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COVID Primitivo in Spring, 2020?

Wovoka

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April, 2015
Am considering doing the Primitivo this coming Spring, and suspect my girlfriend is not up to it. Hoped to go the beginning of June with a small group led by an experienced guide (he said Don't go alone, you might get lost!), but enough hikers are backing out that it looks increasingly like a non-happening. Would be nice to have company though. PM me if interested...
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
led by an experienced guide (he said Don't go alone, you might get lost!)
Witness the awesome power of a sales pitch. This is, of course, complete nonsense. The Caminos are well marked, well supported, and well traveled. Nobody needs a guide to walk Camino, just a modicum of common sense and a will to embrace the unfamiliar. Enough rant.......

There is no chance that you will be alone on the Primitivo in June. There will be other pilgrims from all over the world joining you. Show up and go.

Buen Camino
 

calmeg

Member
As mentioned by Rick M the route is well marked and there is no worry about getting lost. Having said that we did miss a few arrows and had to backtrack, mainly because we were chatting and not paying attention. There will be others on this route in June, so go ahead and enjoy what we think is our favourite camino!
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Virtually impossible to get lost on the Primitivo as it is extremely well marked. However, if you are concerned get the wikiloc app and download a track for the Primitivo. The app will then beep if you get more than about 200m from the route!
 

Wovoka

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April, 2015
Si, si, entiendo. Thanx for having my back, but I guess I gave the wrong impression. Am well aware that I'd be fine, even if every other Peregrino magically vanished on the Primitivo. Garry's just a bit over-protective & that's why I'd had second thoughts about going with him in the first place - but have never done the distance in a group before, and thought it would be an interesting change...
 

Man in Black

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Finisterre (2017)
Chemin St Jacques (2018)
Rota Vicentina (2019)
We are debating on either taking the Primitivo or the Norte this but would like the route with less road walking. What has been your experience on either one as we would prefer to have dirt underfoot and not asphalt.
 

Attachments

Stripey Socks

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances '13, Via de la Plata '14, Portuguese '16, Via Francigena - Italy '18, Madrid Combo'20
I plan to set out from Oviedo on 31 May. Perhaps I will see you on the path. Buen camino, Mel
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Would be nice to have company though. PM me if interested...
Just go. You know you can 😊. I started alone in April, and it was busy – many of the albergues I stayed in were full. I spent time with many camino buddies – yeah, that “camino family” thing – it became one of my favourite caminos for the people I met along the way.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
We are debating on either taking the Primitivo or the Norte this but would like the route with less road walking. What has been your experience on either one as we would prefer to have dirt underfoot and not asphalt.
There is a LOT of asphalt walking on the Norte. It almost did me in one year. I wanted to walk it again and got a lot of good advice about taking coastal alternatives. The Camino del Norte frequently goes alongside a road about a km or two from the coast, where there are well-maintained walking trails.


The Primitivo has its share of road walking as well, but lots of lovely trails, at least while you are in Asturias. Once you get into Galicia you will see that virtually every km is a path of crushed rock.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
Si, si, entiendo. Thanx for having my back, but I guess I gave the wrong impression. Am well aware that I'd be fine, even if every other Peregrino magically vanished on the Primitivo. Garry's just a bit over-protective & that's why I'd had second thoughts about going with him in the first place - but have never done the distance in a group before, and thought it would be an interesting change...
Going alone in June ‘ you’ll soon be part of a group ‘ unless you say you want to walk alone.
Don’t underestimate your girlfriend.. she would handle it too as long as she can walk. You’ll see many older people walking caminos alone and with lots of confidence.
Just keep your confidence that it will be okay. It sure will.
Buen camino
Annie
 

zanndat

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto - Santiago de compostella
Camino Primitivo (Planned)
I will go in mid June. Alone. I think that camino is not for group walking and you should not pay for this walking to some agencies. In the world are lot of hiking routs where is good to be in group. But I feel that camnio routes are the best where you can be alone, If you want to communicate or go with someone, then you can meet other pilgrims. This is great way to know a lot of people from all over the world. And this road is well marked. So you will not be lost. And if you will, you will find the right way. That is life :)
Buen camino!
 

