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Just got back home from the Primitivo

marcoberna

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo - June 2022
Invierno - coming April 2023
Just got back home from the Camino Primitivo, 332 km from Oviedo to Santiago, plus some spare more for dinners and city (the few ones I crossed) visits.

As expected, is a challenging walk, with lots of up and down hills (almost 9.000 mt of altitude gain), mostly in the first stages in Asturias. It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich even in summer and each stage is mainly walked in forests or natural trails. When you reach Galicia the scenery changes and you find a bit more paved roads to walk, but never too much.

The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!

Choosing the Primitivo is a definite choice. It means walking always on your own, or maybe just with your group, since only a few pilgrims/wayfarer/hikers choose it. Usually, you gather with the Camino friends at the end of the day, as there are less albergues than on other Caminos and even less places where to eat. When the Primitivo merges with the Frances, in Melide, after 11 days of total tranquility, I almost had a shock entering in crowded restaurants. And it was interesting noticing the different types of people you can meet, from the long-distance ones (the whole Camino Frances or those who add the Primitivo to the Norte) to those who only walk the last 100 km, from Sarria or Lugo, to get the Compostela. All of them with equal enthusiasm and dignity, even if you can spot pride in those who made the greatest efforts.

Eating on the Primitivo is easy and delicious. Portions in Asturias, whether it be the Fabada or the ubiquitous tortilla, are always huge and very inexpensive. Entering Galicia, while the taste remains still great (Pulpo and Pimientos de Padron, oh my!), prices increase as long as you approach Santiago. You soon lose the count of the beers you kill, Mahou or Estrella.

Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
 
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JACOBS Noël

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés, Portugues, Ingles, Plata, Levante, Norte, Salvador, Primitivo
Congratulations Marcoberna !!! The Invierno is waiting for you and is a good choice !!!
 

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sp01326

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French, English, Primitivo (2) , Portuguese, Norte
Just got back home from the Camino Primitivo, 332 km from Oviedo to Santiago, plus some spare more for dinners and city (the few ones I crossed) visits.

As expected, is a challenging walk, with lots of up and down hills (almost 9.000 mt of altitude gain), mostly in the first stages in Asturias. It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich even in summer and each stage is mainly walked in forests or natural trails. When you reach Galicia the scenery changes and you find a bit more paved roads to walk, but never too much.

The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!

Choosing the Primitivo is a definite choice. It means walking always on your own, or maybe just with your group, since only a few pilgrims/wayfarer/hikers choose it. Usually, you gather with the Camino friends at the end of the day, as there are less albergues than on other Caminos and even less places where to eat. When the Primitivo merges with the Frances, in Melide, after 11 days of total tranquility, I almost had a shock entering in crowded restaurants. And it was interesting noticing the different types of people you can meet, from the long-distance ones (the whole Camino Frances or those who add the Primitivo to the Norte) to those who only walk the last 100 km, from Sarria or Lugo, to get the Compostela. All of them with equal enthusiasm and dignity, even if you can spot pride in those who made the greatest efforts.

Eating on the Primitivo is easy and delicious. Portions in Asturias, whether it be the Fabada or the ubiquitous tortilla, are always huge and very inexpensive. Entering Galicia, while the taste remains still great (Pulpo and Pimientos de Padron, oh my!), prices increase as long as you approach Santiago. You soon lose the count of the beers you kill, Mahou or Estrella.

Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
Great experience and great report that I substantially endorse (I walked Primitivo two times). Can I ask you which season you find appropriate for Camino de Invierno? Bye
 

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
Just got back home from the Camino Primitivo, 332 km from Oviedo to Santiago, plus some spare more for dinners and city (the few ones I crossed) visits.

As expected, is a challenging walk, with lots of up and down hills (almost 9.000 mt of altitude gain), mostly in the first stages in Asturias. It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich even in summer and each stage is mainly walked in forests or natural trails. When you reach Galicia the scenery changes and you find a bit more paved roads to walk, but never too much.

The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!

Choosing the Primitivo is a definite choice. It means walking always on your own, or maybe just with your group, since only a few pilgrims/wayfarer/hikers choose it. Usually, you gather with the Camino friends at the end of the day, as there are less albergues than on other Caminos and even less places where to eat. When the Primitivo merges with the Frances, in Melide, after 11 days of total tranquility, I almost had a shock entering in crowded restaurants. And it was interesting noticing the different types of people you can meet, from the long-distance ones (the whole Camino Frances or those who add the Primitivo to the Norte) to those who only walk the last 100 km, from Sarria or Lugo, to get the Compostela. All of them with equal enthusiasm and dignity, even if you can spot pride in those who made the greatest efforts.

Eating on the Primitivo is easy and delicious. Portions in Asturias, whether it be the Fabada or the ubiquitous tortilla, are always huge and very inexpensive. Entering Galicia, while the taste remains still great (Pulpo and Pimientos de Padron, oh my!), prices increase as long as you approach Santiago. You soon lose the count of the beers you kill, Mahou or Estrella.

Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
Also walked the Primitivo in May. At 74 I was a little concerned but it was no problem and at least 30% of walkers I met were over 70 years old.

Know how you felt at Melide--Overwhelming crowds so i just walked from Melide to Santiago in one day--very easy after walking the Primitivo hills for 11 days.

And as a fellow unbeliever, i strongly recommend you walk to Finsterre next time. Do it for the Druids and the Sun God. Go to the beach across the highway from town : kneel in the waves and let 7 waves hit you and BOOM--ALL of your sins are forgiven! It works! Did it twice!
 
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marcoberna

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo - June 2022
Invierno - coming April 2023
Also walked the Primitivo in May. At 74 I was a little concerned but it was no problem and at least 30% of walkers I met were over 70 years old.

Know how you felt at Melide--Overwhelming crowds so i just walked from Melide to Santiago in one day--very easy after walking the Primitivo hills for 11 days.

