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San Salvador

Wildflower1985

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Rota Vicentina 2022
San Salvador 2023
Greetings!

I am experienced hiker & am looking to hike the San Salvador in June 2023 but am uncertain if I should start or end my journey in Oviedo. Any insight or wisdom would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Greetings!

I am experienced hiker & am looking to hike the San Salvador in June 2023 but am uncertain if I should start or end my journey in Oviedo. Any insight or wisdom would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
It's traditional for Oviedo to be the end point of the Salvador route, but some people do walk it "backwards."

Are you going to walk just the Salvador or combine it with another route like the Primitivo?
 
Hmm , I just went north from Leon to Oviedo and yes 1 day there is a great view from the top but much work for 1 day. I’m glad I did it , I felt I accomplished something I wanted to do, I met a great friend, but please realize it’s many days of grinding. Which is worth while in itself if you’re so inclined.
 
Greetings!

I am experienced hiker & am looking to hike the San Salvador in June 2023 but am uncertain if I should start or end my journey in Oviedo. Any insight or wisdom would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
That excellent Guide Book "Tradition" has it that Pilgrims would walk north from Leon on the Camino Frances to visit the Holy relics held in Oviedo's Cámara Santa and as @AJGuillaume states in this interesting thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...norte-with-a-dip-to-oviedo.60976/#post-723782
"Quien va a Santiago y no al Salvador, visita al criado y no al Señor". Which means "if you go to Santiago but not to the Saviour (Oviedo's cathedral is known as El Salvador), you'll visit the servant and not the Lord".
Whether said Pilgrims then continued to Santiago along the Primitive or Norte or scuttled back to Leon for another round of Tapa in the Barrio Húmedo isn't recorded. All three seem likely. I've walked both ways and have no preference though arriving in Oviedo and collecting the great sello from the Cathedral and claiming the Salvadorana (and free entry to the Cathedral ;)) has "right and proper" feel to it.

You will find a wealth of information and discussion here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/forums/camino-del-salvador-leon-oviedo.54/
 
Agree with @Tincatinker, the traditional/historical pilgrim route was from Leon to Oviedo as pilgrims walked through the mountains to see the Holy Shroud of Oviedo.

Plus when you get to the cathedral in Oviedo, you get the Salvadoranna and free entry to the cathedral (only for those doing/having completed the Salvador! Not if you do the other caminos).
 
How to avoid failure "be prepared"
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
I just finished the San Salvador, September 15-20th (I took short stages). Be aware that between Poladura and Pajares some of the markers were laying on the ground, I had quite a time in a meadow, trying to figure out what direction the arrow (rebar with shell) was pointing. I finally took a chance and walked the heaviest cow trail (through manure piles) down an overgrown path to a dirt road that lead UP (huge hills) to Pajares. I was a little ignorant, in that I wasn't aware that you don't walk ridge lines (like the AT), but UP and DOWN (repeat). It rained 4 days of the 5 I walked, so the views were obstructed and the fog dense. Would I do it again? No. Am I proud to have done it? Yes. I would have to say it was one of the most difficult because of lack of support and the absence of pilgrims. Oviedo cathedral is so beautiful.

In retrospect, I would have taken the path to Sta. Martin instead of going to Pajares, and should have stayed at Llanos de Someron instead, (you have a choice to go to Sta. Marina or Pajares after Poladura). I heard that the path down to Sta.Marina was better marked and not as overgrown).
 
Go south to north, I never knew there were people who did the opposite. When we did it in September we saw maybe 3 other pilgrims on the entire route, so do check ahead for availability, especially now we're out of season. Take water and food to last the day, and at one point food to last the night too.
 
It's traditional for Oviedo to be the end point of the Salvador route, but some people do walk it "backwards."

Are you going to walk just the Salvador or combine it with another route like the Primitivo?
Hi Trecile, I will only be walking the San Salvador. Thank you for your insight, I appreciate it.
 
Agree with @Tincatinker, the traditional/historical pilgrim route was from Leon to Oviedo as pilgrims walked through the mountains to see the Holy Shroud of Oviedo.

