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LIVE from the Camino San Salvador day 1 and beyond

LTfit

Veteran Member
There is tons of information on the San Salvador and Primitivo (which I will walk too) but I thought I would post as all the municipal albergues are closed making private accommodations required. Also given the Covid occupancy restrictions, I have decided to reserve throughout, something I have never done. I'm usually a non-planner and decide as I go type of walker. And heck, since there are no pilgrims around to socialize with this gives me something to do 😉

Stage 1: León - Pola de Gordón 36,6 (according to Gronze)

Last night I stayed in the Albergue de Peregrinos (Carbajalas) which opened on June 1st. I arrived late from Madrid but the hospitalero told me that we were 5 pilgrims in total (for 3 hospitaleros!). I had a whole section to myself and all the top mattresses were removed. Due to Covid regulations there was no breakfast served and the dinning room with fridge and microwave was closed.

It was a chilly departure at 8c!
The only café I found open at 7 a.m. was La Peregrina across from Plaza San Marco following the Francés. Take advantage cause there are no other cafés open until Cascantes 22 km further on. I then backtracked a bit to follow the arrows for the Salvador. Not far after the cutoff I found an arrow on the left which indicated "el río" or river route. It's a dirt path which keeps you off the asphalt for a while. Eventually you join back. Do take this path.

Once off the tarmac one follows a lovely dirt path with lots of loose stones which meandered continually up and down through wooded areas but also look out points. Walking sticks recommended for those downhills. Quite lovely until Cascantes. More asphalt till La Robla (27 km) where many stay. Although the municipal is closed there are private accommodations.

There were no open cafés from La Robla till Pola de Gordón but as I had already stopped in Cascantes I walked straight to Pola de Gordón, following some road walking and some dirt paths. Temperature was by this time 18c.

All in all a good first day. I'm staying in Pension 15 de Mayo for €20 (single) and had lunch at Mesón Miguel which also has rooms for the same price.

I can't seem to upload any pictures. I keep getting message file too large. Strange never had a problem before.
Someone know if Ivar has changed setting?

I'll try again tomorrow.
 
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@LTfit : great that you started this live thread. I see you ended this first day with your average mileage ;)
Wonder if you will meet other pilgrims later on?

I just did a search for the pension and restaurant and they both look very decent.

Seeing this is not a crowded Camino path even in " normal times " I guess most locals are pretty relaxed when they see a pilgrim passing by, even in this stressful Covidtime ?

Enhorabuena!
 
Last edited:

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Good to read your report, so please keep the news and details coming!

I have often found that photos need resizing before I can upload to the forum. Perhaps your camera settings are different and your files are larger than before? I just crop or re-size them using the re-size option.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Woo hoo! @LTfit is on the loose!
This is a combo I hope to do, so I'll be eagerly reading your report from the road.
I can't seem to upload any pictures. I keep getting message file too large.
As @C clearly suggests, change the image file size on your camera settings, if it will let you. They need to be less than (I think) 5mb.
 
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I just upped the file limit for attachments.. It should now be well over any size of a normal image. Uploading one from the square today as a test. 6,5mb
View attachment 101758
I always take screenshots of any picture I post in order to "dumb it down" as they often would not load otherwise.
Does this new change you have made mean I will no longer have to do that?
 
Last edited:

Felice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Glad to hear that the Pension and Mason are still open after the troubles of covid. I stayed in the pension and eat at the Mason in mid May 2018, and everyone was so kind.
Are the wild flowers good this year? I loved the orchids I saw then and suspect you will be seeing even more now it is June.
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi guys,

Thanks for your good wishes! I made it to Pájares after completing the "etapa reina" or queens stage today. What can I say? It was fantastic through the mountains with blue skies all the way! I didn't even b*tch at myself during the long inclines and declines (which were really long!). Here and there it was difficult to find the arrows and often the path was overgrown but I only had to backtrack a short bit twice. On the way down to Pájares I did loose the arrows as a herd of cows and 2 dogs were in the way. As Machado says "se hace el camino al andar".🤣 I never was too far off.

