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Salvador-primitivo-Muxia

Pieces

Veteran Member
#1
Was planning on doing the Salvador-primitivo-Muxia starting sept. 21st but due for different reasons I never got any trainong done and I would be kidding myself if I thought that was going to change much in the next couple of weeks.

I have done the CP & parts og CF incl SJPDP to Roncevalles before, but at a slightly fitter time of my life (though walking with an injury so I know pain). I am therefore not getting into this unknowingly, but I am now having second thoughts. Will it be too much for this previously fit almost 50 yr old gal or will it be fine as ling as I take it slow?

Had I gone on CF I would not have worried as there are many places to stay, but from what I read especially the on Salvador they are few and far between.

KNowing that there is really no way for you to answer I still feel compelled to ask: will it be mostly ok or is it madness ?

I am planning the Salvador itinerary with the 15 km 3rd day and thougt the fuss about the walk to Roncevalles was a bit exaggerated
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2014,2016),Primitivo (2015), San Salvador (2017), Norte (2018), Ingles (2018)
#2
Hmmm. As you say only you will really know your fitness. I'd be more concerned about the primitivo. For me that was tougher than the Salvador. Salvador is beautiful. Yes it's tough going but you can take 5, 6 or I think 7 days. I think we had a 30km last leg to Oviedo and that was a long day. There are not albergues every 10k but if you plan your days you should be fine (I think). If you are really worried then take a flatter option. Maybe back to the CP but coastal instead? Good luck and buen Camino.
 

Pieces

Veteran Member
#3
Thank you Phil, I thought the Salvador was tougher ? with more up and downs and really narrow paths ?
(I think once I do the Salvador i will have walked into shape for the remainder, I am planning on 5 days here)
 

Tazz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Finisterre (2016/5)
San Salvador/Primitivo (2017/5)
Frances/Finisterre (2018/5)
#4
I walked the Salvador / Primitivo in May 2018 in 14 days. I was 48 at the time.
I would recommend walking the Salvador in 5 days and likely staying a night in Poladura.
I would walk the Primitivo in 11-12 days next time.
There are places to stay but you may be the only pilgrim in the albergue in September.
I was not comfortable with that so I stayed in Hotels in Pola de Gordon and Pola de Lena.
I stayed in the albergue in Pajares with 4 other pilgrims. I met a total of 5 pilgrims in 4 days.
One was a single female pilgrim from Romania.

The scenery is absolutely spectacular and you will feel fit and a sense of accomplishment when you are finished.

I would definitely call the remote albergues in Poladura and Pajares in advance if you want a meal when you arrive the next night.

Be sure to get your Salvador Passport at albergue of the Benedictinas Carabajos which is in Leon located beside the Hotel Monastica Pax. Also be sure to get your "Salvadorana" - certificate at the albergue in Oviedo.
It is a bid hard to find the albergue and you have go through a locked gate to find your way in. The Salvadorana is a very pretty certificate and it gets you into the Cathedral in Oviedo for free. I found this out when I went to pay. Oviedo is a good place for a rest day if you need as it is quite beautiful.

A local hiker named Ender is the expert of the Salvador and he has a free downloadable guide on the CSJ web page.

I wrote out some notes last year when I completed the Salvador and I tried to attach the word document but this website didn't like the extension so I have cut and pasted it below.


Best of luck

J. Tazzeo

Day 1 – Leon to La Pola de Gordon

Rainy day but mild and rain was on and off. The walk was along the east side of the river up and down hills. Quite nice. I was thinking of staying in La Robla but it was very dirty and industrial and no where nice to stay. I went on to La Pola de Gordon and stayed at the Hotel Valle de Gordon, which was utilitarian but clean. I ate supper at a nice little restaurant called Meson de Miguel and they made me a very nice and large ensalata mixta.



Day 2 – La Pola de Gordon to Pajares – This was a very long and mountainous day going over 2 mountain passes which were very beautiful, difficult but not severe. The town of Buiza is very small and there may be a small Casa Rural there. The Municipal Albergue is unlikely to have anyone else sleeping in it than yourself.

Poladura de la Tercia is a very small town between the two mountain ranges and I would consider staying there next time to better enjoy the mountains. Need to book in advance to arrange a meal. Poladura is a very small town and would be very quiet. Best not to arrive too early. Also need to bring lunch food as no stores, etc…

I stayed in Pajares in the Municipal Albergue. It was not terribly clean and the bed covers were built-on and never changed. I would definitely need a bed sheet here if I stayed again. Would also need to call early in the day to get a meal reserved. Next time I would stay in the casa rural on the other side of town (Posada Real de PPajares) or bypass the town in general and stay in or just go through San Miguel del Rio (Casa Guela). There is an option to do so at the top of the hill prior to Pajares.



