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Notes on the San Salvador after two recent caminos.

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean - Finisterre (August 2014)
Pamplona - Burgos (January 2015)
Bilbao - Santander (May 2015)
St Jean - Sahgún (2nd Sept - 20 Sept 2015)
León - Sarria (26/12/2015 - 04/01/2016)
Lisbon - Tomar (02/04/16 - 10/04/16)
Pau - Pamplona (August 2016)
#1
I’ve just returned from walking my Camino de San Salvador, I also walked it two months ago at the end of August. It is a very beautiful Camino, possibly the most beautiful one I have done. It is much quieter than any of the others, especially in October. There is very little litter or graffiti. I almost don't want to recommend it, so as to keep it as the pristine jewel that it is. So please, please, if you go there treat it respectfully and love it for its sheer beauty. Here are some tips for others who want to walk it.

· Travel from Santiago to León by train is a great journey, beautiful views, comfortable train. Also easy to fly into Asturias airport, bus to Oviedo, and then another bus to León.

· Great bus journey of about 4 hours back to Santiago from Oviedo.

· I stayed at the albergue of the Benedictine nuns in León both times, the night before walking. It’s not my favourite albergue, there are hoards of people staying there, no railings on the top bunks and pretty noisy, and lots of excitable, young and drinking Camino de Frances pilgrims - but all good-natured. However, it’s adequate, has friendly hospitaleros, provides a simple breakfast in the morning, and offers a good pilgrims menu in the hotel restaurant next door.

· The special San Salvador credencials can be bought at the albergue for €3. They are good quality credencials with helpful information.

· Getting the Salvadorian certificate upon arrival in Oviedo. My first arrival in Oviedo was on a Sunday. Apparently the cathedral does not provide stamps or certificates on a Sunday, and I did not get either. The second time I also arrived on a Sunday and called into the municipal albergue which is near the edge of Oviedo and before hitting the old city. They provide a stamp, certificate and tube.

· In late August all the albergues were full each night for the entire San Salvador, which was a surprise. All of us had heard it was quiet and were expecting to not see anyone. That said, there were still only 15 - 20 people walking, and as most of them were the "early morning race to the next albergue types" I walked all day alone. In late October, my friend and I were the only 2 pilgrims each night – much more pleasant, a wonderful, quiet and peaceful pilgrimage.

· Way marking: excellent, it would be impossible to get lost - except leaving Pola de Lena (cross over the bridge), and entering Mieres (watch the arrows carefully when getting opposite the town and don't cross a bridge too early).

· I downloaded and printed Gronze (google it, English translations, very thorough) and Ender’s (on Camino forum) guides, they are more than sufficient and really helpful.

· All albergues have blankets if you want to avoid carrying a sleeping bag.

· I did it in 6 stages both times. Although people do it in 5 stages, it would be pretty exhausting and there would have been a lot of rushing. Ideally 7 stages would be better for those who are less fit or get more easily tired. Weather: in October not a drop of rain and sunny skies, cool at night - very lucky. In August one day of rain, more cloudy, less sunny but hot. My guess is that in winter it would be very cold, wet and snowy.

· Stage 1: León to La Robla.
Pleasant, hilly, walking through urban areas and along roads for sections at the start.
The bars at Cascantes and La Seca were closed mid afternoon on my second trip. I certainly wouldn't wast time and energy making the detour to La Seca again. So, carry snacks to avoid hunger. Cascantes has a great fresh water spring which the locals travel to for water as it has no chemicals in it. On my first trip the Cascantes bar was open.
Ender’s alternative from Cascantes to La Robla is much more pleasant, avoids industrial areas, highways and the town of La Robla, however it adds about 3 more kilometres. You walk past an amazing power station.
La Robla albergue was open the first time I walked and we just grabbed a bed and paid later in the afternoon when the hospitalero arrived. The second time, it was all locked up and we had to keep phoning the number for about half an hour, eventually it was answered and a great fellow quickly came over and opened up.
Some fellow walkers arrived on my first trip after all the bunks were taken. They were directed to a B&B which they said was fantastic, nearby and very cheap (from memory – no more than €15).
The locals recommend the Olimpia bar, I ate there twice, decent pilgrim menu and friendly. Shops etc available though, and good cooking facilities in the albergue. Don’t lock the door at night: we did and they bought the police around in the morning as they couldn’t get in – no problem though!

