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Older pilgrims on the Salvador

ritaj

Member
Donating Member
#1
Wes (age 80) and I (age 74) just completed the San Salvador -- with many thanks to all of you who have been posting thoughts and suggestions for the past year! I know there are pilgrims older than we are who can do longer stages than we did, but I wanted to let folks who are concerned about their ability to do this Camino, that there are shorter stages than that followed by most pilgrims, and it was pure joy to be able to walk the Salvador without exhaustion, pain, blisters, etc. We had most afternoons to relax in the wonderful villages and towns, stroll the streets, read, meet local people who were SO warm and generous to us. And each morning we were fresh and ready to walk the steep hills, both up and down, never having to face them when we were already tired.

We walked in nine days as follows:

Leon to Cabanillas (17k), we were the only ones in the albergue that night.
Cabanillas to La Robla (10k), like a lovely rest day.
La Robla to Buiza (15k), again alone in the albergue, a relaxing afternoon.
Buiza to Poladura (9k), great to be able to enjoy the climb that morning.
Poladura to Pajares (15k), again fresh for the climbs.
Pajares to Benduenos (15k), the only ones there, an incredible visit with Sandra.
Benduenos to Pola la Lena (10k) again like a rest day.
Pola la Lena to Mieres (15k)
Mieres to Oviedo (19k)

For those with the time, this was an amazingly wonderful Camino. Next, the Primitivo in spring 2018 -- planning 21 days. We'll be 81 and 75 and I think we'll be able to do it. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who gave us so much good information!
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#2
Wes (age 80) and I (age 74) just completed the San Salvador -- with many thanks to all of you who have been posting thoughts and suggestions for the past year! I know there are pilgrims older than we are who can do longer stages than we did, but I wanted to let folks who are concerned about their ability to do this Camino, that there are shorter stages than that followed by most pilgrims, and it was pure joy to be able to walk the Salvador without exhaustion, pain, blisters, etc. We had most afternoons to relax in the wonderful villages and towns, stroll the streets, read, meet local people who were SO warm and generous to us. And each morning we were fresh and ready to walk the steep hills, both up and down, never having to face them when we were already tired.

We walked in nine days as follows:

Leon to Cabanillas (17k), we were the only ones in the albergue that night.
Cabanillas to La Robla (10k), like a lovely rest day.
La Robla to Buiza (15k), again alone in the albergue, a relaxing afternoon.
Buiza to Poladura (9k), great to be able to enjoy the climb that morning.
Poladura to Pajares (15k), again fresh for the climbs.
Pajares to Benduenos (15k), the only ones there, an incredible visit with Sandra.
Benduenos to Pola la Lena (10k) again like a rest day.
Pola la Lena to Mieres (15k)
Mieres to Oviedo (19k)

For those with the time, this was an amazingly wonderful Camino. Next, the Primitivo in spring 2018 -- planning 21 days. We'll be 81 and 75 and I think we'll be able to do it. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who gave us so much good information!
So nice you stayed with Sandra!!!
And that you let yourselves short stages and really enjoy it :)
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#3
You two are an inspiration! Thank you for this post; I think it will encourage many of us who are 'getting up there' and wondering how it'll be several years down the track. Yours is a concrete example of one possibility. (And I have bookmarked your short Salvador stages - thanks!)
Buen Camino on the Primativo!
 

OTH86

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#4
Wes (age 80) and I (age 74) just completed the San Salvador --
Congratulations, Rita & Wes, well done!! I'm so envious! I've been considering walking the Salvador in about 3 weeks (after time on the Inglés), but have some concerns - I hope you can help... what was the "population" of other walkers? I'm hoping to see more than a couple of folks in the distance. My concern is with walking completely alone since I'm afraid of heights! Narrow paths with drop-offs bother me a lot! BTW I would probably be starting from León on my 73rd birthday... :eek: Thanks!
Terry
 

FLEUR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
#5
Awesome! Congratulations! And wishing you all many more happy Camino walks to come.
 

