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Primtivo: breathtaking

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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#1
After reading Kanga's Live posts I thought I would do the same with my Primitivo experience, but Wifi is not aleays easy to find. But today I have decided to stay in the lovely hotel on the Grandas de Salime dam and decided to start sharing bits about this Camino.

First, as I have been asked to, please allow me to address the "solo woman walking issue". This route has been 95% solo walking, and most of that time in areas where anything could happen to me without anyone ever finding out. And yet I do not see it any more as an assue as I have in other Caminos in the past. The real concern to me would be an injury, a fall along all those many ravines. And do not kid yourself, there is no babysitting on this route, topography is demanding, distances as well, and so is the wind. If you feel you need company every step along the way, I do not think this route is for you. To be able to make it to our next destination we each need to walk at our own rythm, and so it is. Which doesn't mean that you cannot ask someone to make sure you arrive at night, but do not expect hand holding.

General impressions so far, from Oviedo to Grandas, in 7 days: it is gorgeous, solitary, quiet, clean. It is a challenge but so worth it. And I'm glad it is as this is what will hopefuly keep it so beuatiful, quiet and clean. It's not about the monuments, it's about the scenary, the landscape, the constant sound of te wind. It is not about "Camino families" and vino tinto, as there are super walkers and those, like me, not so much!, and vino tinto would prevent you from getting anywhere the next day. Albergues are quiet, people respectful, even if dinner at the local bar can be animated.

Albergues are so much better than reported on Eroski; perhaps there has been pessure from the authorities for better cleaning. Esclampero and Berducedo were given very bad reviews but they are fine. Not fancy, but clean, and simple, with blankets. There are also new options not in the giudes: New albergue in Oviedo @ Covadonga #8. it is called La peregrina, has 30 beds. Esclampero has rooms (26 beds, not 14 as in cicerone) at the bar and there is also a pension at Casa Marquez in Berducedo.

There are also bars mentionned in te 2015 Cicerone giude which have vbeen closed for over a year From Esclampero your first loo will be in Penaflor, not Premono. There is a new bar 1km after Premono but not open at 8:30am. Cornellana albergue is not recommended at the moment because the monastery it is a part of is being restored, whish itself is great news. Ah, and San Salvador in Oviedo is also being renovated, so at the moment on,y has one loo for all 40 beds. Not good. I do recomend Hostal Oviedo on Calle Uria across from the train station and Hostal Homero? On calle Uria as well, where Imstayed last fall. Look it up in the Forum App.

Want to go to the Naranco sites? Bus is now called A2 rather than n.10, take it going towards Centro Asturiano, a sports/activity complex on top of the hill. Or jus walk straight up behinfpd the train station after taking the escalators. To take back the Camino, with your back to the monuments whe pn you are in the parking lot, take the road in front of you to the right and walk to the village of Ucle where there is a bar for a bocadillo, then Lampaya, and Loriana. This route merges with the CP at a small chapel, where you take a righ, off the concrete road.

But please, when at the chapel, and using its stamp, only decorate your credencial and not the walls of the chapel. Yes, really! And leave more than a penny in exchange.

More later!
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#2
Hospitales route: a beautiful option, but it can be a dangerous one.

This,route may be one of the more spectacular ones on all the Caminos. The drops and views are breathtaking, but so can be the weather when it turns bad. And it can do so very quickly.

When I left Borres yesterday morning the sky was clear. By the time I reached the village of La Mortera Imhad my doubts as I could see clouds moving in, but a local farmer told me the waeathwr would be good. So up I went, and I mean up!

The issues with this route are many: distance (27km), with no fountains, food or shelter, winds and cold galore, no shade, steepness incliding on some lose rocks that make things difficult. And the there is the fog.

I know my limits, and am glad I do. So I planned to walk 12 km only, to the 1st road crossing. Had I chosen to walk all the way down, I would have arrived in Berducedo late in the evening, if at all. But when I tried to call the taxi to come get me I had no signal. I figured I could hitch a ride. But 2 pilgms came with Orange phones ( I have Vodafone) and I was able to call. Taxi was there in 10 minutes.

Even the profesional Nepal trekking guides found the day difficult, so imagine liitle me: 5'4"', quite overweight, slow walker. I got the the road crossing in about 5 hours. I had taken taxi numbers for 3 services at the local bar in Borres (well recomended, good hoome cooked meals). This was the way I was able to visit the oldmhospitals on this route while minimizing the risks, and I did, although when the clouds rolled in it did get a bit scarry, especially with the relatively fresh cow carcases on the way.

Be wise, plan, limit ghe risks, know your limits.

About Borres and Berducedo, both have munis that are simple but fine. Don't let Eroski scare you into 15 euros at Herminia's or the Berducedo private. There is also a pension at Casa Marquez in Berducedo @ 25 euros for a double. And do visit El Barrin in Borres, it is cute, clean, WCs super, and the platos combinados as well. They will make you a bocadillo for thenext day if you want as they open only at 7:30.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#3
Salas. There is a muni which is apparently just fine, but there is also a 2 * hotel in the former home of the founder of Oviedo univeristy, and conquistador general, as well as albergue La Campa. It is run by Miguel who used to own the local bar, with the same name.

The albergie is a " donativo" with a suggestion of 10'euros. He asked me if I prefered to sleep alone or with others. I told him I snore so alone it was. But what I got was a private room, with a double bed! Complete normal bathroom on thefloor, with bathtub and hair dryer. Heating in the house, and keys to my room and house. For breakfast he leaves bread, jam, etc. And all you need to make your mown freshly squeezed orange juice.

For lunch, unti, 4 pm or so, try the .... 7, yes 7, course meal at Casa Pachon, for 10'euros including wine or water. Fish soup, cheekpeas with sausage, lnetils, fried eggs on rice, meat, chicken, porc or sardines, dessert, oh, and potatoes with mussles.

For breakfast head to Bar Luciana where the cafe con leche is excellent, and so are the bocadillos. She gives you, for free, a banana and small bocadillo for the road! Perfect to eat in La Espina, on the albergue El Texu picnic table. BTW, this albergue is in a huge family home, with super bathrooms. I rang to ask where I could bin my banana peel, I was invited to use the loo and fill mt botttle of water - I left a euro to help cover the cost of the water. After all people deserve to make a living.

Missed Bodenaya since it wasn't even 10 am when I walked passed it but David later emailed me worried about me since Imhad a reservation and had not shown up. Such lovely people on this camino.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
The Camino Frances 2005
The Portugese Camino 2014
The Camino Ingles Easter 2015
The Camino Ingles April 2016
The Camino del Norte/The Primitivo 2016
#4
Hi Anemone del Camino, thank you for taking the time to write this brilliant post! I'm very impressed with by your description of your walk.
I'm thinking of doing the Primitivo March 2016 and I'm wondering if there will be any walkers on the trail. I did the Ingles during Easter this Spring and I was surprised at the amount of people, I met. Maybe due to Easter and time off. Are you meeting other peregrinos on the CP?
Can you recommend a guide book for the Primitivo?
After reading your post I'm wondering if I should reconsider going in March. Or prepare myself for a Winter Camino.
Buen Camino
 

Alyssa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2014)
Norte, Finisterre, Salvador, Primitivo (2015)
#5
Anemone, I really appreciate all this information as I will be walking the Primitivo this summer. Could you tell me more about the following comment?

"I know my limits, and am glad I do. So I planned to walk 12 km only, to the 1st road crossing. Had I chosen to walk all the way down, I would have arrived in Berducedo late in the evening, if at all."

Does that mean you walked to the very top but then only part way down? That is what it sounds like but I wanted to confirm.

Thanks again!
 

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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#6
Hello Ekelund,

At night we are approximately 20 people in each town or albergue, some stay furthermback, others make very long days so the group changes. I understand that a couple of weeks ago finding a bed had been a concern at some point but certainly not now, unless people waltz in at 8 pm or so after walking 40+km.

My concern for March would be the weather: cold, snow and wind. Apparently the Salvador route still had patches of snow and ice 10 days ago.

Regarding a guide, i use the one by Editorial Buen Camino. It's in Spanish, but all you really need are it's good maps and albergue info which is easy to decypher. It was published in 2014 and includes CdNorte and bicycling info.

Off to Castro this morning. Will post more if I find Wifi.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#7
Thank you @Anemone del Camino for your posts, they are most helpful and the information will help us make some decisions. I'd love to walk the Primitivo but I think this year perhaps not; we are walking with friends who have a few heath issues. They are also reluctant to stay in albergues which sound like a necessity.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#8
Does that mean you walked to the very top but then only part way down? Tha is what it sounds like but I wanted to confirm.

Thanks again!
Just about, up to Alto de La Marta. After it there is also Alto del Palo where there's another crossing. It's abot 1 or 2 km further At 16.4km from Borres.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#9
After the Hospitales route came a beautiful walk down to a dam. I opted to spend the night there at the hotel and walk 10 km to Castro today instrad of only 4 had stayed in town. It's a lovely easy walk up passing by a number of tiny chapels and we start seeing more Galician traits: roofs are slate, not orange tile, hay is mounted up in cones.