· Day 2 La Robla to Poladura de la Tercia.
Beautiful day of walking, country roads, mountains and little villages.
La Pola de Gordon about 9 km form La Robla is the last supermarket for a couple of days, there are two supermarkets there – stock up for lunch and breakfast and snacks for the next two days.
Opposite the supermarket on the right is a beautiful old building and square – some kind of municipal offices, they are very friendly in there and offer a stamp and gave us a souvenir scarf.
There is an albergue at Buiza which looks very nice, but there is no shop or bar in the town, so you would have to take dinner as well. Plenty of water fountains there, and a good place to stop for lunch.
After Buiza it gets very remote and mountainous, lots of steep climbs, forest walks and wild horses.
BEWARE in the last half an hour of walking into Poladura de la Tercia, after the hard mountain climbs, there are 3 dogs guarding sheep in the fields. One of the dogs is very unpleasant and races across the fields barking and followed us inches from our heels barking and looking very menacing for about 15 minutes. This happened to me on both trips. It is quite unnerving and anyone with dog phobia would find it very frightening. Both times I was fine, but it was unpleasant.
Poladura de la Tercia albergue is fine, a bit grubby and only two bathrooms but adequate (especially when there was only two of us).
The first time it was full, as the the B&B next door, however we waited till the evening and Fernando who is great bought extra mattresses, so everyone was safe and had somewhere to sleep.
There is an unusual arrangement with the B&B next door: it has a bar which is only open for a couple of hoursin the evening, they give you a very good pilgrim menu which you carry back to the albergue. To get this meal – phone the night before. Otherwise there is only a machine for snacks.

· Day 3 Poladura de la Tercia to Pajares.
Another beautiful mountain walk, but it’s heavy going at times, amazing views.
As you come close to Arbás del Puerto there are now two options, one goes through a field, under electricity pylons, and arrives at a side road. Cross the fence, turn left, hit the highway and head to the border and the bar at Puerto de Pajares. This is the easier and shorter option, I did this on my first trip and I would do it again. The other option is to head to the right over the hill and then down a very difficult slope with lots of little hillocks at the end of which you get to Arbás del Puerto which is a derelict village with a huge church complex. The second trip I did this, and the church was closed. A friend told me that in August in late morning however the church was open and very worth a visit.
At Puerto de Pajares there is a great little bar, and on the right of the bar is a door to a dining room. They do a very good menu there, and the food is fantastic, well worth a visit – if you don’t mind walking after on a very full stomach.
After the bar you head to the fields behind and down a very, very steep grassy slope. My first trip it was raining and cloudy, so I could see nothing and slipped three times – be careful. My second trip it was sunny and much easier and more scenic.
At Pajeres there is a wonderful albergue run by Marissa who is wonderful, kind and friendly. Make sure to call her the night before. It is a very clean, comfortable and well equipped albergue. On my first visit she gave us a home cooked dinner (and for those who arrived earlier lunch). Her cooking is fantastic and it’s a wonderful place. On my second visit, there were only two of us and she directed us to a bar which provided a main course and desert. Beautiful church in Pajares - try the doors to enter.

· Day 4 Pajera to Pola de Lena.
Stock up with plenty of water at the start of this day, not many water options.
In my opinion this is the longest and hardest stretch, lots of climbing up, and slippery slopes down. It has beautiful views, but long stretches of walking through woods which are beautiful, but become a bit monotonous at times.
I didn’t bother to visit the church of Santa Christina de Lena both times, as I was too tired to climb another hill by that stage (instead of turning right to follow the path up the hill, turn left and follow the road to the old train station and follow the arrows through the underpass). My friends on both trips visited the church and said it was very beautiful and well worth a visit, it was also open.
Pola de Lena has a great municipal albergue, it is friendly, large, spacious, and has great showers. It is a pleasant town with plenty of restaurants, bars and supermarkets.

· Day 5 Pola de Lena to Mieres. This day is a short, pleasant and more urban, but still tiring after the previous heavy day. The little town of Ujo has a beautiful parish church and in the square opposite is a lovely bar and bakery and the best fresh orange juice I have had on any camino.
On both my trips there were photocopies of maps at the Pola albergue which provide directions to access the Mieres albergue (which is currently not staffed). You need to go to some kind of government building near the main town to get the stamp and keys to the albergue, which is donativo. The albergue is on the very edge of town on the way out, and has a microwave and fridge. There is also a little shop opposite the driveway out of the church, which opens a couple of times a day. Mieres is fun to walk back to from the albergue and try out the siderias and bars. There is also a great swimming pool there (make sure you have a swimming cap).