And as a fellow unbeliever, i strongly recommend you walk to Finsterre next time. Do it for the Druids and the Sun God. Go to the beach across the highway from town : kneel in the waves and let 7 waves hit you and BOOM--ALL of your sins are forgiven! It works! Did it twice!
I will surely dive in the ocean, but still ... unbelieving 😄
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Just got back home from the Camino Primitivo, 332 km from Oviedo to Santiago, plus some spare more for dinners and city (the few ones I crossed) visits.

As expected, is a challenging walk, with lots of up and down hills (almost 9.000 mt of altitude gain), mostly in the first stages in Asturias. It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich even in summer and each stage is mainly walked in forests or natural trails. When you reach Galicia the scenery changes and you find a bit more paved roads to walk, but never too much.

The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!

Choosing the Primitivo is a definite choice. It means walking always on your own, or maybe just with your group, since only a few pilgrims/wayfarer/hikers choose it. Usually, you gather with the Camino friends at the end of the day, as there are less albergues than on other Caminos and even less places where to eat. When the Primitivo merges with the Frances, in Melide, after 11 days of total tranquility, I almost had a shock entering in crowded restaurants. And it was interesting noticing the different types of people you can meet, from the long-distance ones (the whole Camino Frances or those who add the Primitivo to the Norte) to those who only walk the last 100 km, from Sarria or Lugo, to get the Compostela. All of them with equal enthusiasm and dignity, even if you can spot pride in those who made the greatest efforts.

Eating on the Primitivo is easy and delicious. Portions in Asturias, whether it be the Fabada or the ubiquitous tortilla, are always huge and very inexpensive. Entering Galicia, while the taste remains still great (Pulpo and Pimientos de Padron, oh my!), prices increase as long as you approach Santiago. You soon lose the count of the beers you kill, Mahou or Estrella.

Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
I walked the Norte all the way to Santiago. Everyone I knew who was on the Norte save a mom and daughter went on the Primitivo. Believe me after the split I was alone most nights in the albergue and barely saw a pilgrim on the camino. I had the same experience when I got to Arzua. Even though it was late November it seemed like there were toms of pilgrims when I came into town. But the saving grace was I walked by a pizza place and there were some of my friends having pizza and a beer who split onto the Primitivo.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 13, CF 14, CP 16, VF 17, CN 18, CN+RC 19, CF 22
I walked the Norte all the way to Santiago. Everyone I knew who was on the Norte save a mom and daughter went on the Primitivo. Believe me after the split I was alone most nights in the albergue and barely saw a pilgrim on the camino. I had the same experience when I got to Arzua. Even though it was late November it seemed like there were toms of pilgrims when I came into town. But the saving grace was I walked by a pizza place and there were some of my friends having pizza and a beer who split onto the Primitivo.
Can you tell me, why do people mostly choose to finish on the Primitivo vs. the Norte??
 
Last edited:

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
I will surely dive in the ocean, but still ... unbelieving 😄
No you won't! Ocean is TOO STRONG--you can hardly kneel there without getting pushed over. That is why you must kneel for 7 waves--takes strength to hold against the strong waves.
 
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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
Can you tell me, why do people mostly choose to finish on the Primito vs. the Norte??
Opposite for me in 2019. Very few people split to take the Primitivo, most continued on the Norte. Perhaps that was because I was on the Norte in August and a lot of hikers wanted beachs instead of mountains.
 

Makkem

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May "2020"
Just got back home from the Camino Primitivo, 332 km from Oviedo to Santiago, plus some spare more for dinners and city (the few ones I crossed) visits.

As expected, is a challenging walk, with lots of up and down hills (almost 9.000 mt of altitude gain), mostly in the first stages in Asturias. It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich even in summer and each stage is mainly walked in forests or natural trails. When you reach Galicia the scenery changes and you find a bit more paved roads to walk, but never too much.

The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!

Choosing the Primitivo is a definite choice. It means walking always on your own, or maybe just with your group, since only a few pilgrims/wayfarer/hikers choose it. Usually, you gather with the Camino friends at the end of the day, as there are less albergues than on other Caminos and even less places where to eat. When the Primitivo merges with the Frances, in Melide, after 11 days of total tranquility, I almost had a shock entering in crowded restaurants. And it was interesting noticing the different types of people you can meet, from the long-distance ones (the whole Camino Frances or those who add the Primitivo to the Norte) to those who only walk the last 100 km, from Sarria or Lugo, to get the Compostela. All of them with equal enthusiasm and dignity, even if you can spot pride in those who made the greatest efforts.

Eating on the Primitivo is easy and delicious. Portions in Asturias, whether it be the Fabada or the ubiquitous tortilla, are always huge and very inexpensive. Entering Galicia, while the taste remains still great (Pulpo and Pimientos de Padron, oh my!), prices increase as long as you approach Santiago. You soon lose the count of the beers you kill, Mahou or Estrella.

Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
Thank you for sharing this. I had to postpone my Camino in 2020 due to the pandemic and knee problems have delayed me this year but hopefully I may be OK for next year. I'd been going to do the Frances but reports of how busy it is has put me off. Your account of the Primitivo encourages me in that direction - the climbs and descents may be a bit much but I'll ponder on this. Your post is much appreciated.
 

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
Thank you for sharing this. I had to postpone my Camino in 2020 due to the pandemic and knee problems have delayed me this year but hopefully I may be OK for next year. I'd been going to do the Frances but reports of how busy it is has put me off. Your account of the Primitivo encourages me in that direction - the climbs and descents may be a bit much but I'll ponder on this. Your post is much appreciated.
Think more about the Frances!! Have walked the Frances, Primitivo, Norte, Portugese, and there is NOTHING like doing the Frances from SJPD To Finisterre. You can feel the difference--it is more than just a hike. Carry your pack and stay in the municipal Albergues or monesteries. Incredible people and places. Very humbling to have others care about your welfare and find room and a meal for you when the world ignores you. Amazing how people smile when they are told we all make the meal together and we all share the meal. You will learn a lot about yourself in a month of walking.