Day 3 – Pajares to Pola de Lena - This was a very long and difficult morning as I had no water and there was nothing I could buy in Pajares prior to walking. It was a very beautiful walk. I got lost twice. First in Puene de los Fierros. The trail keeps going to the left prior to where the bridge crosses the river to the highway. Second was just prior to entering Campomanes, I’m not sure where I got lost but had to cut through farmers fields above the highway. The walk was very beautiful and one of the nicest I had. I stayed in Hotel Ruta De La Plata, which was clean and nice. I had a very nice dinner in the Plaza del Mercado.



Day 4 – Pola de Lena to Oviedo – This was a long but very nice walk along the river. Mieres del Camino had a very nice square and seemed like a nice place to stay. There was a nice hotel on the far side of town. The walk into Oviedo is very nice. The Compostella is obtained at the Albergue. With your compostella you get into the Cathedral for free.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2014,2016),Primitivo (2015), San Salvador (2017), Norte (2018), Ingles (2018)
#6
Thank you Phil, I thought the Salvador was tougher ? with more up and downs and really narrow paths ?
(I think once I do the Salvador i will have walked into shape for the remainder, I am planning on 5 days here)
I know the Salvador is thought to be tougher. My opinion is it is not. It IS more remote though. And you are in relatively high country so the weather can be an issue. But pure physicality I think the primitivo has more ups and downs. Yes there are narrow and high paths but I always felt safe. And it is stunning. I hope you do it. But it is your call!
 

Tazz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Finisterre (2016/5)
San Salvador/Primitivo (2017/5)
Frances/Finisterre (2018/5)
#7
Thank you Tazz, that is very helpfull. How far was the 1st day ?
My distances were 38, 32, 27, 35 kms
Day 1 was long but just a gentle up hill
Day 4 was downhill for the most part

JIT
 
#8
Was planning on doing the Salvador-primitivo-Muxia starting sept. 21st but due for different reasons I never got any trainong done and I would be kidding myself if I thought that was going to change much in the next couple of weeks.

I have done the CP & parts og CF incl SJPDP to Roncevalles before, but at a slightly fitter time of my life (though walking with an injury so I know pain). I am therefore not getting into this unknowingly, but I am now having second thoughts. Will it be too much for this previously fit almost 50 yr old gal or will it be fine as ling as I take it slow?

Had I gone on CF I would not have worried as there are many places to stay, but from what I read especially the on Salvador they are few and far between.

KNowing that there is really no way for you to answer I still feel compelled to ask: will it be mostly ok or is it madness ?

I am planning the Salvador itinerary with the 15 km 3rd day and thougt the fuss about the walk to Roncevalles was a bit exaggerated
Hi, Pieces, wow, hasn’t it been years since you were here last? So good to see you again. I think you can do the Salvador, especially if you take it slow. More importantly, I think you will love it! The best guide, IMO, is the one done by Ender, a retired miner who single handedly brought the Salvador out of oblivion. His guide will show you suggested stages for short or long walks. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B61VvtkuNOwEMXpaM280YWtTTXM/view?pref=2&pli=1

And there was recently a post by older pilgrims who reported total success with a short stage Salvador. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/older-pilgrims-on-the-salvador.50729/

Go for it! Buen camino, and welcome back to the forum, Laurie
 

Pieces

Veteran Member
#9
Thank you Phil & Tazz :)

I was planning on 5 days if possible to have time for evertything, that would be preferred.

Hi Laurie, and thank you. Yes it has been a while but now I am good to go again :)

Actually the Primotive was always my first camino of choice but spend years on the injury I got training first time round, so am hoping 3rd time is lucky.

