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Older People on the Primitivo

#1
We (Wes, 81, Rita 75) finished the Primitivo on June 4. Last September we posted our stages on the San Salvador (Older People on the San Salvador) to encourage older folks, and those who just need/want shorter stages, to walk that beautiful Camino. Most people walk the Primitivo in 11 to 14 days. I want to share our 19 walking stages to encourage older/slower folks to walk the Primitivo. To relieve Wes' back, we did use transport for a large plastic trash bag (!) filled with our heavy things on the 4 stages that were 20k or more, as well as the Pola de Allande to Berducedo stage. Otherwise we carried our packs and enjoyed some really short stages ("rest days").

We arrived in Oviedo late in the day and stayed in the Albergue de Peregrinos El Salvador. The next day, I was able to spend hours touring the Cathedral while Wes enjoyed finding and walking the route out of Oviedo for the next day. We were able to recover from our jet lag and the Albergue was kind enough to allow us to stay one more day. We started our walk the next day. Each walking day we left the albergues between 7 and 7:30 am, and we arrived between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm at our next stop and were able to enjoy the afternoon exploring the town, reading, doing crossword puzzles, washing clothes, etc. etc.

The kilometers are approximate since every guide has different ones.

Day 1 -- Oviedo to Venta del Escamplero, 11.9k
Day 2 -- Venta del Escamplero to San Juan de Villapanada, 17.4k
Day 3 -- San Juan de Villapanada to Salas, 17.5k
Day 4 -- Salas to Tineo, 18.9k
Day 5 -- Tineo to Campiello, 18.9 (the rain in the forecast determined that we would walk the Pola alternative to the Hospitales. We didn't have rain and we LOVED the Pola route!
Day 6 -- Campiello to Pola de Allande, 12.4k
Day 7 -- Pola de Allande to Berducedo, 18k
Day 8 -- Berducedo to Embalse de Salime. The long downhill to Embalse de Salime nearly did in both our lower backs and it was such a treat to stay at the wonderful Hotel Las Grandas for very little more than the two of us in an albergue privado and they had an exceptionally wonderful Menu de Peregrinos for 10 euro each.
Day 9 -- Embalse de Salime to Castro, 10.5k
Day10 -- Castro to Fonsagrada, 20.2k
Day 11 -- Fonsagrada to O Cadavo, 24.1k
Day 12 -- O Cadavo to Castroverde, 8.9k
Day 13 -- Castroverde to Lugo, 21.2
Day 14 -- A day in Lugo, walking the wall, touring the Cathedral
Day 15 -- Lugo to San Roman, 18k
Day 16 -- San Roman to As Seixas, 13.4k
Day 17 -- As Seixas to Melide, 14.8k
Day 18 -- Melide to Arzua, 13k
Day 19 -- Arzua to Pedrouzo, 19k
Day 20 -- Pedrouzo to Santiago, 20k

We had really good weather. Only the last day did it really rain and we entered Santiago soaked through and cold! We flew home to New England the next day and started thinking about the Via de la Plata next spring...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#4
Ritaj,

What a wonderful account of your shared journey; may you enjoy many more.
From another older walker (79) to you both may you now feel peace and a happy sense of achievement....Ultreia!

"...and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
Ulysses
,
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014), Camino Inca (2015), Primitivo (2017), Portugues (2018), Finisterre (2018)
#5
I had the same itinerary as you when I walked last summer, and I am a wee bit younger so good on you. I did find that there were very few "older" people walking the Primitivo. I think that there is a perception that it is a difficult route, and it needn't be if you shorten some of the stages. I also did the Pola route - locals suggested it as there was heavy fog, but I had already decided on the Pola route as I was determined to keep my distances to about 20 km. or less. I loved the Pola route as well. I actually taxied up to the summit, from Pola, and walked down into Berducedo.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
2019- Invierno
#6
A nice and relaxed walk. Ours was 2 weeks and it felt rushed. Husband and I have talked about going back and doing it in 18 days but this longer itinerary looks better. There were several places where I wished that we'd arrived at noon so we could explore the area. Thanks for sharing!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
#7
Thanks so much Rita.
I am trying to persuade my 78yr old parents, who are both very fit, to walk some of the Camino with me. I will share your story as gentle persuasion :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
#8
What a lovely forum topic! I'm in my 80th year and cannot walk even those distances now, but I wish joy to all who can. I even composed a poem about 'age' on my web site http://snicholl5.wixsite.com/home-site/santiago.

