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Is the Olvidado for you?

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
There is a fairly large upsurge in interest in the Olvidado. The on-the-ground organization, which brings in all the municipalities from start to finish, is doing an amazing job of marking and of getting albergues up and running, both of which are essential. One factoid — the number of pilgrims who slept in the Fasgar albergue in May 2019 was more than the number that slept in the albergue in all of 2018. True, the numbers were small, about 60 or 70, I think, but still, things are on the move.

I walked the days from Aguilar de Campoo to Ponferrada this year, having walked the “whole route” (from Bilbao to Ponferrada) a few years ago. In the few years in between, the changes have been incredible. There is a guide (my English translation of Ender’s guide will be posted soon), an app (careful for a few of the stages crashing), GPS tracks (totally essential as of today, in fact, I think it would be reckless to walk without a GPS or an impeccable sense of direction). In the towns and villages, there is much more awareness of the route overall. Distances tend to be longer and elevation gain higher than on other caminos, but there are often ways to break things up.

But you are going to have to accept that the marking is not perfect or complete, and the remoteness of some of the stages means no cell phone coverage. Also, given the low numbers, you just have to be prepared for the fact that you are going to walk through terrain where the bush-whackers, the tree trimmers, the grass-cutters, and the debris-clearers will not have been through before you.

The sustained mountain beauty of this route, as others have already said, is unsurpassed by any other camino I have walked (well, a few days on the Vasco come close!). I was very lucky to have had a companion except for the last four days or so from La Magdalena to Ponferrada, and I am not so sure I would want to walk the mountain alternatives between Aguilar and La Magdalena alone.

The mountain alternatives are unbeatable, but Ender did tell me that the “old way” (which is the way I followed a few years ago, and I wlked alone) has also been improved and brought more off road. And luckily, since none of this route passes through Galicia, there are no bulldozed paths covered in crushed rock. :p

I think @Aglass is just starting out and I hope we hear updates!

And btw, the Olvidado into Ponferrada makes for a perfect combination with the Invierno. I think the two groups ought to get together and join forces in promoting this combo, it is spectacular.

We are forming our Olvidado Alumni group (@omicko and @alansykes are eligible for free premium membership because they helped me so much) and we are looking for new members, so please report in. Happy to answer questions.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018
There is a fairly large upsurge in interest in the Olvidado. The on-the-ground organization, which brings in all the municipalities from start to finish, is doing an amazing job of marking and of getting albergues up and running, both of which are essential. One factoid — the number of pilgrims who slept in the Fasgar albergue in May 2019 was more than the number that slept in the albergue in all of 2018. True, the numbers were small, about 60 or 70, I think, but still, things are on the move.

I walked the days from Aguilar de Campoo to Ponferrada this year, having walked the “whole route” (from Bilbao to Ponferrada) a few years ago. In the few years in between, the changes have been incredible. There is a guide (my English translation of Ender’s guide will be posted soon), an app (careful for a few of the stages crashing), GPS tracks (totally essential as of today, in fact, I think it would be reckless to walk without a GPS or an impeccable sense of direction). In the towns and villages, there is much more awareness of the route overall. Distances tend to be longer and elevation gain higher than on other caminos, but there are often ways to break things up.

But you are going to have to accept that the marking is not perfect or complete, and the remoteness of some of the stages means no cell phone coverage. Also, given the low numbers, you just have to be prepared for the fact that you are going to walk through terrain where the bush-whackers, the tree trimmers, the grass-cutters, and the debris-clearers will not have been through before you.

The sustained mountain beauty of this route, as others have already said, is unsurpassed by any other camino I have walked (well, a few days on the Vasco come close!). I was very lucky to have had a companion except for the last four days or so from La Magdalena to Ponferrada, and I am not so sure I would want to walk the mountain alternatives between Aguilar and La Magdalena alone.

The mountain alternatives are unbeatable, but Ender did tell me that the “old way” (which is the way I followed a few years ago, and I wlked alone) has also been improved and brought more off road. And luckily, since none of this route passes through Galicia, there are no bulldozed paths covered in crushed rock. :p

I think @Aglass is just starting out and I hope we hear updates!

And btw, the Olvidado into Ponferrada makes for a perfect combination with the Invierno. I think the two groups ought to get together and join forces in promoting this combo, it is spectacular.

