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LIVE from the Camino Late July 2021 Primitivo!

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Greetings from the Primitivo! It’s a rainy and foggy and rather cool evening, the perfect chance to drop in here and give a quick update. I thought I would try to do a few live posts, because those were so helpful to me in getting ready to come to Spain, especially this year.

I flew in from the United States, a direct flight from Newark to Madrid, earlier this week. The traveling felt straightforward; I was able to check in before arriving at the airport, didn’t have a bag to check, the flight was fine (no one seated in front of or behind me, which was nice), everyone masked the whole time, except to eat. When I got to Spain, that part felt easy too- I got my QR code loaded up on my phone, had it scanned, and walked right in. There was a form to fill out with questions relating to COVID and info on where I would be staying, and I showed that at passport control, but it was only glanced at and handed back to me (I’m not entirely sure what the purpose was?)

Then a long bus ride to Oviedo (again, everyone masked and it seemed like maybe no eating was allowed?), and finally to my albergue, the new one right by the cathedral: La Hospederia Oviedo. Most people walking around Oviedo were masked, and the albergue was a masked space, too, except for sleeping. I decided to reserve here for a few reasons: I’ve stayed at the Albergue de Peregrinos de El Salvador before, and like it well enough, but I thought with all my traveling it might be nice to be close to the cathedral. Plus, I didn’t know what pilgrim numbers would be like and thought that private albergues might have smaller rooms, fewer numbers. I should have remembered that the Albergue de Peregrinos is big, with lots of bunk rooms, and a report from a pilgrim I met the next day confirmed that pilgrims were spaced out all over; he’d gotten a room to himself.

But the new albergue was fun to try, though it comes at a hefty price of 20 euros. This includes a very basic breakfast that is self-serve (so you can eat and leave in the morning at any time), AND a towel! The towel was pretty great. Otherwise, it’s a small place, with a little outdoor terrace where you can dry clothes and eat, and one private lofted room, three showers. What you’re really paying for is location, the albergue is a stone’s throw from the cathedral. And I mean that literally: if you have a decent arm, you could stand in the cathedral square and throw a stone and hit the albergue. You get a key to enter the albergue (otherwise the door remains locked), and there was some street noise being in such a central spot. But all things considered, I think this could be a nice option for future pilgrims wanting some Camino spirit but VERY close to all the Oviedo action.

My first day’s walk started in the rain and ended in unexpected sunshine (I thought I was in for a miserable weather day but it was actually quite beautiful!). I walked all the way to the Monasterio de San Salvador in Cornellana, which by my count, clocked in at 39km. Really, a bit too much for my first day- by the end my feet were hurting and a small blister developed on the side of my toe. But I really wanted to stay at the monastery and didn’t quite have the time or inclination to do a couple of small stages to start. And what a stay! 7 euros, very COVID conscious- masks worn at all times but sleeping and eating, they decided to open the kitchen for pilgrims to use, but handed out plastic plates and cutlery and cups for each person. There were only four of us there the night I stayed, and we were spaced out between three bunk rooms. A great meal with even better company; when it started to rain the hospitalera insisted we put our laundry into the dryer so it wouldn’t be wet the next day, and she brought over small bottles of Asturian cider after dinner.

Also, I might have experienced a ghost that night? I was sound asleep and woke up to a very loud noise- a banging, or like something very heavy being dropped. Silence, then another very loud noise. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from- not in the room, but it could have been above, or the room behind mine, or next to mine? I was wide awake and suddenly remembered reading something about ghosts stories from this monastery- I think it was this monastery? I got a weird feeling and curled up tight, telling myself that under absolutely no circumstances would I get out of my bed until morning. I thought I heard someone moving- was it another pilgrim, or my ghost? Later I scanned through a few forum posts and found one from Princess Kaguya, sharing her own Cornellana ghost story. I’ve always been convinced that ghosts tend to leave me alone because they know I would be too scared, and so have never had any sort of experience like this before. Maybe they were trying to tell me I’d walked too far that day. In any case, I loved staying there, ghost and all!

I’m in La Espina today, at Albergue El Texu. There are four of us here, and I have my own room. They’re doing a communal meal, and provide breakfast- all donativo. So many people stop in Bodenaya (for good reason!) but this albergue is just a km or so further down the way and is another wonderful option.

I’m booking ahead for all of my lodging; I booked the first 5 nights before I left home, and will take care of the rest while I’m here. The three other pilgrims with me in Cornellana all had to walk further than planned to that day because they couldn’t find a bed in Grado (or, they couldn’t find pilgrim specific accommodation), and mostly the advice is to reserve, reserve, reserve. It’s a different way for me to do a Camino- usually I have a rough sense of what my stages might like, but I never reserve and just go with my feeling for the day. It’s something I love about the Camino but to be here at all, now, is such a blessing that I will whole-heartedly reserve. And, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about where I’m going to sleep or if there will be enough beds!

Last thoughts: the Camino Primitivo feels quiet, very quiet. It could be that not many pilgrims started when I started, and I’m sure it wasn’t helped by my “off stage” walk today… but I haven’t seen a single other pilgrim today! And really just 5 or 6 on my walk yesterday. But I’ve found places to stop for my (multiple) café con leches, there’s so much kindness from the locals, great Camino connections when I do see other pilgrims, and the yellow arrows are still here.

This is a long post and I’ll try to keep future posts more succinct. Please ask questions and I’ll try to answer if and when I can!

Buen Camino!

6B98FF94-B910-41C6-872F-9C2A5FB72BD4.jpeg 53D23388-256A-4FAF-8468-166182015E4E.jpeg 66D08B27-4C2A-4F67-9166-18EEF791369C.jpeg
3BEFDBB9-D288-4F6C-9A77-43102AB32AE2.jpeg
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

norelle

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
Thank you for your detailed post.
I loved walking the Primitivo and hope to be back one day.
Looking forward to more updates!
Buen Camino!
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Good to hear that you are getting on well. Do stop in Albergue Ponte Ferreira (27 km after Lugo) and stay with my Dutch friends Ton and Ria. They do a vegetarian communal meal which is always yummy and have lots of outside space to lounge.
I’ve already made a note to try to stay here, based on your previous posts!! That albergue sounds perfect. I’ve got some big stages planned and there’s a chance I might need to adjust, but so far so good 😊
 
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gmlauer

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Greetings from the Primitivo! It’s a rainy and foggy and rather cool evening, the perfect chance to drop in here and give a quick update. I thought I would try to do a few live posts, because those were so helpful to me in getting ready to come to Spain, especially this year.

I flew in from the United States, a direct flight from Newark to Madrid, earlier this week. The traveling felt straightforward; I was able to check in before arriving at the airport, didn’t have a bag to check, the flight was fine (no one seated in front of or behind me, which was nice), everyone masked the whole time, except to eat. When I got to Spain, that part felt easy too- I got my QR code loaded up on my phone, had it scanned, and walked right in. There was a form to fill out with questions relating to COVID and info on where I would be staying, and I showed that at passport control, but it was only glanced at and handed back to me (I’m not entirely sure what the purpose was?)

Then a long bus ride to Oviedo (again, everyone masked and it seemed like maybe no eating was allowed?), and finally to my albergue, the new one right by the cathedral: La Hospederia Oviedo. Most people walking around Oviedo were masked, and the albergue was a masked space, too, except for sleeping. I decided to reserve here for a few reasons: I’ve stayed at the Albergue de Peregrinos de El Salvador before, and like it well enough, but I thought with all my traveling it might be nice to be close to the cathedral. Plus, I didn’t know what pilgrim numbers would be like and thought that private albergues might have smaller rooms, fewer numbers. I should have remembered that the Albergue de Peregrinos is big, with lots of bunk rooms, and a report from a pilgrim I met the next day confirmed that pilgrims were spaced out all over; he’d gotten a room to himself.

But the new albergue was fun to try, though it comes at a hefty price of 20 euros. This includes a very basic breakfast that is self-serve (so you can eat and leave in the morning at any time), AND a towel! The towel was pretty great. Otherwise, it’s a small place, with a little outdoor terrace where you can dry clothes and eat, and one private lofted room, three showers. What you’re really paying for is location, the albergue is a stone’s throw from the cathedral. And I mean that literally: if you have a decent arm, you could stand in the cathedral square and throw a stone and hit the albergue. You get a key to enter the albergue (otherwise the door remains locked), and there was some street noise being in such a central spot. But all things considered, I think this could be a nice option for future pilgrims wanting some Camino spirit but VERY close to all the Oviedo action.

My first day’s walk started in the rain and ended in unexpected sunshine (I thought I was in for a miserable weather day but it was actually quite beautiful!). I walked all the way to the Monasterio de San Salvador in Cornellana, which by my count, clocked in at 39km. Really, a bit too much for my first day- by the end my feet were hurting and a small blister developed on the side of my toe. But I really wanted to stay at the monastery and didn’t quite have the time or inclination to do a couple of small stages to start. And what a stay! 7 euros, very COVID conscious- masks worn at all times but sleeping and eating, they decided to open the kitchen for pilgrims to use, but handed out plastic plates and cutlery and cups for each person. There were only four of us there the night I stayed, and we were spaced out between three bunk rooms. A great meal with even better company; when it started to rain the hospitalera insisted we put our laundry into the dryer so it wouldn’t be wet the next day, and she brought over small bottles of Asturian cider after dinner.

Also, I might have experienced a ghost that night? I was sound asleep and woke up to a very loud noise- a banging, or like something very heavy being dropped. Silence, then another very loud noise. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from- not in the room, but it could have been above, or the room behind mine, or next to mine? I was wide awake and suddenly remembered reading something about ghosts stories from this monastery- I think it was this monastery? I got a weird feeling and curled up tight, telling myself that under absolutely no circumstances would I get out of my bed until morning. I thought I heard someone moving- was it another pilgrim, or my ghost? Later I scanned through a few forum posts and found one from Princess Kaguya, sharing her own Cornellana ghost story. I’ve always been convinced that ghosts tend to leave me alone because they know I would be too scared, and so have never had any sort of experience like this before. Maybe they were trying to tell me I’d walked too far that day. In any case, I loved staying there, ghost and all!

I’m in La Espina today, at Albergue El Texu. There are four of us here, and I have my own room. They’re doing a communal meal, and provide breakfast- all donativo. So many people stop in Bodenaya (for good reason!) but this albergue is just a km or so further down the way and is another wonderful option.

