Camino Primitivo, Day 1

Walked from: Oviedo Cathedral

Walked to: San Juan de Villapañada

Distance: 28km

When: 12 October 2019

(Image: View from tonight’s hostel)

What a stellar start to my third Camino route. An overcast morning gave way to a beautiful sunny afternoon and a really fun evening.

I started late. I had a poke around the Cathedral in the morning, waiting for the tourism office to open at 10am so I could buy (although it turned out to be free – result!) the all important credential – basically a passport you get ‘stamped’ as you progress along the Camino. It gives you access to the municipal hostels, sometimes gets you huge meals for a low price, and is needed for your completion certificate at the end – the one that absolves all your sins.

(Image: back on the Camino again!)

Leaving Oviedo took concentration – the way marking is always harder to follow in towns – but just one hour after leaving the city centre I hit countryside and the not-so-sweet smell of manure, as provided copiously by the local cows. I saw a few people as I was leaving, but walked on my own for the first few hours.

The route got really interesting, and much more sociable, after Gallegos, when a steep drop down a conker-strewn path into a ravine was quickly followed by a stiff haul back up it and towards Venta del Escamplero – which was around the time I met my first group of fellow walkers. A few chats, a quick lunch stop along the lovely Nalón river, a much needed lemonade at the cafe by Peñaflor’s Romanesque bridge and suddenly the various chats and the really lovely landscape had got me up quite a few hills and within spitting distance of the municipal hostel (albuergue) in the hamlet of San Juan de Villapañada, where I had one of the most fun evenings I’ve ever had on the Camino, thanks to the gracious hosting of Domingo and the friendliness of my fellow guests.

(Image: the wonderful Domingo serving up dinner)

Am absolutely cracking first day. My stomach is going to bed groaning with the weight of the pasta from the communal meal.

(Image: view from the hostel at night)

About silkakt

I love to explore countries on foot or by bicycle. An English woman, I moved to the south of Spain in September 2020 and I have dreams of encouraging more people to discover this amazing country by walking its various Camino routes. To date, I've walked the French Camino from St Jean in France, the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon (interior route, not coastal) and the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo. I have also walked a fair few long distance trails in the UK, including all of the National Trails in England and Wales, and a couple of long walks in beautiful Scotland.
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2 Responses to Camino Primitivo, Day 1

  1. Hy Silka, you are wonderful, what a strong writer, I wish you all the best, I will read all the journey,
    João

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