Walking the Camino Primitivo
What is the Camino Primitivo?
Camino Primitivo Guidebook
With the growth of interest in walking the various Caminos that spider web through Europe, there was sure to be many changes and additions. But I was surprised by the amount of construction in the backwoods of northern Spain that was changing the actual route.
Ancient Camino Primitivo course changes with modern construction
Course changes meant that I needed to document those route deviations in the Camino Primitivo guidebook. I needed to stop, make notes and maybe retrace my steps to ensure accuracy. The frustrating search for San Salvador de Soutomerille, a small 9th C church, had me back-tracking through hot, farm fields. I finally decided that the ancient chapel must be on the alternative route that, although I was sure I had taken, I must not have followed. My 23-pound pack seemed twice as heavy as it did that morning when I left O Cadavo. I spent two extra hours and retraced three miles combing the remote countryside.
Slugging along under sweaty heat
That was the reason that by 4 pm I was walking alone. My pilgrim friends would have checked into Albergue Casa da Chanca, the place where we’d agreed to rest for the night, hours ago. I still slugged along under the sweaty heat of the pregnant clouds.
I was climbing towards Lugo, which lies on a hill surrounded by three rivers. As I ascended, I got nearer and nearer to the clouds that were turning black. My prayers were about to be answered.
I was getting hammered with sheets of rain
A couple appeared in the storm
They seemed like angels to me
Camino Primitivo THAT way
Feeling bad about the water dripping off me, my raincoat and backpack
Taxi ride on Camino Primitivo
The taxi arrived and whisked me to Albergue Casa da Chanca. The ride was only five minutes long, and I realized how close I was to town when the thunderstorm had broken loose. Rodrigo and Ximena, my pilgrim family from Mexico, welcomed me warmly. They laughed at my stories of misfortune and Camino angels, and I had fifteen minutes to unpack and dry off before we went back out into the rain for a late dinner.
Dinner in a wine barrel in Lugo, Spain
There, over octopus and white wine, I repeated my story of the kindness of strangers to Lazlo and Peter, our Hungarian friends.