Now l'll start at the beginning. Left Pola de Gordón at 6.30. As it is Saturday no bar would be open until 8.00 though I was told that the Gasolinera on the way to Buiza opens at 7:00. As it was a bit before and all was dark at the gas station, I carried on till Poladura 15 km on. The incline after Buiza (5 km after Pola de Gordón) certainly got my heart pumping but the landscape was worth all the effort. By the way the municipal in Buiza looked nice but closed.

No pilgrims in sight. In Poladura I found my first café con leche in a Posada. The owner told me that he has been completo the last few days and has had 60 pilgrims this past week! Also expecting a full house tonight. So you see it really depends on the stages you choose.

Poladura to Puerto de Pájares was outstanding. Up there (or more spectacular) than the Hospitales route on the Primitivo. Pure mountains. I stopped at the bar in Puerto de Pájares and meet 3 Spanish peregrinos that had left this morning from Poladura. They're walking the Salvador in 5 days (me 4) so I most likely won't see them again. Who knows, maybe on the Primitivo which they will also walk.

I'm staying at a Pensión in Pájares. At €30 for a private room it's above my budget. Their crema de verduras and ensalada were delicious though. I needed to order the meal in advance as Pájares has no stores and I'm vegan.

Let's see if I can upload some pictures today.

I think these 2 videos give a better picture of the scenery.


View attachment VID_20210605_105800.mp4

View attachment VID_20210605_092818.mp4

Thanks @ivar your changes worked!
 

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mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
LTfit,
Great shots. Your photo in silhouette against the slope could make a perfect cover for your blog.
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
Glad to hear that the Pension and Mason are still open after the troubles of covid. I stayed in the pension and eat at the Mason in mid May 2018, and everyone was so kind.
Are the wild flowers good this year? I loved the orchids I saw then and suspect you will be seeing even more now it is June.
Some wildflowers along the way and lots of lavender but orchids? 🤔
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
And for those interested in the rooms in Pola de Gordón and Pájares (both luxurious to a peregrina who normally stays in munis.)

Pola de Gordón
View attachment 101864

Pájares

View attachment 101866

This is the Posada in Poladura which seems to be a favorite now that the municipal there is closed.

View attachment 101867

View attachment 101868
Wonderful photos
we were the only ones staying in Poladura and sat in this garden for hours
The proprietor asked me what drink I’d like….a small whiskey…..she then gave me the BOTTLE and off she went!!
The best evening meal and breakfast we’ve ever had on a Camino
 

Felice

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
Yes, orchids. Pink ones and lovely yellow ones on the way up from Poladura. Also delicate narcissi-like flowers. Either they have already finished or not yet started to flower. It's been an odd year, weather wise, so far.
 
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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Isn
Hi guys,

Thanks for your good wishes! I made it to Pájares after completing the "etapa reina" or queens stage today. What can I say? It was fantastic through the mountains with blue skies all the way! I didn't even b*tch at myself during the long inclines and declines (which were really long!). Here and there it was difficult to find the arrows and often the path was overgrown but I only had to backtrack a short bit twice. On the way down to Pájares I did loose the arrows as a herd of cows and 2 dogs were in the way. As Machado says "se hace el camino al andar".🤣 I never was too far off.

Now l'll start at the beginning. Left Pola de Gordón at 6.30. As it is Saturday no bar would be open until 8.00 though I was told that the Gasolinera on the way to Buiza opens at 7:00. As it was a bit before and all was dark at the gas station, I carried on till Poladura 15 km on. The incline after Buiza (5 km after Pola de Gordón) certainly got my heart pumping but the landscape was worth all the effort. By the way the municipal in Buiza looked nice but closed.

No pilgrims in sight. In Poladura I found my first café con leche in a Posada. The owner told me that he has been completo the last few days and has had 60 pilgrims this past week! Also expecting a full house tonight. So you see it really depends on the stages you choose.

Poladura to Puerto de Pájares was outstanding. Up there (or more spectacular) than the Hospitales route on the Primitivo. Pure mountains. I stopped at the bar in Puerto de Pájares and meet 3 Spanish peregrinos that had left this morning from Poladura. They're walking the Salvador in 5 days (me 4) so I most likely won't see them again. Who knows, maybe on the Primitivo which they will also walk.

I'm staying at a Pensión in Pájares. At €30 for a private room it's above my budget. Their crema de verduras and ensalada were delicious though. I needed to order the meal in advance as Pájares has no stores and I'm vegan.

