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Camino Primitivo - how difficult?

The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
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Camino primitivo pilgrim guide book - does anyone have a copy they'd like to sell please? AND, how difficult is it please?
to answer the second question of your post I'm a seventy year old with a heart condition, a back condition and an addiction to Orujo. I found the Primitivo an absolute doddle, though some of the hills took a while to put behind me.
 
That's terrific news (and very well done!) as I'm a 71 Yr old, a dodgy back and dodgy knees!! Woohoo! I'll do it!!
Thanks for replying!

The first time I did the Primitivo I ran into a Lebanese pilgrim of 78 who was walking along. He was averaging 16-km days, he told me, and would have been a bit faster but he liked to take his time and was still getting used to his new knee.

But as others have posted, there are hills, and there are not a lot of intermediate stopping points, so planning is not a bad thing. Correos pack transport supports this camino, and I think that there's also a private carrier-- you can easily get information as you go along.
 
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I would say the “difficulty” is because there are places where you can go more than 20km without any “facilities” ie bars/cafes. Or that you would need to remember to buy food in previous village (Campiello) to prepare lunch for the next day (going over Hospitales).

In small towns, shops/supermarkets are only open halfday on Saturday and closed completely on Sunday… so when approaching weekends, it’s useful to also look ahead for next day’s walk/towns and plan your shopping accordingly. For example, we decided to have a rest day, left our albergue late after 9am (breakfast started at 8am and they are the only place in town) from La Mesa. Destination: Grandas de Salime, only 16km, easy peasy. Had nice relaxing (long) drinks and snacks at the hotel overlooking the reservoir (that’s the first bar after some 10km). Then reached Grandas de Salime just after 2pm to find all shops closed at 2pm 😅 and not open until Monday (2 days later). But of course they have bars for lunch/dinner/breakfast.

Towns are further apart but I think there are intermediate towns for those who would like to do shorter stages (and equally for those who’d like to do 1.5 stages).

Correos offer luggage transfer (but check the date! I think last date would be end of October) and there is a local company too: Taxicamino.

There are more ups and downs than some other caminos, from personal exp I always do stretching before and most importantly after the day’s walk. Otherwise your muscles tense up and your tendons get stretched, and you end up with leg pains and to some people it was the end of their Camino. Also pay attention to nutrition so I always have protein bars in my rucksack and if I can’t find a bar when I arrive I would eat my own protein bar (no pun intended!). I also found I need to have proper meal at dinner (or late lunch at 4pm juuuust before restaurants close) otherwise I would wake up hungry in the middle of the night, and my body still sore in the morning.

Also bring a good insect repellent. Never needed them on the Frances and yet I seem to be mosquitos/flies magnet here… I guess it goes through more rural areas? I stayed at some places where they had mosquito nets with great big holes on them as well 🤷🏻‍♀️

All of that may sound too much to some people who’d prefer to “go with the flo” but I think on the Primitivo you need to plan these things well (hydration, nutrition, buying food ahead of the time, stretching…).

The magnificent sceneries and friendships you form along the way totally make up for all the extra work/prep though!

I felt so lucky and blessed that I made it to Santiago with zero injury or illness (I had COVID before previous Camino and was bedbound for 3 weeks because of my asthma), and same with Fuji my dog too! No issue with her paws despite the long distances (there were 3 over 30km days) and some very rocky paths!

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Thank you for that helpful information! I'll certainly take heed and make sure of good planning!
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I did the Primitivo in April-May of 2018. I purchased a good insulated jacket, cap, and gloves at a mountaineering shop in Oviedo and I was extremely glad I did. The highest part of the Primitivo was completely socked in with lots of really gusty wind. It was damned cold and I was glad for the foul weather gear (I did that portion the last week of April) but once that was past, the rest was a lovely and serene walk. It was wonderful, but as mentioned several times….plan ahead. I ended up doing a 52km day because the place I planned to stay hadn't opened yet..a word to the wise!
 
Camino primitivo pilgrim guide book - does anyone have a copy they'd like to sell please? AND, how difficult is it please?
HI Marge
I think your question on guidebooks has been answered. As for how difficult it is that is really up to you. I have done several Caminos and found a method quite early on that worked for me. I will share it in case you find it useful.
I leave between 6 and 7 in the morning and walk for about 2 hours then stop for breakfast for about an hour. I then walk for about another 2 hours and stop for lunch for about an hour. At this stage I look in my guidebook and find an alberque that is about another hour or so's walk with a backup in case there is not space. I walk at roughly 4k per hour, so this gives me 20k or so per day to a maximum aim of 25k and this allows me to finish around 2 in the afternoon with time to check into an alberque, shower and explore the town or village I am staying in then get an evening meal. I find this testing but comfortable. Hope it helps.
Buen Camino
Vince
 
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Camino primitivo pilgrim guide book - does anyone have a copy they'd like to sell please? AND, how difficult is it please?
I think I was 75, and my husband 80. It is definitely harder than the Frances, but certainly doable. Pack "light" and do reasonable distances rather than try to keep up with those half your age. Buen Camino!
 