I’m booking ahead for all of my lodging; I booked the first 5 nights before I left home, and will take care of the rest while I’m here. The three other pilgrims with me in Cornellana all had to walk further than planned to that day because they couldn’t find a bed in Grado (or, they couldn’t find pilgrim specific accommodation), and mostly the advice is to reserve, reserve, reserve. It’s a different way for me to do a Camino- usually I have a rough sense of what my stages might like, but I never reserve and just go with my feeling for the day. It’s something I love about the Camino but to be here at all, now, is such a blessing that I will whole-heartedly reserve. And, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about where I’m going to sleep or if there will be enough beds!

Last thoughts: the Camino Primitivo feels quiet, very quiet. It could be that not many pilgrims started when I started, and I’m sure it wasn’t helped by my “off stage” walk today… but I haven’t seen a single other pilgrim today! And really just 5 or 6 on my walk yesterday. But I’ve found places to stop for my (multiple) café con leches, there’s so much kindness from the locals, great Camino connections when I do see other pilgrims, and the yellow arrows are still here.

This is a long post and I’ll try to keep future posts more succinct. Please ask questions and I’ll try to answer if and when I can!

Buen Camino!

View attachment 105582 View attachment 105583 View attachment 105584
View attachment 105590
Thank you for the update!!! Buen Camino!
 

Bobfir

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances May - June (2016)
San Salvador (2018)
SdC/Finnesterre/Muxia (2018)
Gebennensis (2019)
Greetings from the Primitivo! It’s a rainy and foggy and rather cool evening, the perfect chance to drop in here and give a quick update. I thought I would try to do a few live posts, because those were so helpful to me in getting ready to come to Spain, especially this year.

I flew in from the United States, a direct flight from Newark to Madrid, earlier this week. The traveling felt straightforward; I was able to check in before arriving at the airport, didn’t have a bag to check, the flight was fine (no one seated in front of or behind me, which was nice), everyone masked the whole time, except to eat. When I got to Spain, that part felt easy too- I got my QR code loaded up on my phone, had it scanned, and walked right in. There was a form to fill out with questions relating to COVID and info on where I would be staying, and I showed that at passport control, but it was only glanced at and handed back to me (I’m not entirely sure what the purpose was?)

Then a long bus ride to Oviedo (again, everyone masked and it seemed like maybe no eating was allowed?), and finally to my albergue, the new one right by the cathedral: La Hospederia Oviedo. Most people walking around Oviedo were masked, and the albergue was a masked space, too, except for sleeping. I decided to reserve here for a few reasons: I’ve stayed at the Albergue de Peregrinos de El Salvador before, and like it well enough, but I thought with all my traveling it might be nice to be close to the cathedral. Plus, I didn’t know what pilgrim numbers would be like and thought that private albergues might have smaller rooms, fewer numbers. I should have remembered that the Albergue de Peregrinos is big, with lots of bunk rooms, and a report from a pilgrim I met the next day confirmed that pilgrims were spaced out all over; he’d gotten a room to himself.

But the new albergue was fun to try, though it comes at a hefty price of 20 euros. This includes a very basic breakfast that is self-serve (so you can eat and leave in the morning at any time), AND a towel! The towel was pretty great. Otherwise, it’s a small place, with a little outdoor terrace where you can dry clothes and eat, and one private lofted room, three showers. What you’re really paying for is location, the albergue is a stone’s throw from the cathedral. And I mean that literally: if you have a decent arm, you could stand in the cathedral square and throw a stone and hit the albergue. You get a key to enter the albergue (otherwise the door remains locked), and there was some street noise being in such a central spot. But all things considered, I think this could be a nice option for future pilgrims wanting some Camino spirit but VERY close to all the Oviedo action.

My first day’s walk started in the rain and ended in unexpected sunshine (I thought I was in for a miserable weather day but it was actually quite beautiful!). I walked all the way to the Monasterio de San Salvador in Cornellana, which by my count, clocked in at 39km. Really, a bit too much for my first day- by the end my feet were hurting and a small blister developed on the side of my toe. But I really wanted to stay at the monastery and didn’t quite have the time or inclination to do a couple of small stages to start. And what a stay! 7 euros, very COVID conscious- masks worn at all times but sleeping and eating, they decided to open the kitchen for pilgrims to use, but handed out plastic plates and cutlery and cups for each person. There were only four of us there the night I stayed, and we were spaced out between three bunk rooms. A great meal with even better company; when it started to rain the hospitalera insisted we put our laundry into the dryer so it wouldn’t be wet the next day, and she brought over small bottles of Asturian cider after dinner.

Also, I might have experienced a ghost that night? I was sound asleep and woke up to a very loud noise- a banging, or like something very heavy being dropped. Silence, then another very loud noise. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from- not in the room, but it could have been above, or the room behind mine, or next to mine? I was wide awake and suddenly remembered reading something about ghosts stories from this monastery- I think it was this monastery? I got a weird feeling and curled up tight, telling myself that under absolutely no circumstances would I get out of my bed until morning. I thought I heard someone moving- was it another pilgrim, or my ghost? Later I scanned through a few forum posts and found one from Princess Kaguya, sharing her own Cornellana ghost story. I’ve always been convinced that ghosts tend to leave me alone because they know I would be too scared, and so have never had any sort of experience like this before. Maybe they were trying to tell me I’d walked too far that day. In any case, I loved staying there, ghost and all!

I’m in La Espina today, at Albergue El Texu. There are four of us here, and I have my own room. They’re doing a communal meal, and provide breakfast- all donativo. So many people stop in Bodenaya (for good reason!) but this albergue is just a km or so further down the way and is another wonderful option.

I’m booking ahead for all of my lodging; I booked the first 5 nights before I left home, and will take care of the rest while I’m here. The three other pilgrims with me in Cornellana all had to walk further than planned to that day because they couldn’t find a bed in Grado (or, they couldn’t find pilgrim specific accommodation), and mostly the advice is to reserve, reserve, reserve. It’s a different way for me to do a Camino- usually I have a rough sense of what my stages might like, but I never reserve and just go with my feeling for the day. It’s something I love about the Camino but to be here at all, now, is such a blessing that I will whole-heartedly reserve. And, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about where I’m going to sleep or if there will be enough beds!

Last thoughts: the Camino Primitivo feels quiet, very quiet. It could be that not many pilgrims started when I started, and I’m sure it wasn’t helped by my “off stage” walk today… but I haven’t seen a single other pilgrim today! And really just 5 or 6 on my walk yesterday. But I’ve found places to stop for my (multiple) café con leches, there’s so much kindness from the locals, great Camino connections when I do see other pilgrims, and the yellow arrows are still here.

This is a long post and I’ll try to keep future posts more succinct. Please ask questions and I’ll try to answer if and when I can!

Buen Camino!

View attachment 105582 View attachment 105583 View attachment 105584
View attachment 105590
Just curious as information regarding what constitutes proof of vaccination for travellers from US is sparse: Is the flimsy easily forgeable CDC card acceptable?
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I think you had a good mixture of information and on the ground intel that a pilgrim needs. Maybe include more about open bars/cafes and shopping but that is just my personal preference. I think most of us like hearing descriptions of pilgrim's days especially terrain, scenery, any difficulties etc. Thanks and buen camino.
 

thistleamy

Camino Portuguese - 2019; CF - 2021
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (2019); Camino Frances (2021)
Nadine - thank you so much for this post and info about the Primitivo. I am seriously contemplating doing the Primitivo in late September - but have not done the Primitivo before. Do you think I will be ok doing a new Camino during COVID?

Keep the posts coming! Good luck with the ghosts! LOL

Cheers -Buen Camino
Amy
 
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Jeff B

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
Greetings from the Primitivo! It’s a rainy and foggy and rather cool evening, the perfect chance to drop in here and give a quick update. I thought I would try to do a few live posts, because those were so helpful to me in getting ready to come to Spain, especially this year.

I flew in from the United States, a direct flight from Newark to Madrid, earlier this week. The traveling felt straightforward; I was able to check in before arriving at the airport, didn’t have a bag to check, the flight was fine (no one seated in front of or behind me, which was nice), everyone masked the whole time, except to eat. When I got to Spain, that part felt easy too- I got my QR code loaded up on my phone, had it scanned, and walked right in. There was a form to fill out with questions relating to COVID and info on where I would be staying, and I showed that at passport control, but it was only glanced at and handed back to me (I’m not entirely sure what the purpose was?)

Then a long bus ride to Oviedo (again, everyone masked and it seemed like maybe no eating was allowed?), and finally to my albergue, the new one right by the cathedral: La Hospederia Oviedo. Most people walking around Oviedo were masked, and the albergue was a masked space, too, except for sleeping. I decided to reserve here for a few reasons: I’ve stayed at the Albergue de Peregrinos de El Salvador before, and like it well enough, but I thought with all my traveling it might be nice to be close to the cathedral. Plus, I didn’t know what pilgrim numbers would be like and thought that private albergues might have smaller rooms, fewer numbers. I should have remembered that the Albergue de Peregrinos is big, with lots of bunk rooms, and a report from a pilgrim I met the next day confirmed that pilgrims were spaced out all over; he’d gotten a room to himself.

But the new albergue was fun to try, though it comes at a hefty price of 20 euros. This includes a very basic breakfast that is self-serve (so you can eat and leave in the morning at any time), AND a towel! The towel was pretty great. Otherwise, it’s a small place, with a little outdoor terrace where you can dry clothes and eat, and one private lofted room, three showers. What you’re really paying for is location, the albergue is a stone’s throw from the cathedral. And I mean that literally: if you have a decent arm, you could stand in the cathedral square and throw a stone and hit the albergue. You get a key to enter the albergue (otherwise the door remains locked), and there was some street noise being in such a central spot. But all things considered, I think this could be a nice option for future pilgrims wanting some Camino spirit but VERY close to all the Oviedo action.

My first day’s walk started in the rain and ended in unexpected sunshine (I thought I was in for a miserable weather day but it was actually quite beautiful!). I walked all the way to the Monasterio de San Salvador in Cornellana, which by my count, clocked in at 39km. Really, a bit too much for my first day- by the end my feet were hurting and a small blister developed on the side of my toe. But I really wanted to stay at the monastery and didn’t quite have the time or inclination to do a couple of small stages to start. And what a stay! 7 euros, very COVID conscious- masks worn at all times but sleeping and eating, they decided to open the kitchen for pilgrims to use, but handed out plastic plates and cutlery and cups for each person. There were only four of us there the night I stayed, and we were spaced out between three bunk rooms. A great meal with even better company; when it started to rain the hospitalera insisted we put our laundry into the dryer so it wouldn’t be wet the next day, and she brought over small bottles of Asturian cider after dinner.