Example--Stayed in an albergue where each person was given a piece of paper with a request written 21 days prior by a fellow pilgrim from their home country. You were to read the request to the pilgrims at our large dining table and say a prayer for the writer. Never expected the request I received-- " I am walking the Camino for my brother who killed his best friend and himself. Our two families are heart broken. Please pray for us." You do not get experiences like that in a sterile hotel
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Can you tell me, why do people mostly choose to finish on the Primito vs. the Norte??
I think the reason that most take the Primitivo because it has a reputation and rightly so that it is really beautiful and I would assume different than the second half of the Norte as well as a great contrast from the coast. There seems to be a consensus that it is challenging, peaceful and has good infrastructure. The Primitivo will give you the ability to walk alone and or with others as well as having enough pilgrims to befriend and enjoy during the evening. Of course this is only speculation as I have not walked the Primitivo. I have nothing to compare the Primitivo and the second half of the Norte. My guess is that the second half of the Norte is even more isolated (it was very isolated but it was mid November.) than the Primitivo. I thought that the second half of the Norte was pretty and not that challenging to walk. I have read and been told, many people believe that the Primitivo is the most beautiful of the Spanish caminos. I was 64 at the time and the first half of the Norte took it out of me a little. I had read many times and it was confirmed by friends that the Primitivo presented a greater physical challenge than the coastal Norte. Either way enjoy and buen Camino.
 

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
I think the reason that most take the Primitivo because it has a reputation and rightly so that it is really beautiful and I would assume different than the second half of the Norte as well as a great contrast from the coast. There seems to be a general consensus that it is challenging, peaceful and has good infrastructure. The Primitivo will give you the ability to walk alone and or with others as well as having enough pilgrims to befriend and enjoy during the evening. Of course this is only speculation as I have not walked the Primitivo. I have nothing to compare the Primitivo and the second half of the Norte. My guess is that the second half of the Norte is even more isolated (it was very isolated but it was mid November.) than the Primitivo. I thought that the second half of the Norte was pretty and not that challenging to walk. I have rad and been told, many people believe that the Primitivo is the most beautiful of the Spanish caminos. I was 64 at the time and the first half of the Norte took it out of me a little. I had read many times and it was confirmed by friends that the Primitivo presented a greater physical challenge than the coastal Norte. Either way enjoy and buen Camino.
I was 64 at the time and the first half of the Norte took it out of me a little. I had read many times and it was confirmed by friends that the Primitivo presented a greater physical challenge than the coastal Norte.


I walked the Norte at 72 carrying 16 kilos and the primitivo at 74 carrying 11 kilos. I don't think I would have finished either when I was younger--too lazy. In order to train for the Norte, i walked from Santiago to Muxia to Finisterre and then went to Irun to do the Norte
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 Norte Primitivo
I was 64 at the time and the first half of the Norte took it out of me a little. I had read many times and it was confirmed by friends that the Primitivo presented a greater physical challenge than the coastal Norte.


I walked the Norte at 72 carrying 16 kilos and the primitivo at 74 carrying 11 kilos. I don't think I would have finished either when I was younger--too lazy. In order to train for the Norte, i walked from Santiago to Muxia to Finisterre and then went to Irun to do the Norte
16 kilos! Perhaps you were hit by so many waves while kneeling in the surf because you were unable to stand for very long. 16 KILOS!!
 

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
16 kilos! Perhaps you were hit by so many waves while kneeling in the surf because you were unable to stand for very long. 16 KILOS!!
16 kilos is less than the recommended 20% of body weight. Carried a similar pack all the way up to o'Cebrieo without a break and then continued to Tricastela. Why are so many people concerned about weight? You soon get used to carrying a pack. Met a woman from Sweden who carried more than 16 kilos just in dog food for her two dogs. And have you ever met the Jewish Pilgrims who carry Kosher food and Kosher pots and pans? Never understood why do so many who worry about the weight of a pack use a taxi to carry that light expensive pack? The young women from Korea carry very large packs with things like earmuffs for cold mornings! BTW --on 5 Caminos I always lost as much body weight as the weight of my pack.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
the recommended 20% of body weight
Recommended by whom? For what?

I simply enjoy having a light weight pack, so it would seem rather silly to increase it unnecessarily.

I never lose weight on the Camino, nor do I use bag transport.

Why are so many people concerned about weight?
I guess our bodies are inferior to yours, so we need to figure out how to manage them.
 

marcoberna

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo - June 2022
Invierno - coming April 2023
16 kilos is less than the recommended 20% of body weight. Carried a similar pack all the way up to o'Cebrieo without a break and then continued to Tricastela. Why are so many people concerned about weight? You soon get used to carrying a pack. Met a woman from Sweden who carried more than 16 kilos just in dog food for her two dogs. And have you ever met the Jewish Pilgrims who carry Kosher food and Kosher pots and pans? Never understood why do so many who worry about the weight of a pack use a taxi to carry that light expensive pack? The young women from Korea carry very large packs with things like earmuffs for cold mornings! BTW --on 5 Caminos I always lost as much body weight as the weight of my pack.
Here I must disagree with you, carrying a lighter pack is definitely better. My pack on the Primitivo was 6,5 Kg and I had all I needed with me ... except earmuffs 😄

IMG_20220624_051806.jpg
 
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It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich
The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!
If Creation is this wonderful, how great must the Creator be!
 