Plus when you get to the cathedral in Oviedo, you get the Salvadoranna and free entry to the cathedral (only for those doing/having completed the Salvador! Not if you do the other caminos).
Thank you LavanyaLea for your insight!
 
Agree with @Tincatinker, the traditional/historical pilgrim route was from Leon to Oviedo as pilgrims walked through the mountains to see the Holy Shroud of Oviedo.

Plus when you get to the cathedral in Oviedo, you get the Salvadoranna and free entry to the cathedral (only for those doing/having completed the Salvador! Not if you do the other caminos).
Plus free entry to the Cathedral museum (and it is truly very impressive!).
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
That excellent Guide Book "Tradition" has it that Pilgrims would walk north from Leon on the Camino Frances to visit the Holy relics held in Oviedo's Cámara Santa and as @AJGuillaume states in this interesting thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...norte-with-a-dip-to-oviedo.60976/#post-723782
"Quien va a Santiago y no al Salvador, visita al criado y no al Señor". Which means "if you go to Santiago but not to the Saviour (Oviedo's cathedral is known as El Salvador), you'll visit the servant and not the Lord".
Whether said Pilgrims then continued to Santiago along the Primitive or Norte or scuttled back to Leon for another round of Tapa in the Barrio Húmedo isn't recorded. All three seem likely. I've walked both ways and have no preference though arriving in Oviedo and collecting the great sello from the Cathedral and claiming the Salvadorana (and free entry to the Cathedral ;)) has "right and proper" feel to it.

You will find a wealth of information and discussion here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/forums/camino-del-salvador-leon-oviedo.54/
Wonderful information, thank you Tincatinker!
 
Greetings!

I am experienced hiker & am looking to hike the San Salvador in June 2023 but am uncertain if I should start or end my journey in Oviedo. Any insight or wisdom would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Congratulations on a great Camino selection pick especially if you are an experienced hiker. I did it this year from Leon to Oviedo but was thinking while doing it that one could do it reverse and that would work fine. With that said, I think the best way for me is northbound- ending in Oviedo. There are a few reasons for this.

1. The markings are in that direction. Sure there are probably ways with today’s technology to do it backwards without getting lost. But even with the excellent markings going northbound, I managed to get lost twice. I did it in May and slept outside twice and it was cold. I think June is perfect. There are times when you are really in remote areas. Getting lost is not a major deal as you are usually close to a water source, the temps in June should be ok for spending a night outside and in Spain’s back woods there are no predatory animals that I know of. Nevertheless it is better for me to have the signs facing me.

2. Historically/traditionally Oviedo is considered a special place as it is the beginning of the first of Spain’s many Camino according to many sources. There is something about ending the hike in the cathedral area of Oviedo that just feels like the end of a goal. They also give you a certificate at the cathedral in Oviedo for completing the hike that resembles that of the “compostela” that you’d get upon completion in Santiago de Compostela. You get a free pass to get a guided tour of the church as further recognition of completing your hike. In Oviedo, you would have the option to continue on similar hiking terrain at an official starting point of the Camino Primitivo. Or take an extra day as I did and continue to walk to the coastal city of Gijon and have the water as your finishing point.

3. While going northbound is still a solitary Camino in general, you will most likely meet a few other pilgrims going your way. If you head south to Leon, you will have most likely zero chance of seeing the same pilgrim twice. I like solitary caminos but there is something about having the opportunity to get to know a few pilgrims in the same town at night or in an albergue that have the same goal.

4. I am sure that you could get a credential another way and start in Oviedo but in Leon it’s easier to get that credential. There’s something cool in standing at that point in Leon which is considered the start of the Camino and see the arrows that show one to Santiago and the other to Oviedo with the mileage in kilometers.
 