Also, I might have experienced a ghost that night? I was sound asleep and woke up to a very loud noise- a banging, or like something very heavy being dropped. Silence, then another very loud noise. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from- not in the room, but it could have been above, or the room behind mine, or next to mine? I was wide awake and suddenly remembered reading something about ghosts stories from this monastery- I think it was this monastery? I got a weird feeling and curled up tight, telling myself that under absolutely no circumstances would I get out of my bed until morning. I thought I heard someone moving- was it another pilgrim, or my ghost? Later I scanned through a few forum posts and found one from Princess Kaguya, sharing her own Cornellana ghost story. I’ve always been convinced that ghosts tend to leave me alone because they know I would be too scared, and so have never had any sort of experience like this before. Maybe they were trying to tell me I’d walked too far that day. In any case, I loved staying there, ghost and all!

I’m in La Espina today, at Albergue El Texu. There are four of us here, and I have my own room. They’re doing a communal meal, and provide breakfast- all donativo. So many people stop in Bodenaya (for good reason!) but this albergue is just a km or so further down the way and is another wonderful option.

I’m booking ahead for all of my lodging; I booked the first 5 nights before I left home, and will take care of the rest while I’m here. The three other pilgrims with me in Cornellana all had to walk further than planned to that day because they couldn’t find a bed in Grado (or, they couldn’t find pilgrim specific accommodation), and mostly the advice is to reserve, reserve, reserve. It’s a different way for me to do a Camino- usually I have a rough sense of what my stages might like, but I never reserve and just go with my feeling for the day. It’s something I love about the Camino but to be here at all, now, is such a blessing that I will whole-heartedly reserve. And, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about where I’m going to sleep or if there will be enough beds!

Last thoughts: the Camino Primitivo feels quiet, very quiet. It could be that not many pilgrims started when I started, and I’m sure it wasn’t helped by my “off stage” walk today… but I haven’t seen a single other pilgrim today! And really just 5 or 6 on my walk yesterday. But I’ve found places to stop for my (multiple) café con leches, there’s so much kindness from the locals, great Camino connections when I do see other pilgrims, and the yellow arrows are still here.

This is a long post and I’ll try to keep future posts more succinct. Please ask questions and I’ll try to answer if and when I can!

Buen Camino!

View attachment 105582 View attachment 105583 View attachment 105584
View attachment 105590
Thank you for the update. This will be helpful.
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
I’ve already made a note to try to stay here, based on your previous posts!! That albergue sounds perfect. I’ve got some big stages planned and there’s a chance I might need to adjust, but so far so good 😊
It’s awesome!!
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
Nadine, all the best on your Camino. Do I remember correctly, that on a previous camino you were quite unwell, yet you managed it? Maybe I am thinking of someone else...
 
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palmah

Member
Past OR future Camino
2010
Greetings from the Primitivo! It’s a rainy and foggy and rather cool evening, the perfect chance to drop in here and give a quick update. I thought I would try to do a few live posts, because those were so helpful to me in getting ready to come to Spain, especially this year.

I flew in from the United States, a direct flight from Newark to Madrid, earlier this week. The traveling felt straightforward; I was able to check in before arriving at the airport, didn’t have a bag to check, the flight was fine (no one seated in front of or behind me, which was nice), everyone masked the whole time, except to eat. When I got to Spain, that part felt easy too- I got my QR code loaded up on my phone, had it scanned, and walked right in. There was a form to fill out with questions relating to COVID and info on where I would be staying, and I showed that at passport control, but it was only glanced at and handed back to me (I’m not entirely sure what the purpose was?)

Then a long bus ride to Oviedo (again, everyone masked and it seemed like maybe no eating was allowed?), and finally to my albergue, the new one right by the cathedral: La Hospederia Oviedo. Most people walking around Oviedo were masked, and the albergue was a masked space, too, except for sleeping. I decided to reserve here for a few reasons: I’ve stayed at the Albergue de Peregrinos de El Salvador before, and like it well enough, but I thought with all my traveling it might be nice to be close to the cathedral. Plus, I didn’t know what pilgrim numbers would be like and thought that private albergues might have smaller rooms, fewer numbers. I should have remembered that the Albergue de Peregrinos is big, with lots of bunk rooms, and a report from a pilgrim I met the next day confirmed that pilgrims were spaced out all over; he’d gotten a room to himself.

But the new albergue was fun to try, though it comes at a hefty price of 20 euros. This includes a very basic breakfast that is self-serve (so you can eat and leave in the morning at any time), AND a towel! The towel was pretty great. Otherwise, it’s a small place, with a little outdoor terrace where you can dry clothes and eat, and one private lofted room, three showers. What you’re really paying for is location, the albergue is a stone’s throw from the cathedral. And I mean that literally: if you have a decent arm, you could stand in the cathedral square and throw a stone and hit the albergue. You get a key to enter the albergue (otherwise the door remains locked), and there was some street noise being in such a central spot. But all things considered, I think this could be a nice option for future pilgrims wanting some Camino spirit but VERY close to all the Oviedo action.

My first day’s walk started in the rain and ended in unexpected sunshine (I thought I was in for a miserable weather day but it was actually quite beautiful!). I walked all the way to the Monasterio de San Salvador in Cornellana, which by my count, clocked in at 39km. Really, a bit too much for my first day- by the end my feet were hurting and a small blister developed on the side of my toe. But I really wanted to stay at the monastery and didn’t quite have the time or inclination to do a couple of small stages to start. And what a stay! 7 euros, very COVID conscious- masks worn at all times but sleeping and eating, they decided to open the kitchen for pilgrims to use, but handed out plastic plates and cutlery and cups for each person. There were only four of us there the night I stayed, and we were spaced out between three bunk rooms. A great meal with even better company; when it started to rain the hospitalera insisted we put our laundry into the dryer so it wouldn’t be wet the next day, and she brought over small bottles of Asturian cider after dinner.

Also, I might have experienced a ghost that night? I was sound asleep and woke up to a very loud noise- a banging, or like something very heavy being dropped. Silence, then another very loud noise. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from- not in the room, but it could have been above, or the room behind mine, or next to mine? I was wide awake and suddenly remembered reading something about ghosts stories from this monastery- I think it was this monastery? I got a weird feeling and curled up tight, telling myself that under absolutely no circumstances would I get out of my bed until morning. I thought I heard someone moving- was it another pilgrim, or my ghost? Later I scanned through a few forum posts and found one from Princess Kaguya, sharing her own Cornellana ghost story. I’ve always been convinced that ghosts tend to leave me alone because they know I would be too scared, and so have never had any sort of experience like this before. Maybe they were trying to tell me I’d walked too far that day. In any case, I loved staying there, ghost and all!

I’m in La Espina today, at Albergue El Texu. There are four of us here, and I have my own room. They’re doing a communal meal, and provide breakfast- all donativo. So many people stop in Bodenaya (for good reason!) but this albergue is just a km or so further down the way and is another wonderful option.

I’m booking ahead for all of my lodging; I booked the first 5 nights before I left home, and will take care of the rest while I’m here. The three other pilgrims with me in Cornellana all had to walk further than planned to that day because they couldn’t find a bed in Grado (or, they couldn’t find pilgrim specific accommodation), and mostly the advice is to reserve, reserve, reserve. It’s a different way for me to do a Camino- usually I have a rough sense of what my stages might like, but I never reserve and just go with my feeling for the day. It’s something I love about the Camino but to be here at all, now, is such a blessing that I will whole-heartedly reserve. And, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about where I’m going to sleep or if there will be enough beds!

Last thoughts: the Camino Primitivo feels quiet, very quiet. It could be that not many pilgrims started when I started, and I’m sure it wasn’t helped by my “off stage” walk today… but I haven’t seen a single other pilgrim today! And really just 5 or 6 on my walk yesterday. But I’ve found places to stop for my (multiple) café con leches, there’s so much kindness from the locals, great Camino connections when I do see other pilgrims, and the yellow arrows are still here.

This is a long post and I’ll try to keep future posts more succinct. Please ask questions and I’ll try to answer if and when I can!

Buen Camino!

View attachment 105582 View attachment 105583 View attachment 105584
View attachment 105590
What a great write up! Thank you and Buen Camino!
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Yes, that might have been me! Several years ago I was on the San Salvador and got pretty sick, but was stubborn and kept walking to Oviedo (I learned my lesson since then, no more waking when sick!)
Nadine, all the best on your Camino. Do I remember correctly, that on a previous camino you were quite unwell, yet you managed it? Maybe I am thinking of someone else...
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Thx so very much for the post! It was encouraging. I am scheduled to start the Primitivo on September 3.
Please post as much as possible along the way!

Buen Camino!
I’m going to try to get another post up soon… I intended to write more but these Camino days have been so good and full and suddenly it’s past my bedtime and once again I haven’t updated here!!
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Just curious as information regarding what constitutes proof of vaccination for travellers from US is sparse: Is the flimsy easily forgeable CDC card acceptable?
I haven’t been asked for proof of vaccination here so I can’t speak it to completely, but I’d imagine that yes, it would be the CDC card. I brought mine with me in case it’s needed.
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Past OR future Camino
2008
Greetings from the Primitivo! It’s a rainy and foggy and rather cool evening, the perfect chance to drop in here and give a quick update. I thought I would try to do a few live posts, because those were so helpful to me in getting ready to come to Spain, especially this year.

I flew in from the United States, a direct flight from Newark to Madrid, earlier this week. The traveling felt straightforward; I was able to check in before arriving at the airport, didn’t have a bag to check, the flight was fine (no one seated in front of or behind me, which was nice), everyone masked the whole time, except to eat. When I got to Spain, that part felt easy too- I got my QR code loaded up on my phone, had it scanned, and walked right in. There was a form to fill out with questions relating to COVID and info on where I would be staying, and I showed that at passport control, but it was only glanced at and handed back to me (I’m not entirely sure what the purpose was?)