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Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled caminos francés, Finisterre, primitivo & del norte (2017); other routes (2018)
#6
Wes (age 80) and I (age 74) just completed the San Salvador -- with many thanks to all of you who have been posting thoughts and suggestions for the past year!
Congratulations to you both, and thanks for the inspiration and motivation to those of us following at a distance. I wish you the necessary health, strength and determination for your next expedition. Keep posting!
 

IngridF

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017
#7
Congratulations, wow, am so impressed... I will keep the stages in mind. Still want to do this one... one day. Light and Love and Ultreia.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#8
Wes (age 80) and I (age 74) just completed the San Salvador -- with many thanks to all of you who have been posting thoughts and suggestions for the past year! I know there are pilgrims older than we are who can do longer stages than we did, but I wanted to let folks who are concerned about their ability to do this Camino, that there are shorter stages than that followed by most pilgrims, and it was pure joy to be able to walk the Salvador without exhaustion, pain, blisters, etc. We had most afternoons to relax in the wonderful villages and towns, stroll the streets, read, meet local people who were SO warm and generous to us. And each morning we were fresh and ready to walk the steep hills, both up and down, never having to face them when we were already tired.

We walked in nine days as follows:

Leon to Cabanillas (17k), we were the only ones in the albergue that night.
Cabanillas to La Robla (10k), like a lovely rest day.
La Robla to Buiza (15k), again alone in the albergue, a relaxing afternoon.
Buiza to Poladura (9k), great to be able to enjoy the climb that morning.
Poladura to Pajares (15k), again fresh for the climbs.
Pajares to Benduenos (15k), the only ones there, an incredible visit with Sandra.
Benduenos to Pola la Lena (10k) again like a rest day.
Pola la Lena to Mieres (15k)
Mieres to Oviedo (19k)

For those with the time, this was an amazingly wonderful Camino. Next, the Primitivo in spring 2018 -- planning 21 days. We'll be 81 and 75 and I think we'll be able to do it. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who gave us so much good information!

I am very inspired and excited, and your route looks great. Thanks so much!
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Back to the Camino, 2017
#9
Wes (age 80) and I (age 74) just completed the San Salvador -- with many thanks to all of you who have been posting thoughts and suggestions for the past year! I know there are pilgrims older than we are who can do longer stages than we did, but I wanted to let folks who are concerned about their ability to do this Camino, that there are shorter stages than that followed by most pilgrims, and it was pure joy to be able to walk the Salvador without exhaustion, pain, blisters, etc. We had most afternoons to relax in the wonderful villages and towns, stroll the streets, read, meet local people who were SO warm and generous to us. And each morning we were fresh and ready to walk the steep hills, both up and down, never having to face them when we were already tired.

We walked in nine days as follows:

Leon to Cabanillas (17k), we were the only ones in the albergue that night.
Cabanillas to La Robla (10k), like a lovely rest day.
La Robla to Buiza (15k), again alone in the albergue, a relaxing afternoon.
Buiza to Poladura (9k), great to be able to enjoy the climb that morning.
Poladura to Pajares (15k), again fresh for the climbs.
Pajares to Benduenos (15k), the only ones there, an incredible visit with Sandra.
Benduenos to Pola la Lena (10k) again like a rest day.
Pola la Lena to Mieres (15k)
Mieres to Oviedo (19k)

For those with the time, this was an amazingly wonderful Camino. Next, the Primitivo in spring 2018 -- planning 21 days. We'll be 81 and 75 and I think we'll be able to do it. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who gave us so much good information!
Great! So glad you took the time to enjoy your Camino.
Phil
 

ritaj

Member
Donating Member
#10
Congratulations, Rita & Wes, well done!! I'm so envious! I've been considering walking the Salvador in about 3 weeks (after time on the Inglés), but have some concerns - I hope you can help... what was the "population" of other walkers? I'm hoping to see more than a couple of folks in the distance. My concern is with walking completely alone since I'm afraid of heights! Narrow paths with drop-offs bother me a lot! BTW I would probably be starting from León on my 73rd birthday... :eek: Thanks!
Terry
Terry -- There were few pilgrims seen each day, more often none. We started each morning between 7:30 and 7:40 and ended our day between noon and 2:00 depending on the day. We mostly were alone. Leaving Cabanillas, Buiza, and Benduenos when there were no other pilgrims in the albergues meant that we were way ahead of the folks starting in the usual places that morning (Leon, La Robla, Pajares). But we met wonderful pilgrims in the other albergues, mostly from Spain, a group from Poland, none from the USA (!) who arrived after us and were all delightful.