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I just finished the San Salvador, September 15-20th (I took short stages). Be aware that between Poladura and Pajares some of the markers were laying on the ground, I had quite a time in a meadow, trying to figure out what direction the arrow (rebar with shell) was pointing. I finally took a chance and walked the heaviest cow trail (through manure piles) down an overgrown path to a dirt road that lead UP (huge hills) to Pajares. I was a little ignorant, in that I wasn't aware that you don't walk ridge lines (like the AT), but UP and DOWN (repeat). It rained 4 days of the 5 I walked, so the views were obstructed and the fog dense. Would I do it again? No. Am I proud to have done it? Yes. I would have to say it was one of the most difficult because of lack of support and the absence of pilgrims. Oviedo cathedral is so beautiful.

In retrospect, I would have taken the path to Sta. Martin instead of going to Pajares, and should have stayed at Llanos de Someron instead, (you have a choice to go to Sta. Marina or Pajares after Poladura). I heard that the path down to Sta.Marina was better marked and not as overgrown).
I agree about taking the path to Sta. Martin.... and I should have taken the road-way after Pajares as well. I was very fortunate that a young pilgrim ahead of me knew I was coming and waited 10 minutes or so for me to catch up so that he could stand between me and the *very, very* agressive dog in the low valley. Not knowing there was another person about 15 minutes behind us, we heard about how he barely managed to avoid being mauled, had to jump in a swampy ditch and hide behind bracken, waiting for the dog to go back to his cattle.
Did stay in Llanos and that was really lovely.
Feel like I ought to have stayed in Buiza rather than push on to Poladura on the day that I made that choice, but I had left La Robla before shops were open and there was no food in Buiza. Turned out there was no food in Poladura that night either -- the Casa Rural was closed that day... So the following day was even more difficult into Pajares on very few calories.
I do not know if it would be more difficult to climb *up* from Campomanes toward Llanos, but those last 500 metres or so into Campomanes were terrifying. I was grateful there had not been rain in days.
 
In retrospect, I would have taken the path to Sta. Martin instead of going to Pajares, and should have stayed at Llanos de Someron instead

I was very fortunate that a young pilgrim ahead of me knew I was coming and waited 10 minutes or so for me to catch up so that he could stand between me and the *very, very* agressive dog in the low valley.
At Puerto de Pajares, the path splits into 2: San Miguel del Rio or Pajares. Even if your destination is Llanos del Someron, you can still go via Pajares. There have been too many reports about aggressive dogs with spikes collar and pilgrim getting bitten by dog on the San Miguel path that I think the Pajares route is the better of the 2. Yes the path is a little overgrown in places, but you can still pass, muddy in the forested area, but you’ll find similar paths in many other sections of this Camino.


Turned out there was no food in Poladura that night either -- the Casa Rural was closed that day
No shop/food in Buiza, only in Pola de Gordon. I saw on Ender’s FB Salvador group his suggestion if Posada del Embrujo is closed when you’re in Poladura: take taxi to Villamanín and dine at Casa Ezequiel. There’s also a supermarket in Villamanin if a pilgrim decides to venture out that way! He gave the same taxi number as what my hospitalera gave:

Taxi Sonia +34 605 998 059 (responds to WhatsApp). She’s based in Rodiezmo de la Tercia which is one of the villages you see as you’re coming down from the mountain after Buiza.

I do not know if it would be more difficult to climb *up* from Campomanes toward Llanos, but those last 500 metres or so into Campomanes were terrifying.
Yes, interesting point. But in much the same way, all the “steep” ascents would be steep descents… I think doing the Munistiriu alternative in reverse one will have to be very careful on the scrambly bit where a rope was provided.
 
That excellent Guide Book "Tradition" has it that Pilgrims would walk north from Leon on the Camino Frances to visit the Holy relics held in Oviedo's Cámara Santa and as @AJGuillaume states in this interesting thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...norte-with-a-dip-to-oviedo.60976/#post-723782
"Quien va a Santiago y no al Salvador, visita al criado y no al Señor". Which means "if you go to Santiago but not to the Saviour (Oviedo's cathedral is known as El Salvador), you'll visit the servant and not the Lord".
Whether said Pilgrims then continued to Santiago along the Primitive or Norte or scuttled back to Leon for another round of Tapa in the Barrio Húmedo isn't recorded. All three seem likely. I've walked both ways and have no preference though arriving in Oviedo and collecting the great sello from the Cathedral and claiming the Salvadorana (and free entry to the Cathedral ;)) has "right and proper" feel to it.