Then a long bus ride to Oviedo (again, everyone masked and it seemed like maybe no eating was allowed?), and finally to my albergue, the new one right by the cathedral: La Hospederia Oviedo. Most people walking around Oviedo were masked, and the albergue was a masked space, too, except for sleeping. I decided to reserve here for a few reasons: I’ve stayed at the Albergue de Peregrinos de El Salvador before, and like it well enough, but I thought with all my traveling it might be nice to be close to the cathedral. Plus, I didn’t know what pilgrim numbers would be like and thought that private albergues might have smaller rooms, fewer numbers. I should have remembered that the Albergue de Peregrinos is big, with lots of bunk rooms, and a report from a pilgrim I met the next day confirmed that pilgrims were spaced out all over; he’d gotten a room to himself.

But the new albergue was fun to try, though it comes at a hefty price of 20 euros. This includes a very basic breakfast that is self-serve (so you can eat and leave in the morning at any time), AND a towel! The towel was pretty great. Otherwise, it’s a small place, with a little outdoor terrace where you can dry clothes and eat, and one private lofted room, three showers. What you’re really paying for is location, the albergue is a stone’s throw from the cathedral. And I mean that literally: if you have a decent arm, you could stand in the cathedral square and throw a stone and hit the albergue. You get a key to enter the albergue (otherwise the door remains locked), and there was some street noise being in such a central spot. But all things considered, I think this could be a nice option for future pilgrims wanting some Camino spirit but VERY close to all the Oviedo action.

My first day’s walk started in the rain and ended in unexpected sunshine (I thought I was in for a miserable weather day but it was actually quite beautiful!). I walked all the way to the Monasterio de San Salvador in Cornellana, which by my count, clocked in at 39km. Really, a bit too much for my first day- by the end my feet were hurting and a small blister developed on the side of my toe. But I really wanted to stay at the monastery and didn’t quite have the time or inclination to do a couple of small stages to start. And what a stay! 7 euros, very COVID conscious- masks worn at all times but sleeping and eating, they decided to open the kitchen for pilgrims to use, but handed out plastic plates and cutlery and cups for each person. There were only four of us there the night I stayed, and we were spaced out between three bunk rooms. A great meal with even better company; when it started to rain the hospitalera insisted we put our laundry into the dryer so it wouldn’t be wet the next day, and she brought over small bottles of Asturian cider after dinner.

Also, I might have experienced a ghost that night? I was sound asleep and woke up to a very loud noise- a banging, or like something very heavy being dropped. Silence, then another very loud noise. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from- not in the room, but it could have been above, or the room behind mine, or next to mine? I was wide awake and suddenly remembered reading something about ghosts stories from this monastery- I think it was this monastery? I got a weird feeling and curled up tight, telling myself that under absolutely no circumstances would I get out of my bed until morning. I thought I heard someone moving- was it another pilgrim, or my ghost? Later I scanned through a few forum posts and found one from Princess Kaguya, sharing her own Cornellana ghost story. I’ve always been convinced that ghosts tend to leave me alone because they know I would be too scared, and so have never had any sort of experience like this before. Maybe they were trying to tell me I’d walked too far that day. In any case, I loved staying there, ghost and all!

I’m in La Espina today, at Albergue El Texu. There are four of us here, and I have my own room. They’re doing a communal meal, and provide breakfast- all donativo. So many people stop in Bodenaya (for good reason!) but this albergue is just a km or so further down the way and is another wonderful option.

I’m booking ahead for all of my lodging; I booked the first 5 nights before I left home, and will take care of the rest while I’m here. The three other pilgrims with me in Cornellana all had to walk further than planned to that day because they couldn’t find a bed in Grado (or, they couldn’t find pilgrim specific accommodation), and mostly the advice is to reserve, reserve, reserve. It’s a different way for me to do a Camino- usually I have a rough sense of what my stages might like, but I never reserve and just go with my feeling for the day. It’s something I love about the Camino but to be here at all, now, is such a blessing that I will whole-heartedly reserve. And, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about where I’m going to sleep or if there will be enough beds!

Last thoughts: the Camino Primitivo feels quiet, very quiet. It could be that not many pilgrims started when I started, and I’m sure it wasn’t helped by my “off stage” walk today… but I haven’t seen a single other pilgrim today! And really just 5 or 6 on my walk yesterday. But I’ve found places to stop for my (multiple) café con leches, there’s so much kindness from the locals, great Camino connections when I do see other pilgrims, and the yellow arrows are still here.

This is a long post and I’ll try to keep future posts more succinct. Please ask questions and I’ll try to answer if and when I can!

Buen Camino!

View attachment 105582 View attachment 105583 View attachment 105584
View attachment 105590
Hello! Loved your post. I'm planning on May 2022 Primitivo. I'm very interested if you take the Hospitales Route and if you do what the experience was like since you stated it has been very quiet on the Camino. Also, do you plan on going all the way to SDC? I only have 10-12 days of walking time. I may end at Lugo......Photos are great!!!
 
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Peligro

I walk between cafe breaks
Past OR future Camino
St. Jean to SdC the slow way (Aug'15, Aug'17, Jan'18, Aug'18, Jan'19, Jul'19) Primitivo (May'20)
Thx so very much for the post! It was encouraging. I am scheduled to start the Primitivo on September 3.
Please post as much as possible along the way!

Buen Camino!
It looks like I’ll be three days behind you! A big thank you to NadineK for posting all about her Primitivo experience.
I'm going to be right in between you guys, I get to Villaviciosa on September 3!
 
Past OR future Camino
1998
But the new albergue was fun to try, though it comes at a hefty price of 20 euros. This includes a very basic breakfast that is self-serve (so you can eat and leave in the morning at any time), AND a towel! The towel was pretty great. Otherwise, it’s a small place, with a little outdoor terrace where you can dry clothes and eat, and one private lofted room, three showers. What you’re really paying for is location, the albergue is a stone’s throw from the cathedral. And I mean that literally: if you have a decent arm, you could stand in the cathedral square and throw a stone and hit the albergue. You get a key to enter the albergue (otherwise the door remains locked), and there was some street noise being in such a central spot. But all things considered, I think this could be a nice option for future pilgrims wanting some Camino spirit but VERY close to all the Oviedo action.
Thanks very much. This is very helpful information.
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Time for another update! I’m hanging out at the Albergue Ponte Ferreira, and have three more days until I arrive in Santiago. This has been a really great Camino, and already I’m wondering why I did several big stages and didn’t stretch this out longer (well, there’s an easy answer: sometimes I like walking all day long!)

The weather has been a little unseasonably cool, the nights and mornings are a bit chilly. Some albergues have blankets and others don’t, so I do think a sleeping bag is important these days. But the temperatures for walking are about perfect, and even when the sun shines, there’s usually a cooling breeze and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

I’ve mostly been staying in private albergues, and have reserved everything ahead, though in these last stages I’ve reserved usually two days before I’m due to arrive, and haven’t had any problems with not getting a place where I want. Other pilgrims who don’t reserve or look for a bed until the day of are having some trouble. I think a lot may depend on the group in your stage- my first four days seemed to have a generally smaller cohort of pilgrims, and no one had trouble finding a place to sleep. But in these last few days (and as I skipped ahead a stage) it seems to be a different story (although, certainly the Primitivo joining with the Francés will influence that too). I’m happy to be reserving this year, and I have to tell you, I might be getting a bit spoiled! I’ve stayed in such nice albergues, highlights were Samblismo with Javier, and A Pocina de Muniz in Vilar de Cas (I could rave and rave about that place: so beautifully decorated, I almost felt as though I stepped into a boutique hotel! But the family was so, so generous and the meal was outstanding. Even though there’s a beautiful kitchen pilgrims can use to cook, I’d say don’t miss out on the home cooked meal made with local and fresh ingredients. The food just kept coming and coming!)

The albergues I’ve stayed in have done a good job with COVID protocols, and I often get my own room. And when it’s a larger space, pilgrims are well spaced out among the beds.

Masks are worn by most people in all towns and cities, and I always keep one handy in my pocket so I can put it on quickly.

What else? The Primitivo is just an outstanding route. It’s got some challenging days (I walked it once before, in 2016, and I’d forgotten just how much up and down there is!!). Hospitales was just perfect, I had decent weather this time, had my path blocked by a couple of horses, and had a kind man from Slovakia share his celebratory beer with me at the top of the climb. There were four of us staying in Samblismo (just at the fork for Hospitales) and we all left after breakfast so I generally had a pilgrim or two within sight for the whole climb. I thought the way marking was really good, but then again I had good visibility, but it was reassuring to know that others weren’t too far away. I’ve met such wonderful pilgrims and with it being a more quiet year, I think that most pilgrims quickly recognize one another, and a community develops fast.

I think the availability of services is decent, though I try to have breakfast at my albergue if it is offered, because it can be a long walk until the first open bar for a café con leche. On today’s walk from Lugo to Ferreira, other than a pilgrim rest area with vending machines about 8/9km in, there were no opportunities for food for nearly 20 kilometers.

I considered taking the alternate route up to the Norte after leaving Lugo, but in the end was enjoying the pilgrim connections so I’m sticking to the main path… we’ll see what it’s like after Melide, I’m hoping it’s not too crowded! (famous last words)

I managed to make it to the Roman temple at St Eulalia de Boveda today, what an incredible place! Luckily there was someone staffing the little tourism office so they could let me in; this is a special detour, just about 3km extra during the Lugo-Ferreira stage, that is well worth taking.

Sorry for the disjointed thoughts but I figure that some update is better than no update! 68CA965C-A7BA-4FAF-9D8F-4E5DAEB20525.jpeg 072F3A9B-8CFE-4D8A-A4D4-595FBD82CD2C.jpeg 9D298737-27BD-43E2-BE3E-5A497C9A3D4A.jpeg E806A7DE-0022-4774-8F49-EBFD6D50C5F8.jpeg 781F6FA0-DF00-4101-8793-23DA52B53A90.jpeg 08FF0928-A2A9-46C3-925C-FE8B0D7D0218.jpeg
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
The Primitivo is just great, isn't it? I'm so glad I finally got to walk it in 2019 and once again in June. It sounds as if you are having cooler weather than I did but this summer is strange here in The Netherlands too with cooler weather and rain.

l totally agree with your impressions @NadineK . I remember Javi from Samblismo telling us at dinner that after Grandas the Primitivo flattens out. I promptly disagreed saying that there is no day without ups and downs. That and the gorgeous scenery is what makes it a beautiful Camino! Glad visibility was good on the Hospitales route. I must say I had forgotten what a b*tch of a downhill it was when I walked it again in June!

Ultreia!
 