There are lots of steep narrow paths but not with drop offs (that I can remember -- anyone want to correct me on that?).
 

OTH86

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#11
Thank you so much @ritaj !! Just finished looking at Gunnar's videos of his walk on the Salvador in 2013 (Radio Buen Camino), and really, REALLY want to do this. Your comments help so much! But will make a decision probably the day before I actually start depending on weather and what the people in León have to say. Meanwhile, I might "imagine" a few more people walking at the same time!
 
#12
Wes (age 80) and I (age 74) just completed the San Salvador -- with many thanks to all of you who have been posting thoughts and suggestions for the past year! I know there are pilgrims older than we are who can do longer stages than we did, but I wanted to let folks who are concerned about their ability to do this Camino, that there are shorter stages than that followed by most pilgrims, and it was pure joy to be able to walk the Salvador without exhaustion, pain, blisters, etc. We had most afternoons to relax in the wonderful villages and towns, stroll the streets, read, meet local people who were SO warm and generous to us. And each morning we were fresh and ready to walk the steep hills, both up and down, never having to face them when we were already tired.

We walked in nine days as follows:

Leon to Cabanillas (17k), we were the only ones in the albergue that night.
Cabanillas to La Robla (10k), like a lovely rest day.
La Robla to Buiza (15k), again alone in the albergue, a relaxing afternoon.
Buiza to Poladura (9k), great to be able to enjoy the climb that morning.
Poladura to Pajares (15k), again fresh for the climbs.
Pajares to Benduenos (15k), the only ones there, an incredible visit with Sandra.
Benduenos to Pola la Lena (10k) again like a rest day.
Pola la Lena to Mieres (15k)
Mieres to Oviedo (19k)

For those with the time, this was an amazingly wonderful Camino. Next, the Primitivo in spring 2018 -- planning 21 days. We'll be 81 and 75 and I think we'll be able to do it. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who gave us so much good information!
Thank you for the break down. This exactly what I would like to do. Did u find a bar or store in cabanillas? I am 61 and want to do things slower.! How about Sundays in these small places? Appreciate your help.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#13
Hi, Dawn,
There is no bar or store in Cabanillas. Ender's guide is really the best source for info on places to stay, shop, etc, and how to break things down into stages. He gives a plan for people who want to break the 120 km into 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 stages. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B61VvtkuNOwEMXpaM280YWtTTXM/view?pref=2&pli=1.

On Sundays in the small towns, the bars are likely to be open, at least through lunch, because Sunday is one of their busiest days. But they are not likely to open at the crack of dawn for pilgrims! Buen camino, Laurie
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
Won't be returning in 2018 going on a dive trip instead.
#14
Glad to see longer stages are possible. I prefer less mileage so I can take in the views. Congratulations on completing and you will live the Primitivo.
 

Davey Boyd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#15
Terry -- There were few pilgrims seen each day, more often none. We started each morning between 7:30 and 7:40 and ended our day between noon and 2:00 depending on the day. We mostly were alone. Leaving Cabanillas, Buiza, and Benduenos when there were no other pilgrims in the albergues meant that we were way ahead of the folks starting in the usual places that morning (Leon, La Robla, Pajares). But we met wonderful pilgrims in the other albergues, mostly from Spain, a group from Poland, none from the USA (!) who arrived after us and were all delightful.