You will find a wealth of information and discussion here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/forums/camino-del-salvador-leon-oviedo.54/
I’m not one who is big on getting the paper work, but it is something that seems right to go into the cathedral and get counted. I like having that paper too; it added to my satisfaction of having completed a journey of six days (in my case) and having nobody to celebrate it with except Woody Allen’s statue in the city streets of Oviedo.
 
Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk. Discount is taken at check out, only by using this link.
I’m not one who is big on getting the paper work, but it is something that seems right to go into the cathedral and get counted. I like having that paper too; it added to my satisfaction of having completed a journey of six days (in my case) and having nobody to celebrate it with except Woody Allen’s statue in the city streets of Oviedo.
A31B21B2-A4EC-4513-A77A-E26314A3C2DF.jpeg
 

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At Puerto de Pajares, the path splits into 2: San Miguel del Rio or Pajares. Even if your destination is Llanos del Someron, you can still go via Pajares. There have been too many reports about aggressive dogs with spikes collar and pilgrim getting bitten by dog on the San Miguel path that I think the Pajares route is the better of the 2.
Yes, this is the route I was referring to, but it is also possible to stay more on the road, and I might even prefer that if I were to do it again.

“No shop/food in Buiza, only in Pola de Gordon.”

I did not mean to imply that there ought to have been food in Buiza (though my guide did indicate a bar). What I wrote was that I left La Robla too early to pick up food along the way — as in: before arriving to Buiza where there was also no opportunity.

The idea for a taxi to Villamanin might be useful for someone who could convince others to go with them.

And yes, of course all descents and ascents would be in reverse on a reverse walk, but that one descent into Campomanes struck me as among the worst I have ever done anywhere, and so I thought it worth mentioning.

That is all.
 
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Greetings!

I am experienced hiker & am looking to hike the San Salvador in June 2023 but am uncertain if I should start or end my journey in Oviedo. Any insight or wisdom would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
I'm also planning on hiking the San Salvador in June 23, but I'll be starting in Madrid, so I'll be walking north on the San Salvador (Camino Madrid to Camino Frances to Camino San Salvador to Camino Primitivo to Santiago). I expect I'll be on the San Salvador in the second half of June, so depending on when you are planning on being there we might run into each other.
 
I'm also planning on hiking the San Salvador in June 23, but I'll be starting in Madrid, so I'll be walking north on the San Salvador (Camino Madrid to Camino Frances to Camino San Salvador to Camino Primitivo to Santiago). I expect I'll be on the San Salvador in the second half of June, so depending on when you are planning on being there we might run into each other.
The classic triple! (With some CF thrown in.) Buen camino amigo.
 
I'm also planning on hiking the San Salvador in June 23, but I'll be starting in Madrid, so I'll be walking north on the San Salvador (Camino Madrid to Camino Frances to Camino San Salvador to Camino Primitivo to Santiago). I expect I'll be on the San Salvador in the second half of June, so depending on when you are planning on being there we might run into each other.
Sounds like quite the trek! Sounds like a plan David -- buen camino!
 
2 Camino guides, €5 each
Clearing out some books before my move to the new office in a few weeks.
It was difficult for me too. I was surprised that right away, five kilometers from Leon, it gives you a glimpse of it- that this is not the meseta anymore. If I had the rain that you did it would have been rough. I did it on a whim without researching it much that it surprised me how all of the days were fairly difficult at least. I like solitude and the views were the best that I’ve seen on a Camino. The trail is well-marked but there were some key signs that I missed, in part, due to them being knocked over. I got lost on days one and two but it was mostly due to me spacing out. I would recommend this trail to any seasoned hiker and I plan on doing this one again. Here are some fotos of my favorite day- I think day 3 or 4 after getting lost. It was fun for me getting lost because the weather was so great and the river was still always near so I never felt too far from the trail. It becomes wide open.
 

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