The albergue is Castro is fantastic, 4 rooms of 4 beds each, comunal diner in lounge area, lots of wind to dry your clothes in an instant and a beautiful yard to rest in in the sun. And 5 min. Away you can go visit Celtic/Roman ruins from 800bc discovered a couple of years ago.

Bed is 10€, including breakfast, and dinner is 9€: 1st course was a veggie cream soup, 2nd a large piece of bacalao, stewed, not fried, in a rice and tomato sauce. Desert: tarta de Santiago! And wine and water. A delicious home cooked meal.

And did I mention the house Spaniel & Setter?

Why such a short day? Because now Fonsagrada is only 22km away and not 32.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#10
ON WHAT YOU SEE HERE AND NOT ON CF & VICE VERSA...

No toilet paper litering the way, despite the few cafes for stops. If it can be done here, why not on the CF? No snails crushed on purpose by pilgrims. No constant chatter, just the sound of the wind, the birds, roosters, dogs, and today even frogs.

But back to keeping the Camino clean. A few months ago there was a thread about what the Camino is and is not. Littering was mentioned as a dign of the lavk of respect we have for it and the villages we walk through and soil. There was mention of enhancing services along the way to offer more "rest stops". Impossible was what was said, and not wanted.

In the tiny town of La Milariega, as you walk towards Tineo, a farmer by the name of Raquel Berna restored her horreo to turn it into shelter for pilgrims. She has 4 tables to have a rest and a snack, a coffee vending machine and soft drink machine. Also a book for comments. Nowhere to leave a donativo. 10 meters away, in a metal closet of some sort she has built a loo, with runing water, a real sink and toilet, toilet paper, hand soap and paper towels. All for us, and for the Camino.

I asked aroud to find out whose idea this was, perhaps the village? No just hers. I found her and thanked her. I was moved by her care for our comfort and her love of the Camino.

It can be done. People do it, and do it well. Bravo Sra Raquel!

When I get home and figure out a way to post a picture of it I will.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#11
I'd love to walk the Primitivo but I think this year perhaps not; we are walking with friends who have a few heath issues. They are also reluctant to stay in albergues which sound like a necessity.
So sorry to hear this, you would have loved it. It will be there next time waiting for you.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#12
Anemone..
I will be following you in a couple of weeks and appreciate your daily posts. Beats a "guide" every time. :cool:
Thank you @Anemone del Camino for your posts, they are most helpful and the information will help us make some decisions. I'd love to walk the Primitivo but I think this year perhaps not; we are walking with friends who have a few heath issues. They are also reluctant to stay in albergues which sound like a necessity.
Kanga...
Last year we walked the Norte and by-passed the Primitivo and continued on the Norte. This was a good decision as the Norte past the cut-off is a great walk.

I decided I would do the Primitivo at another time...that other time came quickly..I will be starting in a couple of weeks.

Hope your chance comes quickly, also.
 
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2018
#13
After the Hospitales route came a beautiful walk down to a dam. I opted to spend the night there at the hotel and walk 10 km to Castro today instrad of only 4 had stayed in town. It's a lovely easy walk up passing by a number of tiny chapels and we start seeing more Galician traits: roofs are slate, not orange tile, hay is mounted up in cones.

The albergue is Castro is fantastic, 4 rooms of 4 beds each, comunal diner in lounge area, lots of wind to dry your clothes in an instant and a beautiful yard to rest in in the sun. And 5 min. Away you can go visit Celtic/Roman ruins from 800bc discovered a couple of years ago.

And did I mention the house Spaniel & Setter?

Why such a short day? Because now Fonsagrada is only 22km away and not 32.
Castro was one of my favourite (and most restorative) stops on the Primitivo, after the two previous exhausting (but beautiful) days. A perfect place for a rest day and visit to the archeological site.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#16
And it is getting cold now at 19h00 at Venta del Escamplero. Earlier in the year, no!
The weather report is caling for warmer days to come. Hang in there. Try to make it to San Juan de Villapanda tomorrow, just a wonderful simple place, but only 6 blankets or so, so get there earlier rather than late. El arbol grocery store in Gradonhas lots of good options tonprepare at the albergue.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
#17
Anemone, is the Albergue at Cornellana closed? Or asked another way -- why not recommended? Your posts are great! Thanks, Liz
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#18
Anemone, is the Albergue at Cornellana closed? Or asked another way -- why not recommended? Your posts are great! Thanks, Liz
Domingo in San Juan said that due to all,the construction it would be difficult to stay there. I still wannted to go and the noise and dust is not that bad, but I could not find the slbergue snd waled on. It is apparently to the right of the monastery, the camino goes left.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#19
After the Hospitales route came a beautiful walk down to a dam. I opted to spend the night there at the hotel and walk 10 km to Castro today instrad of only 4 had stayed in town. It's a lovely easy walk up passing by a number of tiny chapels and we start seeing more Galician traits: roofs are slate, not orange tile, hay is mounted up in cones.

The albergue is Castro is fantastic, 4 rooms of 4 beds each, comunal diner in lounge area, lots of wind to dry your clothes in an instant and a beautiful yard to rest in in the sun. And 5 min. Away you can go visit Celtic/Roman ruins from 800bc discovered a couple of years ago.

And did I mention the house Spaniel & Setter?

Why such a short day? Because now Fonsagrada is only 22km away and not 32.
"roofs are slate not orange tile, hay is mounted up in cones"

Puerto del Palo is the limit for the roofs. Pola de Allande has orange tile roofs and Montefurado slate.
About the hay mounted up in cones I think it is the same thing everywhere on the Primitivo, but I am not sure.o_O
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#20
So much for an easy day. There are steap hills coming into Galicia, even until the very end when you finally reach Fonsagrada, and there is not a lot of shade.

I' m at the Cantabrico albergue, a brand new, large albergue, where you are given sheets, a duvet and a towel. The mattresses and pillows are covered in that blue plastic that helps with bedbugs. Each bed has its nightlight, luttle shelf and power outlet, there is also a locker for each, but they cannt be locked. Large communak area, but it's just tables and chairs, not yesterday's garden.

One thing: at the moment the hoyse next dor is being rebuilt so there is too much noise for an afternoon nap. There is another new albergue in town, but it's easy to miss. When you make it up the last hill and get to a street, you will see a bar on your left and a sign for a psrillavrestaurant called Os Chaos. The restaurant is part of the albergue, so if that is where you want to stay, turn right at the top of the hill.

After crossing into Galicia you find a bar that should not be missed. A bit like Alibaba's cave with all sorts of trinkets hanging everywhere, and a grumpy man running it. Cicerone says it does not offer food but that is not the case. He had plates of ham and cheese, tortilla de patatas and a tuna empanada which was delicious. Plates look like they have been sitting there for a while but those are just demos, he brings food from the fridge in the back.

Also in Galicia, we saw an elderly gentleman taking pictures of pilgrims. Turns out he is the person in charge of the albergue in Padron, 1.5km past Fonsagrada, and he is also part if the Proteccion Civil of Fonsagrada and they go up and down the camino in there area to make sure tje pilgrims are doing ok.

A word of advice: mind the sun in this area. I know, Galicia and the sun ;0) but ehile the wind is stong and cold the sun is very strong and can burn you easily.

Other lesson learned, even with a local Sim card, put your smart ohone on airplane mode or all your € will go to searching for coverage, while eating up your battery, and you will only get to make 1 call home foe 2 min instead of 60.
 
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mikevasey

Guest
#21
Hi Anemone del Camino enjoying your reports, getting a few flashbacks to last year especially the grumpy man rolling his eyes for the xth amount of times when another pilgrim had walked in and placed their walking sticks next to themselves, those signs are only obvious when he has his hand pointing at them.

It felt like a hard route along its whole length, I wouldnt say I breezed the hospitales route but I had mentally prepared myself for it so the only shock was after sitting near the ruins of the former pilgrim hospitales and realizing that the path was not winding of to my left but veering straight up a steep climb. The section you walk next is a tough one, for me it was the hardest but after a while very beautiful as well, my guide said 21-22km but it felt a lot more.

Buen Camino
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#22
my guide said 21-22km but it felt a lot more.
Buen Camino
Hi Mikevasey, glad you are enjoying my posts. In Tineo the men looking after the Mater Christi albergue told us that so many guides indicate much shorter distances than they really are. That explained why the last 5 km to Tineo felt more like 7!
 
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mikevasey

Guest
#23
My avatar photo is from the next section, after the long descent down after the old hospital ruins and wind turbines there is a bar which does really nice jugs of sangria with cidre, there was 5 of us, so I thought why not. Not sure if the smile is from feeling really well with the world or the sangria.
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#24
I can feel a drop fall on my cheek. It is not rain. I am walking in a cloud this morning after leaving Fonsagrada. I can smell honey, and it is not out of a jar: it's bushes with tiny white flowers, flowers that clearly give the local honey it particular taste. I can feel my skin burning: there is little to no shade after crosing into Galicia walking to Fonsagrada.