Happy Penguin

Rainy day in Castilblanco
Past OR future Camino
2021
How far ahead are you, @NadineK ? I walked yesterday (on Friday) La Ruta de los Hospitales from Campiello to La Mesa and I had gorgeous weather for couple hours in the morning and then I entered this thick fog and I could forget the views until Montefurado...

20210730_081504.jpg 20210730_083950.jpg
'I'm just laying on the grass and contemplating the sky... many pilgrims do that, why not me?'

20210730_113035.jpg

Today, at the present moment: taking a break from 700 m descent into the abyss of Salime...

20210731_075711.jpg 20210731_072527.jpg
20210731_080935.jpg
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Past OR future Camino
1998
Time for another update! I’m hanging out at the Albergue Ponte Ferreira, and have three more days until I arrive in Santiago. This has been a really great Camino, and already I’m wondering why I did several big stages and didn’t stretch this out longer (well, there’s an easy answer: sometimes I like walking all day long!)

The weather has been a little unseasonably cool, the nights and mornings are a bit chilly. Some albergues have blankets and others don’t, so I do think a sleeping bag is important these days. But the temperatures for walking are about perfect, and even when the sun shines, there’s usually a cooling breeze and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

I’ve mostly been staying in private albergues, and have reserved everything ahead, though in these last stages I’ve reserved usually two days before I’m due to arrive, and haven’t had any problems with not getting a place where I want. Other pilgrims who don’t reserve or look for a bed until the day of are having some trouble. I think a lot may depend on the group in your stage- my first four days seemed to have a generally smaller cohort of pilgrims, and no one had trouble finding a place to sleep. But in these last few days (and as I skipped ahead a stage) it seems to be a different story (although, certainly the Primitivo joining with the Francés will influence that too). I’m happy to be reserving this year, and I have to tell you, I might be getting a bit spoiled! I’ve stayed in such nice albergues, highlights were Samblismo with Javier, and A Pocina de Muniz in Vilar de Cas (I could rave and rave about that place: so beautifully decorated, I almost felt as though I stepped into a boutique hotel! But the family was so, so generous and the meal was outstanding. Even though there’s a beautiful kitchen pilgrims can use to cook, I’d say don’t miss out on the home cooked meal made with local and fresh ingredients. The food just kept coming and coming!)

The albergues I’ve stayed in have done a good job with COVID protocols, and I often get my own room. And when it’s a larger space, pilgrims are well spaced out among the beds.

Masks are worn by most people in all towns and cities, and I always keep one handy in my pocket so I can put it on quickly.

What else? The Primitivo is just an outstanding route. It’s got some challenging days (I walked it once before, in 2016, and I’d forgotten just how much up and down there is!!). Hospitales was just perfect, I had decent weather this time, had my path blocked by a couple of horses, and had a kind man from Slovakia share his celebratory beer with me at the top of the climb. There were four of us staying in Samblismo (just at the fork for Hospitales) and we all left after breakfast so I generally had a pilgrim or two within sight for the whole climb. I thought the way marking was really good, but then again I had good visibility, but it was reassuring to know that others weren’t too far away. I’ve met such wonderful pilgrims and with it being a more quiet year, I think that most pilgrims quickly recognize one another, and a community develops fast.

I think the availability of services is decent, though I try to have breakfast at my albergue if it is offered, because it can be a long walk until the first open bar for a café con leche. On today’s walk from Lugo to Ferreira, other than a pilgrim rest area with vending machines about 8/9km in, there were no opportunities for food for nearly 20 kilometers.

I considered taking the alternate route up to the Norte after leaving Lugo, but in the end was enjoying the pilgrim connections so I’m sticking to the main path… we’ll see what it’s like after Melide, I’m hoping it’s not too crowded! (famous last words)

I managed to make it to the Roman temple at St Eulalia de Boveda today, what an incredible place! Luckily there was someone staffing the little tourism office so they could let me in; this is a special detour, just about 3km extra during the Lugo-Ferreira stage, that is well worth taking.

Sorry for the disjointed thoughts but I figure that some update is better than no update! View attachment 105869 View attachment 105871 View attachment 105872 View attachment 105873 View attachment 105870 View attachment 105875
Thanks for another interesting update.
Question: What is your take on the current bedbug situation on the Salvador and Primitivo? In the past, I have found the chinche problem to be practically non-existent on these routes, relative to the francés. I was wondering if this season is any different.
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Thanks for another interesting update.
Question: What is your take on the current bedbug situation on the Salvador and Primitivo? In the past, I have found the chinche problem to be practically non-existent on these routes, relative to the francés. I was wondering if this season is any different.
You know, I have not heard one word about bedbugs on this Camino, and haven’t even thought about them! I think because albergues are taking measures to be sanitary and COVID-safe, it creates a cleaner environment. Plus I have been given disposable sheets everywhere I’ve stayed so that might help too.
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
How far ahead are you, @NadineK ? I walked yesterday (on Friday) La Ruta de los Hospitales from Campiello to La Mesa and I had gorgeous weather for couple hours in the morning and then I entered this thick fog and I could forget the views until Montefurado...

View attachment 105881 View attachment 105882
'I'm just laying on the grass and contemplating the sky... many pilgrims do that, why not me?'

View attachment 105883

Today, at the present moment: taking a break from 700 m descent into the abyss of Salime...

View attachment 105884 View attachment 105885
View attachment 105887
These photos are so stunning!! Wow! I’m probable three or four days ahead… just merged with the Francés and that’s always such an adjustment, especially after a beautiful and really quiet Primitivo experience. I hope you really enjoy the days ahead!!
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
The Primitivo is just great, isn't it? I'm so glad I finally got to walk it in 2019 and once again in June. It sounds as if you are having cooler weather than I did but this summer is strange here in The Netherlands too with cooler weather and rain.

l totally agree with your impressions @NadineK . I remember Javi from Samblismo telling us at dinner that after Grandas the Primitivo flattens out. I promptly disagreed saying that there is no day without ups and downs. That and the gorgeous scenery is what makes it a beautiful Camino! Glad visibility was good on the Hospitales route. I must say I had forgotten what a b*tch of a downhill it was when I walked it again in June!

Ultreia!
It was so cold this morning!! Everyone can’t believe how mild the weather is, but really it’s perfect for walking. And I also wanted to say what a lovely stay I had in Albergue Ponte Ferreira- your friends are such wonderful hosts and are running such a great albergue! And the food!! Another truly special stay 😊
 
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015 and2016, Le Puy to Santiago 2017, Porto to Santiago 2018, Lisbon & Olvidado 2021
NadineK, thanks for the helpful information. We were thinking of San Salvador starting 24 September, then on to Primativo but researching San Salvador for Albergues etc has led me to think starting in Oviedo. Good to hear so much is open on the Primativo and you are booking ahead. Any final suggestions welcome.
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Past OR future Camino
2008
Time for another update! I’m hanging out at the Albergue Ponte Ferreira, and have three more days until I arrive in Santiago. This has been a really great Camino, and already I’m wondering why I did several big stages and didn’t stretch this out longer (well, there’s an easy answer: sometimes I like walking all day long!)

The weather has been a little unseasonably cool, the nights and mornings are a bit chilly. Some albergues have blankets and others don’t, so I do think a sleeping bag is important these days. But the temperatures for walking are about perfect, and even when the sun shines, there’s usually a cooling breeze and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

I’ve mostly been staying in private albergues, and have reserved everything ahead, though in these last stages I’ve reserved usually two days before I’m due to arrive, and haven’t had any problems with not getting a place where I want. Other pilgrims who don’t reserve or look for a bed until the day of are having some trouble. I think a lot may depend on the group in your stage- my first four days seemed to have a generally smaller cohort of pilgrims, and no one had trouble finding a place to sleep. But in these last few days (and as I skipped ahead a stage) it seems to be a different story (although, certainly the Primitivo joining with the Francés will influence that too). I’m happy to be reserving this year, and I have to tell you, I might be getting a bit spoiled! I’ve stayed in such nice albergues, highlights were Samblismo with Javier, and A Pocina de Muniz in Vilar de Cas (I could rave and rave about that place: so beautifully decorated, I almost felt as though I stepped into a boutique hotel! But the family was so, so generous and the meal was outstanding. Even though there’s a beautiful kitchen pilgrims can use to cook, I’d say don’t miss out on the home cooked meal made with local and fresh ingredients. The food just kept coming and coming!)

The albergues I’ve stayed in have done a good job with COVID protocols, and I often get my own room. And when it’s a larger space, pilgrims are well spaced out among the beds.

Masks are worn by most people in all towns and cities, and I always keep one handy in my pocket so I can put it on quickly.

What else? The Primitivo is just an outstanding route. It’s got some challenging days (I walked it once before, in 2016, and I’d forgotten just how much up and down there is!!). Hospitales was just perfect, I had decent weather this time, had my path blocked by a couple of horses, and had a kind man from Slovakia share his celebratory beer with me at the top of the climb. There were four of us staying in Samblismo (just at the fork for Hospitales) and we all left after breakfast so I generally had a pilgrim or two within sight for the whole climb. I thought the way marking was really good, but then again I had good visibility, but it was reassuring to know that others weren’t too far away. I’ve met such wonderful pilgrims and with it being a more quiet year, I think that most pilgrims quickly recognize one another, and a community develops fast.

I think the availability of services is decent, though I try to have breakfast at my albergue if it is offered, because it can be a long walk until the first open bar for a café con leche. On today’s walk from Lugo to Ferreira, other than a pilgrim rest area with vending machines about 8/9km in, there were no opportunities for food for nearly 20 kilometers.

I considered taking the alternate route up to the Norte after leaving Lugo, but in the end was enjoying the pilgrim connections so I’m sticking to the main path… we’ll see what it’s like after Melide, I’m hoping it’s not too crowded! (famous last words)

I managed to make it to the Roman temple at St Eulalia de Boveda today, what an incredible place! Luckily there was someone staffing the little tourism office so they could let me in; this is a special detour, just about 3km extra during the Lugo-Ferreira stage, that is well worth taking.

