Monday, 17 September 2012

Camino Primitivo: Conclusion

 Although the Camino Primitivo has definitely not been the best trail on this trip I guess it is one of, if not the best Spanish pilgrimage trail and I quite enjoyed it. So what is so nice about it? It has a relatively low percentage of roadwalking. 40% pavement is still a lot for a normal hiking trail, but low for a Camino. But the even better news is that you never have to walk on really busy roads. Once you have passed the dreaded A63 motorway there aren't any big roads any more at all. You don't have to walk on them and there aren't any close by. Only the first days out of Oviedo and the last two days before joining the Camino Frances have a lot of roadwalking.

This Camino's trump card is the rural landscape. You walk through a mixture of pastures and forests and tiny villages that often consist of a few houses only. Very often I felt like 100 years ago. Time seems to have stood still in a lot of these places that are half abandoned with only a few old people left. And the locals like the hikers because they bring in fresh air - and money. Almost everyone I met was friendly and helpful. There are only two bigger cities along the way, Oviedo and Lugo, and both are nice and picturesque. They are big enough to have all amenities, but small enough to get around on foot.

Wild camping was very easy with lots of forest and hardly any people around. But there are also lots of pilgrims' hostels and plenty of cheap pensions and hotels. Because none of the villages and cities along this Camino is a seaside tourist place finding accommodation is not difficult even in high season.

Trail marking is excellent and finding water is easy, but you have to plan ahead for food as not many of the villages have shops. You sometimes have to carry food for more than one day which is unusual for a Camino.
The guidebooks make this trail sound difficult which is not true. It is not more difficult than any typical German hiking trail and you don't need hiking boots or mountain experience for it. There aren't any really steep ascents or descents. Would I recommend it to a friend? If you are looking for a great hiking trail I would not recommend any Spanish Camino. But if you expressively want to hike a Spanish pilgrimage trail the Camino Primitivo is the way to go.

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