Albergues in Fonsagrada are both modern and clean, so much so they ate a bit sterile. Those who walked theextra km to Padron did not regret it. I did not regret stopping for a well deserved break at Casa Padron, the 1st stop after Fonsagrada after 12km. Man running it is from Argentina and has a wicked sense of humour. But if you thought that leaving Galicia meant the end of steep up and downs ... Far from it, one of the toughest hills is just before the O'Cavado albergue.

Can the primitivo be done by bicycle? Apparently, and also in reverse back to France, and by horse back with your 2 dogs folloewing you.

Another differnece betwwen this camino and CF is that while most of the churches are closed (mass at 8 pm in Fonsagrada, followed by pilgrim blessing, 1St I have seen so far) there is a multitude of ermitas and tiny chapels. In Vilabade the church is open from 8 to 2 and is wll worth a visit as it is now classified as a historical monument. A lovely guided visit, only to be sceemes at by the "hospitalera" in Castroverde because we went inthe albergue before e time it is supposed to open. Oh well, out we went, not that she cleaned anything as the dorm floor can attest to. But it is a beautiful, modern rest pavilion at the entrance of town. WIFI & lunch? Cefeteria Lenane: the 5,50€ plate mith ensalada mixta, french fries, croqutas and omlette is large eniugh for 2.

Now, to visit the church and collect food for tomorrow's nonstop walk into Lugo.

Walking amongst the clouds smelling honey. Only on the Primitivo. Brings the tears and shivers.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran 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
#25
I can feel a drop fall on my cheek. It is not rain. I am walking in a cloud this morning after leaving Fonsagrada. I can smell honey, and it is not out of a jar: it's bushes with tiny white flowers, flowers that clearly give the local honey it particular taste. I can feel my skin burning: there is little to no shade after crosing into Galicia walking to Fonsagrada.

Albergues in Fonsagrada are both modern and clean, so much so they ate a bit sterile. Those who walked theextra km to Padron did not regret it. I did not regret stopping for a well deserved break at Casa Padron, the 1st stop after Fonsagrada after 12km. Man running it is from Argentina and has a wicked sense of humour. But if you thought that leaving Galicia meant the end of steep up and downs ... Far from it, one of the toughest hills is just before the O'Cavado albergue.

Can the primitivo be done by bicycle? Apparently, and also in reverse back to France, and by horse back with your 2 dogs folloewing you.

Another differnece betwwen this camino and CF is that while most of the churches are closed (mass at 8 pm in Fonsagrada, followed by pilgrim blessing, 1St I have seen so far) there is a multitude of ermitas and tiny chapels. In Vilabade the church is open from 8 to 2 and is wll worth a visit as it is now classified as a historical monument. A lovely guided visit, only to be sceemes at by the "hospitalera" in Castroverde because we went inthe albergue before e time it is supposed to open. Oh well, out we went, not that she cleaned anything as the dorm floor can attest to. But it is a beautiful, modern rest pavilion at the entrance of town. WIFI & lunch? Cefeteria Lenane: the 5,50€ plate mith ensalada mixta, french fries, croqutas and omlette is large eniugh for 2.

Now, to visit the church and collect food for tomorrow's nonstop walk into Lugo.

Walking amongst the clouds smelling honey. Only on the Primitivo. Brings the tears and shivers.
It sounds absolutely wonderful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
#26
Anemone -- I am loving your posts and have annotated my guide with all your comments! We leave one week from today and I think I am anticipating that honey smell so much I about have tears in my eyes! I have had you in my thoughts. You haven't mentioned your feet so I assume they are holding up. Bravo! Ultreia! Liz
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
#27
The walk from Castroverde to Lugo is now behind me. Do make sure you have breakfast before you go or carry somrthing with you because there is NOTHING between the two. the chocolate napolitana at the Castroverde bakery, on the main street across from Serra supermarket is excellent, opens at 7 am but since we are all there at one service can be a bit slow and napolitanas and croissants not out od the oven yet.

Because of some road constructions there ate a few detours into Ligo, which apparently take you away from the industrial zone to enter through the old traditonal entrance. But I did end up making a detour of my own: when you pass Carbadillo and enter the detour, do not take the first path on your left, do walk 2 minutes or so and find the arrows and mojon.

The albergue is just at the entrance of the walled part of the city. Large dorms, new beds, a couple of,outlets to recharge phones. Now, ladies, especially those of you you prefer modesty, who were not raised in boarding school like me, the ladies' facilities are a bit different. Behind a door that does not lock you find a little cubicle that does lock and contains the WC. So far so good. There is also a single sink and a ceramic enclosure with 2 water spouts for showering. And the showers are those activated with a press timer. So yes, youmwill basically be showering in a large room, with no doors, glass or curtains to shield yourself from the view of others in the only bathroom on the floor, and with a door to the hallway that does not lock.

1 washer and dryer, 3€ for the wash, 1.50€ for the dryer, soap automatically dispenses. Kitchenfacilities minute but Lugo is a beautiful city with lots of options for dinner, including a large Carrefour just as you come in on the outside part of the walls.

You can get you credential stamped at the Cathedral, I was also offered a guided tour. This Cathedral is one of the few in the world where the Host is displayed permanently and this is something they are very proud of, and a great part of the decoration revolves aroubd that. It also has a shard of the cross,of Jesus in the San Froilan chapel at the back. To,pray be sure to enter e choir in the center. Don't miss one of the floats that is put on parade during the Easter Holidays, also 3 other statues that are ina small chael at the back.

The walk to San Roman de Esclampero was an easy one, in covered skies and cooloish temps so ideal, other than the fact that on a Sunday all the cafes in Lugo open late and I ended up having to walk halfway on an empty stomach. Do plan accordingly. Ah, but the brakfast at the bar in San Vicente: 2 fried eggs on toasted bread, and jamon! That will tie me until a light dinner tonight.

This would also have been the day to detour to visit the Sta Eulalia Roman monuments but they are closed Saturday after 2pm, all day Sundays and Mondays.

My stop,for the day is San Roman. There are 2 albergues: a muni with 12 beds and no services and, 300 meters before, a private one for 2€ extra, O' Candido. And if you are afraid albergues are becoming too generic because they are run by the Galician govt this place is all about waht the Camino is. Nitomis the hospitalero, and you can book ahead. In fact, this is an excellent idea because you can also order your dinner at the same time, or when you get there. BUT the phone number in my 2 guides is no longer in service, it is now 982 214 081.

Yes, the guidebooks are. Wring again: you do not have to bring your food to San Roman.

Nito gives you real sheets for your bed, and has extra blankets. He also offered to take my bag upstairs and offered me a small room for 4 instead of the one for 8. He stamps your credencial when you come in and asks,what you would like for dinner: choice of 6 firsts, 4 mains and 6 deserts. You can have the wholw thing or pick the fisrt or second only with bread and drink. Breakfast is included. There is also a lady who cooks at home and delivers tomthe albergue; Imhave also seen this in Esclampero.

The magic? He does not ask you for a penny until after dinner. And, when he lives the albergue, the bar is open and you can help yourself to sodas, wine and beer, on your honour. The prices are listed, he is gone and trusts you. And, not only does he not scream at you if you come in the albergue when he is not there, the has a sheet up that tells you to make yourself at home, and if you reserved one of the private rooms, the key is left there for you. The Camino spirit only a day from reaching Melide! Oh, and he asks what time you want dinner at! AND asks you if you want seconds. The merluza is delicious, highly recommended, as is the locally made wine. Adrian ranks up there with Domingo & David. Bravo again!

Back on Lugo, not only does it have one of e few, if not the only intact Roman fortifications left in e world but its Roman roots are clrealy very important to it as many monumnents attest to, even in San Roman.

Tomorrow: As Seixas, a place with a modern albergue that has yet to make its way in all the giudebooks.
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#28
Flashback: 2 km befoe Castroverde is Vilabade and its church. A person is there from 8 to 2 somyou can visit it and explain its artwork. It is actually this church that made the town of Castroverde what it is. Well worth spending a few minutes there and leaving a donation for its ongoing restoration work. It is now a national monument. Also, in Castroverde, do walk the extra 150 yards to visit the old part of town and its tower, it right off Serra, to the right with te albergue behind you.
 

Alyssa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2014)
Norte, Finisterre, Salvador, Primitivo (2015)
#30
I leave for Spain in two and a half weeks to walk several routes of the Camino including the Norte, Finisterre/Muxia, Salvador, and Primitivo (if I have time) so I very much appreciate all this information.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#31
I leave for Spain in two and a half weeks to walk several routes of the Camino including the Norte, Finisterre/Muxia, Salvador, and Primitivo (if I have time) so I very much appreciate all this information.
Sheesh,that is an ambitiuous walk.
 

Alyssa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2014)
Norte, Finisterre, Salvador, Primitivo (2015)
#32
Sheesh,that is an ambitiuous walk.
Lol. Yes. It's a VERY flexible plan Anemone. If at some point an opportunity to serve as an hospitalera for a week or two should crop up, I will be open to it, which will change the plan. Or, if I grow weary of walking and want to spend a week somewhere, that's fine too. Last year I planned to walk all the way to Finisterre/Muxia but ended up in a darling little village in the mountains outside Pamplona for a week.