We are forming our Olvidado Alumni group (@omicko and @alansykes are eligible for free premium membership because they helped me so much) and we are looking for new members, so please report in. Happy to answer questions.

Buen camino, Laurie
Great! Thank you, Laurie! I have got the Olvidado in my sights(?) for 2021, but given my age, am going easy nowadays as far as planning is concerned. Collect as much info as comes my way, and start serious planning the year before. So, your info is going into the Olvidado folder to be looked at some time next year. Thank you for the encouragement you give to all!

Buen camino!
Ina
 

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
There is a fairly large upsurge in interest in the Olvidado. The on-the-ground organization, which brings in all the municipalities from start to finish, is doing an amazing job of marking and of getting albergues up and running, both of which are essential. One factoid — the number of pilgrims who slept in the Fasgar albergue in May 2019 was more than the number that slept in the albergue in all of 2018. True, the numbers were small, about 60 or 70, I think, but still, things are on the move.

I walked the days from Aguilar de Campoo to Ponferrada this year, having walked the “whole route” (from Bilbao to Ponferrada) a few years ago. In the few years in between, the changes have been incredible. There is a guide (my English translation of Ender’s guide will be posted soon), an app (careful for a few of the stages crashing), GPS tracks (totally essential as of today, in fact, I think it would be reckless to walk without a GPS or an impeccable sense of direction). In the towns and villages, there is much more awareness of the route overall. Distances tend to be longer and elevation gain higher than on other caminos, but there are often ways to break things up.

But you are going to have to accept that the marking is not perfect or complete, and the remoteness of some of the stages means no cell phone coverage. Also, given the low numbers, you just have to be prepared for the fact that you are going to walk through terrain where the bush-whackers, the tree trimmers, the grass-cutters, and the debris-clearers will not have been through before you.

The sustained mountain beauty of this route, as others have already said, is unsurpassed by any other camino I have walked (well, a few days on the Vasco come close!). I was very lucky to have had a companion except for the last four days or so from La Magdalena to Ponferrada, and I am not so sure I would want to walk the mountain alternatives between Aguilar and La Magdalena alone.

The mountain alternatives are unbeatable, but Ender did tell me that the “old way” (which is the way I followed a few years ago, and I wlked alone) has also been improved and brought more off road. And luckily, since none of this route passes through Galicia, there are no bulldozed paths covered in crushed rock. :p

I think @Aglass is just starting out and I hope we hear updates!

And btw, the Olvidado into Ponferrada makes for a perfect combination with the Invierno. I think the two groups ought to get together and join forces in promoting this combo, it is spectacular.

We are forming our Olvidado Alumni group (@omicko and @alansykes are eligible for free premium membership because they helped me so much) and we are looking for new members, so please report in. Happy to answer questions.

Buen camino, Laurie
Sorry to keep doing this to you Laurie but how does it compare with the scenery of the Primitivo and elevation gain?
 

Aglass

Andrew
Camino(s) past & future
Walked el Camino Frances in 2003. Did the Primitivo in August 13 and Ruta lebaniega in July 14. Summer 2016 - Camino del Salvador.
One day: Ruta de la Plata into the Sanabres, maybe part of the Norte, and perhaps the Olvidado.
Thank you Laurie. A really interesting summary. I have chickened out at the last moment and am doing 2 weeks on the Norte from tomorrow. The reasons - much the ones you suggest above and the fact that I have ended up with only 2 weeks. I will do it, just not this year.
Buen camino
Andrew
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Sorry to keep doing this to you Laurie but how does it compare with the scenery of the Primitivo and elevation gain?
From Bilbao to Aguilar I would say the scenery is very nice,not spectacular unless you count the truly incredible Romanesque churches near Villasana de Mena. From Aguilar to Ponferrada all but the last day, I’d say, has many wow moments. Lots of mountains.

I think the Olvidado is probably tougher than the Primitivo but I’d like to hear what others think. I wouldn’t say there was any day that left me totally depleted, but some of the mountain stages were both long and with a lot of elevation. But gorgeous, so well worth it.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
And btw, the Olvidado into Ponferrada makes for a perfect combination with the Invierno. I think the two groups ought to get together and join forces in promoting this combo, it is spectacular.
I remember when we discussed this combo in Lisbon last year, and I think next spring might be the time for it. And if Wendy’s feet are OK, we might even tack a few more things onto it! ;)
 

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