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
Here I must disagree with you, carrying a lighter pack is definitely better. My pack on the Primitivo was 6,5 Kg and I had all I needed with me ... except earmuffs 😄

View attachment 130128
Best advice I was ever given on travel--take enuff stuff so that you can walk home. Europeans can do that--I have to walk over the Artic Ice Pack! Second best advice given to me---when traveling in a foreign country, expect to be running for your life as you leave.
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Primitivo Sep 2022 (planned)
16 kilos is less than the recommended 20% of body weight. Carried a similar pack all the way up to o'Cebrieo without a break and then continued to Tricastela. Why are so many people concerned about weight? You soon get used to carrying a pack. Met a woman from Sweden who carried more than 16 kilos just in dog food for her two dogs. And have you ever met the Jewish Pilgrims who carry Kosher food and Kosher pots and pans? Never understood why do so many who worry about the weight of a pack use a taxi to carry that light expensive pack? The young women from Korea carry very large packs with things like earmuffs for cold mornings! BTW --on 5 Caminos I always lost as much body weight as the weight of my pack.
I have been long distance hiking alot in my life, with everything from 40 kg expedition-style hiking with lots of equipment to just below 8 kg on the Camino Frances. Horses for courses and the lighter the easier it gets. This September I plan for the Primitivo with potentially 8 kg ... including a tent for accommodation emergencies + mat and sleeping bag.
So ... just because I COULD does not mean I WILL always carry heavy loads ;-)
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Primitivo Sep 2022 (planned)
Best advice I was ever given on travel--take enuff stuff so that you can walk home. Europeans can do that--I have to walk over the Artic Ice Pack! Second best advice given to me---when traveling in a foreign country, expect to be running for your life as you leave.
If you head for the Arctic in Europe, you might pass my house. Feel free to knock the door when you walk home ;-)
 

marcoberna

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo - June 2022
Invierno - coming April 2023
I have been long distance hiking alot in my life, with everything from 40 kg expedition-style hiking with lots of equipment to just below 8 kg on the Camino Frances. Horses for courses and the lighter the easier it gets. This September I plan for the Primitivo with potentially 8 kg ... including a tent for accommodation emergencies + mat and sleeping bag.
So ... just because I COULD does not mean I WILL always carry heavy loads ;-)
Alex, I never had any problem finding a bed on the Primitivo and I guess July is more "crowded" (if you want to say so) then September. So, if it's just for accomodation emergencies, you may rethink having tent, stakes and mat with you.
 
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Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Primitivo Sep 2022 (planned)
Alex, I never had any problem finding a bed on the Primitivo and I guess July is more "crowded" (if you want to say so) then September. So, if it's just for accomodation emergencies, you may rethink having tent, stakes and mat with you.
Well, maybe calling it "emergencies" was slightly misleading. I want to keep some flexibility as I plan to do rather long stages, unplanned, so I might on the odd occasion just end up in between places with accommodation but too tired to continue or i might just arrive at a populated place too late. Easier then with a tent next to the albergue for example.
But good to know that if I stick to standard stages it should not be a major problem.
 

DMSyracuse

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF March/April 2015 - SJPdP to Santiago
Cam. Finisterre/Muxia August 2016
Cam. Fatima - Oct 2017
Just got back home from the Camino Primitivo, 332 km from Oviedo to Santiago, plus some spare more for dinners and city (the few ones I crossed) visits.

As expected, is a challenging walk, with lots of up and down hills (almost 9.000 mt of altitude gain), mostly in the first stages in Asturias. It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich even in summer and each stage is mainly walked in forests or natural trails. When you reach Galicia the scenery changes and you find a bit more paved roads to walk, but never too much.

The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!

Choosing the Primitivo is a definite choice. It means walking always on your own, or maybe just with your group, since only a few pilgrims/wayfarer/hikers choose it. Usually, you gather with the Camino friends at the end of the day, as there are less albergues than on other Caminos and even less places where to eat. When the Primitivo merges with the Frances, in Melide, after 11 days of total tranquility, I almost had a shock entering in crowded restaurants. And it was interesting noticing the different types of people you can meet, from the long-distance ones (the whole Camino Frances or those who add the Primitivo to the Norte) to those who only walk the last 100 km, from Sarria or Lugo, to get the Compostela. All of them with equal enthusiasm and dignity, even if you can spot pride in those who made the greatest efforts.

Eating on the Primitivo is easy and delicious. Portions in Asturias, whether it be the Fabada or the ubiquitous tortilla, are always huge and very inexpensive. Entering Galicia, while the taste remains still great (Pulpo and Pimientos de Padron, oh my!), prices increase as long as you approach Santiago. You soon lose the count of the beers you kill, Mahou or Estrella.

Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
Great to read this report @marcoberna as my first planned day on the Primitivo is coming up very soon - September 1st. I'm thinking this route may be comparable in difficulty to the Via Di Francesco route I did 3 years ago (Firenze to Assisi) - at least the statistics look very similar to me. That route, which was definitely not an easy route but incredibly beautiful, was about 300k and also about 9000 m of gain. So will be interesting to see how the Primitivo compares.

Sounds like you didn't have any issues in finding beds - did you make reservations ahead of time or just day by day? Besides my first night reservation I usually do not make any other plans but just let the journey unfold as it may - although my last pilgrimage was pre-covid so I may have to re-think that.
 

marcoberna

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo - June 2022
Invierno - coming April 2023
Great to read this report @marcoberna as my first planned day on the Primitivo is coming up very soon - September 1st. I'm thinking this route may be comparable in difficulty to the Via Di Francesco route I did 3 years ago (Firenze to Assisi) - at least the statistics look very similar to me. That route, which was definitely not an easy route but incredibly beautiful, was about 300k and also about 9000 m of gain. So will be interesting to see how the Primitivo compares.

Sounds like you didn't have any issues in finding beds - did you make reservations ahead of time or just day by day? Besides my first night reservation I usually do not make any other plans but just let the journey unfold as it may - although my last pilgrimage was pre-covid so I may have to re-think that.
When I started I didn't book anything in advance. After a few days, having built a group of fellow hikers, we decided to book because we wanted to stay together at the end of the day, but always succeeded finding beds at first attempt.
I almost envy you, that are going to start!
 

