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Timing an Olvidado-Salvador-Primitivo Route

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 13
Portuguese & Finisterre 16
Norte & Muxia 18
Olvidado&Salvador&Primitivo(20)
I'm planning my next camino adventure and the great work done by Ender, Laurie and others on the Olvidado and Salvador route guides has put these in my sights. My usual camino time frame is Sept - Oct. Given my estimation of trail days plus some time to enjoy things and take in local sights I'm thinking of starting at Aquilar de Campoo on the Olvidado. I would then join the Salvador where intersects and then the Primitivo from Oviedo. I'm wondering if I could start earlier than usual, say the third week of August on the Olvidado given the much smaller pilgrim numbers or are accomdations through that route busy with locals enjoying the August vacation season? I'm guessing by Sept the Salvador route should be thinning out a bit and the weather still good for the higher passes.
Thanks
Frank
 

peregrina2000

Administrator
Staff member
I'm planning my next camino adventure and the great work done by Ender, Laurie and others on the Olvidado and Salvador route guides has put these in my sights. My usual camino time frame is Sept - Oct. Given my estimation of trail days plus some time to enjoy things and take in local sights I'm thinking of starting at Aquilar de Campoo on the Olvidado. I would then join the Salvador where intersects and then the Primitivo from Oviedo. I'm wondering if I could start earlier than usual, say the third week of August on the Olvidado given the much smaller pilgrim numbers or are accomdations through that route busy with locals enjoying the August vacation season? I'm guessing by Sept the Salvador route should be thinning out a bit and the weather still good for the higher passes.
Thanks
Frank

Hi, FSP,
The Olvidado runs through some prime vacation territory (mainly the mountain stages), which won’t affect the numbers going into albergues, but will make it harder to get private accommodations in towns where there aren’t albergues. And August is also prime walking month for Spaniards, so I imagine that the Olvidado is going to start to see the same August crowds that the Salvador has had for the past several years. But I would not expect there to be a bed rush on the Olvidado for now.

If you’ve seen all the great posts by @MikeJS, he started in Bilbao, but he did exactly what you are proposing to do. You always have to make choices, of course, but cutting off the Olvidado in Buiza means you miss some of the Olvidado’s beautiful mountain walking. There’s plenty of gorgeous spots all along the Olvidado, and the two new mountain alternatives on the Olvidado are both before the “Salvador cut-off”, but you would miss the day out of POla de Gordón as well as the area around Fasgar, which are glorious days of walking. But of course, the Salvador from Buiza to Campomanes is really the jewel in the Salvador crown. So I would say that missing the first two Salvador days is far less of a loss than missing the rest of the Olvidado. As a repeat camino offender, I always try not to leave little beautiful bits that I am unlikely to go back to walk, so my own inclination would be to walk Olvidado/Invierno. And walk the Salvador/Primitivo as another combination another year. I throw that out there only if you haven’t thought about the Invierno, because it really is a great combination with the Olvidado. Not trying to tell you what to do, just give you more agonizing choices to make.

Any way you slice it, this is going to be a glorious walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 13
Portuguese & Finisterre 16
Norte & Muxia 18
Olvidado&Salvador&Primitivo(20)
Thank you for the sage advice. I'll be doing some more route studying and perhaps adjust to a Sept start. I had initially thought of the Invierno as a natural progression and the likelyhood it is about to get a whole lot busier in the coming years. I watched a well produced series on youtube of a couple that did the Invierno but what put me off was that the daily videos showed a surprising amount of asphalt walking.
Thanks again,
Frank
 

