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Mud and more mud

jennysa

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
A very large percentage of the Primitivo is under mud (often ankle deep) and streams of water. My New Balance shoes are totally inappropriate. I have wet feet, wet socks and wet shoes permanently. I would recommend that anyone planning to walk this route should invest in waterproof boots. Much easier to slosh through the mud and water in them.
 
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alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
Husband and I did the Primitivo last May and we encountered sections with deep mud. We both had waterproof footwear and were glad we did. We also wore short (ankle high) gaiters. No wet feet and no blisters.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
There is no mud like Spanish camino mud. Winter 2014, I had to switch out my Nike running shoes, which never failed me on camino, for waterproof boots. Why? Mud.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
There is a reason that many of us choose to wear ankle-high waterproof hiking boots made of gore tex or a similar upper material... Thank you for illustrating it so clearly.

I HATE mud! But it is a necessary feature of the Camino, on any route.

As a general rule, the only time of year you can be reasonably sure of not having significant rain, or mud, is during the hottest summer months, from mid-June (like now) until the beginning of September. It still rains, but with less frequency, duration and intensity.

Were I to consider using low cut footwear, it would only be for a summer Camino.

Hope this helps.
 

Felice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
I walked the Primitivo lady May, I think I was about 3 or 4 days behind alaskadiver. I had no problems at all, walking in trail runners. There was one muddy stretch, that was highlighted in the guide, but I was able to hop around the worst bits one way or another. I saw many people using the road in preference for that section.

Deciding on footwear is the most difficult packing question of all for me. I start by reviewing past year weather, using wunderground, then, in the couple of weeks before I leave, I become obsessed with the BBC weather forecast map for northern Spain. I’m watching the bands of cloud, trying to decide how serious the rain is, whether there is time for the worst to have dried up etc. I make my final decision on what footwear to take at the last possible moment, when I have a rough idea as to what the weather might be like over the next 10 days. I know it won’t be 100% accurate, but at least I will know whether to expect lots of rain or lots of hot sunshine. That approach has worked well for me for all four caminos that I have walked in May.

I’ve also been lucky, in that I’ve always been able to walk in my preferred footwear, ie trail runners. But I would not hesitate to take my ‘proper’ walking shoes that I wear in the Lake District in the UK, if it looked like the conditions suggested otherwise.
 
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jaws101

Member
We've delayed our May Camino until the end of September/beginning of October and we're hoping that it will be drier. Surely can't be any worse can it???
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
A very large percentage of the Primitivo is under mud (often ankle deep) and streams of water. My New Balance shoes are totally inappropriate. I have wet feet, wet socks and wet shoes permanently. I would recommend that anyone planning to walk this route should invest in waterproof boots. Much easier to slosh through the mud and water in them.

Thanks for the heads-up Jenny! I am walking the Camino de Madrid and have two days till Sahagún where I need to decide if I walk to León then follow the Salvador or head up to Oviedo to walk the Primitivo. The weather has been on my mind, especially in the mountains. Your post confirms my suspicion...

Hmmm I am walking (as usual) in Salomon trail runners, a lighter model than usual. Perfect for this Camino, even in mud as it is mostly flat. I might need to change my plans as I am not going to buy new shoes now!
 
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chinacat

Veteran Member
We've delayed our May Camino until the end of September/beginning of October and we're hoping that it will be drier. Surely can't be any worse can it???

i walked at the end of Sepember (on CF) and vividly remember the trudge through 6” deep red mud on the uphill stretch to the road, just before the village before Cirauqui ... sorry, I can’t remember its name. We rested for a couple of minutes under the trees in the square .... because it was soooo hot :rolleyes::D
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
At least, when I walked from Oviedo to Lugo some four weeks ago, the very worst section of mud that I encountered was between La Espina and Tineo - in fact, I went down and found a bicycle path beside the busy road for the last three km into Tineo; wrung my two pairs of socks out, washed my trail runners and was fine to go the following day - but that's a very small percentage in total (some 10 km out of 200 km)