· Mieres to Oviedo. Quite a hilly day of walking, lots of little villages. There is a friendly bar about 10 minutes after leaving the Mieres albergue, which is great for breakfast.
The next bars are in Olloniego about 10 km further on. On the way out is a wonderful tower, two medieval bridges and a beautiful customs house and league marker.
Great views of the approach of Oviedo.
In Oviedo the albergue is on the way in. It is in a disused seminary building, ring the bell at street level and follow the yellow line to the reception. I have never stayed there, but visited it twice. It looks great, plenty of rooms and friendly staff. My friends who stayed there spoke well of it. In August it was very busy as three Caminos meet in Oviedo. On my second visit they said there were only 4 pilgrims there (good safe place to get the certificate and Oviedo stamp).
I stayed both times at the Hotel Carreño on the other side of town. It is hidden behind the train station and 5 minutes walk from the bus station. It is clean, friendly and around €45 for a two bed room – very handy for early departures by bus back to Santiago or to the Asturias airport (which is about half an hour from Oviedo). There is a great Sideria opposite the Carreño which seems to be only used by locals. Great food, but they speak no English and you have to go on trust with what the exuberant waiter recommends, excellent food and cider both times.

I will also add some photos shortly.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#2
I retraced my steps while reading your post. I am envious, Did you reach Pajares on the day the bar is closed? Some local politics prevent Marisa from being free to cook on other days - or that is what I gathered. The view from the room looking over the mountains is priceless. Marisa is unique, a gem. We stopped in Benduenos after Pajares. I was more than thankful that Sandra came down to collect us! The hospitalero in Mieres is recovering from an illness. I found his accent very difficult to catch.We had a shared meal there with the other pilgrims, as nobody was in form to trudge back into the city. We gave ourselves two nights in Oviedo so we could go to Gijón the next day. It is a beautiful Camino. It was very hard for my poor old knees, but I easily understand your fondness for the route and its gift.
 

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean - Finisterre (August 2014)
Pamplona - Burgos (January 2015)
Bilbao - Santander (May 2015)
St Jean - Sahgún (2nd Sept - 20 Sept 2015)
León - Sarria (26/12/2015 - 04/01/2016)
Lisbon - Tomar (02/04/16 - 10/04/16)
Pau - Pamplona (August 2016)
#4
I retraced my steps while reading your post. I am envious, Did you reach Pajares on the day the bar is closed? Some local politics prevent Marisa from being free to cook on other days - or that is what I gathered. The view from the room looking over the mountains is priceless. Marisa is unique, a gem. We stopped in Benduenos after Pajares. I was more than thankful that Sandra came down to collect us! The hospitalero in Mieres is recovering from an illness. I found his accent very difficult to catch.We had a shared meal there with the other pilgrims, as nobody was in form to trudge back into the city. We gave ourselves two nights in Oviedo so we could go to Gijón the next day. It is a beautiful Camino. It was very hard for my poor old knees, but I easily understand your fondness for the route and its gift.
Thanks Kirkie - the bar was open, so maybe that is what it is all about. If I did it again I would do Benduenos, the last couple of days are quite tough. Gijón is a wonderful city, I've been there twice now. Take care.
 

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean - Finisterre (August 2014)
Pamplona - Burgos (January 2015)
Bilbao - Santander (May 2015)
St Jean - Sahgún (2nd Sept - 20 Sept 2015)
León - Sarria (26/12/2015 - 04/01/2016)
Lisbon - Tomar (02/04/16 - 10/04/16)
Pau - Pamplona (August 2016)
#5

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#6
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#7
Wonderful write-up!! I REALLLLLLY want to walk this Camino -- but have a problem with heights. I've gone over the Pyrenees 3 times - but had no problems - the walkways are broad enough for me. My particular problem is when there is a narrow path with steep downhill slope - similar to the attached photo, but steeper on the down slope. I've asked several people who don't remember anything like that -- Can you confirm if this situation exists. Thanks so much!!
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18
#8
I must be honest,there were a couple of narrow paths that caused me some concern but knew I had no option but to keep walking and focus on my feet. Luckily the weather was good.
I felt a sense of achievement when I arrived in Campomanes ,after that the going was relatively easy. I will repeat the Salvador/Primitivo again someday.
 