peregrina2000

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you for the sage advice. I'll be doing some more route studying and perhaps adjust to a Sept start. I had initially thought of the Invierno as a natural progression and the likelyhood it is about to get a whole lot busier in the coming years. I watched a well produced series on youtube of a couple that did the Invierno but what put me off was that the daily videos showed a surprising amount of asphalt walking.
Thanks again,
Frank
Hi, Frank,
I used to be painfully aware of every little stretch of asphalt walking, and I used to go to great lengths to avoid it, by walking on dirt paths along the side of the road or whatever options presented themselves. But my salvation has been a combination of silicone orthotics and trail runners. Asphalt is just not the problem it was when I was walking in boots or hiking shoes. So, this is a long way of saying that I know that others have complained about asphalt walking on the Invierno, but I have just not suffered, and I have not really noticed it. What I can tell you is that very very few kms of those asphalt stages are on busy roads. So that means that now that I don’t worry about asphalt so much, my memories are more of my surroundings than of what my feet are pounding. For instance, the walk from Torre Vilariño to the church at Diomondi is 100% asphalt, but there are absolutely no cars and it is restful and peaceful and tree-covered. If your feet aren’t complaining, there is nothing to complain about! All in all, the Invierno is a riot of rural Galicia, it is one of the most rural caminos there is.
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Having walked the Invierno (after the Sureste) and also the Olvidado (from Bilbao), San Salvador, Primitivo routes as you describe i would definitely walk ALL of the Olvidado and then the Inverno. That way you would see all of the magnificent stages of the Olvidado ( I missed the bit after Buiza a I headed onto the San Salvador - but plan to do that as part of another route) and the wonderful Invierno. I do not think there was lots of asphalt on the Invierno but then it never bothers me so I don’t tend to remember it. Listen to Peregrina2000 re timings as she is definitely an Olvidado camino angel!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 13
Portuguese & Finisterre 16
Norte & Muxia 18
Olvidado&Salvador&Primitivo(20)
Thanks Laurie and Mike. You two crank out some serious mileage. Mike, I did check out your postings of your Olv-Sal-Prim trek, very informative and thanks for putting together the stage and accommodation list. As Laurie suggested I checked out what the Olvidado offers after Buiza and it would be a shame to miss out on it. At that point I was thinking of just completing the full Olvidado then busing back to Leon to start the Salvador/Primitvo route. But, now after looking more into the Invierno it looks like it may provide a similar challenge to the high country hiking I was wanting out of the the Salvador/Primitvo. I may also beat the bigger crowds that are sure to come or the Xunta punting the path off to the side of some highway. At first I thought because of the proximity to the CF route it would just be the same landscape as the CF but less crowded. Not that there is anything wrong with the CF landscape and challenges. Am I correct in thinking that the Invierno is much different trek from the stretch of the CF it parallels? I take your point of boots vs shoes. I switched to Altra LonePeaks this year. So far just local hiking here on Vancouver Island but I really like the feel and weight. Thanks so much for all you advice and help.
Frank
 

peregrina2000

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Frank,
The Invierno doesn’t really have much in the way of high country hiking, if I understand what you mean by that. Nothing like the Salvador/Primitivo. The Invierno has the first day’s ascents up to the Castle of Cornatel and then up to As Médulas, there is a short but steep ascent after the crossing of the Miño at Belesar, some serious up and down between Quiroga and Chantada, and then the ascent to Monte de Faro. Maybe I am forgetting something else, but there is no real mountain terrain like there is on the Salvador.

There is a lot of pretty typical Galician landscape, but what is different from the Francés in Galicia are the long stretches along the Sil River, some of it is just gorgeous. If you want to stay higher, the Salvador/Primitivo is definitely superior in that regard. But if you read some of the Invierno threads here on the forum, you’ll see there are lots of us who really loved it. Not all, of course.

Buen camino, Larie
 
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MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
Thanks Laurie and Mike. You two crank out some serious mileage. Mike, I did check out your postings of your Olv-Sal-Prim trek, very informative and thanks for putting together the stage and accommodation list. As Laurie suggested I checked out what the Olvidado offers after Buiza and it would be a shame to miss out on it. At that point I was thinking of just completing the full Olvidado then busing back to Leon to start the Salvador/Primitvo route. But, now after looking more into the Invierno it looks like it may provide a similar challenge to the high country hiking I was wanting out of the the Salvador/Primitvo. I may also beat the bigger crowds that are sure to come or the Xunta punting the path off to the side of some highway. At first I thought because of the proximity to the CF route it would just be the same landscape as the CF but less crowded. Not that there is anything wrong with the CF landscape and challenges. Am I correct in thinking that the Invierno is much different trek from the stretch of the CF it parallels? I take your point of boots vs shoes. I switched to Altra LonePeaks this year. So far just local hiking here on Vancouver Island but I really like the feel and weight. Thanks so much for all you advice and help.
Frank
Having walked them all I think the Invierno offers a quieter route with some fabulous scenery and the SS and Primitivo offers some high trekking but the views can be very limited by low cloud/fog! I think the availability of places to stay and eat are better on the SS/Primitivo but then there will be far more people. As an aside I do all of my walking in Meindl hiking shoes.
P.S. I hope you enjoy looking after our ex royals!!
 
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