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Camino Primitivo November Rain Woes

2020 Camino Guides

Sara_Dhooma

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Muxia (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Norte (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18)+more
Hello everyone,

This is my second day on the Camino Primitivo and I’ve stopped walking after only 10km. The weather is absolutely miserable with endless cycles of hard rain, showers, thunder, and drizzle. It is difficult to enjoy the views peeking under an umbrella- and constantly watching footing on flooded trail. It is quite windy and cold also!

The upcoming weather forecast shows 70%-100% all-day rain for the next week throughout the area.

My question is.... is it worth it to continue on the Primitivo despite the hard conditions? Or is it a better idea to return another time to appreciate it in more favourable conditions?

I potentially have about 40 days more spend in Spain so I could leave and jump onto a different Camino route (in the South!).
 

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MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
That must be very frustrating. Looking at the live weather radar it certainly looks like it is with you for the rest of the day but it looks better the further west you go. FYI the Frances and further south looks dry!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hello everyone,

This is my second day on the Camino Primitivo and I’ve stopped walking after only 10km. The weather is absolutely miserable with endless cycles of hard rain, showers, thunder, and drizzle. It is difficult to enjoy the views peeking under an umbrella- and constantly watching footing on flooded trail. It is quite windy and cold also!

The upcoming weather forecast shows 70%-100% all-day rain for the next week throughout the area.

My question is.... is it worth it to continue on the Primitivo despite the hard conditions? Or is it a better idea to return another time to appreciate it in more favourable conditions?

I potentially have about 40 days more spend in Spain so I could leave and jump onto a different Camino route (in the South!).
I agree that it would be a pity to walk through all that beauty and not see one bit of it. Sounds like it would be a punishing walk.

There are so many wonderful caminos leaving from the south. I think you have walked the Lana and the Vdlp, but two others for you to consider would be the Levante from Valencia or the Mozárabe from Almería. You can see their general routes on gronze’s map. I loved both of them. There is lots of information here on the forum about both, but I am sure that many members of your fan club will help you out with specific questions. The friends association in Almería is wonderful and will help you with all the details — there is a great albergue system, and you get to walk through Granada and Córdoba.

For the Levante, Jean Louis is a forum member and our liaison in Valencia. So you have friends all over the place!

Onward Sara! Buen camino Laurie

 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Definately agree with Laurie. Of all my many different Caminos, the Primitivo is my favortie. I walked it last April after leaving the Lana in Cuenca. It is such a beautiful route but I must say that I wouldn´t want to walk it in the rain given all the ascents and descents.

Go to Málaga, Granada or Almería and walk the Mozárabe!
 

Gwaihir

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Nijmegen (Holland) to Fisterra, July-November 2019.

Future: Te Araroa, NZ
Hey Sara, I'm in Ribadeseya, in the same boat as you and also wondering whether we (me and my friend) should continue on the Primitivo. There's snow VERY close by even here, at a rather low altitude, and we've heard the police might have shut the way.
 

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
Come back another time. You will miss all the spectacular scenery if it is raining and misty and cold. Laurie always has excellent advice. It's a pity because I was so looking forward to the next stage of your journey
 

Sara_Dhooma

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Muxia (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Norte (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18)+more
The weather today is absolute misery! This morning I walked hours with my head down, tightly clutching my umbrella in driving rain.

I’m warming with a coffee and not looking forward to returning to the way. The Hospital route is impassable due to snowfall. Unsure I want to take the Pola route in the pouring rain either.

A bus down south might be in my immediate future! 🥶
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
The weather today is absolute misery! This morning I walked hours with my head down, tightly clutching my umbrella in driving rain.

I’m warming with a coffee and not looking forward to returning to the way. The Hospital route is impassable due to snowfall. Unsure I want to take the Pola route in the pouring rain either.

A bus down south might be in my immediate future! 🥶
Sounds good.

VdlP maybe?
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
The weather today is absolute misery! This morning I walked hours with my head down, tightly clutching my umbrella in driving rain.

I’m warming with a coffee and not looking forward to returning to the way. The Hospital route is impassable due to snowfall. Unsure I want to take the Pola route in the pouring rain either.

A bus down south might be in my immediate future! 🥶
The Primitivo is not going anywhere;).

I'm not one to stop a Camino either but after 9 years walking different routes I did just that this past March on the Lana. And where did I go? Up to the Primitivo! Best decision I ever made. I had almost clear skies on the Hospitales route and not one drop of rain.
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
Take a plane to Mallorca: not a Camino, but wonderful hiking trails!
 

Jean Ti

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Camino Portuguese november 2019
Spend fews days in Sevilla and start VDLP!
 

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
Don't do the Pollo route. It is tougher than the Hospitales and it will be hell in this weather. If you stay on the Primitivo, give it a miss. You could easily lose your way at the top if it is raining and misty. I did it in the mist and rain this year with a friend and we lost our sense of direction and couldn't see any of the markers. Thank goodness 2 Camino angels appeared in the mist to help us down as we could not see where we were going. It is not recommended in bad weather and definitely not on your own.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
The CSJ guide book recommendation given some years ago was 'in bad weather walk the road' from Pola to Grandas de Salime. Good advice which remains so.
Stay safe :)
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
So sorry you have had such horrible weather.I know how hard it can be. I walked the Norte a few years back and had heavy rain for every one
 

Sara_Dhooma

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Muxia (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Norte (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18)+more
I’m still on the Primitivo. The weather hasn’t improved, but my spirits have by grouping up with a few other pilgrims.