Oh, and just to be clear, the (flexible) plan includes a bus from Muxia to León. :)
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#34
A quicky tonight as I am at dinner and this is quite rude. Just to say do NOT miss the Xunta albergue is As Seixas. It is a beautifully restaured building by a young and talented architect from Lugo, Oscar Lopez Alba. No food on site but a truck does come by daily around 3, or you can eat at te also beautiful bar 100meters away, but closed on Thursdays. Opens 8am for breakfast. One caveat: the laundry facilities: ypu have to be over 6 feet tall to reach the faussets, or stand on a rock they have there. It will break your back, but still, a little thing to put up with to stay in a beautifully designed albergue.
 
#35
ON WHAT YOU SEE HERE AND NOT ON CF & VICE VERSA...
No toilet paper litering the way, despite the few cafes for stops. If it can be done here, why not on the CF?
This reminds me of when I walked the Via de la Plata. I remember how wonderful it was to have my eye caught by a white flash on the ground and realize it was a jara petal and not toilet paper! Such a pleasant change. Loving your posts, Anemone. Buen camino, Laurie
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#37
Oh dear. Today Is the day. I just walked into Melide. I promised the last 2'weeks on the Primitivo would make me a better person and that I would embrace the hussle and bussle (sp?). I think I needmto go back to Oviedo and start again for a few times because I have failed myserably and have hidden myself in the fist albergue I,saw. Mind you, I did not make a reservation last night, I told myself not to be neurotic and deal with what Melide brought me. But the site of groups of 5mor 7 pilgims at a busy intersection, and I mean busy!, had me running to the O' Cruceiro albergue.

It opened in 2014, it's 4 floor in an grand old house. Yes, with elevator. It has rooms of 4, 6 abd 8 people, with WIFI, and lockers you can lock with your own padlock. Bathrooms and laundry facilities are good. 10€.

Ah, but the walk into Melide... 1st, the bar in As Seixas did not open at 8 as promised so after waiting 15 minutes I walked on. Jusg after the sign formHospital de As Seixas I met a 40 oe somyear old woman who was having her coffee on her 200 year old home's front porch- that is after being greeted by her German Sheppard Nesca. She bought this old stone ruin, perhaps 12x18 feet 9'yeatsmagomaftermwalking the Camino. She saw it on her bday. She is fixing it little by little, but it is still a shack, and will probably be for a long time. Mapi lives offgrid, in this building and a tiny wooden cabin she built 20 meters away. And she is all heart, all warmth, all smiles. I greerted her as I waled past, she offered to stamp my compostela, and a coffee. She drew the stamp and wrote a tiny phrase, her coffee was mase with cinnamon. Made my day, probably my Camino. To be so content with so little and sharing it with strangers.

Then I past a number of people working their fields, their gardens, as I had yesterday. Spoke with the woman watching her cows out at pasture at a road intersection she just cordoned off. Saw 2 men working a field with a horse, while the windmills are dancing in the sky. Little House on the Prairy meets 2015 technology.

A word of caution, the bar that is announced to be in Villamor is actually 500"meters past the village, so do not despair if like me you have bern walking for nearly 10km without having had breakfast. And the tuna French omlette makes a lovely brunch.

Tomorrow 10 km to spend the day,resting in Ribadiso, feet in the river watching the local cows pass over the old bridge. Now? A little reading, a little napping, and then face life outsidevthis dorm room. Surely the Primitivo has made me a better person who can accept change, feel compassion and not juge?
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#38
Your post was so real and so wonderful. Thanks, Anemone. I can very well imagine the aversion to the throngs after the quiet of the Primativo.
I'll be with you in spirit in Ribadiso, soaking my feet and sharing my stash of Pimentos de Padron from the cafe next door!
(Oh, and by the way...please enjoy a pastry for me from the patisseria across the street from the plaza in Melide...)
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#39
So melide is behind me, after a good night of sleep in a room of 4. I apparently has not visited the city last time I was here and did so yesterday Albergues are popping up everywhere, but pilgrim beware, an older gentleman told me two things of interest about the town: a- on weekends it becomes quite the party town, so be careful in chosing an alberuge that may be next door to a bar, b- apprently the Melide women are hard to resist: he married one 48 years ago and moved there.

On the way out of Melide you will pass a tiny chuch up on a little bump, not even a hill. You MUST stop there and visit, unlike most of the others who will pass by, not even curious, or those who stop to get thei credencial stamled.

The church is Romanica, with Celtic and Templar influences. The young man there offered to explained things to me and it is well worth it. You will see signs of X and Y, symbolosing man and woman, you will see signs for water, infinity ( earth), air and fire. You will see little two toned blocks, painted inside, carved outside: they are an early representation of the Camino and indicated, at a time when ere were churches everywhere that this one was associated with the Camino. You will see the oldest Romanica metal gate left in the country and a baptism basin sitting on an octogonal pilar, all very templar.

Breakfast was enjoyed at the " El aleman" cafe: the toasted bread with tomato puree and slice of jamon was divine. Expensive, but divine. I am now waiting for the Ribadiso albergue to open as it has only been a 10 km walk today but I really wanted to stay here. Te water levels in the river are a bit low so the footbath I had dreamed about may have to be for next time but so be it. After all, how can I have high water levels while enjoying 16 days of walking the Caminos with only a few minutes of rain?

The age group pn the Frances is younger thanon the Primitivo. There we had 75% persinoners, no young adults in their 20s. Here I would venture to see I see people in their 50s and university students. A great way to mark this important passage in life.
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#40
So, here is a question regarding phone cards. I am carryong my Iphone and fed it a Vodafone sim card with a special rate of 15€ for 60 minutes of calls a road and 1G of data. After a few days it was empty, and my phone had been losing battery life very quickly. i figured it was becauce it was not on airplaine mode. i fed it another 10€ and again it wants more money from me. This time it has been on airplane mode. And I have only called home 3 times, but a minute or so rach time and have made perhaps 2 local calls.

What am I doing wrong? These are turning out to be the most expe sive calls I've ever made!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
#42
Loving every word of your posts. We leave Friday and arrive in Oviedo on Sunday (stopping to visit our son in Boston on Saturday). I just can't wait and your posts have really upped my anticipation! L
 
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2018
#43
A quicky tonight as I am at dinner and this is quite rude. Just to say do NOT miss the Xunta albergue is As Seixas. It is a beautifully restaured building by a young and talented architect from Lugo, Oscar Lopez Alba. No food on site but a truck does come by daily around 3, or you can eat at te also beautiful bar 100meters away, but closed on Thursdays. Opens 8am for breakfast. One caveat: the laundry facilities: ypu have to be over 6 feet tall to reach the faussets, or stand on a rock they have there. It will break your back, but still, a little thing to put up with to stay in a beautifully designed albergue.
Yes! This was a lovely albergue. And I remember the laundry area well - near impossible to reach the water taps! I've been enjoying your posts!
 
#44
Thank you Anemone for your lively posts and encouragement. I start walking from Oviedo in the morning. Feeling a bit nervous as always, but determined to face those big hills I saw on the way in today.

Also, thanks to @ebrandt for your stellar work in creating the guide that you so generously shared.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
#45
Thank you Anemone for your lively posts and encouragement. I start walking from Oviedo in the morning. Feeling a bit nervous as always, but determined to face those big hills I saw on the way in today.

Also, thanks to @ebrandt for your stellar work in creating the guide that you so generously shared.
Ultreia!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015
#46
Anemone, I really appreciate all this information as I will be walking the Primitivo this summer. Could you tell me more about the following comment?

"I know my limits, and am glad I do. So I planned to walk 12 km only, to the 1st road crossing. Had I chosen to walk all the way down, I would have arrived in Berducedo late in the evening, if at all."

Does that mean you walked to the very top but then only part way down? That is what it sounds like but I wanted to confirm.

Thanks again!
If you don't feel you need to walk every km of the Primitivo especially if you're having trouble with phone service, you can take a taxi to Alto de la Marta. We were sick the day of the Hospitales route, so we did a taxi share to the top. You still get most of the ridge walking. Its a good option for those sick or that have lack of fitness. I'd love to do the climb up so maybe one day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015
#47
Thank you @Anemone del Camino for your posts, they are most helpful and the information will help us make some decisions. I'd love to walk the Primitivo but I think this year perhaps not; we are walking with friends who have a few heath issues. They are also reluctant to stay in albergues which sound like a necessity.
We stayed in a mix of alberques and private rooms because we picked up severe colds and coughed all night. The alberques also sometimes had a room of 4 for the ladies. In Escamplero we stayed in a B & B above the restaurant before the alberque. In Grandas de Salime we stayed above the Bar Tienda, Hermania's had private rooms, and Lugo had a good selection. If your friends are willing to taxi a bit as well, I think they could easily walk the Primitivo with only staying in several albergues.
 