Sorry for the disjointed thoughts but I figure that some update is better than no update! View attachment 105869 View attachment 105871 View attachment 105872 View attachment 105873 View attachment 105870 View attachment 105875
Nadine, I'm interested in how many days it will take you to reach Santiago. How many did it take to get to Lugo. Thanks in advance! Have fun
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Nadine... thank you for this information. Very helpful to know the status of the Primitivo. I am a few days from booking my flight to Madrid and bus to Leon. I have decided to do the Salvador/Primitivo/Finisterre starting from Leon on Sept 7th. I am a bit nervous about the seclusion and up and downs, but that is just respect for the journey. Your "book in advance" makes sense in these times. I like off stage lodgings as you meet some great people. Did that on the CF. Hope your final days are great. Thanks again.
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Nadine, I'm interested in how many days it will take you to reach Santiago. How many did it take to get to Lugo. Thanks in advance! Have fun
It took me 11 days to reach Santiago, and 7 to Lugo. I did some big, early stages… I think for many pilgrims, 12 or 13 stages to Santiago is perfect!
 

thistleamy

Camino Portuguese - 2019; CF - 2021
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (2019); Camino Frances (2021)
NadineK, thanks for the helpful information. We were thinking of San Salvador starting 24 September, then on to Primativo but researching San Salvador for Albergues etc has led me to think starting in Oviedo. Good to hear so much is open on the Primativo and you are booking ahead. Any final suggestions welcome.
Hi Mike - I am starting in Oviedo on Sept 29/30 - maybe our paths will cross. My first time on the Primitivo so any suggestions you find would be great! I am booking ahead per Nadine's recommendation.
Buen Camino
 
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thistleamy

Camino Portuguese - 2019; CF - 2021
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese (2019); Camino Frances (2021)
Nadine... thank you for this information. Very helpful to know the status of the Primitivo. I am a few days from booking my flight to Madrid and bus to Leon. I have decided to do the Salvador/Primitivo/Finisterre starting from Leon on Sept 7th. I am a bit nervous about the seclusion and up and downs, but that is just respect for the journey. Your "book in advance" makes sense in these times. I like off stage lodgings as you meet some great people. Did that on the CF. Hope your final days are great. Thanks again.
Jim - I will be a few weeks behind you - i had an ecredit from Delta I needed to use before the end of the year so thought why not do a Camino. Please post any info you discover along the way. Buen Camino.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Jim - I will be a few weeks behind you - i had an ecredit from Delta I needed to use before the end of the year so thought why not do a Camino. Please post any info you discover along the way. Buen Camino.
Making Albergue reservations today and tomorrow. Hope to have Salvador locked down soon. Like others, not liking to have to book ahead like this, but these are the times! I will update as I proceed. Buen Camino to you too!
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Plane, bus, and Leon and first two nights of Salvador booked. Also Oviedo booked for the weekend. Beware, there is the Festival of San Mateo in Oviedo in the third week of September. I haven't seen the exact dates but will fill up the city's lodgings. Although I would like to see it, I need to move on to the Primitivo. That festival might affect some folks.
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Sorry for the delay but here are a few final thoughts on my Camino Primitivo! I last updated in Ferreira, which was about 20km before Melide, where the Primitivo merges with the Francés. Oh, what a merge! Maybe it’s my poor memory, maybe it’s that I haven’t walked this route into Santiago in 6 years, maybe it’s because it’s August and all of Spain seems to be out walking… but I’d never seen anything like this before. Just so very many pilgrims!

I heard a few Primitivo friends saying they had a lot of trouble booking places between Melide and Santiago; I booked my stages about 2 nights before and didn’t have trouble, but I did “funny” stages, staying 5km past Melide in Boente, and then walking a long stage all the way to Lavacolla, about 10km before Santiago. In any case, for pilgrims walking the last 100km to Santiago this month (or even next), I’d really recommend booking these stages ahead, maybe by at least a week.

I really loved the Primitivo this year, though I hear reports that August has gotten very, very busy and albergues fill up fast! I do think for anyone planning to go this fall, it would be wise to book the first few nights (maybe even three or four), see how things feel, and then decide about booking the rest. I planned for some long stages and probably went a little too fast out of the gate, but I was able to adjust my plans halfway through to slow it down a little. I did the walk in 11 days, this year I would have been happy with 12.

Santiago was buzzing, I found some of that Camino magic by reuniting with “long lost” friends from my first stages, and just felt so happy to be walking.

Here are my stages and places I stayed! Happy Primitivo planning to all!

  1. Oviedo to Cornellana, 37km: Albergue del Monasterio de San Salvador (open kitchen for pilgrim use)
  2. Cornellana to La Espina, 19.8km: Albergue El Texu, donativo, communal meal (really good food)
  3. La Espina to Samblismo, 29km: Albergue Samblismo with Javier, communal meal (a huge paella!)
  4. Samblismo to La Mesa, 28km: Albergue Miguelin, restaurant attached, pool
  5. La Mesa to A Fonsagrada, 41km: Albergue-Pension Cantabrico, open kitchen for pilgrim use, towels
  6. A Fonsagrada to Vilar de Cas, 38km: Albergue A Peina de Muniz (beautiful, great food, kitchen for pilgrim use)
  7. Vilar de Cas to Lugo, 15km: Hotel España (25 euros for private room and bath, with views of Roman Walls!!)
  8. Lugo to Ferreira, 26.5 (with detour to Santa de Boveda, about 30km): Albergue Ponte Ferreira, communal meal, wonderful hospitality
  9. Ferreira to Boente, 25.6km: Albergue El Alamán (quiet, with a little pool for tired feet, attached bar/restaurant with outdoor dining)
  10. Boente to Lavacolla, 37.3km: Albergue Lavacolla, well-stocked kitchen for pilgrim use
  11. Lavacolla to Santiago, 11km 9849A2D8-6140-45DD-B0E7-048AE6F2FDEF.jpeg
 
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EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Past OR future Camino
2008
Oh, and for anyone interested, I’ve been (slowly) posting videos of my walk up on YouTube! Here’s the link for my channel, or you can search ‘Nadine Walks’ and you should be able to find them. 😄

Loved your vids. I had another question. Since the primitivo is somewhat remote. Did you pay with cash along the way or debit? Also, I may take your advice and book ahead. How was the communication?
thanks inadvance
 

tsher09

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Beginning of March (2019)
This is super helpful! As a solo walker with limited time I am considering starting from Lugo or just before, and continuing on to Muxia or Finesterre (I am not entirely set on needing another official document of completion, but it would be nice if possible). I have done the Sarria route (which was packed, and I know these two merge) and would like to know how you feel about this stretch of the route a solo walker. I am hoping for mid to late September start. Thanks and enjoy the rest of your time!
 

Judy's Way

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
Cornellana ghost story.
When I saw mention of a ghost story, I wondered if it might have anything to do with the monastery at Cornellana! YES! My husband and I were waiting to get in and peeked through an open windows into one of the dormitories. It looked gloomy and cold. Worse than that, my imagination started running wild. Maybe it was the bushes growing out of cracks in the stone walls, the black windows or the black cat that was hanging around. I thought, “What a perfect setting for one of Edgar Allen Poe’s stories or for the wife of Mr. Rochester of Jane Eyre fame to come wandering down from the attic in her nightie at night with a flickering candle in hand. I did manage to get a photo of the ghost levitating before we left. It didn’t seem very nice to leave the only two other pilgrims on their own but another couple showed up who could provide moral support. We all had a good laugh over the situation and then we left. We saw them a couple of days later and they survived a perfectly good night here. 🤣 1628863502524.jpeg
 
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dromoreboy

New Member
Greetings from the Primitivo! It’s a rainy and foggy and rather cool evening, the perfect chance to drop in here and give a quick update. I thought I would try to do a few live posts, because those were so helpful to me in getting ready to come to Spain, especially this year.

I flew in from the United States, a direct flight from Newark to Madrid, earlier this week. The traveling felt straightforward; I was able to check in before arriving at the airport, didn’t have a bag to check, the flight was fine (no one seated in front of or behind me, which was nice), everyone masked the whole time, except to eat. When I got to Spain, that part felt easy too- I got my QR code loaded up on my phone, had it scanned, and walked right in. There was a form to fill out with questions relating to COVID and info on where I would be staying, and I showed that at passport control, but it was only glanced at and handed back to me (I’m not entirely sure what the purpose was?)

Then a long bus ride to Oviedo (again, everyone masked and it seemed like maybe no eating was allowed?), and finally to my albergue, the new one right by the cathedral: La Hospederia Oviedo. Most people walking around Oviedo were masked, and the albergue was a masked space, too, except for sleeping. I decided to reserve here for a few reasons: I’ve stayed at the Albergue de Peregrinos de El Salvador before, and like it well enough, but I thought with all my traveling it might be nice to be close to the cathedral. Plus, I didn’t know what pilgrim numbers would be like and thought that private albergues might have smaller rooms, fewer numbers. I should have remembered that the Albergue de Peregrinos is big, with lots of bunk rooms, and a report from a pilgrim I met the next day confirmed that pilgrims were spaced out all over; he’d gotten a room to himself.

But the new albergue was fun to try, though it comes at a hefty price of 20 euros. This includes a very basic breakfast that is self-serve (so you can eat and leave in the morning at any time), AND a towel! The towel was pretty great. Otherwise, it’s a small place, with a little outdoor terrace where you can dry clothes and eat, and one private lofted room, three showers. What you’re really paying for is location, the albergue is a stone’s throw from the cathedral. And I mean that literally: if you have a decent arm, you could stand in the cathedral square and throw a stone and hit the albergue. You get a key to enter the albergue (otherwise the door remains locked), and there was some street noise being in such a central spot. But all things considered, I think this could be a nice option for future pilgrims wanting some Camino spirit but VERY close to all the Oviedo action.

My first day’s walk started in the rain and ended in unexpected sunshine (I thought I was in for a miserable weather day but it was actually quite beautiful!). I walked all the way to the Monasterio de San Salvador in Cornellana, which by my count, clocked in at 39km. Really, a bit too much for my first day- by the end my feet were hurting and a small blister developed on the side of my toe. But I really wanted to stay at the monastery and didn’t quite have the time or inclination to do a couple of small stages to start. And what a stay! 7 euros, very COVID conscious- masks worn at all times but sleeping and eating, they decided to open the kitchen for pilgrims to use, but handed out plastic plates and cutlery and cups for each person. There were only four of us there the night I stayed, and we were spaced out between three bunk rooms. A great meal with even better company; when it started to rain the hospitalera insisted we put our laundry into the dryer so it wouldn’t be wet the next day, and she brought over small bottles of Asturian cider after dinner.

