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Feedback on Primitivo Stages

Verde

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo '18
Hey,

I'm going to be doing the Primitivo in October. I have a couple of weeks to do it, so I'm looking at doing this in 11 stages. I know that's less stages than what people typically recommend, but I'm up for the challenge. I wanted to post my planned stages- if anyone has any feedback or advice on it, I'd appreciate it.

With this plan, I'm looking to start with relatively short stages at the start to get used to it, and also have relatively shorter days coming into and heading out of Lugo, so that I have some time to see that town . I also have a relatively short day coming into Santiago to allow some more time to see that city.

I am looking at doing the following. I built this plan using the distances and information given by the Wise Pilgrim App.

1. Grado- 25.1
2. Salas - 23.7
3. Campiello- 33.4
4. Berducedo- 33.6 (Hospitales route)
5. A fonsagrda- 40.4
6. Castroverde- 30.8
7. Lugo- 18.1
8. Castrelo- 16.3
9. Melide- 30.2
10. Armenal- 33.1
11. Santiago - 16.4

Thanks for any feedback you guys have. I'll be open to modifying this once I am on the camino of course, but I thought it would be helpful to have a plan because I have a pretty tight timeframe.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, @Verde,
Some random thoughts from someone who loves the Primitivo and has walked pretty much these same stages on a couple of occasions.

Pushing on another 7 km past Salas to get to Bodenaya will put you in one of the iconic Primitivo albergues. Now run by David with as much love and devotion as Alex did for years. It’s a donativo and I’ve never heard a bad thing said about it. That would also make it easier to go beyond Campiello to Borres the next day, where there is a new private albergue that has also gotten good reviews, but I have not stayed there.

I think your stage from Berducedo to A Fonsagrada is slightly off. Gronze puts it at close to 46 km. Berducedo to Grandas is listed as 20.4, and Grandas to A Fonsagrada is 25.2. If you still want to get to a Fonsagrada on day 5, you could add on a few the day before and push on to La Mesa (also has a new private albergue, highly reviewed), which would even those two days out more. la Mesa to A Fonsagrada would be a more do-able day.

Agree with the idea of going beyond O Cádavo to Castroverde on Day 6. The walk from O Cádavo to Castroverde is pleasant, some on roads, but a lot on forest track, and having all that extra time in the lovely city of Lugo is a great idea. There is both an albergue and a pensión in Castroverde. I’ve only stayed in the pensión and it is fine.

For the day out of Lugo, I always prefer to go on to one of the private albergues in Ponte Ferreira. One is an old stone house, the other a new modern industrial chic type place. It is a very easy walk from Lugo, though a lot is on the side of the road, and there is nothing to do in San Roman (which is what I think you are referring to as Castrelo — my impression is that these are two hamlets very close to each other).

From Ferreira, I have twice gone on to Boente, after a long pulpo stop in Melide, where there is a private albergue. The crowds in Melide always shock Primitivo walkers and this is one way to reduce that feeling. Leaving Boente the next morning, you are ahead of the crowds leaving Melide and behind the crowds leaving Arzua. I like the owners of the Boente albergue a lot, though I know some have found them stand-offish.

I’ve never stayed at Amenal, though I have had a coffee in their café. Looks quite nice.

I’m not suggesting you change your plans to do any of these things, just offering feedback with ways to mix it up a bit if you are so inclined. Buen camino, Laurie
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
And if there is anyone out there who loves old Roman things, there is a painted Roman crypt below the village church in Santa Eulalia de Bóveda. It’s on the day out of Lugo and is a short detour off Camino, very easy to follow. Lots of info here:

https://www.anavedeferreira.com/2015/02/primitive-way-santa-eulalia-de-boveda/?lang=en

And you can reserve a bed (A Nave also has private rooms if you prefer that to an albergue room) so there’s no rush. I know that visiting hours have been reduced, so I would check at the Lugo Tourist office just to be sure. It is beautiful, and the countryside is very nice.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Hi,

I would prefer the following stages:

1: Oviedo - San Juan de Villapanada
2: San Juan de Villapanada - Bodenaya
3: Bodenaya - Campiello
4: Campiello - Berducedo
5: Berducedo - Grandas de Salime
6: Grandas de Salime - A Fonsagrada (3 days with lots of ups and downs, so take shorter stages!)
7: A-Fonsagrada - Castroverde
8: Castroverde - Lugo
9: Lugo - As Seixas
10: As Seixas - Arzua
11: Arzua - Santiago
 

Tom Vickers

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances1993/2002) Fonseca 06 Primitivo 16. Muxia/Fisterra 16. VDLP 17. Primitivo/Fisterra 18.
I agree with previous posts that Bodonaya is a place not to be missed. The only snag that I can see, if you want to book ahead, is that the telephone number is out of date. David can be contacted on 0034 645 888 984.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi,

I would prefer the following stages:

1: Oviedo - San Juan de Villapanada
2: San Juan de Villapanada - Bodenaya
3: Bodenaya - Campiello
4: Campiello - Berducedo
5: Berducedo - Grandas de Salime
6: Grandas de Salime - A Fonsagrada (3 days with lots of ups and downs, so take shorter stages!)
7: A-Fonsagrada - Castroverde
8: Castroverde - Lugo
9: Lugo - As Seixas
10: As Seixas - Arzua
11: Arzua - Santiago
I have also stayed in all these places except As Seixas. San Juan is a very nice albergue, in a beautiful setting. The hospitalero makes communal meals and it is a very comfortable place. The views are just gorgeous. I think that the opening of the public albergue (and now the private one) in Grado have decreased his traffic a bit. It’s a couple of km up after Grado, but nothing too strenuous, especially if you have a nice long cold drink break in Grado. And it’s nice to bring up food to contribute to the meal.