#48
Anemone, here are a few thing that might help with your phone issues.

Phone calls: Though you have 60 minutes available for phone calls, they are most likely for calls within Spain. If you call home, the cost of that call is deducted in euros from the 15 euros you topped up with. The Skype app might be a better option for you.

Next, there are a several things you can do to improve iPhone battery life and data consumption. Here are a few of them.:

1. Settings > Cellular > USE CELLULAR DATA FOR: Many of these can be turned off as they generally don't require cellular data to function. When turned off, they will only work with wifi.

2. Settings > Cellular > Voice & Data: Set to 3G to save battery life. (Vodafone/Orange only allow 3G on their prepaid plans.)

3. Settings > General > Background App Refresh: Turning these off will improve battery life and save data. Leave mapping apps, etc. on.

4. Settings > General > Usage: Shows you where it's all going.

5. Turning off wifi and Bluetooth underway saves tons of power. Closing open apps also helps.

I hope some of these tips are useful.

Time to put on my walking shoes.
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#49
Anemone, here are a few thing that might help with your phone issues.

Phone calls: Though you have 60 minutes available for phone calls, they are most likely for calls within Spain. If you call home, the cost of that call is deducted in euros from the 15 euros you topped up with. The Skype app might be a better option for you.

Next, there are a several things you can do to improve iPhone battery life and data consumption. Here are a few of them.:

1. Settings > Cellular > USE CELLULAR DATA FOR: Many of these can be turned off as they generally don't require cellular data to function. When turned off, they will only work with wifi.

2. Settings > Cellular > Voice & Data: Set to 3G to save battery life. (Vodafone/Orange only allow 3G on their prepaid plans.)

3. Settings > General > Background App Refresh: Turning these off will improve battery life and save data. Leave mapping apps, etc. on.

4. Settings > General > Usage: Shows you where it's all going.

5. Turning off wifi and Bluetooth underway saves tons of power. Closing open apps also helps.

I hope some of these tips are useful.

Time to put on my walking shoes.
Thank you for these tips, I will study them carefully when I get home , I have given up on the thing. I have a plan for 60 minutes of calls to Canada, surely I should have been able to make a couple of local calls as well? Next year ( oh oh, did I just sat next year!?) I will buy a plan in Canada fro my supplier. Lady at the albergue tells me that with paying cards this also used to happen to her....
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#50
Tonight is my last night before arriving in Santiago, how time has flown by.

My plantar fasciitis has never been an issue. A slow release voltaten a day, plus pain killers two nights, but that was when every bone in my feet hurt, as well as knees and I was not able to get to sleep. If anyone reading this is from Montreal, visit Dr. Bluma Girzon. She charged me for the fisrt visit, not the rest, and here I am, pain free, 20 km from Santiago.

Because I did not want my foot to to act up I treated it to a few shorter days here and there. When I get home I will inclide my stages here. One of my treats was yesterday with 10 km from Melide to Ribadiso where I arrived around 10 am. I had promised myself that I would stay ere "next time" and I am so happy I did. Even spent 3 10 minute sessions knee deep in e river in my EVA Birkinstocks, just what the podiatrist ordered.

And the. The cows came over the bridge at the end of the day on their way back to the barn. Magic.

The sun, and heat, have made their appearance, and the skin on my arms are proof of this, despite the 50 sunfactor cream. I must allergic to it. So today at around 11 am I started questionong if I could walk the lask 5 km to Sta-Irene without burning. After a 30 minute rest stop, in the shade, I let the bar owners convince me there was shade on the way ( they had their own taxi rigt there, not 10 meters from me!) so off I went.

But my option was, I learned yesterday afternoon to let time pass, a lot of time, and walk again after 5 pm. Because this is new to me: there is a constant nonstop flow of people walking since the wee hours in the morninig until past 8 pm. I do not get it. I am used to people all moving together on the CF, walking the Brierly stages, but I think that with so many albergues and bars thos may be a thing of the past. Where did they start? Where are they stopping?

Stats for the day: backpack vs no backpack. At some point I was the only one in a sea of 20 people with a real packpack. The Camino Facil people must be making a fortune! But there are also the unfortunate souls wearing 12 kg plis, the man from Japan with his 65 plus 15 liters bag. Walking on flat land has boughht me 2 to 3 hours before getting to destination vs on e Primitivo. I am even passing people! Now that's a novelty!

Tonight I am spending e night ina doll's house, the private albergue on Sta-Irene. It is just adorable, has a large garden, they give you a fully made up bed and a towel and there is an available communal dinner served at 7h30. I got a simgle bed in the loft with 3 other people. The ground floor has bunkbeds. There is also a bed in a tiny little nook. A doll's house. I am looking forward to a good night's sleep to enjoy every pone of my last 28,0000 steps to Santiago tomorrow morning.

So, these masses of strollers, and I don't mean baby strollers. How to you deal with that reality? Because the taxi business is also excellent, I have even documented people getting dropped off by the highway at the top of a hill, with NO bags! You try to stay on your bubble. But the the monkey mind goes to work. I shouls feel empathy for these people who will never knew the Camino as ot once was, a Camino where you found similar minded people on a meaningful journey, helping each other out, confiding in each other, sharing important moments

And then therés the idea that all albergues should about the Gaucelmo policy of "no bag, no bed", or better yet have Camino police on pilgrim gear voiding the credencials of those seen jumping in or out of a bus or taxi. Or perhpas having little electronic kiosks with biometrics where we have to check in in between bars.

My bubble it is, in my tiny albegue that looks like a doll's house.

To orrow when I get to Santiago I will have to head to the post office to mail my Poles back hime. Thanks to @ivar for letting me know it will also be open on Saturday. Yep, baggage handling people are on strike and while Ryanair lets me know I will be allowed a second bag on board with me at does not solvd the pole issue. Baggage handling .... Maybe that is the " take home message" from this Camino?

I have been walking for 17 days. Only skipped the way down el Alto de la Morta. I have to say I am proud of myself. As I look back at photographs I have taken I cannot beleive the beauty I was priviledged to experience. I never do things the easy way, this prooves it again. And didn't I just type "next year"?

I doubt I will want to the the CF F'again for a while, it is just a circus places where 3 of us would sit in silence you now have to wait for a table. Maybe it will be my loss and I will miss on a totally different but just as meaningful experience? I am curious to hear what @Al the optimist will have to say about his current journey. Portuguese, from O Porto north and the Finisterre and Muxia? April rather than May? Tome will tell, but tonight I have a communual meal waiting for me, with soup, fish, fruit, bread and water, then a great sleep in an old house loft in a bed with a light blue headboard painted with flowers, and 20 km of walking in glorious weather to arrive in Santiago in time for a shower and the 7:30 mass.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#51
So glad you got a chance to soak in the stream, Anemone! All the people...surely there are many nationalities and lots of Spaniards. It just goes to show not everyone follows Brierley. ;) (Well, and seeing how johnniewalker's numbers for May are up...it may also just be the result of increased pilgrim population density...)
And about your vodafone issue...I didn't make any overseas calls, and my balance still vanished PDQ. I wonder if anyone's had the same experience with other carriers? If so an alternative plan from home would be a wise move...
Tomorrow Santiago! It does go by in an eyeblink, doesn't it?...may you have a joyous walk...
 

Archsas

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo - May 2015
#52
Anemone, is the Albergue at Cornellana closed? Or asked another way -- why not recommended? Your posts are great! Thanks, Liz
I stayed there a few weeks ago and I would recommend it. It's still open, and the construction stops in time for the late afternoon and onwards to be pretty peaceful. The albergue itself was a pretty nice place to stay, and I enjoyed it. Because of the construction, it's a little hard to find, but worth it.
 
#53
So melide is behind me, after a good night of sleep in a room of 4. I apparently has not visited the city last time I was here and did so yesterday Albergues are popping up everywhere, but pilgrim beware, an older gentleman told me two things of interest about the town: a- on weekends it becomes quite the party town, so be careful in chosing an alberuge that may be next door to a bar, b- apprently the Melide women are hard to resist: he married one 48 years ago and moved there.

On the way out of Melide you will pass a tiny chuch up on a little bump, not even a hill. You MUST stop there and visit, unlike most of the others who will pass by, not even curious, or those who stop to get thei credencial stamled.

The church is Romanica, with Celtic and Templar influences. The young man there offered to explained things to me and it is well worth it. You will see signs of X and Y, symbolosing man and woman, you will see signs for water, infinity ( earth), air and fire. You will see little two toned blocks, painted inside, carved outside: they are an early representation of the Camino and indicated, at a time when ere were churches everywhere that this one was associated with the Camino. You will see the oldest Romanica metal gate left in the country and a baptism basin sitting on an octogonal pilar, all very templar.

Breakfast was enjoyed at the " El aleman" cafe: the toasted bread with tomato puree and slice of jamon was divine. Expensive, but divine. I am now waiting for the Ribadiso albergue to open as it has only been a 10 km walk today but I really wanted to stay here. Te water levels in the river are a bit low so the footbath I had dreamed about may have to be for next time but so be it. After all, how can I have high water levels while enjoying 16 days of walking the Caminos with only a few minutes of rain?