Good to see you too :)
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
#10
My distances were 38, 32, 27, 35 kms
Day 1 was long but just a gentle up hill
Day 4 was downhill for the most part

JIT
Hi Tazz - some great tips there, thank you. I'm going sep. 18th from León, I'm 61 with aches and pains but keep myself fit - do you think walking sticks/poles are essential on the Salvador and Primitivo? I'm not a fan but hear contradictory info. and when needs must. LLN Keith
 

MKalcolm M

Solvitur ambulando - It is solved by walking
Camino(s) past & future
north route spring 2013
#11
I walked the Salvador last year, at the age of 58, carrying far too much body weight and as unfit as a jelly doughnut. I loved it. There was only one stretch which I wheezed and puffed up, which was the long hot climb from La Buiza, but I just stopped regularly to get my breath back and enjoy the views. I did it in 6 days. Just pace yourself, walk in a relaxed manor and take time off to rest and appreciate the scenery. You will be fine. I wrote it up, and there is a thread here on the forum about it.

Richard Keith, to answer your question, I have always walked the camino (four different ones now) with one wooden staff, which I find best for me. There are some very steep descents on the Salvador, which people who have dodgy knees find difficult without poles.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
#12
I walked the Salvador last year, at the age of 58, carrying far too much body weight and as unfit as a jelly doughnut. I loved it. There was only one stretch which I wheezed and puffed up, which was the long hot climb from La Buiza, but I just stopped regularly to get my breath back and enjoy the views. I did it in 6 days. Just pace yourself, walk in a relaxed manor and take time off to rest and appreciate the scenery. You will be fine. I wrote it up, and there is a thread here on the forum about it.

Richard Keith, to answer your question, I have always walked the camino (four different ones now) with one wooden staff, which I find best for me. There are some very steep descents on the Salvador, which people who have dodgy knees find difficult without poles.
Thanks MKalcom M - I have a few dodgy things too, and will take your good advice and get a walking stick. I've noticed that I can't see my feet these days, when I stand up, so will take my time and enjoy, and hopefully lose a few k's along the way ;)
 

Tazz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Finisterre (2016/5)
San Salvador/Primitivo (2017/5)
Frances/Finisterre (2018/5)
#13
I would certainly take a hiking stick or poles. I prefer poles as I feel more balanced with them. They help on the ups and downs and keep a pace on flats. My knees and the tips of my toes get quite sore on the down hills without them.

Similar to other members, I would do the Salvador in 5 or even 6 days next time. 4 was a hard push and I did that only because I needed to meet my daughter on a specific day. Consider breaking the mountains into two days and spend a night in Poladura de la Tercia. One could have a short easy day out of Leon (10-15k) and then stay in La Pola de Gordon then Poladura after that. Just remember to book your evening meal at the Casa Rural in Poladura and also bring some lunch / snacks.

I live in rural mid-Ontario, Canada and I found the mountains on the Salvador to be as beautiful as anything I have seen here.

Regarding the Primitvo it is simply a longer version of the Salvador with slightly more rounded mountains and more infrastructure. The Salvador crosses the mountains in a northward direction, whereas the Primitivo is southwest. Try to get to Oviedo and Lugo early in the afternoon as they are very beautiful small cities.
Don't get to caught up in the debate of taking the high road (Hospital) versus the valley route (Pola D'allende)
The somewhat gentle, 8 km ascent back up the mountain after Pola D'allende is through a quiet forest and is very beautiful.

Be prepared for a little culture shock starting in Melide when you join the masses of Frances pilgrims

I hope you enjoy your walk as much as I and other contributors have. Try not to let out the secret.

Jamie
 
#14
Don't get to caught up in the debate of taking the high road (Hospital) versus the valley route (Pola D'allende)
The somewhat gentle, 8 km ascent back up the mountain after Pola D'allende is through a quiet forest and is very beautiful.
Totally agree! Though there are lots of ways in which you can obsess about the differences between the two alternatives, https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/hospitales-or-pola-de-allande.28334/ both are beautiful and both take you to the highest point, Puerto de Palo, where you will have those 360 degree views. The difference is that in Hospitales you get to walk along the ridge for a while. The ascent from Pola is generally gentle, till the end where it gets steep, and the total ascent from Pola to the pass is actually 200’ more ascent than the gentle ascent you do from after Borres up to the pass. That’s because from Borres to Pola there are 200 m of descent.

The perfect answer is to do one route one year and one another, but for those for whom that’s not practical, I’d agree with Jamie to say that both are very nice and you should make your choice based on your stages and your companions. The Hospitales route used to be very poorly marked, and pilgrims were warned away. Now, even in bad weather, I don’t think there is any danger, but I wouldn’t go alone in very bad fog. The markers are so close together now that with two of you it would be easy for one to stay at the marker and the other to go to the next one and then talk you to it. My impression is that on the ridge there is no spot where markers are out of voice range of each other, but I could be wrong.
 

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