Also, I might have experienced a ghost that night? I was sound asleep and woke up to a very loud noise- a banging, or like something very heavy being dropped. Silence, then another very loud noise. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from- not in the room, but it could have been above, or the room behind mine, or next to mine? I was wide awake and suddenly remembered reading something about ghosts stories from this monastery- I think it was this monastery? I got a weird feeling and curled up tight, telling myself that under absolutely no circumstances would I get out of my bed until morning. I thought I heard someone moving- was it another pilgrim, or my ghost? Later I scanned through a few forum posts and found one from Princess Kaguya, sharing her own Cornellana ghost story. I’ve always been convinced that ghosts tend to leave me alone because they know I would be too scared, and so have never had any sort of experience like this before. Maybe they were trying to tell me I’d walked too far that day. In any case, I loved staying there, ghost and all!

I’m in La Espina today, at Albergue El Texu. There are four of us here, and I have my own room. They’re doing a communal meal, and provide breakfast- all donativo. So many people stop in Bodenaya (for good reason!) but this albergue is just a km or so further down the way and is another wonderful option.

I’m booking ahead for all of my lodging; I booked the first 5 nights before I left home, and will take care of the rest while I’m here. The three other pilgrims with me in Cornellana all had to walk further than planned to that day because they couldn’t find a bed in Grado (or, they couldn’t find pilgrim specific accommodation), and mostly the advice is to reserve, reserve, reserve. It’s a different way for me to do a Camino- usually I have a rough sense of what my stages might like, but I never reserve and just go with my feeling for the day. It’s something I love about the Camino but to be here at all, now, is such a blessing that I will whole-heartedly reserve. And, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about where I’m going to sleep or if there will be enough beds!

Last thoughts: the Camino Primitivo feels quiet, very quiet. It could be that not many pilgrims started when I started, and I’m sure it wasn’t helped by my “off stage” walk today… but I haven’t seen a single other pilgrim today! And really just 5 or 6 on my walk yesterday. But I’ve found places to stop for my (multiple) café con leches, there’s so much kindness from the locals, great Camino connections when I do see other pilgrims, and the yellow arrows are still here.

This is a long post and I’ll try to keep future posts more succinct. Please ask questions and I’ll try to answer if and when I can!

Buen Camino!

View attachment 105582 View attachment 105583 View attachment 105584
View attachment 105590
Great post, Nadine. Ps do you also have an Instagram account I can follow?
 

BobbieS

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Greetings from the Primitivo! It’s a rainy and foggy and rather cool evening, the perfect chance to drop in here and give a quick update. I thought I would try to do a few live posts, because those were so helpful to me in getting ready to come to Spain, especially this year.

I flew in from the United States, a direct flight from Newark to Madrid, earlier this week. The traveling felt straightforward; I was able to check in before arriving at the airport, didn’t have a bag to check, the flight was fine (no one seated in front of or behind me, which was nice), everyone masked the whole time, except to eat. When I got to Spain, that part felt easy too- I got my QR code loaded up on my phone, had it scanned, and walked right in. There was a form to fill out with questions relating to COVID and info on where I would be staying, and I showed that at passport control, but it was only glanced at and handed back to me (I’m not entirely sure what the purpose was?)

Then a long bus ride to Oviedo (again, everyone masked and it seemed like maybe no eating was allowed?), and finally to my albergue, the new one right by the cathedral: La Hospederia Oviedo. Most people walking around Oviedo were masked, and the albergue was a masked space, too, except for sleeping. I decided to reserve here for a few reasons: I’ve stayed at the Albergue de Peregrinos de El Salvador before, and like it well enough, but I thought with all my traveling it might be nice to be close to the cathedral. Plus, I didn’t know what pilgrim numbers would be like and thought that private albergues might have smaller rooms, fewer numbers. I should have remembered that the Albergue de Peregrinos is big, with lots of bunk rooms, and a report from a pilgrim I met the next day confirmed that pilgrims were spaced out all over; he’d gotten a room to himself.

But the new albergue was fun to try, though it comes at a hefty price of 20 euros. This includes a very basic breakfast that is self-serve (so you can eat and leave in the morning at any time), AND a towel! The towel was pretty great. Otherwise, it’s a small place, with a little outdoor terrace where you can dry clothes and eat, and one private lofted room, three showers. What you’re really paying for is location, the albergue is a stone’s throw from the cathedral. And I mean that literally: if you have a decent arm, you could stand in the cathedral square and throw a stone and hit the albergue. You get a key to enter the albergue (otherwise the door remains locked), and there was some street noise being in such a central spot. But all things considered, I think this could be a nice option for future pilgrims wanting some Camino spirit but VERY close to all the Oviedo action.

My first day’s walk started in the rain and ended in unexpected sunshine (I thought I was in for a miserable weather day but it was actually quite beautiful!). I walked all the way to the Monasterio de San Salvador in Cornellana, which by my count, clocked in at 39km. Really, a bit too much for my first day- by the end my feet were hurting and a small blister developed on the side of my toe. But I really wanted to stay at the monastery and didn’t quite have the time or inclination to do a couple of small stages to start. And what a stay! 7 euros, very COVID conscious- masks worn at all times but sleeping and eating, they decided to open the kitchen for pilgrims to use, but handed out plastic plates and cutlery and cups for each person. There were only four of us there the night I stayed, and we were spaced out between three bunk rooms. A great meal with even better company; when it started to rain the hospitalera insisted we put our laundry into the dryer so it wouldn’t be wet the next day, and she brought over small bottles of Asturian cider after dinner.

Also, I might have experienced a ghost that night? I was sound asleep and woke up to a very loud noise- a banging, or like something very heavy being dropped. Silence, then another very loud noise. I couldn’t tell where it was coming from- not in the room, but it could have been above, or the room behind mine, or next to mine? I was wide awake and suddenly remembered reading something about ghosts stories from this monastery- I think it was this monastery? I got a weird feeling and curled up tight, telling myself that under absolutely no circumstances would I get out of my bed until morning. I thought I heard someone moving- was it another pilgrim, or my ghost? Later I scanned through a few forum posts and found one from Princess Kaguya, sharing her own Cornellana ghost story. I’ve always been convinced that ghosts tend to leave me alone because they know I would be too scared, and so have never had any sort of experience like this before. Maybe they were trying to tell me I’d walked too far that day. In any case, I loved staying there, ghost and all!

I’m in La Espina today, at Albergue El Texu. There are four of us here, and I have my own room. They’re doing a communal meal, and provide breakfast- all donativo. So many people stop in Bodenaya (for good reason!) but this albergue is just a km or so further down the way and is another wonderful option.

I’m booking ahead for all of my lodging; I booked the first 5 nights before I left home, and will take care of the rest while I’m here. The three other pilgrims with me in Cornellana all had to walk further than planned to that day because they couldn’t find a bed in Grado (or, they couldn’t find pilgrim specific accommodation), and mostly the advice is to reserve, reserve, reserve. It’s a different way for me to do a Camino- usually I have a rough sense of what my stages might like, but I never reserve and just go with my feeling for the day. It’s something I love about the Camino but to be here at all, now, is such a blessing that I will whole-heartedly reserve. And, it’s kind of nice to not have to worry about where I’m going to sleep or if there will be enough beds!

Last thoughts: the Camino Primitivo feels quiet, very quiet. It could be that not many pilgrims started when I started, and I’m sure it wasn’t helped by my “off stage” walk today… but I haven’t seen a single other pilgrim today! And really just 5 or 6 on my walk yesterday. But I’ve found places to stop for my (multiple) café con leches, there’s so much kindness from the locals, great Camino connections when I do see other pilgrims, and the yellow arrows are still here.

This is a long post and I’ll try to keep future posts more succinct. Please ask questions and I’ll try to answer if and when I can!

Buen Camino!

View attachment 105582 View attachment 105583 View attachment 105584
View attachment 105590
Thank you for this post! I'm arriving Madrid Aug 30th and trying to decide if Primitivo is for me. I've walked several Caminos but my last was 2015. How did the remainder of your Camino go? Lodging an issue? Did you increase in your number of pilgrims? Thank you! Bobbie
 
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NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
When I saw mention of a ghost story, I wondered if it might have anything to do with the monastery at Cornellana! YES! My husband and I were waiting to get in and peeked through an open windows into one of the dormitories. It looked gloomy and cold. Worse than that, my imagination started running wild. Maybe it was the bushes growing out of cracks in the stone walls, the black windows or the black cat that was hanging around. I thought, “What a perfect setting for one of Edgar Allen Poe’s stories or for the wife of Mr. Rochester of Jane Eyre fame to come wandering down from the attic in her nightie at night with a flickering candle in hand. I did manage to get a photo of the ghost levitating before we left. It didn’t seem very nice to leave the only two other pilgrims on their own but another couple showed up who could provide moral support. We all had a good laugh over the situation and then we left. We saw them a couple of days later and they survived a perfectly good night here. 🤣 View attachment 106691

Yup, this place definitely had Jane Eyre vibes (one of my favorite stories, in fact)... my experience there was so strange, I've never felt anything like it. Plus, the other three pilgrims there heard nothing!! Why the ghost wanted to make itself known just to me, I have no idea...

I love the photo you posted!!
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
This is super helpful! As a solo walker with limited time I am considering starting from Lugo or just before, and continuing on to Muxia or Finesterre (I am not entirely set on needing another official document of completion, but it would be nice if possible). I have done the Sarria route (which was packed, and I know these two merge) and would like to know how you feel about this stretch of the route a solo walker. I am hoping for mid to late September start. Thanks and enjoy the rest of your time!
Starting from Lugo would be relatively easy because of good transportation options to get there, plus if you had a little time when you arrived it's such a beautiful city and would be really nice to explore a bit. My preference, however, would be to do the section BEFORE Lugo, from Oviedo to Lugo. That would be very doable in 8 or 9 or 10 days, and I think it's the most beautiful days of the Primitivo. There are some nice parts after Lugo, but it joins soon after with the Francés so you wouldn't get a lot of time on just the Primitivo.

I think it depends on your preference and comfort level. I DO think that you'll meet other pilgrims on the Primitivo with a mid or late September start, especially in the evenings if you stay in albergues. But the walking days might be quiet- I love that, but I know that solo walking isn't for everyone.
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Loved your vids. I had another question. Since the primitivo is somewhat remote. Did you pay with cash along the way or debit? Also, I may take your advice and book ahead. How was the communication?
thanks inadvance
I mostly paid with cash, but I think more and more places are taking debit/credit. Still, I wouldn't be stuck without cash in some of these villages.