The age group pn the Frances is younger thanon the Primitivo. There we had 75% persinoners, no young adults in their 20s. Here I would venture to see I see people in their 50s and university students. A great way to mark this important passage in life.
Hi Anemone, great posts. Can't believe you are almost in Santiago!

I second your recommendations on the church right outside Melide. My favorite was something you didn't mention-- the 12th century wrought iron gate to the left of the altar in a little alcove if memory serves. It's just stunning. I think there are local voluunteers who keep it open -- donativo most appreciated!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#54
Hi Anemone, great posts. Can't believe you are almost in Santiago!

I second your recommendations on the church right outside Melide. My favorite was something you didn't mention-- the 12th century wrought iron gate to the left of the altar in a little alcove if memory serves. It's just stunning. I think there are local vunteers who keep it open -- donativo most appreciated!
I have arrived Laurie! Now just laying on the bed while I give my feet a chance to take their original shape.

Had a fight with myself all day about " you ca do", "don't cheat", "earn that Compostela", "walk until the Santiago singn, that counts", "take a taxi at the bottom of Monte de Gozo, that Counts". I finally walked all thevway to my hotel, San Roque, and took the .... Elevator!

Once my feet stopmhurtingbso much I will head out to get my Compostela, eat a bit, find out where to post my poles from due to the luggage handling strike and print boarding pass. Mass is at 7h30 apparently. For more wondeful insights on my Camino you will have tomwait a few more hours, but there was some good meditation thinking going on today near Lavacolla.
 
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#55
I have arrived Laurie! Now just laying on the bed while I give my feet a chance to take their original shape.

Had a fight with myself all day about " you ca do", "don't cheat", "earn that Compostela", "walk until the Santiago singn, that counts", "take a taxi at the bottom of Monte de Gozo, that Counts". I finally walked all thevway to my hotel, San Roque, and took the .... Elevator!

Once my feet stopmhurtingbso much I will head out to get my Compostela, eat a bit, find out where to post my poles from due to the luggage handling strike and print boarding pass. Mass is at 7h30 apparently. For more wondeful insights on my Camino you will have tomwait a few more hours, but there was some good meditation thinking going on today near Lavacolla.
Congratulations Anemone. I bet you are enjoying that well deserved rest. So glad it all went so well for you.

So does the strike mean you have to carry on everything? There is a UPS-type place near plaza Galiza. It's called Mail Boxes, etc. and it's off rua Horreo on Santiago de Guayaquil. Only open in mornings on Saturdays.

Enjoy Santiago!!!
 

LauraK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2004) Roncesvalles-Leon (2006) Camino Frances (2012) Kumano Kodo-Japan (2014) Camino Sanabres/Salamanca-Santiago (March 2015) Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primativo (Oct 2015)
#56
Tonight is my last night before arriving in Santiago, how time has flown by.

My plantar fasciitis has never been an issue. A slow release voltaten a day, plus pain killers two nights, but that was when every bone in my feet hurt, as well as knees and I was not able to get to sleep. If anyone reading this is from Montreal, visit Dr. Bluma Girzon. She charged me for the fisrt visit, not the rest, and here I am, pain free, 20 km from Santiago.

Because I did not want my foot to to act up I treated it to a few shorter days here and there. When I get home I will inclide my stages here. One of my treats was yesterday with 10 km from Melide to Ribadiso where I arrived around 10 am. I had promised myself that I would stay ere "next time" and I am so happy I did. Even spent 3 10 minute sessions knee deep in e river in my EVA Birkinstocks, just what the podiatrist ordered.

And the. The cows came over the bridge at the end of the day on their way back to the barn. Magic.

The sun, and heat, have made their appearance, and the skin on my arms are proof of this, despite the 50 sunfactor cream. I must allergic to it. So today at around 11 am I started questionong if I could walk the lask 5 km to Sta-Irene without burning. After a 30 minute rest stop, in the shade, I let the bar owners convince me there was shade on the way ( they had their own taxi rigt there, not 10 meters from me!) so off I went.

But my option was, I learned yesterday afternoon to let time pass, a lot of time, and walk again after 5 pm. Because this is new to me: there is a constant nonstop flow of people walking since the wee hours in the morninig until past 8 pm. I do not get it. I am used to people all moving together on the CF, walking the Brierly stages, but I think that with so many albergues and bars thos may be a thing of the past. Where did they start? Where are they stopping?

Stats for the day: backpack vs no backpack. At some point I was the only one in a sea of 20 people with a real packpack. The Camino Facil people must be making a fortune! But there are also the unfortunate souls wearing 12 kg plis, the man from Japan with his 65 plus 15 liters bag. Walking on flat land has boughht me 2 to 3 hours before getting to destination vs on e Primitivo. I am even passing people! Now that's a novelty!

Tonight I am spending e night ina doll's house, the private albergue on Sta-Irene. It is just adorable, has a large garden, they give you a fully made up bed and a towel and there is an available communal dinner served at 7h30. I got a simgle bed in the loft with 3 other people. The ground floor has bunkbeds. There is also a bed in a tiny little nook. A doll's house. I am looking forward to a good night's sleep to enjoy every pone of my last 28,0000 steps to Santiago tomorrow morning.

So, these masses of strollers, and I don't mean baby strollers. How to you deal with that reality? Because the taxi business is also excellent, I have even documented people getting dropped off by the highway at the top of a hill, with NO bags! You try to stay on your bubble. But the the monkey mind goes to work. I shouls feel empathy for these people who will never knew the Camino as ot once was, a Camino where you found similar minded people on a meaningful journey, helping each other out, confiding in each other, sharing important moments

And then therés the idea that all albergues should about the Gaucelmo policy of "no bag, no bed", or better yet have Camino police on pilgrim gear voiding the credencials of those seen jumping in or out of a bus or taxi. Or perhpas having little electronic kiosks with biometrics where we have to check in in between bars.

My bubble it is, in my tiny albegue that looks like a doll's house.

To orrow when I get to Santiago I will have to head to the post office to mail my Poles back hime. Thanks to @ivar for letting me know it will also be open on Saturday. Yep, baggage handling people are on strike and while Ryanair lets me know I will be allowed a second bag on board with me at does not solvd the pole issue. Baggage handling .... Maybe that is the " take home message" from this Camino?

I have been walking for 17 days. Only skipped the way down el Alto de la Morta. I have to say I am proud of myself. As I look back at photographs I have taken I cannot beleive the beauty I was priviledged to experience. I never do things the easy way, this prooves it again. And didn't I just type "next year"?

I doubt I will want to the the CF F'again for a while, it is just a circus places where 3 of us would sit in silence you now have to wait for a table. Maybe it will be my loss and I will miss on a totally different but just as meaningful experience? I am curious to hear what @Al the optimist will have to say about his current journey. Portuguese, from O Porto north and the Finisterre and Muxia? April rather than May? Tome will tell, but tonight I have a communual meal waiting for me, with soup, fish, fruit, bread and water, then a great sleep in an old house loft in a bed with a light blue headboard painted with flowers, and 20 km of walking in glorious weather to arrive in Santiago in time for a shower and the 7:30 mass.
Thanks for this informative post. I have to admit I would hate walking the Camino with that much traffic. When I walked in 2004 (October) and 2005 (April) I had most of my days to myself with a few pilgrims passing once in a while. You could CHOOSE to walk with people as you left the albergue, but you could also see no one for the entire day and have a solo night in an albergue if you avoided the Brierly stages. I walked the Frances again in Jan-February 2015 and had many nights and days alone but also had a Camino family. It was wonderful. I did the VdlP/Camino Sanabrez from Salamanca in March. Except after Orense, I saw no one during the days and had the majority of nights alone. No Camino family and a very inward journey- just what I needed at the time.
The thing I love about the Camino is the time for solitude and meditation, but I do enjoy meeting pilgrims as well, but not being trapped by a constant stream of people...I too have a problem with "monkey mind" so I think the masses of people would not be to my liking. I also do not do well in extreme heat. Doing the "off season" caminos I do feel I miss the beautiful scenery (wheat fields, flowers, etc. that I see in the wonderful photographs posted) and sometimes the chance to sit on the side of the road and enjoy the outdoors (if it is cold). So I wonder...what caminos are less traveled but can be traveled without the extreme heat and crowds, but may offer the experience of a Camino family? Wishful thinking for the "perfect" Camino!?! Every Camino has given me exactly what I needed at the time so I guess there is no perfect...
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran 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
#57
Tonight is my last night before arriving in Santiago, how time has flown by.

My plantar fasciitis has never been an issue. A slow release voltaten a day, plus pain killers two nights, but that was when every bone in my feet hurt, as well as knees and I was not able to get to sleep. If anyone reading this is from Montreal, visit Dr. Bluma Girzon. She charged me for the fisrt visit, not the rest, and here I am, pain free, 20 km from Santiago.

