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Continuing CF or switching to primitivo?

JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
Hi everyone,

Juli 23th I started the camino Frances from SJPDP, and currently I am in Leon. The camino has been a wonderful but also very painful experience so far, i am still trying to find my way. I enjoy the walking but the social aspect is currently a bit difficult for me due to anxieties, hence i haven't made any deep connections or 'camino friends'. That's why I think about walking or 'bussing' to Oviedo tomorrow to start the primitivo, for a more solitary way. The 31th of august i need to be in Santiago for my travel back to the Netherlands (and before thar I would like to finish with the camino finesterra).

Now, can anyone tell me a bit more about the primitivo? For example, how it is different from the CF and for whom would it be a suitable camino, is it crowded at the moment, are reservations for albergues necessary, is it doable to find places to sleep, is it more expensive, do I miss a lot of I do not finish with the frances?

Any information, wise words, or advise is very welcome!!
 
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JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
You can walk the Camino del Salvador from León to Oviedo, which is a beautiful but more difficult route than the Francés. It should take 5 - 6 days.
Thanks for the tip. I was thinking about that! Any idea if there are enough open albergues along the way?

Timewise i am not sure if it will work. 21 days left before my bus to the Netherlands leaves:p
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
I'm sorry that you are finding it difficult going forward on the Frances, but what will change for you by taking the Salvador (yes a beautiful way!) or taking the bus to Oviedo to start the primitivo? If these anxieties persist you might end up regretting the decision to change routes.
You have plenty of time to get to Santiago
Perhaps spending a couple of days in Leon and taking a breather to come to terms with your feelings will help and you will be in a different wave of pilgrims when you move on. Just a thought, and Leon is a beautiful city. Try not to overthink things. Hope it works for you whatever you decide..
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Now, can anyone tell me a bit more about the primitivo? For example, how it is different from the CF and for whom would it be a suitable camino, is it crowded at the moment, are reservations for albergues necessary, is it doable to find places to sleep, is it more expensive, do I miss a lot of I do not finish with the frances?
These are hard questions to answer. I loved the Frances, and also loved the Primitivo, but they are entirely different experiences in my view. I saw far less pilgrims on the Primitivo during the day, and there were fewer outside dining experiences as less bars along the way to take a mid-day break; lodging where we stayed was usually filled up at night. We never booked ahead, but stayed with the lodging choices listed in Dave Whitson's Cicerone guidebook and it worked out for us in 2016, so quite awhile ago. Yes, it was a bit more expensive, even back then.
EDIT- I walked the Primitivo in May.
 
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Ali@59

Alison
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
i am pretty sure the Primitivo is unusually busy at the moment, I've watched a few videos of people walking end of July and folks have been saying the municipal albergues were full up but private accommodation should be okay, but listen to other information
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
i am pretty sure the Primitivo is unusually busy at the moment, I've watched a few videos of people walking end of July and folks have been saying the municipal albergues were full up but private accommodation should be okay, but listen to other information
August is historically the busiest month on the Primitivo. The figures for June and July show strong growth on the numbers from 2019 (last full year without Covid disruptions). See this post for a graphical view of the numbers: Thread 'Primitivo Pilgrim numbers are up on 2019' https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/primitivo-pilgrim-numbers-are-up-on-2019.76254/
 

JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
I'm sorry that you are finding it difficult going forward on the Frances, but what will change for you by taking the Salvador (yes a beautiful way!) or taking the bus to Oviedo to start the primitivo? If these anxieties persist you might end up regretting the decision to change routes.
You have plenty of time to get to Santiago
Perhaps spending a couple of days in Leon and taking a breather to come to terms with your feelings will help and you will be in a different wave of pilgrims when you move on. Just a thought, and Leon is a beautiful city. Try not to overthink things. Hope it works for you whatever you decide..

I think you are right. I will finish the Frances and try to not overthink.

This night I had a mervelous sleep so that will help.
 
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cronnik

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 11/21
Pamplona - Burgos
Sarria - SdC
i am pretty sure the Primitivo is unusually busy at the moment, I've watched a few videos of people walking end of July and folks have been saying the municipal albergues were full up but private accommodation should be okay, but listen to other information
I just got back. It was “busy” but in a manageable way that made it fun as it was quite social. I had a great time with other pilgrims and met many.
When it comes to social anxieties I can relate. But I just let myself go in a way that I do t when I’m at home. The best way to meet people that worked for me was to offer help when needed or just ask other people questions about themselves. Giving others the spotlight can be a great way to start a conversation as most people like to share something about themselves. I just ask about their experiences so far and since we all have so many even after just a couple of days walking it opens up a bunch of things you can both relate to.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
Thanks everyone for the replies. I made up my mind and will finish with the Frances. Primitivo perhaps for another day.
Wise decision! Finish the Frances! You are almost there and you never know where you will meet someone important--I had started at SJPDP and I met the woman who is now my wife a couple hours after leaving Santiago for Finisterre!
 