So my blessings to you all - young and not-so-young on the camino today: I am so glad I took so many pictures to bring back those old, familiar and happy memories.

Ultreia!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, Primitivo, Plata, Salvador Torres
#9
What a good idea to give all those details! So very reassuring and motivating!

I walked the Primitivo when I was 73. Did the same stages as you did, except for the Hospitales which had lots of clouds, but wonderful views in between in the sun....
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
#11
When I walked last May, there were quite a few older people on the Primitivo. There was an Italian who was 84 who was still walking up hills like a mountain goat and doing 25+km stages. Another gentleman who was 80, and was doing fine apart from taking the bus into Lugo rather than walking 30+km on a hot day. There were several people in their 70s too. It was young people who were in short supply, but that might have been because of the stages we were walking.
 

jimmyc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
#15
We (Wes, 81, Rita 75) finished the Primitivo on June 4. Last September we posted our stages on the San Salvador (Older People on the San Salvador) to encourage older folks, and those who just need/want shorter stages, to walk that beautiful Camino. Most people walk the Primitivo in 11 to 14 days. I want to share our 19 walking stages to encourage older/slower folks to walk the Primitivo. To relieve Wes' back, we did use transport for a large plastic trash bag (!) filled with our heavy things on the 4 stages that were 20k or more, as well as the Pola de Allande to Berducedo stage. Otherwise we carried our packs and enjoyed some really short stages ("rest days").

We arrived in Oviedo late in the day and stayed in the Albergue de Peregrinos El Salvador. The next day, I was able to spend hours touring the Cathedral while Wes enjoyed finding and walking the route out of Oviedo for the next day. We were able to recover from our jet lag and the Albergue was kind enough to allow us to stay one more day. We started our walk the next day. Each walking day we left the albergues between 7 and 7:30 am, and we arrived between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm at our next stop and were able to enjoy the afternoon exploring the town, reading, doing crossword puzzles, washing clothes, etc. etc.

The kilometers are approximate since every guide has different ones.

Day 1 -- Oviedo to Venta del Escamplero, 11.9k
Day 2 -- Venta del Escamplero to San Juan de Villapanada, 17.4k
Day 3 -- San Juan de Villapanada to Salas, 17.5k
Day 4 -- Salas to Tineo, 18.9k
Day 5 -- Tineo to Campiello, 18.9 (the rain in the forecast determined that we would walk the Pola alternative to the Hospitales. We didn't have rain and we LOVED the Pola route!
Day 6 -- Campiello to Pola de Allande, 12.4k
Day 7 -- Pola de Allande to Berducedo, 18k
Day 8 -- Berducedo to Embalse de Salime. The long downhill to Embalse de Salime nearly did in both our lower backs and it was such a treat to stay at the wonderful Hotel Las Grandas for very little more than the two of us in an albergue privado and they had an exceptionally wonderful Menu de Peregrinos for 10 euro each.
Day 9 -- Embalse de Salime to Castro, 10.5k
Day10 -- Castro to Fonsagrada, 20.2k
Day 11 -- Fonsagrada to O Cadavo, 24.1k
Day 12 -- O Cadavo to Castroverde, 8.9k
Day 13 -- Castroverde to Lugo, 21.2
Day 14 -- A day in Lugo, walking the wall, touring the Cathedral
Day 15 -- Lugo to San Roman, 18k
Day 16 -- San Roman to As Seixas, 13.4k
Day 17 -- As Seixas to Melide, 14.8k
Day 18 -- Melide to Arzua, 13k
Day 19 -- Arzua to Pedrouzo, 19k
Day 20 -- Pedrouzo to Santiago, 20k

We had really good weather. Only the last day did it really rain and we entered Santiago soaked through and cold! We flew home to New England the next day and started thinking about the Via de la Plata next spring...
Many thanks for this information. It answers the very question that I was about to post. I am 78 years old and plan to do this walk in late August. I find the the idea of too many 30 kilometer days somewhat daunting.
 