Because I did not want my foot to to act up I treated it to a few shorter days here and there. When I get home I will inclide my stages here. One of my treats was yesterday with 10 km from Melide to Ribadiso where I arrived around 10 am. I had promised myself that I would stay ere "next time" and I am so happy I did. Even spent 3 10 minute sessions knee deep in e river in my EVA Birkinstocks, just what the podiatrist ordered.

And the. The cows came over the bridge at the end of the day on their way back to the barn. Magic.

The sun, and heat, have made their appearance, and the skin on my arms are proof of this, despite the 50 sunfactor cream. I must allergic to it. So today at around 11 am I started questionong if I could walk the lask 5 km to Sta-Irene without burning. After a 30 minute rest stop, in the shade, I let the bar owners convince me there was shade on the way ( they had their own taxi rigt there, not 10 meters from me!) so off I went.

But my option was, I learned yesterday afternoon to let time pass, a lot of time, and walk again after 5 pm. Because this is new to me: there is a constant nonstop flow of people walking since the wee hours in the morninig until past 8 pm. I do not get it. I am used to people all moving together on the CF, walking the Brierly stages, but I think that with so many albergues and bars thos may be a thing of the past. Where did they start? Where are they stopping?

Stats for the day: backpack vs no backpack. At some point I was the only one in a sea of 20 people with a real packpack. The Camino Facil people must be making a fortune! But there are also the unfortunate souls wearing 12 kg plis, the man from Japan with his 65 plus 15 liters bag. Walking on flat land has boughht me 2 to 3 hours before getting to destination vs on e Primitivo. I am even passing people! Now that's a novelty!

Tonight I am spending e night ina doll's house, the private albergue on Sta-Irene. It is just adorable, has a large garden, they give you a fully made up bed and a towel and there is an available communal dinner served at 7h30. I got a simgle bed in the loft with 3 other people. The ground floor has bunkbeds. There is also a bed in a tiny little nook. A doll's house. I am looking forward to a good night's sleep to enjoy every pone of my last 28,0000 steps to Santiago tomorrow morning.

So, these masses of strollers, and I don't mean baby strollers. How to you deal with that reality? Because the taxi business is also excellent, I have even documented people getting dropped off by the highway at the top of a hill, with NO bags! You try to stay on your bubble. But the the monkey mind goes to work. I shouls feel empathy for these people who will never knew the Camino as ot once was, a Camino where you found similar minded people on a meaningful journey, helping each other out, confiding in each other, sharing important moments

And then therés the idea that all albergues should about the Gaucelmo policy of "no bag, no bed", or better yet have Camino police on pilgrim gear voiding the credencials of those seen jumping in or out of a bus or taxi. Or perhpas having little electronic kiosks with biometrics where we have to check in in between bars.

My bubble it is, in my tiny albegue that looks like a doll's house.

To orrow when I get to Santiago I will have to head to the post office to mail my Poles back hime. Thanks to @ivar for letting me know it will also be open on Saturday. Yep, baggage handling people are on strike and while Ryanair lets me know I will be allowed a second bag on board with me at does not solvd the pole issue. Baggage handling .... Maybe that is the " take home message" from this Camino?

I have been walking for 17 days. Only skipped the way down el Alto de la Morta. I have to say I am proud of myself. As I look back at photographs I have taken I cannot beleive the beauty I was priviledged to experience. I never do things the easy way, this prooves it again. And didn't I just type "next year"?

I doubt I will want to the the CF F'again for a while, it is just a circus places where 3 of us would sit in silence you now have to wait for a table. Maybe it will be my loss and I will miss on a totally different but just as meaningful experience? I am curious to hear what @Al the optimist will have to say about his current journey. Portuguese, from O Porto north and the Finisterre and Muxia? April rather than May? Tome will tell, but tonight I have a communual meal waiting for me, with soup, fish, fruit, bread and water, then a great sleep in an old house loft in a bed with a light blue headboard painted with flowers, and 20 km of walking in glorious weather to arrive in Santiago in time for a shower and the 7:30 mass.
Great reading.

Thinking of you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015
#58
Coming off the Primitivo we were shocked by all the people on the Camino Francis. And we felt swarmed by walkers and bikers. We were so happy we chose the Primitivo!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#59
I've had the pleasure of being in Santiago for 24 hours, 12 only to go before I fly to Madrid. I am surprised at how much I have enjoyed myself this time, especially considering this is my 3 rd visit and that this is not a large city in any way. But what beauty. Everwhere you look, pure beauty.

I walked this Camino alone, not just in the sens that I did not have a companion from home but that as I made my stages based on noone but myself, letting new acquaintances go as simply as they appeared, and I visited Santiagomthe same way. And wouldn't you know it, despite arriving days after people I had met along the way I still bumped into some twicw yesterday and others again today. Brought a smile to my face, just to see them again and share breakfast, lunch, or go to mass together.

Today I learned that if you go to the market in the morning you can buy your fish and seafood, take it to cooking stands in the market, agree on a time they will have it cooked for you and you come back and eat it. Another reason to have to come back next year! But since I found out about this too latentoday, I ended up sharing a playe of pulpo with 2 fellow pilgrims and ate it in the market sitting on a cement slab a vendor had left empty for the day. So much fun! Wonder if @ivar has the fish cookin stands and street pulpo vendor listed in Camino Places?

Found Tertulia, but it was 3pm, but I was happy to locate it and have a glass of white wine. Cute little place that serves Pu Er and has wallpaper featuring purebread dogs. A place after my own heart!

Found the book I had regreted not buyin 2 years ago, a book on how to "read churches". It basically explains the different types of architecture, and the different components of churches based on their style, time of construction, etc. Which reminds me, 2 years ago I took the cathedral tour via its rooftops and cannot remmend it enough.

The facade is now under gong major restauration. When I first got to Obradoiro I kept walkin my back to the cathedral, wanting to make the anticipation last just a bit more. And shés still beautiful, even if all bsndagd up. Her clean columns give us an idea of how spectacularbhis grand lady will look when all the work is complted. What a magnificent sight she is.

Queued for an hour to get my credencial and certificate of distsnce. The man whonwrote my name did so in the most beautiful callygraphy. And as I ever surprised that the cathedral considers Oviedo to Santiago is 343km! I thought 319. Nomwonder my feet kept me up late at night from the pain! Got my boarding pass printed at the pilgrim office off the cathedral, did some window shoping until it was time to gomto mass and see the botufumeiro fly again, one never gets tired of it, especially after having just walked in. Today i visited the Saint and his crypt. No standing in line there at all ...

Just got up from a nap,and need to decide where to have dinner. The meat place on Rua San Pedro? Or Percebes on the main restaurant drag? Or this little place on rua San Roque 100 meters from my hotel? Then it's packing time to walk to Plaza Galicia to catch the 1st bus to the airport tomorrow morning.

Another bit of Camino magic happened today. Since getting a bus on Saturday to go to the cultural center to see the exhibit proved to be a bit of a pain I devided tp stay n town and visit the Universidad building I like so much. They are currently showing an exhibit of Felipe Criado a contrmporary Galician painter who died in 2013. Half of the works shown are from his last works and they deal with the German bombing of Santander on December 27th 1936. My mother was from Santander, and left Spain as a refugee to France in 1936. These arevworks that depicted people just like my mother, my grandparents, their friends and neighbours. Once sgain, the zcamino gives me the imprression of being there just for me.

I will write later about what I think this Camino has meant and taught me, but for now just want to finish by sayoing what a besutiful local Pilgrim House has turned out to be. I visited first just after the lease was signed, and was told I was the firstbto use the loo, but back the. It was all rubble or just snout. What a tremendous amount of work has gone into it. Well done!

Time for a vermud and dinner, and a last stroll around what has to be one of the jewels of the world.
 
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LauraK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2004) Roncesvalles-Leon (2006) Camino Frances (2012) Kumano Kodo-Japan (2014) Camino Sanabres/Salamanca-Santiago (March 2015) Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primativo (Oct 2015)
#60
What a wonderful post Anemone! I look forward to hearing about your reflections on your Camino. Safe travels home.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#62
@peregrina2000 , thank you for the recommendation for Hostal Bruna in Madrid. 100 meters from the Prado! Took,the 8:15 flightbfrom Santiagomto Madrid. When will I learn?! I am exhausted, but still made it out for lunch ( Thai!) and then to the Prado it was, but a word to the wise, walking and standing on those marblebfloors after a Camino is painful. Nap time and then a stroll, dinner, sleep anf a flight home tomorrow. Oh yes, my fasciitis started acting up at the Prado - excellent timing! I will grant my foot permission to hurt now as it has let me walk the Primitivo. Good tradeoff in my book!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2015 - Camino del Norte
March 2016 - Camino del Ebro
April 2016 - Camino Frances
Feb. 2017 - Camino Frances
March 2017 - Camino Salvador
March 2017 - Camino Primitivo
#63
So much for an easy day. There are steap hills coming into Galicia, even until the very end when you finally reach Fonsagrada, and there is not a lot of shade.