So I certainly disagree that mud covers a very large percentage of the Primitivo and also that it is necessary to use waterproof boots and not trail runners - especially as mud rarely sticks to trail runners and water doesn't remain long on them either - just bring an extra pair of socks would be my advice
 

ritaj

Active Member
I walked the Primitivo lady May, I think I was about 3 or 4 days behind alaskadiver. I had no problems at all, walking in trail runners. There was one muddy stretch, that was highlighted in the guide, but I was able to hop around the worst bits one way or another. I saw many people using the road in preference for that section.

Deciding on footwear is the most difficult packing question of all for me. I start by reviewing past year weather, using wunderground, then, in the couple of weeks before I leave, I become obsessed with the BBC weather forecast map for northern Spain. I’m watching the bands of cloud, trying to decide how serious the rain is, whether there is time for the worst to have dried up etc. I make my final decision on what footwear to take at the last possible moment, when I have a rough idea as to what the weather might be like over the next 10 days. I know it won’t be 100% accurate, but at least I will know whether to expect lots of rain or lots of hot sunshine. That approach has worked well for me for all four caminos that I have walked in May.

I’ve also been lucky, in that I’ve always been able to walk in my preferred footwear, ie trail runners. But I would not hesitate to take my ‘proper’ walking shoes that I wear in the Lake District in the UK, if it looked like the conditions suggested otherwise.

Hello Felice! We walked the Primitivo this past month in trainers/trail runners, from May 16 until June 4, and although there were several places with mud it wasn't difficult to go high along the edges so I guess it all depends on the particular times one walks. We counted ourselves lucky since we loved our trainers and no one had any blisters. The few times they got wet I carried an extra pair of insoles which I inserted after we arrived and, with dry socks, was comfortable wearing them when necessary. And they were always dry in the morning (stuffing with newspaper also helped that be so). Maybe just lucky?
 
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jaws101

Member
After this very wet spring (in the north and not in our Med. area of Murcia) the summer is going to bake the land dry for October :)
 

jennysa

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
It is not only the mud. There has been so much rain that the water does not seep into the ground and just sits there. We were wading in water in the Hospitales route. From Grandes De Salimas it's been a lot drier. My New Balance trail shoes that I swear by have been inappropriate. Also once you cross over to Galicia the paths are much wider and it's drier as well
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Thanks for the heads-up Jenny! I am walking the Camino de Madrid and have two days till Sahagún where I need to decide if I walk to León then follow the Salvador or head up to Oviedo to walk the Primitivo. The weather has been on my mind, especially in the mountains. Your post confirms my suspicion...

Hmmm I am walking (as usual) in Salomon trail runners, a lighter model than usual. Perfect for this Camino, even in mud as it is mostly flat. I might need to change my plans as I am not going to buy new shoes now!
Hope you do decide to walk the Salvidor
We're heading to Oviedo tomorrow and the weather has been wonderful for the past 6 days
Yes, some mud though but doesn't sound as bad as the Primitivo!
Best wishes
Annette
 

cherrys

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept/Oct (2013), Finisterre/Muxia Oct (2013), Camino Frances and on to Finisterre Sept/Oct (2016)
At least, when I walked from Oviedo to Lugo some four weeks ago, the very worst section of mud that I encountered was between La Espina and Tineo - in fact, I went down and found a bicycle path beside the busy road for the last three km into Tineo; wrung my two pairs of socks out, washed my trail runners and was fine to go the following day - but that's a very small percentage in total (some 10 km out of 200 km)