DMSyracuse

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF March/April 2015 - SJPdP to Santiago
Cam. Finisterre/Muxia August 2016
Cam. Fatima - Oct 2017
When I started I didn't book anything in advance. After a few days, having built a group of fellow hikers, we decided to book because we wanted to stay together at the end of the day, but always succeeded finding beds at first attempt.
I almost envy you, that are going to start!
haha yes I can understand that - every time I've returned from one of these journey's the thought of returning stays for a while - so you start planning the next one:). And yes that's what I imagine that once I get going I'll book with people along the way as you did. Any particular albergues that you would recommend to put at the top of my list as not to miss? Thanks again for sharing your experiences!
 

marcoberna

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo - June 2022
Invierno - coming April 2023
haha yes I can understand that - every time I've returned from one of these journey's the thought of returning stays for a while - so you start planning the next one:). And yes that's what I imagine that once I get going I'll book with people along the way as you did. Any particular albergues that you would recommend to put at the top of my list as not to miss? Thanks again for sharing your experiences!
I loved the albergue in Samblismo, right at the fork for the Ruta des Hospitales. The place is quiet and nice and Xavier, the hospitalero cooks a nice healthy dinner and breakfast.
Later on, a great place was the albergue juvenil de Castro.
I did not stay in Bodenaya, as it didn't fit my plan, but I hear that it's the most appreciated albergue on the whole Camino.
Enjoy the Camino and let us know about your experience.
 
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DMSyracuse

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF March/April 2015 - SJPdP to Santiago
Cam. Finisterre/Muxia August 2016
Cam. Fatima - Oct 2017
I loved the albergue in Samblismo, right at the fork for the Ruta des Hospitales. The place is quiet and nice and Xavier, the hospitalero cooks a nice healthy dinner and breakfast.
Later on, a great place was the albergue juvenil de Castro.
I did not stay in Bodenaya, as it didn't fit my plan, but I hear that it's the most appreciated albergue on the whole Camino.
Enjoy the Camino and let us know about your experience.
Great, thank you! I've kept a travel blog on all my pilgrimage experiences and most likely will do the same on the Primitivo - so if interested here's where you'll find me - https://dam2015caminodesantiago.wordpress.com/
 

Richmond Gardner

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
16 kilos is less than the recommended 20% of body weight. Carried a similar pack all the way up to o'Cebrieo without a break and then continued to Tricastela. Why are so many people concerned about weight? You soon get used to carrying a pack. Met a woman from Sweden who carried more than 16 kilos just in dog food for her two dogs. And have you ever met the Jewish Pilgrims who carry Kosher food and Kosher pots and pans? Never understood why do so many who worry about the weight of a pack use a taxi to carry that light expensive pack? The young women from Korea carry very large packs with things like earmuffs for cold mornings! BTW --on 5 Caminos I always lost as much body weight as the weight of my pack.
The recommendation for pack weight is 10% or less- as a rule.
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 Norte Primitivo
Best advice I was ever given on travel--take enuff stuff so that you can walk home. Europeans can do that--I have to walk over the Artic Ice Pack! Second best advice given to me---when traveling in a foreign country, expect to be running for your life as you leave.
Sounds very much like the author Hunter S Thompson who said “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”.
 

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
The recommendation for pack weight is 10% or less- as a rule.
No, it is NOT! Try to find a source for 10%! Number made up with zero proof or data. Last time I was in Peru, the rule for MALE porters on the Inca trail was no more than 40 kilos per person...and they never use the waist band on the backpack. Jewish pilgrims on the Camino Frances said they were carrying over 30 kilos in Kosher food and kosher cookware. Muslem pilgrims who I met did not carry Kosher anything.
 
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2012
I was 64 at the time and the first half of the Norte took it out of me a little. I had read many times and it was confirmed by friends that the Primitivo presented a greater physical challenge than the coastal Norte.


I walked the Norte at 72 carrying 16 kilos and the primitivo at 74 carrying 11 kilos. I don't think I would have finished either when I was younger--too lazy. In order to train for the Norte, i walked from Santiago to Muxia to Finisterre and then went to Irun to do the Norte
@xin loi you do like to make it up a bit don’t you. Back in 2014 your proud boast was your 12kg pack for Camino. 20% of body weight? That’s combat active. If you think the Camino is a combat zone you’ve spent to much time in Pamplona 😉
 

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
@xin loi you do like to make it up a bit don’t you. Back in 2014 your proud boast was your 12kg pack for Camino. 20% of body weight? That’s combat active. If you think the Camino is a combat zone you’ve spent to much time in Pamplona 😉
Actually I thought I traveled too light in 2014. Was not as difficult as anticipated so I carried much more on the next 4 Caminos. Pamplona--Only stayed there once and the woman at the albergue gave a class on how to use sanitary napkins for foot cushions in your boots. Too much extra weight!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
No, it is NOT! Try to find a source for 10%! Number made up with zero proof or data. Last time I was in Peru, the rule for MALE porters on the Inca trail was no more than 40 kilos per person...and they never use the waist band on the backpack. Jewish pilgrims on the Camino Frances said they were carrying over 30 kilos in Kosher food and kosher cookware. Muslem pilgrims who I met did not carry Kosher anything.
The legal weight limit for a professional porter is scarcely an aspiration for the average pilgrim
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
Actually I thought I traveled too light in 2014. Was not as difficult as anticipated so I carried much more on the next 4 Caminos. Pamplona--Only stayed there once and the woman at the albergue gave a class on how to use sanitary napkins for foot cushions in your boots. Too much extra weight!
A pack of sanitary napkins would over-load you? You are having a giraffe aren’t you 🤣
 

marcoberna

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo - June 2022
Invierno - coming April 2023
Actually I thought I traveled too light in 2014. Was not as difficult as anticipated so I carried much more on the next 4 Caminos. Pamplona--Only stayed there once and the woman at the albergue gave a class on how to use sanitary napkins for foot cushions in your boots. Too much extra weight!

A pack of sanitary napkins would over-load you? You are having a giraffe aren’t you 🤣
Be quiet guys, I'd rather not start a flame here ;)
 
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Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
Thank you - I appreciate your account of the Primitivo @marcoberna ! It's always wonderful to read experiences from others about routes I've walked (and also of course, of ones I want to walk : )

The Invierno and onward to Finisterre are beautiful routes. All the best to you!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Primitivo
Just got back home from the Camino Primitivo, 332 km from Oviedo to Santiago, plus some spare more for dinners and city (the few ones I crossed) visits.

As expected, is a challenging walk, with lots of up and down hills (almost 9.000 mt of altitude gain), mostly in the first stages in Asturias. It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich even in summer and each stage is mainly walked in forests or natural trails. When you reach Galicia the scenery changes and you find a bit more paved roads to walk, but never too much.