And in terms of communication when booking ahead, I reserved most through email or a contact form if the albergue had a website. I reserved the first 5 days of my walk before I left for the Camino, and relied just on email for that. There were a couple of places that I used WhatsApp for when communicating (I don't speak Spanish but I'd use google translate to write the message in Spanish, and it always worked fine). And I did call my hotel in Lugo to make a reservation, and just muddled through the Spanish but they figured out what I wanted. :) Hope that helps!
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Thank you for this post! I'm arriving Madrid Aug 30th and trying to decide if Primitivo is for me. I've walked several Caminos but my last was 2015. How did the remainder of your Camino go? Lodging an issue? Did you increase in your number of pilgrims? Thank you! Bobbie
If you scroll back through this thread, you'll see a few more updates from me! The rest of the walk was great, but lodging was an issue for a lot of pilgrims, especially when the Primitivo merged with the Frances in Melide. From then on, reservations were necessary. I think the remainder of August (or until students go back to school) will likely be very busy in the last 100km to Santiago, but some of the crowds should ease into September. But with reduced capacity in albergues, I personally would be most comfortable reserving a day or two in advance. Or, if you do decide to walk, you could reserve your first two nights and then get a sense of how crowded or not things are. Good luck with deciding and whichever route you decide to walk- Buen Camino!
 
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Judy's Way

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
My preference, however, would be to do the section BEFORE Lugo, from Oviedo to Lugo. That would be very doable in 8 or 9 or 10 days, and I think it's the most beautiful days of the Primitivo. There are some nice parts after Lugo, but it joins soon after with the Francés so you wouldn't get a lot of time on just the Primitivo.
I totally agree with you about the first part of the Primitivo being the most spectacular part. The day we walked from Tineo was a highlight and it was impossible to put away the camera because there was always something more to take a photo of around the next corner! There is a “green route” after Lugo which we unfortunately missed. Instead of joining the Camino Frances in Melide we could have joined it in Arzua or even in Lavacolla. Joining the Camino Frances was a shock. 1629318908391.jpeg
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I totally agree with you about the first part of the Primitivo being the most spectacular part. The day we walked from Tineo was a highlight and it was impossible to put away the camera because there was always something more to take a photo of around the next corner! There is a “green route” after Lugo which we unfortunately missed. Instead of joining the Camino Frances in Melide we could have joined it in Arzua or even in Lavacolla. Joining the Camino Frances was a shock. View attachment 107076
I know EXACTLY where you took that picture, one of the most beautiful scenes on the Primitivo. I remember that dear Kat Davis, RIP, also had that shot on her blog.

I am hoping to go back in a few weeks - I know it won’t be as green, but I am hoping to finally get to walk the Camiño Verde!
 

NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
I totally agree with you about the first part of the Primitivo being the most spectacular part. The day we walked from Tineo was a highlight and it was impossible to put away the camera because there was always something more to take a photo of around the next corner! There is a “green route” after Lugo which we unfortunately missed. Instead of joining the Camino Frances in Melide we could have joined it in Arzua or even in Lavacolla. Joining the Camino Frances was a shock. View attachment 107076
Oh how lovely! I know I just walked the Primitivo... but I'm missing it already. You know, my original plan was to walk the Camino Verde... I had my notes and stages all planned out and everything! But I'd made such nice connections with other pilgrims that I wasn't quite ready to be alone (and I had the Camino Invierno coming up, which I knew would be very solo... still gotta update the forum on that adventure!), so I stuck to the main route. In hindsight, with SO many pilgrims after crossing Melide, I wish I had taken the detour to a quieter path, but, ah well, there's always next time. :)

And @peregrina2000 I love that you mentioned Kat Davis, she was in my thoughts quite a bit as I walked this year. I *think* the header photo on her blog is from the Primitivo, and I looked for it but could never find something quite as stunning. What a gifted photographer and writer she was.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I *think* the header photo on her blog is from the Primitivo, and I looked for it but could never find something quite as stunning.
I think you’re right, @NadineK, and I think it was from basically the same spot as @Judy‘s Way. I believe it is taken after Tineo, just after you ascend to the little house on the left with the signs, and you then turn the corner, and the valley lies there in all its glory.

And I don’t want to hijack this thread, but do tell about the Invierno!!! One of my all time favorites. Can’t wait to hear about it.l.
 

Judy's Way

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
Oh how lovely! I know I just walked the Primitivo... but I'm missing it already. You know, my original plan was to walk the Camino Verde... I had my notes and stages all planned out and everything! But I'd made such nice connections with other pilgrims that I wasn't quite ready to be alone (and I had the Camino Invierno coming up, which I knew would be very solo... still gotta update the forum on that adventure!), so I stuck to the main route. In hindsight, with SO many pilgrims after crossing Melide, I wish I had taken the detour to a quieter path, but, ah well, there's always next time. :)

And @peregrina2000 I love that you mentioned Kat Davis, she was in my thoughts quite a bit as I walked this year. I *think* the header photo on her blog is from the Primitivo, and I looked for it but could never find something quite as stunning. What a gifted photographer and writer she was.
I hadn’t heard of Kat Davis until now but look forward to learning more about her and reading her blog. It sounds like she was someone who was well-loved.
 
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martin1ws

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018; Munich to Lindau (Germany) Sep 2020
... . Instead of joining the Camino Frances in Melide we could have joined it in Arzua or even in Lavacolla. Joining the Camino Frances was a shock.
Can you explain these possibilities, that join in Arzua or in Lavacolla, a little bit more?
Where can I find additional information?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Can you explain these possibilities, that join in Arzua or in Lavacolla, a little bit more?
Where can I find additional information?

I’m sure @Judy’s Way can speak for herself, but I’ll throw in my two cents. I initially found the whole thing a little confusing, so here is how I have parsed it out.

The “regular” Primitivo goes into Melide from Ferreira. Melide is about 52 km from Santiago on the Francés. If you are on the Primitivo and want to delay your merge onto the Francés, there are several steps to take.

First, on the Primitivo, take the Camiño Verde option to Sobrado dos Monxes. This means you will not go as far as Ferreira, but will leave the “official Primitivo” in Lugo. Most people who do that stop in Friol for the night. Then the next day to Sobrado, which is on the Norte. In Sobrado, you can decide to continue on the “normal” Norte to Arzua, where you will join the Francés. That keeps you off the Francés for another 14 km (that is, the distance from Melide to Arzua).

But, if you want to avoid the Francés even more, you can take the alternative after Boimorto which joins the Francés at Lavacolla (thus leaving you with only about 10 km into Santiago on the Francés).

A recent discussion about this option can be found here. I hope to be on the Primitivo in a few weeks and am now leaning towards foregoing the Boimorto alternative just because of the lodging issue. But I still have some time to ponder.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018; Munich to Lindau (Germany) Sep 2020
Thank you very much, @peregrina2000 and @Judy's Way !
I think that is a great alternative. I have downloaded the wikiloc-gpx files.
I am on family holiday (hopefully exactly until my Camino Primitivo starts on September the 2nd). I have only my smartphone for internet research and limited internet, so thank you very much that you made my research on this alternative so easy.
 
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Judy's Way

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
I’m sure @Judy’s Way can speak for herself, but I’ll throw in my two cents. I initially found the whole thing a little confusing, so here is how I have parsed it out.

The “regular” Primitivo goes into Melide from Ferreira. Melide is about 52 km from Santiago on the Francés. If you are on the Primitivo and want to delay your merge onto the Francés, there are several steps to take.

First, on the Primitivo, take the Camiño Verde option to Sobrado dos Monxes. This means you will not go as far as Ferreira, but will leave the “official Primitivo” in Lugo. Most people who do that stop in Friol for the night. Then the next day to Sobrado, which is on the Norte. In Sobrado, you can decide to continue on the “normal” Norte to Arzua, where you will join the Francés. That keeps you off the Francés for another 14 km (that is, the distance from Melide to Arzua).

But, if you want to avoid the Francés even more, you can take the alternative after Boimorto which joins the Francés at Lavacolla (thus leaving you with only about 10 km into Santiago on the Francés).

A recent discussion about this option can be found here. I hope to be on the Primitivo in a few weeks and am now leaning towards foregoing the Boimorto alternative just because of the lodging issue. But I still have some time to ponder.
Thank you for the information on the variants. We hope to walk the Camino del Norte in the spring, 2022, and were wondering about taking the alternative route that connects with the Camino Frances in Lavacolla.
 

Peligro

I walk between cafe breaks
Past OR future Camino
St. Jean to SdC the slow way (Aug'15, Aug'17, Jan'18, Aug'18, Jan'19, Jul'19) Primitivo (May'20)
A Pocina de Muniz in Vilar de Cas (I could rave and rave about that place: so beautifully decorated, I almost felt as though I stepped into a boutique hotel! But the family was so, so generous and the meal was outstanding. Even though there’s a beautiful kitchen pilgrims can use to cook, I’d say don’t miss out on the home cooked meal made with local and fresh ingredients. The food just kept coming and coming!)
Nadine - fantastic helpful stuff in this thread, thank you!
I’m in the final planning stages for starting the Primitivo in 10 days. I’m actually starting in Villaviciosa and walking two days before Oviedo. Reading all the posts on this forum my current plan is to stay at Bodenaya and Samblismo and take the Hospitales route which theoretically gives me an extra day. I’ve been in Lugo and Santiago before and Oviedo is too early to take a rest day (I plan to get there early to explore as much as possible). So I’m thinking about splitting O Cadavo to Lugo into two short days and staying at A Pociña de Muñiz in Vilar de Cas. It looks like a great place to hang out and it would get me to Lugo early enough to do a lap around the wall and see it well.
I thought I’d run this by you since you were just there. Thanks in advance!
 

Judy's Way

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Autumn (2015) and Spring (2019)
Nadine - fantastic helpful stuff in this thread, thank you!
I’m in the final planning stages for starting the Primitivo in 10 days. I’m actually starting in Villaviciosa and walking two days before Oviedo. Reading all the posts on this forum my current plan is to stay at Bodenaya and Samblismo and take the Hospitales route which theoretically gives me an extra day. I’ve been in Lugo and Santiago before and Oviedo is too early to take a rest day (I plan to get there early to explore as much as possible). So I’m thinking about splitting O Cadavo to Lugo into two short days and staying at A Pociña de Muñiz in Vilar de Cas. It looks like a great place to hang out and it would get me to Lugo early enough to do a lap around the wall and see it well.
I thought I’d run this by you since you were just there. Thanks in advance!
A Pocina de Muniz in Vilar de Cas was our favourite albergue and staying in Vilar de Cas allows you more time in Lugo. Buen Camino!
 

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