cbacino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
Am considering doing the Primitivo this coming Spring, and suspect my girlfriend is not up to it. Hoped to go the beginning of June with a small group led by an experienced guide (he said Don't go alone, you might get lost!), but enough hikers are backing out that it looks increasingly like a non-happening. Would be nice to have company though. PM me if interested...
I did Norte-Primitivo last year. Left Irùn abt mid-June and avoided most of the rain. You don’t need a guide; just put a mapping app on your phone and download KMLs for the route. You’ll never walk 50 meters out of your way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 CF, 2016 Camino Portuguese, 2018 Le Puy to St. Jean, 2019 CF
Virtually impossible to get lost on the Primitivo as it is extremely well marked. However, if you are concerned get the wikiloc app and download a track for the Primitivo. The app will then beep if you get more than about 200m from the route!
Mike I looked at the Wikiloc apps- did you purchase the premium, or use wikiloc outdoor navigation which is free? it did not have the primitivo on there
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
I bought the 3m (I think) option is was around £4.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2009) Norte (2016) Norte/Primitivo (2018)
Am considering doing the Primitivo this coming Spring, and suspect my girlfriend is not up to it. Hoped to go the beginning of June with a small group led by an experienced guide (he said Don't go alone, you might get lost!), but enough hikers are backing out that it looks increasingly like a non-happening. Would be nice to have company though. PM me if interested...
Unless you are an experienced HOT weather hiker I suggest you don't start in June, unless it is unavoidable. Much of the Primitivo is quite exposed and (IMO) strenuous. Either shoulder season would be preferable.
Buen Camino.
 

zanndat

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto - Santiago de compostella
Camino Primitivo (Planned)
Unless you are an experienced HOT weather hiker I suggest you don't start in June, unless it is unavoidable. Much of the Primitivo is quite exposed and (IMO) strenuous. Either shoulder season would be preferable.
Buen Camino.
Is it really hot in June? I am planning from mid June-End of June.
Really I don`t like when it is really hot.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
Is it really hot in June? I am planning from mid June-End of June.
Really I don`t like when it is really hot.
We did the Primitivo in Mid May and it was HOT. Temps were in the 80s and with long stretches without water sources. We had to knock on doors a couple times. Next time we'll go in April. We walked the Invierno last year in early to mid April and it was perfect weather with temps in the 50s. Next time we may try to go even earlier to avoid the Easter season.
 

LenB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2022)
Virtually impossible to get lost on the Primitivo as it is extremely well marked. However, if you are concerned get the wikiloc app and download a track for the Primitivo. The app will then beep if you get more than about 200m from the route!
Mike, thanks for this good tip. I'm a first time Pilgrim (Primitivo in 21) and the idea of using apps like this appeals to me. But, I'm always left with two nagging concerns: (1) will I have the connectivity required for the app to function and (2) will I be able to recharge my phone at the albuergue? Are these non-issues on the Primitivo?

Thanks again!
 

LenB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2022)
I did Norte-Primitivo last year. Left Irùn abt mid-June and avoided most of the rain. You don’t need a guide; just put a mapping app on your phone and download KMLs for the route. You’ll never walk 50 meters out of your way.
Hi Wovoka. What are KMLs?
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
Recharging phones in albergues is a non issue. Most have loads of plug ins. Some of the older ones have fewer plugs, and a lineup can form during peak arrivals time, but you will always be able to recharge. You see people recharging in the bars at coffee/lunch breaks as well.

Honestly, I just use google maps to navigate when I feel the need. For most stretches, you don't need any navigational aids at all, follow the signs or the pilgrims in front of you. Its helpful when you think you might have wandered off the track to get a fix on yourself, and any map app will do that. Get a SIM card with a data plan when you get to Europe. These can be had for 20 euros or so, and recharge as you go. Also helpful for calling ahead for reservations at albergues, or texting people you meet along the way for dinner meet-ups. Cell coverage is near universal in Spain, meaning that you may well walk through some dead zones, but not many, and not for long.

Buen Camino
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Mike, thanks for this good tip. I'm a first time Pilgrim (Primitivo in 21) and the idea of using apps like this appeals to me. But, I'm always left with two nagging concerns: (1) will I have the connectivity required for the app to function and (2) will I be able to recharge my phone at the albuergue? Are these non-issues on the Primitivo?

Thanks again!
That is why I prefer a printed guide ;-) and, to be exactly, the WisePilgrim guide books!
BC SY
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Mike, thanks for this good tip. I'm a first time Pilgrim (Primitivo in 21) and the idea of using apps like this appeals to me. But, I'm always left with two nagging concerns: (1) will I have the connectivity required for the app to function and (2) will I be able to recharge my phone at the albuergue? Are these non-issues on the Primitivo?