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean - Finisterre (August 2014)
Pamplona - Burgos (January 2015)
Bilbao - Santander (May 2015)
St Jean - Sahgún (2nd Sept - 20 Sept 2015)
León - Sarria (26/12/2015 - 04/01/2016)
Lisbon - Tomar (02/04/16 - 10/04/16)
Pau - Pamplona (August 2016)
#9
Wonderful write-up!! I REALLLLLLY want to walk this Camino -- but have a problem with heights. I've gone over the Pyrenees 3 times - but had no problems - the walkways are broad enough for me. My particular problem is when there is a narrow path with steep downhill slope - similar to the attached photo, but steeper on the down slope. I've asked several people who don't remember anything like that -- Can you confirm if this situation exists. Thanks so much!!
Sorry about the delay - yes there are a few sections like that. It would be a shame for you to miss out though.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte?
#10
I walked the Salvador in early August. I don't remember any narrow paths along steep slopes or ravines or so. It is a mountain walk though, with the uneven underground that comes with that. The most difficult part for me was the descent at the Puerto de Pajares. This path is marked and advised to avoid walking along the road here. There is practically no room for walkers at the side of the road. The descent was unpleasantly steep down a grass slope very heavy on knees and possibly very slippery in wet circumstances. If there are few cars on the road I would consider walking along the road. The trucks you will meet will drive very slow due to the steep climb.
The Salvador was very beautiful. From Pajares I Would walk to the very nice albergue in Benduenos ( one of the best on caminos I've walked) The next day you could walk to Pola de Lena ( a very short walk) or to Mierres. Marisa in Pajares was handing out free tickets for the swimming pool in Pola de Lena
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012 - 2015 CF
2015 SdC-Fisterra-Muxia
2016 Porto-SdC
2017 Salvador&Primitivo
2017 Mozarabe
#11
Lovely to read your Salvador experience. I agree it is a most wonderful camino and I just loved it and the wonderful Marisa and beautiful Oviedo which we were in when the great annual festival was on in September - fabulous! But oh boy that walk from Buiza to Poladura! It was a bit of a shock to my cardiac system but well worth it for the wonderful views and such a privilege to get out of the way for the majestic wild horse mares and their foals.
I hope to do it again someday.
 

malingerer

Active Member
#13
I’ve just returned from walking my Camino de San Salvador, I also walked it two months ago at the end of August. It is a very beautiful Camino, possibly the most beautiful one I have done. It is much quieter than any of the others, especially in October. There is very little litter or graffiti. I almost don't want to recommend it, so as to keep it as the pristine jewel that it is. So please, please, if you go there treat it respectfully and love it for its sheer beauty. Here are some tips for others who want to walk it.

· Travel from Santiago to León by train is a great journey, beautiful views, comfortable train. Also easy to fly into Asturias airport, bus to Oviedo, and then another bus to León.

· Great bus journey of about 4 hours back to Santiago from Oviedo.

· I stayed at the albergue of the Benedictine nuns in León both times, the night before walking. It’s not my favourite albergue, there are hoards of people staying there, no railings on the top bunks and pretty noisy, and lots of excitable, young and drinking Camino de Frances pilgrims - but all good-natured. However, it’s adequate, has friendly hospitaleros, provides a simple breakfast in the morning, and offers a good pilgrims menu in the hotel restaurant next door.

· The special San Salvador credencials can be bought at the albergue for €3. They are good quality credencials with helpful information.

· Getting the Salvadorian certificate upon arrival in Oviedo. My first arrival in Oviedo was on a Sunday. Apparently the cathedral does not provide stamps or certificates on a Sunday, and I did not get either. The second time I also arrived on a Sunday and called into the municipal albergue which is near the edge of Oviedo and before hitting the old city. They provide a stamp, certificate and tube.

· In late August all the albergues were full each night for the entire San Salvador, which was a surprise. All of us had heard it was quiet and were expecting to not see anyone. That said, there were still only 15 - 20 people walking, and as most of them were the "early morning race to the next albergue types" I walked all day alone. In late October, my friend and I were the only 2 pilgrims each night – much more pleasant, a wonderful, quiet and peaceful pilgrimage.