Robi Diaz De Vivar

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
Hi everyone,

Juli 23th I started the camino Frances from SJPDP, and currently I am in Leon. The camino has been a wonderful but also very painful experience so far, i am still trying to find my way. I enjoy the walking but the social aspect is currently a bit difficult for me due to anxieties, hence i haven't made any deep connections or 'camino friends'. That's why I think about walking or 'bussing' to Oviedo tomorrow to start the primitivo, for a more solitary way. The 31th of august i need to be in Santiago for my travel back to the Netherlands (and before thar I would like to finish with the camino finesterra).

Now, can anyone tell me a bit more about the primitivo? For example, how it is different from the CF and for whom would it be a suitable camino, is it crowded at the moment, are reservations for albergues necessary, is it doable to find places to sleep, is it more expensive, do I miss a lot of I do not finish with the frances?

Any information, wise words, or advise is very welcome!!
The Primitivo is a very beautiful but physically much more demanding route. I cannot speak to the post-Covid world but in 2019 there was no problem with albergues and while there were fewer peregrinos than the Frances there were still enough not to be lonely....it seemed to be very popular with your fellow countrymen and women.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I started the Camino Frances in april, I changed over to the Via Sanabresin Burgos I did not like the crowds, very much. I felt that the community of people I met on the. Frances were ,"atomised,," ,(in Dutch "hingen als los zand aan elkaar")I met so many people, new faces everyday in the many albergues, restaurants and so on. Walking on the Sanabres made a big change for me. A group feeling developed easily not so much in intensity of contact but in recognition of each other.
I walked the Primitivo and Salvador, both are beautiful mountainous routes. I walked the Primitivo in april/ may 2016 though . I cannot give an opinion about how crowded it will be in August.
 
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JanusDT

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay
I started the Camino Frances in april, I changed over to the Via Sanabresin Burgos I did not like the crowds, very much. I felt that the community of people I met on the. Frances were ,"atomised,," ,(in Dutch "hingen als los zand aan elkaar")I met so many people, new faces everyday in the many albergues, restaurants and so on. Walking on the Sanabres made a big change for me. A group feeling developed easily not so much in intensity of contact but in recognition of each other.
I walked the Primitivo and Salvador, both are beautiful mountainous routes. I walked the Primitivo in april/ may 2016 though . I cannot give an opinion about how crowded it will be in August.
Hi Antonius. Exactely, I can relate to your perception of "atomised crowds". No group feeling, only formation of some smaller groups. Gives a lonely feeling.

Was this different before, and what could explain this change?
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I think it also has to do with the infrastructure related to the crowds. In every stopping place there are different bars, restaurants, albergues and so on. There are also more villages where you can stay. This means that people disperse a lot. You see different people everyday. Certainly if you are walking alone this can have a negative effect, for sure if you are not an extravert/ outgoing person.
On less crowded routes, this effect will be less strong, you probably will see more familiar faces on the path and in the albergues. I liked that
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2021; CSS/CP 2022
Hi JanusDT, I am happy you have decided to stay the path and continue on the Camino Frances. I walked it last fall, and was surprised at how much I learned about my own relationship to social situations (and I am not young!). It turns out I didn't really want the "camino family experience" so often described; I, too, experienced a sort of social anxiety, and found a preference to walk in silence and not engage too much in conversation. (My feet, nicknamed Hell and Damnation, whined so much, I couldn't get a word - or thought - in edgewise, anyway :D ). I, too, had doubts, and wondered about transferring to another route, but ultimately continued and am very, very glad I did. So many factors play into our feelings as we walk; it can take time to sort through everything. As St Augustine is often quoted: solvitur ambulando. To that end, I return to Spain in a month or so...with intent to walk Caminos San Salvador and Primitivo...Buen camino, may you find what you're looking for!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Yes, I agree @JanusDT - good decision to stay with the Camino Frances. Personally I hate to abandon a particular path; I go home feeling somehow dissatisfied - and almost always find myself going back for a re-do! Besides, the Primitivo is lovely, but this is its high season due to the fact it is a mountain route.
 

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