Starting the Primitivo from the Cathedral in Oviedo.
This is a beautiful Camino which I would describe as quite country roads and beautiful alpine-like scenery.
It reminds me a bit of Austria but with much cheaper prices and a very friendly people.
Along the way, I meet another countryman, Cathal from Donegal and Corey from Minneapolis in Minnesota, USA. After 13 km my fellow Countryman bailed for the day and so I continued on to Grado with Corey.
At the end of the walk, I stay in a Municipal Albergue, which works on a donation basis of €5 per night including breakfast.
Checking into the Albergue, I’m greeted by two very friendly hosteleros, Herman and Sita, both from Holland, in Nijmegen and Friesland respectively.
Herman tells me I should do the greatest walk in the world, which happens to start from his hometown, Nijmegen, and is called the Walk of the World – Four Day March.
Later, I had a “Platos Combinados” consisting of a salad, potatoes and chicken, followed by a desert for €8.
I’m sleeping in a mixed dormitory with 15 other walkers. When staying in an Albergue, the general protocol is a curfew from 10:00 PM and the Albergue must be vacated by 8:00 AM.
A necessary prerequisite for this type of accommodation is a good set of earplugs, as the cost of such a low price is having to endure someone snoring.
A Camino such as this is like a mental reset, just like a fast is a dietary reset. The stamps on the credencia represent not only a physical journey but also a journey of freedom. Walking the Camino, while carrying everything on your back, helps you separate the necessary from the unnecessary, both physically and metaphorically, to truly realise how little you really need. Just basic food, basic shelter and good friends.