· Way marking: excellent, it would be impossible to get lost - except leaving Pola de Lena (cross over the bridge), and entering Mieres (watch the arrows carefully when getting opposite the town and don't cross a bridge too early).

· I downloaded and printed Gronze (google it, English translations, very thorough) and Ender’s (on Camino forum) guides, they are more than sufficient and really helpful.

· All albergues have blankets if you want to avoid carrying a sleeping bag.

· I did it in 6 stages both times. Although people do it in 5 stages, it would be pretty exhausting and there would have been a lot of rushing. Ideally 7 stages would be better for those who are less fit or get more easily tired. Weather: in October not a drop of rain and sunny skies, cool at night - very lucky. In August one day of rain, more cloudy, less sunny but hot. My guess is that in winter it would be very cold, wet and snowy.

· Stage 1: León to La Robla.
Pleasant, hilly, walking through urban areas and along roads for sections at the start.
The bars at Cascantes and La Seca were closed mid afternoon on my second trip. I certainly wouldn't wast time and energy making the detour to La Seca again. So, carry snacks to avoid hunger. Cascantes has a great fresh water spring which the locals travel to for water as it has no chemicals in it. On my first trip the Cascantes bar was open.
Ender’s alternative from Cascantes to La Robla is much more pleasant, avoids industrial areas, highways and the town of La Robla, however it adds about 3 more kilometres. You walk past an amazing power station.
La Robla albergue was open the first time I walked and we just grabbed a bed and paid later in the afternoon when the hospitalero arrived. The second time, it was all locked up and we had to keep phoning the number for about half an hour, eventually it was answered and a great fellow quickly came over and opened up.
Some fellow walkers arrived on my first trip after all the bunks were taken. They were directed to a B&B which they said was fantastic, nearby and very cheap (from memory – no more than €15).
The locals recommend the Olimpia bar, I ate there twice, decent pilgrim menu and friendly. Shops etc available though, and good cooking facilities in the albergue. Don’t lock the door at night: we did and they bought the police around in the morning as they couldn’t get in – no problem though!

· Day 2 La Robla to Poladura de la Tercia.
Beautiful day of walking, country roads, mountains and little villages.
La Pola de Gordon about 9 km form La Robla is the last supermarket for a couple of days, there are two supermarkets there – stock up for lunch and breakfast and snacks for the next two days.
Opposite the supermarket on the right is a beautiful old building and square – some kind of municipal offices, they are very friendly in there and offer a stamp and gave us a souvenir scarf.
There is an albergue at Buiza which looks very nice, but there is no shop or bar in the town, so you would have to take dinner as well. Plenty of water fountains there, and a good place to stop for lunch.
After Buiza it gets very remote and mountainous, lots of steep climbs, forest walks and wild horses.
BEWARE in the last half an hour of walking into Poladura de la Tercia, after the hard mountain climbs, there are 3 dogs guarding sheep in the fields. One of the dogs is very unpleasant and races across the fields barking and followed us inches from our heels barking and looking very menacing for about 15 minutes. This happened to me on both trips. It is quite unnerving and anyone with dog phobia would find it very frightening. Both times I was fine, but it was unpleasant.
Poladura de la Tercia albergue is fine, a bit grubby and only two bathrooms but adequate (especially when there was only two of us).
The first time it was full, as the the B&B next door, however we waited till the evening and Fernando who is great bought extra mattresses, so everyone was safe and had somewhere to sleep.
There is an unusual arrangement with the B&B next door: it has a bar which is only open for a couple of hoursin the evening, they give you a very good pilgrim menu which you carry back to the albergue. To get this meal – phone the night before. Otherwise there is only a machine for snacks.

· Day 3 Poladura de la Tercia to Pajares.
Another beautiful mountain walk, but it’s heavy going at times, amazing views.
As you come close to Arbás del Puerto there are now two options, one goes through a field, under electricity pylons, and arrives at a side road. Cross the fence, turn left, hit the highway and head to the border and the bar at Puerto de Pajares. This is the easier and shorter option, I did this on my first trip and I would do it again. The other option is to head to the right over the hill and then down a very difficult slope with lots of little hillocks at the end of which you get to Arbás del Puerto which is a derelict village with a huge church complex. The second trip I did this, and the church was closed. A friend told me that in August in late morning however the church was open and very worth a visit.
At Puerto de Pajares there is a great little bar, and on the right of the bar is a door to a dining room. They do a very good menu there, and the food is fantastic, well worth a visit – if you don’t mind walking after on a very full stomach.
After the bar you head to the fields behind and down a very, very steep grassy slope. My first trip it was raining and cloudy, so I could see nothing and slipped three times – be careful. My second trip it was sunny and much easier and more scenic.
At Pajeres there is a wonderful albergue run by Marissa who is wonderful, kind and friendly. Make sure to call her the night before. It is a very clean, comfortable and well equipped albergue. On my first visit she gave us a home cooked dinner (and for those who arrived earlier lunch). Her cooking is fantastic and it’s a wonderful place. On my second visit, there were only two of us and she directed us to a bar which provided a main course and desert. Beautiful church in Pajares - try the doors to enter.

