beauty of the Pola option. Hospitales is nice for the long walk along the ridge, with the view over the hills and the ruins of pilgrim hospitals, and of course the wild horses, but those green tunnels and babbling brooks going up from Pola are very pretty.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
In Hospitales, between Puerto de la Marta and Puerto del Palo there is a big ravine just on the right side of the path that was a Roman gold mine. It is fascinating (for me) imagine the different languages spoken in the mine by engineers, workers and soldiers.
The Roman guy in charge of this mine and others in that area lived in a big house whose remains are located in the archaeological site of Castro that is also near the camino and can be visited.
 
I have walked both routes - Hospitales last year and Pollo Alande this year, and believe me, there is absolutely no comparison. Hospitales is much easier, quicker, shorter and scenically it is far superior. You only walk through one village with a bar, Pollo, so you are not missing anything along the way..
Very good to know!!
 

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