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Wise Pilgrim guide to the Primitivo

Ian Afloat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF July 25th 2017 from SJPDP
Have been sat here in Lugo since Wednesday night giving the plates a bit of a rest and contemplating the Primitivo so far. Heading towards the madness of the last 50km of the Frances tomorrow.
I have been carrying with me and using the latest (2019) edition of the Wise Pilgrim guide. Despite it getting repeatedly soaked with sweat and rain, I’m glad to say that it is surviving well, although I doubt it would get much if I were to put it on eBay.
Having said that, I have 2 problems with the guide. Firstly it is out of date already. Things seem to be moving pretty quickly on the Primitivo at the moment and, understandably, progress or otherwise has overtaken the guide. The area around Bodenaya is a prime example. According to the guide, once you leave Salas you’re first option is David & Celia’s in Bodenaya itself (stay there if you can!) but I passed 2 other options within about 2km of getting to Bodenaya. Vilar de Cas is another example which springs to mind where the guidebook does not reflect the reality.
The second problem I have is with the description of the going. A prime example of this is the description of the route between Salas and Bodenaya. “There is a fair amount of climbing ahead of you”. That has to be the understatement of the century! The climb is often steep and apart from a few hundred metres where it follows a road, is relentless for around 5km with a total ascent of 560m.

It’s not all bad of course. There is some good background to the history and culture of Asturias, Galicia and the towns along the Camino which I always enjoy reading, and the writing style is very readable. It is a small, compact tome which in the scheme of things is of negligible weight and is very pocketable. And it is this which I think is its saving grace. In combination with one of the apps which is available or Gronze, it makes a good guide...and it isn’t prone to internet failures or lack of service, so even if it isn’t totally up to date, you still get a good picture of most of what is available.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
I bought the App and found it useful in conjunction with the wonderful free guide on the forum. Even the App is not quite up to date with the latest developments but I like the space for comments by other pilgrims. I guess that the Primitivo is developing so fast now in response to the increased number of pilgrims it is hard to keep up to date.


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