Thanks again!
Charging has never been an issue for me on any of my Caminos either in the albergue, hostel or a bar. Connectivity is very rarely a problem in Spain. I get worse connectivity on the South coast of UK.
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
For most stretches, you don't need any navigational aids at all, follow the signs or the pilgrims in front of you.
All well and good if you are walking well trodden routes and the Primitivo is that but not true of many. In addition, as I mentioned before. the advantage of wikiloc is that you do not need to keep looking at the phone as it will beep if you are off track. This means you can start it at the beginning of the day and then virtually ignore it while you just follow the signs. However, if you miss a sign while daydreaming, talking to another peregino or simply do not see it, wikiloc will tell you within 100m!
 

cbacino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
Hi Wovoka. What are KMLs?
KML (Keyhole Markup Language) displays map data (lines and points) on the web in the same way HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) display text. KML files contain numbers in latitude and longitude values. That’s the background info which you need not be concerned with. With a mapping app on your phone (I use GaiaGPS) then do a web search like “camino primitivo kml”, find a site to diwnload a KML file, import/open it with the map app, and you have the best guide to walking. GPX is another map format that can be imported by map apps. There are many KML files on the web for displaying all the Caminos.
 

Susan B Johnson

PuraVida
Camino(s) past & future
June (2016)
We did the Primitivo in Mid May and it was HOT. Temps were in the 80s and with long stretches without water sources. We had to knock on doors a couple times. Next time we'll go in April. We walked the Invierno last year in early to mid April and it was perfect weather with temps in the 50s. Next time we may try to go even earlier to avoid the Easter season.

I'm considering doing the Primitivo in May. I'm less concerned about the heat and more about "long stretches" without water." Are there so few cafes along the Primitivo? How many miles between cafes would you say you had to go?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm considering doing the Primitivo in May. I'm less concerned about the heat and more about "long stretches" without water." Are there so few cafes along the Primitivo? How many miles between cafes would you say you had to go?
You have to remember that our dear @alaskadiver is from Alaska and thinks that any temperature over freezing is hot. :)

The Primitivo is extremely popular, so the facilities are good. With good planning you are unlikely to have a water crisis. I have walked the Primitivo various times and I have never carried more than a liter or a liter and a half of water, and I never had a problem. If you did, I think that the people along the way are not as jaded as they may be on the Francés, so you could count on friendly neighborly help in those situations. I would not worry at all.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
I'm considering doing the Primitivo in May. I'm less concerned about the heat and more about "long stretches" without water." Are there so few cafes along the Primitivo? How many miles between cafes would you say you had to go?
We each carried 3 liters and on 1 or 2 days we had to ask for water from the locals. The temps that May were in the low 80s on a couple days (Even the local complained about the heat). The rest of the days we didn't go through all 3 liters. Just watch when you start getting low and see where the next bar or town is. If you think you are going to run out then just ask a local for a top off. We did it twice and it was no big deal, they were feeling the heat too so they were very understanding.
I would say on most days we came across a bar every few hours. It was only on 2 days where there were only 1 or maybe 2 places to get water. They were 20+ km days.

The fast walkers here on the forum don’t worry or notice the long stretches because they can get to water faster than those of us walking at a more leisurely pace. If you walk fast you won’t notice.

From what I’ve read there may be a few more places along the longer stretches now, too. Just look at the Gronze site and calculate for yourself.
I got some good information from this forum but a lot of bad advice that went contrary to what I already knew. I made the mistake of listening to some of those “don’t worry about it” answers.
Do your own research using Gronze.

That said...the Primitivo is not a hard walk (by my Alaskan standards) and as long as you have the ability to carry more than a liter of water you’ll be fine.
 
Last edited:

Pscarmen

My Way is better than any highway!
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago (2019)
Just go. You know you can 😊. I started alone in April, and it was busy – many of the albergues I stayed in were full. I spent time with many camino buddies – yeah, that “camino family” thing – it became one of my favourite caminos for the people I met along the way.
What route was so busy in April? Doing the Frances in 46 days, first Camino! Biggest worry is being prepared with correct clothing for the weather really.
 

Jeregrino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Norte
I am heading out from Oviedo on 16th May on the Primitivo. Interesting to read everybody's thoughts and advice on here.

I am very excited and obsessively (over) planning - kit, stages, fitness etc. It starts to take over you life - in a good way. I have planned for drought and deluge, feast and famine, shelter and exposed etc. This may well be reflected in an over-stocked rucksack.

I have had to stop myself buying more kit. I know I have everything I need and my wallet is only finite :)

I suspect I am not alone in all this.