So I certainly disagree that mud covers a very large percentage of the Primitivo and also that it is necessary to use waterproof boots and not trail runners - especially as mud rarely sticks to trail runners and water doesn't remain long on them either - just bring an extra pair of socks would be my advice
I remember that section before Tineo very well. We walked there May 2017, picking our way along the edge if possible. Then I stepped on a “dry” clump of grass only to find my ankle disappearing in the muck. The plus side? I was walking the Norte/Primativo in hiking sandals. So I just slogged quickly through the rest of that section, rinsing my feet in every stream I could find. I’ll never walk in anything else and I have a new pair waiting for the Portuguese this fall. My husband still wears trail runners!
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Would a pair of gaiters be appropriate for anyone arriving there in the next 2 weeks or so?
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
Hope you do decide to walk the Salvidor
We're heading to Oviedo tomorrow and the weather has been wonderful for the past 6 days
Yes, some mud though but doesn't sound as bad as the Primitivo!
Best wishes
Annette

Thanks but decided to save it for another year and combine with the Primitivo. I met up with some nice people in Sahagún when I arrived from the Madrid and we are now at Villares de Órbigo on the Francés. It looks like I'll even arrive in Santiago. That's the Camino for you!
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Definitely wondering what this fall will be like!! :eek:
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
Definitely wondering what this fall will be like!! :eek:

I never worry about Camino conditions in advance. I am just so happy to get back to Spain for each new Camino walk. It is just part of the challenge of Camino life, dealing with the weather, mud and everything else that you encounter. I like natural trails best, so if mud is part of that, than bring it on! First day out of Oviedo will be Sept. 13th this year.
 
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Csutak

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Since 2006 almost every year, usually walking more than two routes
I remember that section before Tineo very well. We walked there May 2017, picking our way along the edge if possible. Then I stepped on a “dry” clump of grass only to find my ankle disappearing in the muck. The plus side? I was walking the Norte/Primativo in hiking sandals. So I just slogged quickly through the rest of that section, rinsing my feet in every stream I could find. I’ll never walk in anything else and I have a new pair waiting for the Portuguese this fall. My husband still wears trail runners!

This section is always muddy. I've been there a few years earlyer, as well - and always had the same experience - in good weather and in bad weather. They could have filled up the path with stones like in many other parts of other Caminos.

This photo was taken between La Espina and Tineo.
 

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jennysa

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
I am sure that it will be much dryer in September than when I walked it in June. I would recommend boots or sandals and not trail shoes. One of the worst stretches of mud this year was between Padron and O Cadavor. However, on the top of the mountain on the Hospitales route near the ruins one had to slosh one's way through some 3 inches of water for a short way. I think that the water table was saturated and nothing was draining away.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I remember that section before Tineo very well. We walked there May 2017, picking our way along the edge if possible. Then I stepped on a “dry” clump of grass only to find my ankle disappearing in the muck. The plus side? I was walking the Norte/Primativo in hiking sandals. So I just slogged quickly through the rest of that section, rinsing my feet in every stream I could find. I’ll never walk in anything else and I have a new pair waiting for the Portuguese this fall. My husband still wears trail runners!
I was very happy that I had switched to wearing my sandals when I had to walk through mud and water on the Norte. So much easier to clean and dry than shoes. And along the beaches you can use one of the foot washing stations and carry on.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
At least, when I walked from Oviedo to Lugo some four weeks ago, the very worst section of mud that I encountered was between La Espina and Tineo ....

So I certainly disagree that .... it is necessary to use waterproof boots -

just bring an extra pair of socks would be my advice

Hi,

I had a similar experience. I walked the camino in hiking shoes although almost everybody I asked recommended me to take boots and gaiters. In this particular stretch oft the camino primitivo the mud was nearly up to my knees. So heavy boots would not have been an improvement. My shoes allowed me to balance on the small walls beside the worst sections, I don't think that this would have worked with heavy and high boots. Only once I stepped into a deep puddle of mud by accident, having mud getting in my shoes. In the albergue I washed the inside of my shoes and my socks. In order to make the shoes dry quicker I put old newspapers in them and replaced them every 2 hours. The shoes were dry the next morning, the socks were not. So good that I always take three pairs of socks.