The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!

Choosing the Primitivo is a definite choice. It means walking always on your own, or maybe just with your group, since only a few pilgrims/wayfarer/hikers choose it. Usually, you gather with the Camino friends at the end of the day, as there are less albergues than on other Caminos and even less places where to eat. When the Primitivo merges with the Frances, in Melide, after 11 days of total tranquility, I almost had a shock entering in crowded restaurants. And it was interesting noticing the different types of people you can meet, from the long-distance ones (the whole Camino Frances or those who add the Primitivo to the Norte) to those who only walk the last 100 km, from Sarria or Lugo, to get the Compostela. All of them with equal enthusiasm and dignity, even if you can spot pride in those who made the greatest efforts.

Eating on the Primitivo is easy and delicious. Portions in Asturias, whether it be the Fabada or the ubiquitous tortilla, are always huge and very inexpensive. Entering Galicia, while the taste remains still great (Pulpo and Pimientos de Padron, oh my!), prices increase as long as you approach Santiago. You soon lose the count of the beers you kill, Mahou or Estrella.

Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
@marcoberna Thank you for your wonderful report. This got me even more excited about my upcoming journey on the Camino Primitivo. I walk out of Oviedo on September 15.

If you have any monuments and eating/drinking establishments that you recommend as "must-do" experiences, please let me know as I haven't researched them yet.

Thanks again!

Mike
 

marcoberna

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo - June 2022
Invierno - coming April 2023
@marcoberna Thank you for your wonderful report. This got me even more excited about my upcoming journey on the Camino Primitivo. I walk out of Oviedo on September 15.

If you have any monuments and eating/drinking establishments that you recommend as "must-do" experiences, please let me know as I haven't researched them yet.

Thanks again!

Mike
If you can, consider adding 3km to the first leg and visit the abandoned church of Naranco, outside Oviedo.
Do the Ruta des Hospitales! Even if I couldn't enjoy it because of the rain, still it was incredibly beautiful.
Eat the Fabada in Escamplero.
Try the Sidra, the sour light wine, in Asturias. Not my favorite taste, but I love trying local foods anyways.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Try to find a source for 10%!
I did some research on this back in 2015, and posted this at the time. The advice from the CSJ can be found here, and hasn't substantially altered so far as I can tell. CSJ make it clear that their advice is based on the recommendations of others, perhaps experienced pilgrims. This does risk the advice just being the result of some echo chamber effect.

I am a great admirer of the work done by Colin Fletcher and Chip Rawlins in their book, The Complete Walker IV. They recommend a from the skin out approach, and suggest what range of values this might take, and how that will affect walking speed and endurance. As a result, I adopt a 20% FSO target for my weight planning. This work is also based on the authors' extensive practical experience.
 
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Gailerart

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2020)
I am hoping to walk the Primitivo next May. I am an experienced hiker and keep myself fit, so at 71, really, the only thing I'm worried about is the weather in May. What date did you start and did you get much rain?
 

marcoberna

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo - June 2022
Invierno - coming April 2023
I am hoping to walk the Primitivo next May. I am an experienced hiker and keep myself fit, so at 71, really, the only thing I'm worried about is the weather in May. What date did you start and did you get much rain?
I started on June 25th, so later than your planned trip, and only had rain two days
 

DMSyracuse

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF March/April 2015 - SJPdP to Santiago
Cam. Finisterre/Muxia August 2016
Cam. Fatima - Oct 2017
I see you started the Via di Francesco from Florence, my hometown.
Great choice!
One of my all-time fav places - Florence. My daughter studied abroad there for a semester in college and was such a great experience for her. I loved starting my via Di Francesco there!
 

billwerme

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Also walked the Primitivo in May. At 74 I was a little concerned but it was no problem and at least 30% of walkers I met were over 70 years old.

Know how you felt at Melide--Overwhelming crowds so i just walked from Melide to Santiago in one day--very easy after walking the Primitivo hills for 11 days.

And as a fellow unbeliever, i strongly recommend you walk to Finsterre next time. Do it for the Druids and the Sun God. Go to the beach across the highway from town : kneel in the waves and let 7 waves hit you and BOOM--ALL of your sins are forgiven! It works! Did it twice!
...been there, done that, you're so right! Ya gotta sit on the wiggly rock too. Go past the beach below and your journey will take you up past Las Piedra Santas on your way to the Cape Finisterre lighthouse.
 

staucher

Camino junky
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Via de la Plata
Portuguese
Primitivo
I walked the Primitivo last year, and also loved the beautiful scenery. It was definitely one of my favorite caminos. There was a lot of fog down in the valleys out of Oviedo, which added to the serenity. I walked into Pola de Allande (not the ruta de hospitales) and then there was that long climb up to Puerto Palo with a strong cold breeze at the top. It's a great camino, for sure. I'm starting from Madrid in less than a month (yes, I know, it will be hot) up to Sahagun, over to Ponferrada on the Camino frances, and then on the Camino del Invierno to Compostela. Hopefully, the wild fire situation will be less of an issue by then.
 
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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
I walked the Primitivo last year, and also loved the beautiful scenery. It was definitely one of my favorite caminos. There was a lot of fog down in the valleys out of Oviedo, which added to the serenity. I walked into Pola de Allande (not the ruta de hospitales) and then there was that long climb up to Puerto Palo with a strong cold breeze at the top. It's a great camino, for sure. I'm starting from Madrid in less than a month (yes, I know, it will be hot) up to Sahagun, over to Ponferrada on the Camino frances, and then on the Camino del Invierno to Compostela. Hopefully, the wild fire situation will be less of an issue by then.
The long climb up to Puerto palo/// long? it seemed endless. At the top we had people lying facedown in the grass huffing and puffing for breath while the people who walked the hospital route appeared on our path and did not even appear tired or sweating. Municipal albergue in Pola de allende was a great place to stay--think it was 6 euros. BUT--In pola de allende was the first place I ever found in Spain where they quit serving food at 2000---usually they don't start until then.
 