#16
When I walked last May, there were quite a few older people on the Primitivo. There was an Italian who was 84 who was still walking up hills like a mountain goat and doing 25+km stages. Another gentleman who was 80, and was doing fine apart from taking the bus into Lugo rather than walking 30+km on a hot day. There were several people in their 70s too. It was young people who were in short supply, but that might have been because of the stages we were walking.
There were many older people this May-June! We stayed at the Albergue Juvenil in Castro and it was more like an Albergue Ancianos -- I don't think there was anyone under the age of 50 and most of us were well over 60.
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Camino Aragones 2012, 2017, Via Francigena 2016 & 17,
#17
Today is my last day on the Primitivo as I am stopping at Lugo as I first walked from Lourdes to Puente La Reina before starting this. There are 3 of us in our 70s, and apart from another French pilgrim who says he is 78, everyone else is much younger. We are definitely the oldest but we have walked all the same stages as the youngsters and even walked the Hospitales routes, which was not nearly as difficult as expected. We have sent our backpacks ahead 3 times and have had private rooms on 3 of the 9 nights. It has been very tough but the scenery has been spectacular and we have coped. Navigating the mud has been challenging. If one is unable to walk the distances, I think your itinerary is excellent. We left Oviedo at noon as we wanted to visit the cathedral first, so we took a local bus for the first 8 kms, which was a great idea and I would highly recommend it as the bus winds in and out of beautiful little villages
 
Camino(s) past & future
Pilegrimsleden 2016
#18
Last year, aged only 67, but cautious, I did almost exactly the same stages as "ritaj"(but did 21!). I found the Primitivo very do-able. I had good weather so did the ascent of the Hospitales, which is easy enough because the incline is fairly gradual. It came to be a long day, but very enjoyable.
Looking back, I could have done the Primitivo in less, its not really that "mountainous". However, I was nearly always the first at any albergue, and did all my walking in the cool of the morning, so it was all stress free.
I would thoroughly recommend " The Ritaj Itinery " to all of us who are crinkling !
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Camino Aragones 2012, 2017, Via Francigena 2016 & 17,
#19
You must have had more time to stop and and smell the roses. When one does long distances there is little time to loiter along the way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo 2018 (, Portugues 2019)
#20
Many thanks for this information. It answers the very question that I was about to post. I am 78 years old and plan to do this walk in late August. I find the the idea of too many 30 kilometer days somewhat daunting.
Interesting, maybe we meet, depends of course on the exact dates, as I'm planning to start late in August, too, though I'm slightly younger…
 
Camino(s) past & future
1999 Burgos-SDC, 2003 Leon-SDC, 2007-2012 Le Puy-SDC, 2014 Burgos-Covarrubias, Camino Ingles 3 times
#21
We (Wes, 81, Rita 75) finished the Primitivo on June 4. Last September we posted our stages on the San Salvador (Older People on the San Salvador) to encourage older folks, and those who just need/want shorter stages, to walk that beautiful Camino. Most people walk the Primitivo in 11 to 14 days. I want to share our 19 walking stages to encourage older/slower folks to walk the Primitivo. To relieve Wes' back, we did use transport for a large plastic trash bag (!) filled with our heavy things on the 4 stages that were 20k or more, as well as the Pola de Allande to Berducedo stage. Otherwise we carried our packs and enjoyed some really short stages ("rest days").

We arrived in Oviedo late in the day and stayed in the Albergue de Peregrinos El Salvador. The next day, I was able to spend hours touring the Cathedral while Wes enjoyed finding and walking the route out of Oviedo for the next day. We were able to recover from our jet lag and the Albergue was kind enough to allow us to stay one more day. We started our walk the next day. Each walking day we left the albergues between 7 and 7:30 am, and we arrived between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm at our next stop and were able to enjoy the afternoon exploring the town, reading, doing crossword puzzles, washing clothes, etc. etc.

The kilometers are approximate since every guide has different ones.