· Day 4 Pajera to Pola de Lena.
Stock up with plenty of water at the start of this day, not many water options.
In my opinion this is the longest and hardest stretch, lots of climbing up, and slippery slopes down. It has beautiful views, but long stretches of walking through woods which are beautiful, but become a bit monotonous at times.
I didn’t bother to visit the church of Santa Christina de Lena both times, as I was too tired to climb another hill by that stage (instead of turning right to follow the path up the hill, turn left and follow the road to the old train station and follow the arrows through the underpass). My friends on both trips visited the church and said it was very beautiful and well worth a visit, it was also open.
Pola de Lena has a great municipal albergue, it is friendly, large, spacious, and has great showers. It is a pleasant town with plenty of restaurants, bars and supermarkets.

· Day 5 Pola de Lena to Mieres. This day is a short, pleasant and more urban, but still tiring after the previous heavy day. The little town of Ujo has a beautiful parish church and in the square opposite is a lovely bar and bakery and the best fresh orange juice I have had on any camino.
On both my trips there were photocopies of maps at the Pola albergue which provide directions to access the Mieres albergue (which is currently not staffed). You need to go to some kind of government building near the main town to get the stamp and keys to the albergue, which is donativo. The albergue is on the very edge of town on the way out, and has a microwave and fridge. There is also a little shop opposite the driveway out of the church, which opens a couple of times a day. Mieres is fun to walk back to from the albergue and try out the siderias and bars. There is also a great swimming pool there (make sure you have a swimming cap).

· Mieres to Oviedo. Quite a hilly day of walking, lots of little villages. There is a friendly bar about 10 minutes after leaving the Mieres albergue, which is great for breakfast.
The next bars are in Olloniego about 10 km further on. On the way out is a wonderful tower, two medieval bridges and a beautiful customs house and league marker.
Great views of the approach of Oviedo.
In Oviedo the albergue is on the way in. It is in a disused seminary building, ring the bell at street level and follow the yellow line to the reception. I have never stayed there, but visited it twice. It looks great, plenty of rooms and friendly staff. My friends who stayed there spoke well of it. In August it was very busy as three Caminos meet in Oviedo. On my second visit they said there were only 4 pilgrims there (good safe place to get the certificate and Oviedo stamp).
I stayed both times at the Hotel Carreño on the other side of town. It is hidden behind the train station and 5 minutes walk from the bus station. It is clean, friendly and around €45 for a two bed room – very handy for early departures by bus back to Santiago or to the Asturias airport (which is about half an hour from Oviedo). There is a great Sideria opposite the Carreño which seems to be only used by locals. Great food, but they speak no English and you have to go on trust with what the exuberant waiter recommends, excellent food and cider both times.

I will also add some photos shortly.
would you consider this route "doable" for an 80yr old who, altho reasonably fit doesn't like more than 10kms per day ! I would be bringing a tent for when I want /need to stop anyway! I prefer rooms to dorms for pernickety age/health reasons. I am hoping to walk either sep this year or May next year on the CF and then up to Oviedo and on to the Primitivo to Santiago in aid of Dementia Awareness. I would obviously do this over several stages over a couple of years! I am half thinking of bringing my self designed and built hiking trailer but am dubious about trails on my own with it especially when lacking in upper body strength for flinging it over fences etc. Could come in handy tho as a spacer between me and dogs! :) Comments and good advice more than welcome.

Yours aye,

The Malingerer.
 
#14
Malingerer -- Check out my posting last fall called Older People on the Salvador. It gives you some descriptions of our 9 stages (at least 3 more than most folks) when Wes was 80 and I was 74. It was pure pleasure. Now at 81 and 76 we just finished the Primitivo and will be posting an Older People on the Primitivo soon.
 