RickGordon12

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
LePuy-Frances
I just got back from the Primitivo a week ago. I never ran into any problems with finding a bed anyplace (as long as you are willing to stay in private albergues (which are generally really nice). Everything about the route was excellent--great food, great scenery, great people, great weather. I wouldn't say it is very hard hiking (compared to anything I've done in the American wilderness/mountains)--maybe compared to other Caminos but if you've hiked in the Alps or any mountain terrain, I think you'd find the primitivo quite reasonable.
I heard people choose it instead of the second half of the Norte because that is supposedly in a fairly industrial area.
I didn't experience crowd shock after Melide. I got there before 7 am and saw no one from 530-7, and then just a few people I passed from there to Heidi's Place 33km from Santiago (best albergue on my trip--only 8 beds, community meal with great food). Left the next morning at about 530 and was alone for the first 3 hours. Then saw a few folk along the way to Santiago where we arrived about 1. Aiming for after the noon mass, I think, avoids much of the crowds.
If you want to make reservations, text through what's app directly to the albergue--if you go through a website booking.com takes 15% from them (and they tend to get back on whatsapp super quickly).
Lastly, I want to recommend my actual "3 Caminos Route"--started in Pau Airport (walked right out the airport door,) up to the Le Puy for 6 days to SJPP (wonderful to meet pilgrims who had been out for 30+ days and were in this wonderful reflective space). Then on the Frances to Leon (get the Frances experience, wonderful groups I met). Bus to Oviedo and finished on the Primitivo. Super combination of spirit and physical adjustment on Le Puy (which made the first day of the Frances pretty easy), pilgrim experience of the Frances, and beauty and comraderie on the Primitivo. My blog is at rickgordon12.blogspot.com.
 

alwalker

Al WAlker
Time of past OR future Camino
many.

next ones- Via Francigena, San Salvador, Primitivo, Portuguese
Alex, I never had any problem finding a bed on the Primitivo and I guess July is more "crowded" (if you want to say so) then September. So, if it's just for accomodation emergencies, you may rethink having tent, stakes and mat with you.
I have just finished the Primativo June/July and found accommodation easy to get and I didn't need the sleeping bag that I carried. I would suggest that a tent and mat are an overkill. enjoy.
 

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
Lastly, I want to recommend my actual "3 Caminos Route"--started in Pau Airport (walked right out the airport door,) up to the Le Puy for 6 days to SJPP (wonderful to meet pilgrims who had been out for 30+ days and were in this wonderful reflective space). Then on the Frances to Leon (get the Frances experience, wonderful groups I met). Bus to Oviedo and finished on the Primitivo.
Or walk the San Salvador from Leon to Oviedo 😉

Will look into your blog later, I’m very keen as planning to do this next!

The Scottish Munro/Corbetts are my training ground for the summer but I busted my trail runners on prev Camino and now processing replacement through their warranty, so hopefully will arrive soon 🤞🏻 I did a smaller hike with old boots and they weren’t so comfy.
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Primitivo Sep 2022 (planned)
Or walk the San Salvador from Leon to Oviedo 😉

Will look into your blog later, I’m very keen as planning to do this next!

The Scottish Munro/Corbetts are my training ground for the summer but I busted my trail runners on prev Camino and now processing replacement through their warranty, so hopefully will arrive soon 🤞🏻 I did a smaller hike with old boots and they weren’t so comfy.
After training in Scotland all Caminos will probably feel like piece of cake for you :cool:
Had a similar problem and I exactly knew which boots I want. Tried to get them since February, but my size is sold out all over Europe! They are in production now but only to hit the shops late September when I am already walking the Promitivo. So I will improvise with some shoes I consider not really the best for the job ...
 
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Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Primitivo Sep 2022 (planned)
I have just finished the Primativo June/July and found accommodation easy to get and I didn't need the sleeping bag that I carried. I would suggest that a tent and mat are an overkill. enjoy.
Thank you :)
An overkill unless you actually enjoy the occasional night out on my own ;-)
 

Canche

Volcano Climber
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte/Frances 2016, San Salvador & Primitivo 2021
Just got back home from the Camino Primitivo, 332 km from Oviedo to Santiago, plus some spare more for dinners and city (the few ones I crossed) visits.

As expected, is a challenging walk, with lots of up and down hills (almost 9.000 mt of altitude gain), mostly in the first stages in Asturias. It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich even in summer and each stage is mainly walked in forests or natural trails. When you reach Galicia the scenery changes and you find a bit more paved roads to walk, but never too much.

The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!

Choosing the Primitivo is a definite choice. It means walking always on your own, or maybe just with your group, since only a few pilgrims/wayfarer/hikers choose it. Usually, you gather with the Camino friends at the end of the day, as there are less albergues than on other Caminos and even less places where to eat. When the Primitivo merges with the Frances, in Melide, after 11 days of total tranquility, I almost had a shock entering in crowded restaurants. And it was interesting noticing the different types of people you can meet, from the long-distance ones (the whole Camino Frances or those who add the Primitivo to the Norte) to those who only walk the last 100 km, from Sarria or Lugo, to get the Compostela. All of them with equal enthusiasm and dignity, even if you can spot pride in those who made the greatest efforts.

Eating on the Primitivo is easy and delicious. Portions in Asturias, whether it be the Fabada or the ubiquitous tortilla, are always huge and very inexpensive. Entering Galicia, while the taste remains still great (Pulpo and Pimientos de Padron, oh my!), prices increase as long as you approach Santiago. You soon lose the count of the beers you kill, Mahou or Estrella.

Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
I did part of the Primitivo until my friends announced they were taking a taxi to the Frances which I hate. I will be doing the Invierno Sept 3 and then after a few days in Santiago plan to finish the Primitivo from Lugo. I loved the Primitivo although it is a challenge.
 

Susan B Johnson

PuraVida
Time of past OR future Camino
June (2016)
Just got back home from the Camino Primitivo, 332 km from Oviedo to Santiago, plus some spare more for dinners and city (the few ones I crossed) visits.

