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First Time Camino Hiker...gps & Hospitales Questions

Discussion in 'Camino Primitivo or Original Way' started by Timothy Stark, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. Timothy Stark

    Timothy Stark Teacher and Hiker

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    Do any of you know if there are downloadable GPS waypoints for the Primitivo?
    I will be hiking next May (my first Camino!) over 14 days from Oviedo. I am hoping to use GPS as a backup in case the routing is not clear.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated...

    Also,
    The company that has arranged the lodging and the luggage transport has set up my route to not do the Hospitales path. They are willing to set it up for me to do it, but they stated that it is too remote and strenuous for most people.
    I am 60 years old, but I am fit and have completed a number of long distance treks.
    What is your advice for me on the Hospitales route?


    Tim
     
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  2. Timothy Stark

    Timothy Stark Teacher and Hiker

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    Here is one very quick and very kind reply that I already received:

    Hi, Tim,

    Welcome to the forum!

    Wikiloc.com has a ton of Primitivo GPX tracks. Easy to download. However, and though you didn't ask :D... I can say confidently that you won't need a GPS on the Primitivo. I have walked it three times now, never with one. In fact, the last time I was on the Primitivo, I had my GPS with me, which I had used for the Camino del Ebro/Castellano-Aragonés/San Olav. On those solitary untravelled routes, I always recommend having one. I definitely would not have had fun without it. But I didn't even bother to load Primitivo tracks on it, so my little Garmin lay tucked in the bottom of my backpack for the rest of the camino.

    And just another little bit of unsolicited information -- If you can add 4 or 5 days onto your walk, starting in León and walking the Camino del Salvador to Oviedo is a just breathtaking warm-up. I know no one who has ever regretted walking the Salvador! Buen camino, Laurie
     
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  3. Timothy Stark

    Timothy Stark Teacher and Hiker

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    Hello,

    Would everyone agree:

    1. A GPS is not necessary.
    2. The Hospitales route is the best way to go...as long as the weather is not too bad.

    Thanks in advance!
    Tim
     
  4. Timothy Stark

    Timothy Stark Teacher and Hiker

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    Correction:
    My latest post should have been in a “question format”, that is I am asking all of you out there for YOUR opinion on the two items.
    I am merely the rookie asking for any and/all advice.
    Tim
     
  5. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    1. GPS not needed if you can a map and follow whatever arrows you can find.
    2. No idea, only walked the CF.
     
  6. calowie

    calowie Active Member

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    Tim

    The primitivo is a lovely route. We did it in 2015 when we were 56, so if you are fit at 60 it should not be a problem. The Hospitales section is lovely if the weather is clear- not so much if the fog makes it difficult to see. If it is foggy I would suggest walking with others who will have stayed nearby just to make sure you do not get lost! But this section is no more physically demanding than many of the other sections of the primitivo. Enjoy!
     
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  7. Laurie Ferris

    Laurie Ferris The Camino Provides

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    Tim, I'll be following in your footsteps on the Primitivo in late May/early June. I heard it's a great route and that arrows and shell markers are plentiful.
    Buen Camino!
     
  8. Keith Camino

    Keith Camino New Member

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    Hi Tim et al,

    I did my first Camino (Primitivo) in early April 2017. (My second will be the Camino Portugues in end-March 2018.)

    Check out this thread for some alternatives based on Primitivo-Verde-Norte (to delay connecting with Camino Frances (CF) as late as possible):

    https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/crossover-from-primitivo-to-norte-o-camiño-verde.46553/

    I did not have GPS (and don't think you need one, but a good sense of direction helps - follow the sun!). I did not have a map either....bit of a mistake. Mostly it was easy to find my way by talking to others and keeping my eyes peeled for yellow arrows spray painted on trees, roads, rocks, guardrails, stop signs, et al. Only a few minor but correctable errors were made, until I messed up somewhere after Boimorto on the Verde. I wrote a bit about that on the thread linked above.

    I did the Hospitales route and was very happy about it. My knees have been crap for decades, so the trekking poles were very handy: they help your quads going uphill, and cushion your knees going down. The worst pitch for my knees was the stretch just after the Hospitales route merged with the Pola route - the poles were essential (as was the ibuprofen). I was happy I didn't do the Pola route for two reasons: I didn't intend to overnight in Pola and it's on a longer more-populated route; and, as I came down from Hospitales I saw the long slog up from Pola and was glad I didn't have to do it. (Pola is actually in a valley, which you walk down into, then have to walk back up about 600m to get out of.) However, you need to decide based on the weather before you go on Hospitales so ask at your hostel before heading out.

    And here's a strong recommendation for your second night on Primitivo: stay at "Albergue de Peregrinos Bodenaya". David, the host will launch your trip in an excellent frame of mind. I contacted him before going to ensure he had enough space, and we connected by WhatsApp. After communal supper and breakfast (the only hostel that did that), he walked over a kilometre with everyone in a group the next morning so he could show us a view of the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. Be prepared to get hugs if you go there :) (and not just from David).

    I am happy to share more if you wish.