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean - Finisterre (August 2014)
Pamplona - Burgos (January 2015)
Bilbao - Santander (May 2015)
St Jean - Sahgún (2nd Sept - 20 Sept 2015)
León - Sarria (26/12/2015 - 04/01/2016)
Lisbon - Tomar (02/04/16 - 10/04/16)
Pau - Pamplona (August 2016)
#16
would you consider this route "doable" for an 80yr old who, altho reasonably fit doesn't like more than 10kms per day ! I would be bringing a tent for when I want /need to stop anyway! I prefer rooms to dorms for pernickety age/health reasons. I am hoping to walk either sep this year or May next year on the CF and then up to Oviedo and on to the Primitivo to Santiago in aid of Dementia Awareness. I would obviously do this over several stages over a couple of years! I am half thinking of bringing my self designed and built hiking trailer but am dubious about trails on my own with it especially when lacking in upper body strength for flinging it over fences etc. Could come in handy tho as a spacer between me and dogs! :) Comments and good advice more than welcome.

Yours aye,

The Malingerer.
Sorry about the delay. Check the Ender's Guide for ways of spacing it out so as not to have to walk too far each day over more days. I seem to remember that there are some stages when there's not much choice other than albergues. Last time I did it though, my friend and I had dorms all to ourselves. The trails are steep and narrow in places, I think a trailer might be hard work.
 
#17
Hola, yesterday I walked on this Camino. I think it might be tricky with trailer but I have seen imaginative couples on other Caminos with trailers. At the moment the section from Puente de Los Fierrors is wet and muddy with 2 or 3 windfallen trees. Please don't let my memory deter you from this special Camino.
The albergue in Pola de Lena is 5* with everything provided in bathroom area for ladies and gents. €7 but it's upstairs, not sure if there's an elevator.
The road from Pola de Lena to Ujo requires you to be alert. From Ujo to Mieres is on easily travelled flat surface for wheels.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -SJPP- Santiago .Oct/Nov
2017 -Porto to Santiago.Oct
2017- Santiago- Finesterre. Nov
#18
Thanks so much to all the contributors to this thread . I would like to do this walk in (late) September 2018 for my third Camino and the descriptions are really detailed and informative .i appreciate it . Thankyou kindly
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012 - 2015 CF
2015 SdC-Fisterra-Muxia
2016 Porto-SdC
2017 Salvador&Primitivo
2017 Mozarabe
#19
Mark I hope you enjoy the Salvador. For me it is the best Camino I have walked so far. In a way I just wish it was longer so as to enjoy the wonderful countryside, people, and just the peace and sheer beauty of the walk.
I think September is a great month to walk any Camino in my experience.
Buen camino
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
2019- Invierno
#21
Mark I hope you enjoy the Salvador. For me it is the best Camino I have walked so far. In a way I just wish it was longer so as to enjoy the wonderful countryside, people, and just the peace and sheer beauty of the walk.
I think September is a great month to walk any Camino in my experience.
Buen camino
You liked it better than the Primitivo? I'm trying to decide between The Invierno and El Salvador. I already walked the Primitivo and really enjoyed it.
 
#22
You liked it better than the Primitivo? I'm trying to decide between The Invierno and El Salvador. I already walked the Primitivo and really enjoyed it.
Tough choice. The Salvador has one or two days of absolutely spectacular scenery, from Buiza to Pajares, and a drop dead beautiful pre-Romanesque church, Santa Cristina de Lena. The Invierno is a steady drip of very pretty scenery, with a beautiful romanesque church at Diamondi. The Invierno is 260 km, the Salvador 120, so that might be a factor.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
2019- Invierno
#23
Tough choice. The Salvador has one or two days of absolutely spectacular scenery, from Buiza to Pajares, and a drop dead beautiful pre-Romanesque church, Santa Cristina de Lena. The Invierno is a steady drip of very pretty scenery, with a beautiful romanesque church at Diamondi. The Invierno is 260 km, the Salvador 120, so that might be a factor.
We’ve pretty much decided on The Invierno because it’s longer. Thanks!
 

gypsy9

Active Member
#24
Lovely posts, thank you. You mentioned the hostels/albergues for pilgrims were full--wondering how you managed alternative accommodations and your budget. I too will be travelling in late August (arrival time at Leon), but interested in this way then Primitivo. One of my fears (sigh) is not having a bed and I am also linguistically challenged!