As expected, is a challenging walk, with lots of up and down hills (almost 9.000 mt of altitude gain), mostly in the first stages in Asturias. It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich even in summer and each stage is mainly walked in forests or natural trails. When you reach Galicia the scenery changes and you find a bit more paved roads to walk, but never too much.

The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!

Choosing the Primitivo is a definite choice. It means walking always on your own, or maybe just with your group, since only a few pilgrims/wayfarer/hikers choose it. Usually, you gather with the Camino friends at the end of the day, as there are less albergues than on other Caminos and even less places where to eat. When the Primitivo merges with the Frances, in Melide, after 11 days of total tranquility, I almost had a shock entering in crowded restaurants. And it was interesting noticing the different types of people you can meet, from the long-distance ones (the whole Camino Frances or those who add the Primitivo to the Norte) to those who only walk the last 100 km, from Sarria or Lugo, to get the Compostela. All of them with equal enthusiasm and dignity, even if you can spot pride in those who made the greatest efforts.

Eating on the Primitivo is easy and delicious. Portions in Asturias, whether it be the Fabada or the ubiquitous tortilla, are always huge and very inexpensive. Entering Galicia, while the taste remains still great (Pulpo and Pimientos de Padron, oh my!), prices increase as long as you approach Santiago. You soon lose the count of the beers you kill, Mahou or Estrella.

Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
Kudos to you! I'm 56 and planning on doing the Primitivo in '23. I Camino Ingles to Finisterre in 2016 and 2017. GORGEOUS!
 

Fromista

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017)
Just got back home from the Camino Primitivo, 332 km from Oviedo to Santiago, plus some spare more for dinners and city (the few ones I crossed) visits.

As expected, is a challenging walk, with lots of up and down hills (almost 9.000 mt of altitude gain), mostly in the first stages in Asturias. It's also very beautiful from a landscape point of view. In Asturias, mountains are green and rich even in summer and each stage is mainly walked in forests or natural trails. When you reach Galicia the scenery changes and you find a bit more paved roads to walk, but never too much.

The weather was generous with me, I only had rain for two days, but one of these was the one of the Ruta des Hospitales, considered to be the most spectacular leg of the whole Camino. To me, it was, by far, the hardest. Rain, strong wind and impenetrable clouds and fog, made it impossible to enjoy the views from the top. Anyway, I will always have a permanent memory of this wild day!

Choosing the Primitivo is a definite choice. It means walking always on your own, or maybe just with your group, since only a few pilgrims/wayfarer/hikers choose it. Usually, you gather with the Camino friends at the end of the day, as there are less albergues than on other Caminos and even less places where to eat. When the Primitivo merges with the Frances, in Melide, after 11 days of total tranquility, I almost had a shock entering in crowded restaurants. And it was interesting noticing the different types of people you can meet, from the long-distance ones (the whole Camino Frances or those who add the Primitivo to the Norte) to those who only walk the last 100 km, from Sarria or Lugo, to get the Compostela. All of them with equal enthusiasm and dignity, even if you can spot pride in those who made the greatest efforts.

Eating on the Primitivo is easy and delicious. Portions in Asturias, whether it be the Fabada or the ubiquitous tortilla, are always huge and very inexpensive. Entering Galicia, while the taste remains still great (Pulpo and Pimientos de Padron, oh my!), prices increase as long as you approach Santiago. You soon lose the count of the beers you kill, Mahou or Estrella.

Reaching Praza do Obradoiro in Santiago is a different feeling for each one of us, in light of each own motivations and beliefs. For me, as an atheist materialist, was the achievement of a goal I set almost one year ago, the demonstration I could get out of my comfort-zone and the pride of having planned everything extremely well, so that I used almost everything I had in the backpack and, most of all, I had no physical problem. Not a single blister, not a knee pain.

At 56, this, to me, is the greatest result.

And now? Thinking of doing the Invierno up to Finisterre.
thank you for sharing, this is very inspirational
 
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marcoberna

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo - June 2022
Invierno - coming April 2023
And what guide did you use please? Or obeyed for one? Thankyou
Being Italian I had an Italian one, so I can't help with the guide.
What turned out to be a magic tool was the Camino Ninja app. A must have to plan next day stops and lodging.
So sad that the creator of this wonderful tool just passed away.
 

Lynnhardy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Great experience and great report that I substantially endorse (I walked Primitivo two times). Can I ask you which season you find appropriate for Camino de Invierno? Bye
Hello have you any thoughts on walking the Primitivo in sept/october please as regards weather/albergues? And have you thoughts on doing the el salavador joining up with Primitivo? Thank you
 

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
Hello have you any thoughts on walking the Primitivo in sept/october please as regards weather/albergues? And have you thoughts on doing the el salavador joining up with Primitivo? Thank you
This is what we are planning to do: Salvador followed by Primitivo, starting mid/end of Sept after the Logroño wine fest! Everyday is a day closer to September, now I do feel slightly anxious that I'm not prepared to do this! Maybe I should get my bum moving more and take Fuji for a 10K run or longer everyday...

@Lynnhardy have you got a start date yet for Sept?
 
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Lynnhardy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
This is what we are planning to do: Salvador followed by Primitivo, starting mid/end of Sept after the Logroño wine fest! Everyday is a day closer to September, now I do feel slightly anxious that I'm not prepared to do this! Maybe I should get my bum moving more and take Fuji for a 10K run or longer everyday...

@Lynnhardy have you got a start date yet for Sept?
No was just thinking! I walked VDLP and Porto to Santiago in may/June and have some time ….. so was thinking! Have you a Guide book yet? Was thinking mid September …..
 

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
After wine fest! Might be a challenge!
What is life but a series of inspired follies? Ja ja ja...

English guide for San Salvador 2022, as translated by Laurie @peregrina2000 is here. I think there are plenty of guides for Primitivo (?).

PS: might leave some Rioja in the boot of my car and leave it somewhere discreet in the Salvador.... might need that extra dose of courage to get us through the mountains!
 

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