I guess the good point to stress here is that you really do have a lot of options and can make the decisions on the ground and depending on the weather, how you feel,, etc. If you are beat in Grado, stop in Grado. If you feel like one last burst of a couple kms up hill, go on to San Juan. Leaving Lugo, if you are tired after 18 km or get a late start, stop in San Román; you want to go on,you’ve got the option of a 26 km stage from Lugo to Ferreira, or a 32 km stage to As Seixas.

Of all the suggestions given, the only one that I would personally avoid is Arzua, especially coming off the Primitivo. It is just mobbed — Gronze lists 24 places to stay! That makes the camino the predominant theme of the town. Galicia is there somewhere, but it is hard to find. True, it’s a town with all services, but if you want to avoid the craziness, some of the off-stage places, or the single accommodations out in the middle of nowhere would be more relaxing.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
I completely agree with you, that Arzua is not a very nice place to stay, because it has become too popular as a stop. But nevertheless there are plenty of albergue beds and it is possible to continue to Santiago with a next hard day. Otherwise, with one more day left I would opt for Boente or Castaneda and probably stop at Ponte Ferreira instead of As Seixas.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
I agree with previous posts that Bodonaya is a place not to be missed. The only snag that I can see, if you want to book ahead, is that the telephone number is out of date. David can be contacted on 0034 645 888 984.
It’s not in the OP’s plans, but for others who might be interested, if you stay the previous night at San Juan de Villapañada, the hospitalero there will book Bodenaya for you.
 

Rich1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (5/15)
Frances & Muxia (2016-18)
Camino from Madrid (9/18)
Frances to Burgos (9/19)
TBC
Hi, @Verde,
For the day out of Lugo, I always prefer to go on to one of the private albergues in Ponte Ferreira. One is an old stone house, the other a new modern industrial chic type place. Buen camino, Laurie
which one is which?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Mucho gracias
And I can also add, Ponte Ferreira is now run by Ton and Ria, two Dutch pilgrims. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/albergue-ponte-ferreira.56769/
They serve, I believe, vegetarian or vegan meals.

A Nave, the new one, is run by @Juanma and his family and they have individual rooms available and serve paella every night, I believe. https://www.anavedeferreira.com/?lang=en

I would be hard pressed to pick between them. I have stayed in both places and they are both great. As are the people running both of them.
 

Tom Vickers

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances1993/2002) Fonseca 06 Primitivo 16. Muxia/Fisterra 16. VDLP 17. Primitivo/Fisterra 18.
It’s not in the OP’s plans, but for others who might be interested, if you stay the previous night at San Juan de Villapañada, the hospitalero there will book Bodenaya for you.
This is true. When I arrived in Bodenaya this year I discovered that the hospitalero in Villapanana had gathered together everyone headed for Bodenaya and took a photo which was forwarded to David to reserve places.
 

Rich1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (5/15)
Frances & Muxia (2016-18)
Camino from Madrid (9/18)
Frances to Burgos (9/19)
TBC
For the record, I stayed at Ponte Ferreira with Ton and Ria last night and it was fabulous - one of my very best albergue experiences ever.

They were the perfect hosts. They are both veteran pilgrims so know exactly what makes a good pilgrim expeience. The vegetarian meal prepared by Ria was simply delicious and I'll point out that I'm not a vegetarian. We even had a small port as an aperitif. Because there were only 3 pilgrims there, our hosts dined with us and it was like a family dinner - constant chat in at least 3 languages!
Ria is compiling a pilgrim playlist - each pilgrim gets to add one song. I commented on the excellent Pink Floyd selection and then we chilled to an evening of Floyd!
I cannot recommend the albergue strongly enough and will definitely stay again if I'm passing.
 

Jyrki Wahlstedt

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo 2018 (, Portugues 2021)
Hi,
those stages seem doable. I finished Primitivo on 1st Sep, so I thought I'd share my stages here:
1. Grado (wonderful donativo)
2. La Espina (had an albergue, Casa Aladino, all to myself, keys from the bar next door, had a nice dinner there, too)
3. Campiello (Casa Herminia, a shop next to it)
4. Berducedo (one might consider La Mesa, a very nice albergue there)
5. Castro (a nice albergue, got the last bed, the breakfast was not the greatest, but in the morning I heard "Erbarme dich" from Matthew passion, compensated)
6. O Piñeiral (one may have to ask the albergue at the restaurant/bar, but nice, modern place, only one other person staying there, a lovely glass wall with Primitivo drawn on it)
7. Castroverde (Xunta)
8. Lugo (Xunta)
9. Ferreira (A Nave)
10. Arzúa (stayed in The Way Hostel, a nice private albergue)
11. Monte de Gozo (could have walked to Santiago as well, just wanted to get to Santiago in the morning)
12. Santiago

One thing of course different in October is that the day is shorter, so if one wants to start early, a headlight might be good. There certainly are fewer pilgrims at that time, but reserving a place might not be a bad idea.

PS I had quite an emotional experience on my way back home, as I spent two days in Barcelona (had flights to/from there), and obviously went to Sagrada Familia. Now, after having walked on paths through Asturian and Galician forests, and then standing in the awesome space of Sagrada that's so like a forest, summed up my pilgrimage completely.
 

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