Let's see if I can upload some pictures today.

View attachment 101847

View attachment 101849

View attachment 101851

View attachment 101850


View attachment 101848

I think these 2 videos give a better picture of the scenery.


View attachment 101845

View attachment 101842

Thanks @ivar your changes worked!
T
And for those interested in the rooms in Pola de Gordón and Pájares (both luxurious to a peregrina who normally stays in munis.)

Pola de Gordón
View attachment 101864

Pájares

View attachment 101866

This is the Posada in Poladura which seems to be a favorite now that the municipal there is closed.

View attachment 101867

View attachment 101868
We stayed there too 3 years ago. Wasn't it fabulous up there in the mountains? We too had amazing weather and an abundance of flowers. I was truly in heaven.
 
Last edited:

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
There is tons of information on the San Salvador and Primitivo (which I will walk too) but I thought I would post as all the municipal albergues are closed making private accommodations required. Also given the Covid occupancy restrictions, I have decided to reserve throughout, something I have never done. I'm usually a non-planner and decide as I go type of walker. And heck, since there are no pilgrims around to socialize with this gives me something to do 😉

Stage 1: León - Pola de Gordón 36,6 (according to Gronze)

Last night I stayed in the Albergue de Peregrinos (Carbajalas) which opened on June 1st. I arrived late from Madrid but the hospitalero told me that we were 5 pilgrims in total (for 3 hospitaleros!). I had a whole section to myself and all the top mattresses were removed. Due to Covid regulations there was no breakfast served and the dinning room with fridge and microwave was closed.

It was a chilly departure at 8c!
The only café I found open at 7 a.m. was La Peregrina across from Plaza San Marco following the Francés. Take advantage cause there are no other cafés open until Cascantes 22 km further on. I then backtracked a bit to follow the arrows for the Salvador. Not far after the cutoff I found an arrow on the left which indicated "el río" or river route. It's a dirt path which keeps you off the asphalt for a while. Eventually you join back. Do take this path.

Once off the tarmac one follows a lovely dirt path with lots of loose stones which meandered continually up and down through wooded areas but also look out points. Walking sticks recommended for those downhills. Quite lovely until Cascantes. More asphalt till La Robla (27 km) where many stay. Although the municipal is closed there are private accommodations.

There were no open cafés from La Robla till Pola de Gordón but as I had already stopped in Cascantes I walked straight to Pola de Gordón, following some road walking and some dirt paths. Temperature was by this time 18c.

All in all a good first day. I'm staying in Pension 15 de Mayo for €20 (single) and had lunch at Mesón Miguel which also has rooms for the same price.

I can't seem to upload any pictures. I keep getting message file too large. Strange never had a problem before.
Someone know if Ivar has changed setting?

I'll try again tomorrow.
Did you walk through Cabanillas? Last time I walked through, there were only 20 residents. That said, they had a pristine Albergue. No tienda or bar but very welcoming people.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
1341
So lovely to see your posts. It is indeed a magnificent camino, although I chickened out on the very best day, but that is water under the bridge now. So the Poladura de la Tercia albergue is closed? Only temporarily, or perhaps you do not know. I regret not having been able to benefit from your own albergue but life is life. Thanks once more for the postings. It will be a while till it is overrun. Hopefully!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
So lovely to see your posts. It is indeed a magnificent camino, although I chickened out on the very best day, but that is water under the bridge now. So the Poladura de la Tercia albergue is closed? Only temporarily, or perhaps you do not know. I regret not having been able to benefit from your own albergue but life is life. Thanks once more for the postings. It will be a while till it is overrun. Hopefully!
I assume that the municipals are only closed temporarily, given Covid restrictions.
Hopefully one day we will meet but not in Villares de Orbigo.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hmm Cabanillas? It does not ring a bell.
It’s about 10 km after you emerge from the river walk at Carbajal. I think there is a little church right on the camino, but as jpflavin says there isn’t much else there.

