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LIVE from the Camino Camping failures live from Salvador/Primitivo


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Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Thought people here might be interested in my attempts to do these caminos together, with a tent in my pack for emergencies. I was especially anticipating needing it on the Salvador which has many municipal albergues still closed.

La Robla looked from the start a bad bet. The situation where all the guest houses were booked up from local power station workers is continuing. The albergue was also closed but next to a park, which looked like it would potentially be available to put a tent, however no part of the park was within the confines of the albergue, so I wondered if I would be allowed to camp here. In the end skipped this stage by train, but did meet out of La Robla a Brit who had managed to find a spot to sleep directed by locals in a bar, which he described as “like something from Franco’s times” for 20€.

The next stage actually had a municipal albergue open, the only one I found on this route.

Day three was a very long hike but fortunately ended in a nice private albergue in Llanos de Somerón.
Day four to Mieres, I had a hope that there might be some albergue garden to camp in, but it turned out to not be so, with the municipal being just a floor in a concrete administrative building. All guest houses and hotels apart from the most expensive one were not responding to calls or doorbells. I scouted around for a place I might camp but had to leave town a couple of kilometres until there were fields again. The location was unpleasant though, being half way between the damp river and a loud motorway. Determined to use my tent at least once, I camped from dusk to dawn, out of sight by the river, and had a rather restless night. I wasn’t disturbed though and the traffic went quiet after midnight.

Once on the Primitivo, no albergues were closed, but a couple of times towns were at or very close to capacity. In Seixas I asked at the xunta albergue if I could camp in the garden, but the hospitalera told me there were building works there.

In Ribadiso I tried again, hoping their nice large gardens would provide the perfect spot, but this time was told that they couldn’t exceed quotas, which didn’t make a lot of sense as they weren’t at capacity and the facilities were outside anyway. I figure the employees of the xunta albergues are just administrative workers following rules, and don’t often join in the camino spirit I’ve found elsewhere. It wasn’t a problem anyway, as I happily paid for a warm bed instead.

So from more than two weeks of hiking, my tent has seen only one night of use! Not a resounding success, but it was interesting to find these things out first hand.

Jerry’s Final Thought: remember, wild camping is sometimes trespassing. Always get permission for where you intend to camp!
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
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Jerry, your thread title definitely got my attention; thanks for the updstes. It definitely sounds dicey on the Salvador. Heads up y'all. Booking looks like the best option on this camino for the time being. Hopefully the situation changes, in time for the 2022 numbers that sound like they're on their way.


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Wow, it sounds like you had quite the challenge! I walked the Salvador a month ago, and another forum member walked it about a week ago, but neither of us were camping. Just a few comments to help those who want to set out, though I think the window is closing for this year as snow season gets closer.

Cabanillas albergue is open, but it’s only about 16 km or so from León.

La Robla looked from the start a bad bet. The situation where all the guest houses were booked up from local power station workers is continuing.
The owner of the Ordoñez hostal keeps one room for pilgrims every night. Two can sleep there. (But it seems to be just like you describe. I haven’t slept there)
C. Ramón y Cajal, 5, 24640 La Robla
Phone +34 652 92 16 30

If you can make it a few more km on to Pola de Gordón there are two hostales, whose worker population has decreased dramatically and both had beds recently. 15 de mayo and the place over Mesón de Miguel.

Buiza’s albergue is closed and there is no private option.

Poladura’s albergue is open, I think it sounds like you stayed there.

Pajares’ albergue is closed but two private options, a Casa Rural and the pensión/bar on the highway.

I have heard great things about the Llanos de Somerón albergue. @Ungawawa, did you take the alternative that the hospitalero there and others have recommended? It does not go on the road down to Puente de Fierro, but rather goes up and down and around to take you directly to Fresnedo. It was really rough, lots of rocky ascents and descents, but I’d be interested to hear your opinion.

Sandra’s albergue in Bendueños is also open, but the location isn’t necessarily great depending on your stages.

Pola de Lena’s albergue is also closed but there are 2-3 private places, cheapest is Pensión la Payareta.

Mieres is still building their albergue and use a college dorm as a termporary substitute.

It sounds to me like sleeping in a tent is much more difficult with the albergues closed. This is one camnino with lots of remote territory, but I personally wouldn’t want to be out there at night in a tent, and I take it you didn’t either!

Have you camped on other caminos?

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