There are lots of steep narrow paths but not with drop offs (that I can remember -- anyone want to correct me on that?).
You are correct, I am also scared of heights and drop offs but found nothing on the Salvador that worried me at all.

Davey
 

ritaj

Member
Donating Member
#16
There was no food in Cabanillas or in Buiza -- we used Ender's guide the whole way so we knew about that. For those two days we carried bread, cheese, oranges, and little packets of tuna which come with a spoon, something new in our market here at home that I brought with us. We called ahead for a meal from the Posada de Embrujo in Poladura, again for a meal cooked by Marissa in the albergue in Pajares, and again for a meal cooked by Sandra in the albergue in Benduenos. All three were wonderful meals with more than we could eat! Every other day we had a menu del dia in the towns we stayed in and every one was memorable (and photographed!)
 
#17
Hi, Dawn,
There is no bar or store in Cabanillas. Ender's guide is really the best source for info on places to stay, shop, etc, and how to break things down into stages. He gives a plan for people who want to break the 120 km into 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 stages. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B61VvtkuNOwEMXpaM280YWtTTXM/view?pref=2&pli=1.

On Sundays in the small towns, the bars are likely to be open, at least through lunch, because Sunday is one of their busiest days. But they are not likely to open at the crack of dawn for pilgrims! Buen camino, Laurie
Thank you Laurie for sharing. What an amazing guide. Heading off tomorrow!
 

docpam

Pam
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes, Aragonese May-June 2018
#18
Congratulations, Rita & Wes, well done!! I'm so envious! I've been considering walking the Salvador in about 3 weeks (after time on the Inglés), but have some concerns - I hope you can help... what was the "population" of other walkers? I'm hoping to see more than a couple of folks in the distance. My concern is with walking completely alone since I'm afraid of heights! Narrow paths with drop-offs bother me a lot! BTW I would probably be starting from León on my 73rd birthday... :eek: Thanks!
Terry
I understand the fear of heights - am also scared of heights. There are narrow paths with steep drop-offs. Lift up your sticks - make sure they do not get caught in long grass and go slowly. It is a great feeling to know you did it.
I walked at the end of May 2017. Every night in the albergues there were about 10 -15 persons. I was the only female for the trip but at 68 I was not the oldest. Enjoy it. A very special route especially if you consider how the route came into being - taking the relics to safe keeping in Leon.
 

Colette Zaharie

Happy Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Fisterre-Muxia March 2017
Slovakia Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017
El Norte March 1 2018
#19
Wes (age 80) and I (age 74) just completed the San Salvador -- with many thanks to all of you who have been posting thoughts and suggestions for the past year! I know there are pilgrims older than we are who can do longer stages than we did, but I wanted to let folks who are concerned about their ability to do this Camino, that there are shorter stages than that followed by most pilgrims, and it was pure joy to be able to walk the Salvador without exhaustion, pain, blisters, etc. We had most afternoons to relax in the wonderful villages and towns, stroll the streets, read, meet local people who were SO warm and generous to us. And each morning we were fresh and ready to walk the steep hills, both up and down, never having to face them when we were already tired.

We walked in nine days as follows:

Leon to Cabanillas (17k), we were the only ones in the albergue that night.
Cabanillas to La Robla (10k), like a lovely rest day.
La Robla to Buiza (15k), again alone in the albergue, a relaxing afternoon.
Buiza to Poladura (9k), great to be able to enjoy the climb that morning.
Poladura to Pajares (15k), again fresh for the climbs.
Pajares to Benduenos (15k), the only ones there, an incredible visit with Sandra.
Benduenos to Pola la Lena (10k) again like a rest day.
Pola la Lena to Mieres (15k)
Mieres to Oviedo (19k)

For those with the time, this was an amazingly wonderful Camino. Next, the Primitivo in spring 2018 -- planning 21 days. We'll be 81 and 75 and I think we'll be able to do it. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who gave us so much good information!
Thank you! You are heros to us younger seniors. I am determined to continue to walk the Camino every year for as many years as possible. Congratulations maybe I’ll meet you on the Primitivo next year.
 

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