Camino San Salvador

April - May 2022
A short but fine adventure by Mick Read more
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  • 6days
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  • 2.1kkilometers
  • 1.1kkilometers
  • Day 1

    Leon to La Robla 27kms

    April 29, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 6 °C

    It seemed strange leaving Leon and turning north as everyone else was heading west.

    The walk out of the city was not through an industrial estate but was boring and hard on my feet.

    I set off at 08.15am which is late for me. I walked steadily along the road until 10am when I stopped at the first bar I found open for coffee and some toast.

    It was a surreal moment as this other Spanish pilgrim asked me if I was Michael Byrne in a thick Spanish accent. He had just booked the same pension tonight. We had breakfast together. The bar owner presented us both with a San Salvador neckerchief and a badge. I thought that today was supposed to be flat. I was wrong.

    I left my new pilgrim friend and set my own pace on the trail. It is BEAUTIFUL! I spent hours walking in old forests in the hills. The walking was hard but very rewarding.

    So far, I’ve seen four other pilgrims on this section. I stopped briefly after 17kms for a spot of lunch in a small village. There was a small fountain and some bench’s in the shade.

    The last 10kms were through small villages and road walking which I hate. I had a couple of close shaves with cars not moving out but it’s amazing to see how quick they move out when you leave the point of your walking pole sticking out near the side of their cars. 🥹

    I arrived in La Robla around 2.30pm a little footsore. I’ve booked a room in a pension over a bar in the town. The proprietor is lovely and has washed my clothes for free. (She’s certainly brave). She clearly cares for the pilgrims.

    I intend to have a few beers and relax. Tomorrow, the Camino weaves it’s way into the mountains. I may be offline for a few days….who knows?
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  • Day 2

    La Robla to Poldura de la Tercia 28kms

    April 30, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    I left the pension at 07.15am this morning. The first few hours were along the base of the valleys in the Cantabrian mountains. As in other similar mountains, roads, rivers and rail tracks all fight for the same space.

    I stopped briefly for second breakfast and carried on. It was not particularly interesting and included a lot of road walking.

    I reached a small town called Buiza around 11am. I took a short break and watched a young village kid playing war games. He was completely unaware that I was there. It was so funny. The interesting part was the short steep climb out to 1500m to the Alto Forcads pass(it means forks in the road). It was simply stunning.

    From there it was another 6-8kms with a detour downhill to my stop tonight. It is a small Albergue above what was a school.

    I’ve managed to book a meal in a nearby hostal. Tomorrow promises to be an equally tough but shorter day…we’ll see.

    There are a small band of us together. A Lithuanian kid, a French and Spanish guys and moi in the small Albergue tonight. There is also a Canadian couple staying in the hostal.

    I am using my night school Spanish to the max. I seem to be understood or maybe they’re just being polite.

    Anyway to the pictures….
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  • Day 3

    Poldura to Llanos de Someron 20kms

    May 1, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    I had a pleasant meal in a nearby Casa rural with four other peregrinos.
    I returned to the adjoining Albergue to find some lunatic in combats checking in. It was a little surreal but the night was uneventful. This morning, he got up, grunted and left without saying a word.
    I set off on the Camino just before dawn at 6.45am and as I left the village had a steep climb for the next hour or more to the famous Collado del Canto de la Tisa cross at almost 1600m. The view was amazing as the mountains were bathe in the morning sun.
    I crossed over the pass towards a small village. There were still patches of snow on the trail. Little did I know that most of the day would be spent descending to the valley floor.
    I joined a fellow peregrino Jacque and we walked together to the Puerto de Pajares 1378m. This pass separates the provinces of Leon and Asturias.
    Jacque and I walked short parts of the descents together until his knees caused him pain and he slowed down. I eventually got to the base of the valley and stopped under a tree in a small valley for a pilgrim lunch - bread, cheese and chorizo. Jacques joined me and we continued on our way until we reached a small hamlet called Santa Marie. We came across a small gathering outside a building that we quickly realised was a bar so we joined in on wetting a baby’s head ceremony. The last few kilometres took us along a dirt track to our Albergue for tonight.
    The Albergue is very modern and an oasis in these mountains for pilgrims.
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  • Day 4

    Llanos to Pola de Lena 20kms

    May 2, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

    Camino San Salvador

    Llanos to Pola De Lena 20kms

    Our little band of peregrinos settled into our fantastic Albergue last night. The hospilardos were incredible. Our simple evening meal was traditional Austrias white beans, chorizo and meat stew. We had a few glasses of wine and chatted about our other Caminos.