We share our misery together at dinner with large amounts of vino tinto. To stay with this Camino Primitivo gang - I’m crawling along and completing very short stages. A short walking day is a necessary in cold, wet weather with limited daylight hours!

I’ll get to Santiago eventually, and then promptly head down south. 😎 It is supposed to snow in two days.... 🥶
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Hang in there Sara! We're thinking of you...

Here are two screenshots from Windy.com: rain accumulation and new snow.
Rain Accumulation next 3 days:
Capture.PNG
And new snow, in the next 3 days:
Capture 2.PNG

The Primativo is under all of that color, whereas the South is much drier.
At this pint it depends if you want to continue with the people you're with.
 

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
GOOD luck Sara. I look forward to hearing how you all get on. I am just so relieved that you will have company when you do either the Hospitals or Pola Alande route.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I am not sure how far you have reached but the figure given for depth of snow fall on Thursday are:-
Grado 10cms
Grandas de Salime 30cms
A Fonsagrada 10cms

Hospitales and Puerto de Palo are likely to be in the 30cms section due to their height.
If you are in that area staying over a second might might be a good idea.....there is a pilgrim friendly hotel in Pola and also in Grandas.
Stay safe and try to keep warm
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I’m still on the Primitivo. The weather hasn’t improved, but my spirits have by grouping up with a few other pilgrims.

We share our misery together at dinner with large amounts of vino tinto. To stay with this Camino Primitivo gang - I’m crawling along and completing very short stages. A short walking day is a necessary in cold, wet weather with limited daylight hours!

I’ll get to Santiago eventually, and then promptly head down south. 😎 It is supposed to snow in two days.... 🥶
one of my most favourite camino days was walking in the snow around O'Cebreiro... in MAY!!! I hope the rain eases for you... walking in rain is the most miserable kind of walking.
 

Sara_Dhooma

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Muxia (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Norte (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18)+more
Woke up to a winter wonderland in Berducedo this morning. The locals advised us to take the road instead of the trail. I respected their opinion and had a blustery snowy morning, followed by thunderstorm rain into Grandas.

Now I’ve been told that the ‘Camino is closed’ in the next section. The road is also not an option because of poor visibility for traffic on the slippery, snowy curves.

Seven pilgrims are taking a taxi ahead tomorrow for safety. I begrudgingly will join them, and sadly abandon my continuous footpath from Madrid.

I definitely DO NOT recommend walking this Camino in November!!!!
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Never mind, you can always come back in the spring. I walked that bit in foul weather, too. Late April as I recall. Cold, wet, snow and rain. Met some great people and drank a lot of hot chocolate with added brandy.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Woke up to a winter wonderland in Berducedo this morning. The locals advised us to take the road instead of the trail. I respected their opinion and had a blustery snowy morning, followed by thunderstorm rain into Grandas.

Now I’ve been told that the ‘Camino is closed’ in the next section. The road is also not an option because of poor visibility for traffic on the slippery, snowy curves.

Seven pilgrims are taking a taxi ahead tomorrow for safety. I begrudgingly will join them, and sadly abandon my continuous footpath from Madrid.

I definitely DO NOT recommend walking this Camino in November!!!!

You know, Sara,
This weather is unheard of till now, but sadly it may now be the new normal. I am glad you are safe and hope that the rest of the camino goes well for you.
 

Sara_Dhooma

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Muxia (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Norte (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18)+more
Just an update.

Trapped another day in Grandas de Salime. The roads are too bad for the taxi & bus to travel EEE22318-7913-4D38-8B99-B0FF544AAF30.jpeg . 😅

It is continuously dumping more and more snow. At least the bar is open! 😉 🍺 ❤
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy
Read a good book, rest, relax and give thanks that you aren't shivering in a tent with a hungry donkey in the field next to you.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Grandas is not a bad place to have to stop over. Is the museum open? It is very good and worth a visit.
The snow line level is rising after today so hopefully the roads will open again soon for you.
 

Nomad Pack

Tough times are coming, you need to open your eyes
Camino(s) past & future
Everywhere with Donkeys and Dogs
Read a good book, rest, relax and give thanks that you aren't shivering in a tent with a hungry donkey in the field next to you.
That is funny. I've spent many nights on the primitivo and del norte doing just that, hungry as well, oh, and wet. Very wet...

I've lived in Cantabria and Asturias through several winters and it rains more often than not.
I was on the del norte back in January this year, look at my thread and you will see rain in most of the photos.

Its not like your having to make camp every night with wet gear, wet you and wet animals.

SO.....on the up hand, if you have a dry and warm hostel to sleep in every night, good food and a nice hot shower then become a warrior and stick with it.
Enjoy the rain and enjoy how beautiful Asturian forests are during autumn.
Stop thinking of other routes, this is a test you have given yourself whether you know it or not. You will feel a great sense of achievement when you walk into Santiago frozen and dripping wet. And you will be a much more experienced pilgrim for it.

Good luck
 

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