Also, has anyone walked this way in reverse? (Oviedo to Leon).
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#25
Lovely posts, thank you. You mentioned the hostels/albergues for pilgrims were full--wondering how you managed alternative accommodations and your budget. I too will be travelling in late August (arrival time at Leon), but interested in this way then Primitivo. One of my fears (sigh) is not having a bed and I am also linguistically challenged!

Also, has anyone walked this way in reverse? (Oviedo to Leon).
Not walked it in reverse, and would never want to either - Campomanes to Puerto de Pajares would be a hellish stage!!!! There are some long very steep sections which would really test your fitness!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2017
#26
Hola, yesterday I walked on this Camino. I think it might be tricky with trailer but I have seen imaginative couples on other Caminos with trailers. At the moment the section from Puente de Los Fierrors is wet and muddy with 2 or 3 windfallen trees. Please don't let my memory deter you from this special Camino.
The albergue in Pola de Lena is 5* with everything provided in bathroom area for ladies and gents. €7 but it's upstairs, not sure if there's an elevator.
The road from Pola de Lena to Ujo requires you to be alert. From Ujo to Mieres is on easily travelled flat surface for wheels.
Hi I will be walking the Salvador with my son end of September and wonder did you encounter some of the scary dogs people mentioned in former posts (near Buiza I think..) and were free roaming cattle a concern? As the date is getting closer I find myself getting a little nervous..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2017
#27
Hi I will be walking the Salvador with my son end of September and wonder did you encounter some of the scary dogs people mentioned in former posts (near Buiza I think..) and were free roaming cattle a concern? As the date is getting closer I find myself getting a little nervous..
Thinks it's just before Poladura de la Tercia as mentioned in Pierre Julians post from November 2017..
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#28
I encountered the dogs, on a ridge way above Poladura. I came around a corner and saw a group of goats sitting around a rocky crag by the path, enjoying the breeze. I thought to myself, sorry to disturb you all, but you're going to have to move over. And then I saw the dogs coming towards me. Three big ones, barking noisily. So I hastily bent down and picked up some stones, which is standard practice for me. But something about the dogs made me think that they were not serious - they were not baring their teeth nor snarling, and I realised they were just going through the motions. I stood still as they ambled towards me. One came right up to me, and sniffed my hand before turning away. I'm sure that a dog lover would have made a best friend that day. Rather than continue forward along the path, I cut up across the hillside, smiling to myself that it was me not the goats, who had had to move off the path!
And as I did my short detour, I came across a fourth big dog! Thankfully, it was equally unconcerned.
I suspect that these dogs are relatively used to walkers. They were nothing like as fierce as the ones guarding the cattle that we came across in the 1970s.
Later that evening, I think that I saw the dogs with a farmer, walking meekly behind him.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2017
#29
Hi Feli
I encountered the dogs, on a ridge way above Poladura. I came around a corner and saw a group of goats sitting around a rocky crag by the path, enjoying the breeze. I thought to myself, sorry to disturb you all, but you're going to have to move over. And then I saw the dogs coming towards me. Three big ones, barking noisily. So I hastily bent down and picked up some stones, which is standard practice for me. But something about the dogs made me think that they were not serious - they were not baring their teeth nor snarling, and I realised they were just going through the motions. I stood still as they ambled towards me. One came right up to me, and sniffed my hand before turning away. I'm sure that a dog lover would have made a best friend that day. Rather than continue forward along the path, I cut up across the hillside, smiling to myself that it was me not the goats, who had had to move off the path!
And as I did my short detour, I came across a fourth big dog! Thankfully, it was equally unconcerned.
I suspect that these dogs are relatively used to walkers. They were nothing like as fierce as the ones guarding the cattle that we came across in the 1970s.
Later that evening, I think that I saw the dogs with a farmer, walking meekly behind him.
Hi Felice thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad to hear the dogs were not as scary as they looked. Just the sight of big dogs scares me a lot, especially when they come towards me and no one is around. I live in rural Ireland and when walking the back roads i'm known for turning back in order to avoid passing a dog! Obviously i can't do that on the camino and i feel i will be facing my biggest fears. Bulls and dogs! I'm with my son who is 11 and i just hope we won't be faced with an aggressive dog as i'm not sure would i be able to handle it..
 

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