Trying to see if we can do the Primitivo in short distances, as a pilgrim I met in A Brea was also asking about this, he was on his 4th Camino Frances.

Oviedo-Escamplero 12km
Escamplero-Grado 15km
Grado-Cornellana 11km (stay at monastery!)
Cornellana-Porciles 17km (there’s only 1 donativo albergue there but it’s a lovely place)
Porciles-Tineo 14km
Tineo-Campiello 13km/Borres 16km/Samblismo 17km
Samblismo-Berducedo 23km (this is the Hospitales route)
Berducedo-Vistalegre 15km (hotel overlooking the reservoir, there’s nothing else in the area but the hotel/restaurant), or Grandas de Salime 20km
Vistalegre-Castro 11km (visit the Castro there!)
Castro-Fonsagrada 21km (no village with accommodation in between. You’ll cross into Galicia here, and first bar in Galicia is in O Acevo, then a lovely restaurant in Barbeitos 6km later)
Fonsagrada-Cadavo 24km (again, no accommodation in villages in between)
Cadavo-Vilar de Cas 15km
Vilar de Cas-Lugo 16km
Lugo-San Romao 19km
San Romao-As Seixas 14km
As Seixas-Melide 15km

I think from Melide onwards you’ll have plenty of options to stop!
 
I agree- not too difficult at all. There are plenty of hills, but I'm about halfway through right now and finding them quite manageable
Since you’re out there now…make sure you get to Las Cinco Vigas in Lugo for tapas. Amazing!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Camino primitivo pilgrim guide book - does anyone have a copy they'd like to sell please? AND, how difficult is it please?
I walked it in my 80th year. It was certainly more difficult than the CF and Portuguese. Take your time and don't attempt too much.
I took the Pola option as I could not walk over 30klms without accommodation.
 
Trying to see if we can do the Primitivo in short distances, as a pilgrim I met in A Brea was also asking about this, he was on his 4th Camino Frances.

Oviedo-Escamplero 12km
Escamplero-Grado 15km
Grado-Cornellana 11km (stay at monastery!)
Cornellana-Porciles 17km (there’s only 1 donativo albergue there but it’s a lovely place)
Porciles-Tineo 14km
Tineo-Campiello 13km/Borres 16km/Samblismo 17km
Samblismo-Berducedo 23km (this is the Hospitales route)
Berducedo-Vistalegre 15km (hotel overlooking the reservoir, there’s nothing else in the area but the hotel/restaurant), or Grandas de Salime 20km
Vistalegre-Castro 11km (visit the Castro there!)
Castro-Fonsagrada 21km (no village with accommodation in between. You’ll cross into Galicia here, and first bar in Galicia is in O Acevo, then a lovely restaurant in Barbeitos 6km later)
Fonsagrada-Cadavo 24km (again, no accommodation in villages in between)
Cadavo-Vilar de Cas 15km
Vilar de Cas-Lugo 16km
Lugo-San Romao 19km
San Romao-As Seixas 14km
As Seixas-Melide 15km

I think from Melide onwards you’ll have plenty of options to stop!
Hi @Marge666 ,

I did the Primitivo in 2019 in September. It was wonderful. To answer your question about difficulty, the stages in the above response are about as short as you can do. And as you can see, the Hospitales stage Is 23 km. It also has the highest total elevation gain and drop of any stage on the Frances, Norte, Portuges, and Primitivo. And no real towns for coffee or food. So you need to be prepared for that one. But it is gorgeous. The alternate route can be broken into shorter stages. The Hospitales stage was my favourite on this route, so I‘m not suggesting the alternate. Just plan well and get an early start.

Buen Camino
 
Just another thought re: Hospitales… after passing the 3 hospital ruins, the track joined with the track from Pola de Allande at Puerto del Palo. There’s a bit of a lay-by from the highway… the kind that would be ideal for a food truck! It would be VERY popular I’m sure! Who would like to start? 😝

Anw… I was thinking, that one can go over the Hospitales route then if feels like they’re done for the day, can call a taxi to pick them up and drop them off at Pola de Allande… and start the next day back at Puerto del Palo…

If starting from Samblismo, the first fountain is at Lago by the church (19km) and first bar at 23km in Berducedo, where there are a few albergues.
 
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