How was today? Did you go to Santa Cristina de Lena? (I don’t think you’re much of a pre-romanesque fan, but I’m hoping to see a picture!).
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Pájares - Pola de Lena 23,9 (Fitbit 25,3 got lost twice).
San Salvador day 3

There is an unwritten law, Lee's Law. Whenever I have a shorter stage I manage to make it longer. Today was one of those days although in km it doesn't look bad. It was. I got lost in the 'monte' for one hour between the hamlet Santa Marina and Llanos de Someron. I followed donkey paths winding way up in altitude and fighting bramble bushes as I went. Wrong. My fault entirely, I should of backtracked much sooner. I was even imagining a helicopter rescue. Really. I'm ok although scratched even through my legging and shirt. Maybe I learned a lesson. Or not😂.

The day started overcast and most of today's trail was in the forrest hence few pictures. By late morning the sun appeared. After about 17 km there was finally a town, Campomanes, with open bars. Oh a first coffee at 11:30 after walking 5 hours, (making a few wrong turns in addition to my excursion in the 'monte'). I even met a group of Spanish pilgrims but they are walking different stages and will stop tomorrow in Oviedo.

Tomorrow my last day on the Salvador then on to the Primitivo.

IMG_20210606_135628.jpg

IMG_20210606_135842.jpg

IMG_20210606_135915.jpg

For @peregrina2000 🙂
IMG_20210606_140013.jpg

As it is Sunday there were way too many people (around the other side) so didn't spend as much time there as I would have liked.

IMG_20210606_140036.jpg
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hmm Cabanillas? It does not ring a bell.
Small village about 17km's from Leon. Village before Cascantes.

I am now leaning towards a Madrid, San Salvador, Primitivo hike. They appear to be beautiful walks without snow. My first trip through these routes was a slog through the snow.
 
Last edited:

LTfit

Veteran Member
Small village about 17km's from Leon. Village before Cascantes.

I am now leaning towards a Madrid, San Salvador, Primitivo hike. They appear to be beautiful walks without snow. My first trip through these routes was a slog through the snow.
When I walked the Madrid my original idea was to continue on the Francés to León then walk the Salvador but news was that the weather was rainy and paths muddy so I stayed on the Francés. Now having walked the Salvador, I'm sure glad I didn't walk it back then. It's tough enough, I would hate to do it in inclement weather.
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
San Salvador day 4 & last
Pola de Lena - Oviedo 31 km

Today was overcast until Oviedo and mainly along the river, an urban like walk to Mieres then through a few rural villages and towns.
Oviedo is as beautiful as I remember it when I walked the Primitivo in 2019. The albergue is expecting at least 15 pilgrims so it would seem that I will have company when I start off tomorrow! Now off to visit the Cathedral, my Salvadoriana is already in the pocket.

A few members suggested that I use thumbnails instead to facilitate downloading do I listened😉

IMG_20210607_152603.jpg IMG_20210607_152532.jpg IMG_20210607_152454.jpg IMG_20210607_152433.jpg IMG_20210607_152330.jpg IMG_20210607_152312.jpg IMG_20210607_151959.jpg IMG_20210607_152130.jpg
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Oh your posts are making me very happy!! I'm planning to walk this route the first week of October on my way to serve as the hospitelera. I want to do it in memory of my husband who passed away in February. I did the Primitivo when my father died. I find the quiet mountain walks just help me work thru things so much better. I was supposed to walk it last year...but we all know what happened there. thanks so much for posting about the current status...although I'm sure things will change before I finally get over there at the end of September.
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
Oh your posts are making me very happy!! I'm planning to walk this route the first week of October on my way to serve as the hospitelera. I want to do it in memory of my husband who passed away in February. I did the Primitivo when my father died. I find the quiet mountain walks just help me work thru things so much better. I was supposed to walk it last year...but we all know what happened there. thanks so much for posting about the current status...although I'm sure things will change before I finally get over there at the end of September.
So sorry to hear @ksam. May your Camino happen and aid you during this difficult time💕

I do think that many more albergues will open up by then.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
And a note before I get ready to start the Primitivo. The Cathedral visit including audio and museum is free of charge to pilgrims who have completed the San Salvador. Show your credential, it will be stamped and you can get the special Salvadoriana. And you can come back later for the visit if you just arrived as I did, just keep your receipt and show at the entrance when you come back.

And the albergue de peregrinos only opens at 16.00.

Cheers guys!
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
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Ungawawa

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
I would love to follow in your footsteps next week. Just weighing it up...

Have you met many pilgrims on the Primitivo part yet? I wouldn't want to be alone.
 

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