Day 1 -- Oviedo to Venta del Escamplero, 11.9k
Day 2 -- Venta del Escamplero to San Juan de Villapanada, 17.4k
Day 3 -- San Juan de Villapanada to Salas, 17.5k
Day 4 -- Salas to Tineo, 18.9k
Day 5 -- Tineo to Campiello, 18.9 (the rain in the forecast determined that we would walk the Pola alternative to the Hospitales. We didn't have rain and we LOVED the Pola route!
Day 6 -- Campiello to Pola de Allande, 12.4k
Day 7 -- Pola de Allande to Berducedo, 18k
Day 8 -- Berducedo to Embalse de Salime. The long downhill to Embalse de Salime nearly did in both our lower backs and it was such a treat to stay at the wonderful Hotel Las Grandas for very little more than the two of us in an albergue privado and they had an exceptionally wonderful Menu de Peregrinos for 10 euro each.
Day 9 -- Embalse de Salime to Castro, 10.5k
Day10 -- Castro to Fonsagrada, 20.2k
Day 11 -- Fonsagrada to O Cadavo, 24.1k
Day 12 -- O Cadavo to Castroverde, 8.9k
Day 13 -- Castroverde to Lugo, 21.2
Day 14 -- A day in Lugo, walking the wall, touring the Cathedral
Day 15 -- Lugo to San Roman, 18k
Day 16 -- San Roman to As Seixas, 13.4k
Day 17 -- As Seixas to Melide, 14.8k
Day 18 -- Melide to Arzua, 13k
Day 19 -- Arzua to Pedrouzo, 19k
Day 20 -- Pedrouzo to Santiago, 20k

We had really good weather. Only the last day did it really rain and we entered Santiago soaked through and cold! We flew home to New England the next day and started thinking about the Via de la Plata next spring...
Dear Rita, what a good itenerary for ‘old people’! We are 3 friends planting to walk the Primitivo this autumn but we have been a bit worried about the physical challenges. Age 71-76, all of us with health problems, not big ones but enough to prevent us walking fast and long stretches. But your itinerary seems manageable.
Did you sleep in albergues, hostels or hotels? Did you book beforehand and if you didn’t, were there any problems finding places to sleep?
I would love to hear from you!
Tulle
 
#22
Dear Rita, what a good itenerary for ‘old people’! We are 3 friends planting to walk the Primitivo this autumn but we have been a bit worried about the physical challenges. Age 71-76, all of us with health problems, not big ones but enough to prevent us walking fast and long stretches. But your itinerary seems manageable.
Did you sleep in albergues, hostels or hotels? Did you book beforehand and if you didn’t, were there any problems finding places to sleep?
I would love to hear from you!
Tulle
We slept in albergues municipales in Oviedo (recommend Albergue de Peregrines El Salvador where we had a room for 2!), Venta del Escamplero, San Juan de Villapanada (recommend highly -- Domingo the hospitalero is wonderful), Tineo, Pola de Allande, Castroverde, Lugo (not recommended), and As Seixas. In albergues municipales you can not make reservations.

We slept in albergues privados, in Salas (the municipal has closed), Campiello (recommend highly Casa Herminia -- she was quite wonderful), Berducedo, Castro (can't say enough good things about the Albergue Juvenil!), A Fonsagrada, Cadavo, San Roman, Melide, Arzua (recommend the Ultreia and they have a great restaurant too), Edreira, and Santiago at the Seminario Menor We made reservations ahead in each of these.

We slept in the Hotel Las Grandas in Embalse de Salime (recommend it highly, great pilgrim menu too), and for our second night in Lugo in the Pension San Roque just outside the wall and reservations were made in those. I hope that helps!
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
#25
Our first day out of Oviedo will be Sept. 13th.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#26
One Day When I Was Younger
One day when I was younger…em, now what's that I just said?
I woke, washed up, zipped up my fly and found I’m still in bed.

A second go, feet on the floor, a bounce, then on my feet
The Camino waits, and well it should, tie up one boot…repeat.

My pack waits in the corner…walking sticks lean on the chair
I’m feeling good, refreshingly cool…drat, I forgot my underwear

A wave goodbye to my new friends…hugs around, some tears are shed
One day when I was younger…you’d have found me still in bed.
 

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