Anyway, it would be amazing to meet some people from here en camino.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
I have planned for drought and deluge, feast and famine, shelter and exposed etc. This may well be reflected in an over-stocked rucksack.
You forgot the hatchet for a forecast Zombie Apocalypse.

I know you did not ask for any advice, but can I offer some? Lighten your pack. I cannot count the pilgrims I met on Camino over the years who had tents, cocktail dresses, surgical equipment, solar phone chargers, a months worth of their favorite junk food, etc, etc, etc. Most of these ended up with 10 kilo or even heavier packs, and that led to injury.

Spend a moment planning for shin splints, compression fractures, tendinitis, and plantar fasciitis. All of these are consequences of ill fitting footwear and/or excessive pack weight. Find shoes and socks you like, and train in them before you go. Take a change of clothes, sleeping bag, and your rain gear. Add in a toilet kit, phone charger, and that's it. There are detailed packing lists on the forum you can consult.

Plan for NO contingencies. You are not going on a one way trip to Mars, or even a trek across the Greenland ice sheets. There are towns all along the Way where you can pick up anything you might turn out to need. Leave your fears at home. They are heavy, and do not help you out very much.

Buen Camino
 

Linda Fantillo

RiverWalker
Camino(s) past & future
September/October 14, May 17, September 18, MAY 2020
I'm considering doing the Primitivo in May. I'm less concerned about the heat and more about "long stretches" without water." Are there so few cafes along the Primitivo? How many miles between cafes would you say you had to go?
 

Linda Fantillo

RiverWalker
Camino(s) past & future
September/October 14, May 17, September 18, MAY 2020
When are you leaving Oviedo, Susan? I will leave on May 10th and hope to be in Santiago on the 24th.
 

WildPlace

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, 2015
Via de la Plata (2021)
When are you leaving Oviedo, Susan? I will leave on May 10th and hope to be in Santiago on the 24th.
I may well see you, i'm planning on warming up by walking Burgos to Leon on the Frances then the San Salvador to Oviedo and will head out on the Primitivo from Oviedo around the 8th May - give or take a day or two... I'm fairly slow and doubt i'll be in Santiago until around the 24th :)
 

Linda Fantillo

RiverWalker
Camino(s) past & future
September/October 14, May 17, September 18, MAY 2020
Well I do hope I run into you Wild Place. After the Primitivo, will meet my friend in Santiago, train to Leon and do the San Salvador with her. Turned around I know, but am accommodating her travel schedule so we can do the San Salvador together. Would love to have your thoughts on the San Salvador. Buen Camino!
 

WildPlace

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, 2015
Via de la Plata (2021)
Well I do hope I run into you Wild Place. After the Primitivo, will meet my friend in Santiago, train to Leon and do the San Salvador with her. Turned around I know, but am accommodating her travel schedule so we can do the San Salvador together. Would love to have your thoughts on the San Salvador. Buen Camino!
I’ll look out for you, and i’ll be carrying a green rucksack with a forum badge, a Camigas badge and a Scotland badge sewn on :) buen camino(s)
 

Linda Fantillo

RiverWalker
Camino(s) past & future
September/October 14, May 17, September 18, MAY 2020
Sounds good - would be great to meet on the trail. My backpack is a burgundy colour, and the name tag has a Canadian flag on it. Happy training!
 

Conrad Storm

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014); Camino Ingles (2017); and Camino Primitivo (2020)
On current plans I will be starting the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo around 28/29 April. Hope to see fellow posters on the route or in Santiago.
 

jfairclough

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo planned for 2020
I still plan on walking the Primitivo as of June 28...I feel like it will be OK over there by then. I know no one can predict the outlook in Spain at that time but I hear their curve will flatten out soon, if that is indeed accurate....Fingers crossed.
 

gypsy9

Active Member
May it be so! But yes, no guarantees at this point in time. I was refunded a travel voucher--valid for two years. I hope to use this sooner rather than later!! Buen Camino
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Conrad Storm and others - I would not be counting on anything until the Spanish authorities give the all clear. Spain continues to be in total lock-down. Non-essential travel (including on foot) is strictly forbidden. The pilgrim office in Santiago is closed. The cathedral is closed. All the hotels are closed. The albergues are closed. Anyone entering or exiting Santiago is questioned by police. In Grado (on the Primitivo) there are 50 positive cases of Covid 19 in the aged care hostel among a very vulnerable population.

It will not be back to normal quickly.
 

Jeregrino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Norte
Just rescheduled my mid May flights for September. So disappointed, but realise how real this is for many people.

The camino will still be there.
 

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