I' m at the Cantabrico albergue, a brand new, large albergue, where you are given sheets, a duvet and a towel. The mattresses and pillows are covered in that blue plastic that helps with bedbugs. Each bed has its nightlight, luttle shelf and power outlet, there is also a locker for each, but they cannt be locked. Large communak area, but it's just tables and chairs, not yesterday's garden.

One thing: at the moment the hoyse next dor is being rebuilt so there is too much noise for an afternoon nap. There is another new albergue in town, but it's easy to miss. When you make it up the last hill and get to a street, you will see a bar on your left and a sign for a psrillavrestaurant called Os Chaos. The restaurant is part of the albergue, so if that is where you want to stay, turn right at the top of the hill.

After crossing into Galicia you find a bar that should not be missed. A bit like Alibaba's cave with all sorts of trinkets hanging everywhere, and a grumpy man running it. Cicerone says it does not offer food but that is not the case. He had plates of ham and cheese, tortilla de patatas and a tuna empanada which was delicious. Plates look like they have been sitting there for a while but those are just demos, he brings food from the fridge in the back.

Also in Galicia, we saw an elderly gentleman taking pictures of pilgrims. Turns out he is the person in charge of the albergue in Padron, 1.5km past Fonsagrada, and he is also part if the Proteccion Civil of Fonsagrada and they go up and down the camino in there area to make sure tje pilgrims are doing ok.

A word of advice: mind the sun in this area. I know, Galicia and the sun ;0) but ehile the wind is stong and cold the sun is very strong and can burn you easily.

Other lesson learned, even with a local Sim card, put your smart ohone on airplane mode or all your € will go to searching for coverage, while eating up your battery, and you will only get to make 1 call home foe 2 min instead of 60.
Thank you for useful and colourful info Anemone... starting El Camino Norte in few days, before El Primitivo... Would you advise Orange network rather than Vodaphone for coverage ?
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#64
Thank you for useful and colourful info Anemone... starting El Camino Norte in few days, before El Primitivo... Would you advise Orange network rather than Vodaphone for coverage ?
@gipsy moon , I really could not advise. I still don't understand why I went through all my $ making a cpuple of calls only and using data only where there was WIFI. Missuse on my part? Crummy plan? As for coverage I was fine until I got to the top of the Hospitales route where people vith Orange had coverage, but that's all I can say. Enjoy your Camino; I envy you!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#65
Ahhhh, with Kanga reading my thread I just want to go back NOW! Actually, last night I was making plans for 4-6 weeks next spring: Salvador, Ingles and then the triangle, or Salvador, Portuguese from Porto and then the triangle. But I could be so tempted to do the Norte again to Oviedo and then the Primitivo again, but I want to explore more, even if it's only to find out the Primitivo is the one for me.
 

ParistoCapeCod

"Come on mom this 14k isn't going to walk itself."
Camino(s) past & future
April 2016 Lugo to SdC. Hospitalera August 2016. Camino del Norte June-July 2014, some of Arles, Le Puy and Vézelay routes.
#66
Another bit of Camino magic happened today. Since getting a bus on Saturday to go to the cultural center to see the exhibit proved to be a bit of a pain I devided tp stay n town and visit the Universidad building I like so much. They are currently showing an exhibit of Felipe Criado a contrmporary Galician painter who died in 2013. Half of the works shown are from his last works and they deal with the German bombing of Santander on December 27th 1936. My mother was from Santander, and left Spain as a refugee to France in 1936. These arevworks that depicted people just like my mother, my grandparents, their friends and neighbours. Once sgain, the zcamino gives me the imprression of being there just for me.
I also have family originally from Santander, via Cuba, and everyone in Santander kept asking me if I was related to so-and-so. Love your posts!
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#67
Coming off the Primitivo we were shocked by all the people on the Camino Francis. And we felt swarmed by walkers and bikers. We were so happy we chose the Primitivo!
Because we already have a few compostelas we caught that beautiful bus on reaching the crowds at Melide, they are truely uncomfortable after the Norte/Primitivo.
Just in the atmosphere of the later in particular.
The Primitivo is truely beautiful, especially if you take your time.

Looking back after all these years and not wanting another certificate after Camino Frances ;
Start in Bidart(Bayonne,Biarritz) in France, do the Norte until Deba , get the bus to Oviedo and walk to Melide
Bus to Santiago then walk to Muxia
Stay there@ Bar Lorena and realise you have just walked the beautiful sections.

Don't be too hard in the replies guys
Just picking the ones we enjoyed.
The Norte to Deba and the 2 days following are much harder than the first week on Camino France's ..............".and by a very long margin at that.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017
#68
Jan.1 2017...just finished your postings and what a great read it is. Thank you Anemone and Happy New Year.

So here is me starting another Camino year...C. Primitivo the one I will be walking at the end of my 3 months stay.

Notes are carefully stored.

Buen Camino 2017 to you ...which one are you walking this year?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (May 2014)
CF (Sept 2015)
England C2C (May 2016)
CP (May 2017)
#69
Ahhhh, with Kanga reading my thread I just want to go back NOW! Actually, last night I was making plans for 4-6 weeks next spring: Salvador, Ingles and then the triangle, or Salvador, Portuguese from Porto and then the triangle. But I could be so tempted to do the Norte again to Oviedo and then the Primitivo again, but I want to explore more, even if it's only to find out the Primitivo is the one for me.
Jan31 :2017. Absolutely great posts, Anemone.
I have done CF twice,...June Sept. Neither one particularly crowded, luckily, I guess as I enjoy my solitude. Nonetheless, I am still looking forward to the solitary trot along Primitivo.
Your total report will travel all the way with me, incredibly informative!!!

I have no issue staying in Albergues but I am a "bit" of a loud snorer (so my bride tells me ) and, when possible, I try to stay in private rooms so other walkers can get their sleep.
Can they be found on Primitivo? And if so, can you. (Or anyone else) give me any list that you might have.
Btw, I will be planning about 16 days in May.
Thanks and belated congrats!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#70
I have no issue staying in Albergues but I am a "bit" of a loud snorer (so my bride tells me ) and, when possible, I try to stay in private rooms so other walkers can get their sleep.
Can they be found on Primitivo? And if so, can you. (Or anyone else) give me any list that you might have.
Btw, I will be planning about 16 days in May.
Thanks and belated congrats!
Thank you so much for your kind words Brendan, I did enjoy every step of the Primitivo.

To answer your question about pensiones, from memory since my guidebooks with notes are packed away for home renovatios...

There are rooms available in Esclampero, above tne restaurant, but closed on Wednesday. Also pensiones available in Grado. Salas has a beautiful hotel but also private roomsat the albergue de Miguel, right on the plaza (door on the street). Tineo must have pensiones, but is also has a beautiful hotel, tbe Palacio de Meres which now has an albergue. Berducedo does have private rooms above the restaurant (BOOK ahead!), and on your way to Grandas de Salime the hotel has rooms at pilgrim rates. A Fonsagrada has a number of hotels/pensiones, and private rooms in the Cantabria albergue, and Cadavo does have one place with rooms (the overflow went there).

Lugo has lots of options, in San Roman I think it's all dorms, but the private albergue will no soibt give you a room alone if you explain and id there are vacancies.

As Seixas there is a private place with rooms, but when I walked they were only serving meals because of a permit issue... This being said, I was alone is a dorm for about 20 people!

Then you fit the Frances and you know what that is like.

Take a look a the Gronze site, it will give you information for places I have not stayed.

https://www.gronze.com/camino-primitivo

See, you are ready to go, snoring happily all the way.

You will love this route in May. I hope you get experience the smell of honey on the air after you pass the Acebo like I did.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (May 2014)
CF (Sept 2015)
England C2C (May 2016)
CP (May 2017)
#71
Thank you so much for your kind words Brendan, I did enjoy every step of the Primitivo.

To answer your question about pensiones, from memory since my guidebooks with notes are packed away for home renovatios...

There are rooms available in Esclampero, above tne restaurant, but closed on Wednesday. Also pensiones available in Grado. Salas has a beautiful hotel but also private roomsat the albergue de Miguel, right on the plaza (door on the street). Tineo must have pensiones, but is also has a beautiful hotel, tbe Palacio de Meres which now has an albergue. Berducedo does have private rooms above the restaurant (BOOK ahead!), and on your way to Grandas de Salime the hotel has rooms at pilgrim rates. A Fonsagrada has a number of hotels/pensiones, and private rooms in the Cantabria albergue, and Cadavo does have one place with rooms (the overflow went there).

Lugo has lots of options, in San Roman I think it's all dorms, but the private albergue will no soibt give you a room alone if you explain and id there are vacancies.

As Seixas there is a private place with rooms, but when I walked they were only serving meals because of a permit issue... This being said, I was alone is a dorm for about 20 people!

Then you fit the Frances and you know what that is like.

Take a look a the Gronze site, it will give you information for places I have not stayed.

https://www.gronze.com/camino-primitivo

See, you are ready to go, snoring happily all the way.

You will love this route in May. I hope you get experience the smell of honey on the air after you pass the Acebo like I did.

Buen Camino!
Thanks again.....Buen Camino!
 

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