On most sections of the camino I felt really comfortable with my shoes. It is not worth rising additional 300 g with every step you take (thats the weight difference between my shoes and my boots). I think, trail-runners would have been even more comfortable as they are quick-drying.

BC
Alexandra
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Here's my take. I walked the Norte a couple of years ago and had lots of rain at times, and consequently lots of mud. One particularly memorable day up a mountain with the heavens pouring down water and sloshing through heavy incredibly slippery mud that had been churned up by logging trucks.

I was in sandals with waterproof, breathable socks. I do not try to avoid the mud or water and often find that the wettest part of the path is the best place to walk because it is firmest underfoot.

It is fine. My socks and sandals get filthy, but it is much easier to wash socks and sandals, than clean boots or shoes.
 
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valevenga

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I am currently walking the Camino del Norte summer 2018
I walked the Norte in June and July of this year....lots of rain on and off and yes, lots of deep mud on several stretches....BUT......give me rain and mud any day over the hot sun.....I wore a new pair of light weight boots that I broke in on the Camino...and used poles for the first time ever.... and did not fall once....I usually trip and fall on a hike at least once........only one small painless blister....I found it easy to clean my boots after a muddy day....bought a brush at a Bazaar Chino for a couple of euros....took all of 10 minutes....I love that we are all different in what works best for each of us!!!...Buen Camino everyone!!!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
There is a reason that many of us choose to wear ankle-high waterproof hiking boots made of gore tex or a similar upper material... Thank you for illustrating it so clearly.

I HATE mud! But it is a necessary feature of the Camino, on any route.

As a general rule, the only time of year you can be reasonably sure of not having significant rain, or mud, is during the hottest summer months, from mid-June (like now) until the beginning of September. It still rains, but with less frequency, duration and intensity.

Were I to consider using low cut footwear, it would only be for a summer Camino.

Hope this helps.

In winter, we opted often for roads instead of path. Too much snow and rained almost everyday. We would not have made it trekking through the snow! Even from Sarria was muddy so walked the roads most of the way. Using the roads we were able to use trail runners.
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Travel318
I'm on the Camino del Baztan. Ankle high gore tex leather boots can't cope with the worst. Picture taken this morning.
Is anyone renting kayaks for that section? Seriously, did you just slog through or change into sport sandals and no socks? Or tape your sandals to your feet? That looks daunting. Good luck.
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
Spain...where adults get to play in the mud!
 

Csutak

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Since 2006 almost every year, usually walking more than two routes
I'm on the Camino del Baztan. Ankle high gore tex leather boots can't cope with the worst. Picture taken this morning.

And how did you move forward? Did you swim or dive? :eek::oops:
 
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ksam

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Spain...where adults get to play in the mud!
I love that!!! And FYI...I don't let it stop me BUT...I do remember being truly knee deep one time on the Invierno and praying..hard...that I wouldn't slip and face plant! Plus drop my phone into the mess!! Fortunately, that time, I made it thru ok and then the Panaderia truck came by and I was able to put the shoes into bags. Then I proceeded to walk 13k in my Crocs! Not recommended but doable! Buen Camino a todo!
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
Is anyone renting kayaks for that section? Seriously, did you just slog through or change into sport sandals and no socks? Or tape your sandals to your feet? That looks daunting. Good luck.
There comes a point where your boots are so wet you don’t bother too much with avoiding the water. Just plod on and pack your boots with newspaper at the end of the day.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Just got home last night from 44 days on the Norte. If anyone is in doubt of there being mud on the Norte allow me to remove that doubt and let you know there is definitely enough mud to be shared by all. I found myself cleaning my boots every 2 days or so to remove the cement like mud that is so unique to this section of the world.
Apart from the mud this was a beautiful Camino and would recommend it to anyone looking for a scenic physical challenge.
 
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