    Buen camino,

    Keith
     
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  9. Timothy Stark

    Timothy Stark Teacher and Hiker

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    Hello Keith,
    Thanks for your spot on reply. This forum is giving me confidence that GPS is not truly necessary on the Primitivo.
    I am planning on doing the Hospitales route and staying in Pola. (I believe it involves a short prearranged taxi ride)
    Also, I have knee "issues" like you...my trekking poles are my good friends!
    Thanks again...as my May Primitivo date approaches, I will be on these forums to learn more and more from all of you experts!
    Tim
     
  10. MichaelSG

    MichaelSG Active Member

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    If you have an iPhone or similar with you on the trail, let me put a doubt and suggestion in your mind. Having maps.me (or something similar) and the GPS tracks with you can only be a good thing. It may just help you get out of a pickle or give you a little bit of extra confidence. It doesn't hurt or cost. Just a thought.
     
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  11. Lirsy

    Lirsy Member

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  12. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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  13. Lirsy

    Lirsy Member

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    BTW, regarding Hospitales. It is a hard day, but really it deserves and believe me ... you can do it!! I am also 60, not trained and I did it without any problem.

    The only thing in Hospitales is that it is not advisable to take that way if the weather is bad (snow, heavy rain or fog). Also you need to take with you some water and something for eating a little (you won´t find anything there).

    In total, you will climb less and the way is shorter that if you go through Pola de Allande.

    Also, I would say that for taking Hospitales is most convenient to sleep in Borres. The albergue in Borres is just like 1 or 2 kilometer from the split between Hospitales and Pola de Allande. If the day will be a little difficult ... let´s make it as easy as possible by sleeping as close as possible :):)

    Anyhow, if you decide to go through Pola de Allande, the pilgrim menu in ¨La Nueva Allandesa¨is GREAT!!! :)
     
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  14. Keith Camino

    Keith Camino New Member

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    Hi Tim,

    If I were to walk Hospitales, I wouldn't go to Pola, as it's 600m down on the south side of the saddleback, and you would have to climb back up again the next morning to get to the north side. After Hospitales, I stayed in Berducedo (vice Pola). But if you want to see Pola, then don't go up Hospitales, unless of course, you want it all! And can do it all :) I sure wouldn't want to get between a man and his dreams :)

    Cheers,

    Keith
     
  15. MichaelSG

    MichaelSG Active Member

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    As Keith says, Pola de Allande just gives you a place to stay between Campiello / Borres and Berducedo. It also stops you from being above 1000m for much of the distance. To me though, it looks like the Pola de Allande option is a harder walk of up/down and, obviously, distance. You don't want to be on the Hospitales route in bad weather but I would always choose that way over the alternative, if possible. Also, I would not be backtracking to Pola if I did the Hospitales route.
     
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  16. Lirsy

    Lirsy Member

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    Ep!! Sorry I didn't realize about this!! :(

    Hospitales is the alternative route to Pola de Allande. It is not making much sense to go through Hospitales and after that go back (and down!!) to Pola. If you take the route of Hospitales, the usual thing to do is to sleep in Berducedo.

    Taking the way to Pola is most advisable in bad weather and Hospitales with good/reasonable weather.

    Buen Camino & Ultreia!!
     
  17. MichaelSG

    MichaelSG Active Member

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    BTW, if you are already stuck with a pre-booked room in Pola that you can't or don't want to cancel, and you are able and willing to walk the Hospitales route on the day, don't worry. Walk the Hospitales route as far as Montefurado, Lago or Berducedo, then get a taxi to take you to Pola. Arrange with the driver to pick you up the next morning and return you to where you stopped and then walk to your next booked accommodation. It's relatively easy to do. It will cost about e20 each way but you have the certainty of a booked room no matter which way you go. Imagine pre-booking walking the Hospitales route with a paid for bed in Berducedo and the weather doesn't let you go over the Hospitales route on the day. Walking from Campielo to Berducedo via Pola is not really viable for most normal humans.
     
  18. Timothy Stark

    Timothy Stark Teacher and Hiker

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    Hello all,

    Regarding my Hospitales routing:
    1. My 3rd night out from Oviedo, I stay in Tineo.
    2. My 4th walking day is Tineo to Borres. Short day.
    3. Pre-arranged ride (PM) from Borres back to Tineo for a second night.
    4. Pre-arranged ride (AM) from Tineo back to Borres.
    5. I then walk from Borres to La Mesa. Long day.
    6. Pre-arranged (PM) ride from La Mesa to Pola for the night.
    7. Pre-arranged (AM) ride from Pola back to La Mesa.
    8. I then walk from La Mesa onward...

    Does this all sound logical & doable?

    Tim
     
  19. calowie

    calowie Active Member

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    Tim. The primitivo is lovely, but I am not sure I would do all the rides back and forth. My advice-stay in campiello, take the hospitales over to Berducedo, and then continue along to grandas de salime. Is the company that has arranged the lodging and the luggage transport for you flexible enough to simplify the trip?
     
  20. Timothy Stark

    Timothy Stark Teacher and Hiker

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    Hello,

    Thanks for your response!
    The company I am working with (Good company...used them on three previous distance treks) are pretty set on utilizing certain lodgings so I’m going to trust them on this one even if it isn’t the simple way.
    Thanks for suggestion though.
     
  21. Timothy Stark

    Timothy Stark Teacher and Hiker

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    Another quick question:
    What is the hiking distance from Borres to La Mesa?
     
  22. Lirsy

    Lirsy Member

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    Borres La Mesa (Hospitales way) is around 28.5 km.

    It may seem short, but it would be a pretty strenuous day. In any case, it is something that can be done perfectly.
     
  23. Timothy Stark

    Timothy Stark Teacher and Hiker

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    Thanks Lirsy!
    I am growing more impressed by the experts on this forum daily!
    Tim
     
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