    Our dorm was warm and cosy. We all got a bottom bunk which is always a bonus.

    This morning, we all had breakfast at 8am. This was included in the price. We set off into the clouds. It was very chilly and we had to follow the road until it descended rapidly to the valley floor. What we didn’t know was that we had to climb back up around 1500ft on a trail through the woods. This was brutal but the views were worth it and we followed along the steep valley wall.
    The weather has only reached 13C. It’s ideal for walking. We were so lucky to cross the Cantabrian Mountains in fantastic weather.
    I came out of the hills via a very steep mud path down to a small village. My knees certainly felt it. Two alternative routes were offered to my final destination. Both we’re about 5kms long but one route was described as a short arduous climb to follow the river to Pola de Lena. The other was to walk the low lying road all the way. Whilst this is hard on your feet, you move quicker on the road. I’ve had enough of arduous today 😬 and walked the road.
    The Albergue is closed due to the pandemic so we have arrived to share twin rooms between us to keep costs down.
    Tomorrow may be my last day on this Camino as it is 32kms to Oviedo so I might just go for it.
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  • Day 5

    Pola de Lena to Oviedo 32kms

    May 3, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Walking app said 36kms which I believe.

    An early night ensured that our little band of peregrinos were up and ready for our long day.
    I had shared a twin room with my French peregrino Jacques.
    A great breakfast was included with our 18 euros each cost. We set off around 6.30am in the mizzle. There were a lot of confusing arrows but the locals put us on the right path.
    Today was a lot of asphalt walking. It is brutal on your feet.
    We followed the main river through the narrow valley and quickly got to a large town Mieres del Camino.
    We stopped briefly for second breakdast. The town are uninspiring as heavy industry dominates the town skylines.
    Leaving Mieres left us with 18kms to get to Oviedo.
    Unfortunately, we had to negotiate a 350-400m climb back up from the valley floor. We all set our own paces and therefore dispersed along the trail.
    I eventually arrived in Oviedo exhausted and footsore. I had intended to stay in the municipal Albergue but it does not open until 4.30pm and there are reports of bedbugs. So I’ve added a day to my hotel stop.
    I quickly completed some of my admin and returned to the Cathedral to get my final stamp and Certificate.
    The San Salvador and Meseta stretch of the Camino Frances have been brillaient because of the amazing people from all over the world.
    In total, I have walked over 300kms in under two weeks. Now it’s time to rest.
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  • Day 6

    The End

    May 4, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    The End of the Camino San Salvador 2022

    Last night, I met up with Jacque, Sean and Sonya to celebrate our amazing Camino together. Also present was Mike McBride who had finished walking a section of the Camino Del Norte. A fun night.
    This morning, Mike and I found a self service laundrette.,Whilst washing our clothes, we went for a coffee. Mike was wearing a down jacket and bright yellow/black shorts and flip flops. A new peregrino about town at 12C.. The waitress gave him some funny looks until I went to pay the bill. She asked if my friend was too hot. I explained that we were peregrinos and all his clothes were in the washing machine. She and a few of the customers burst out laughing.
    He did manage to dress properly and we spent the morning exploring the Cathedral and city centre.
    This was followed by a very pleasant Austrias traditional lunch.
    Tomorrow, Mike will continue to walk to Santiago via the Camino Primitivo and I will get a bus to Santander for a flight home.
    After two years away from the Camino, it has been wonderful to immerse myself back in it.
    Thanks to all the hospilardos and pilgrims I met on the way.
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