Well, here I am, dear reader – taking a day out to recover from 3 gruelling days of walking up hill and down dale with 10ko of stuff on my back and 1 kilo of mud on my boots. I wonder whether the Asturian paths are ever dry. Certainly not after 6 weeks of almost incessant rain. Incidentally . . . Did you know that the word ‘Asturias’ comes from Visigoth for ‘Folk of the vast thighs’? Honest.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about this Camino Primitivo as I’ve slogged up numerous rock and mud-filled inclines, stopping for 30 to 60 seconds after every 100 to 200 metres. And here are the circumstances is which you should not essay it:
You are not a masochist
You are not fit enough to join the Marines
You are in a wheelchair
You only have one leg
You are on a bike of either 2 wheels or just 1
You don’t fancy walking uphill with a huge weight on your back for several kilometres at a time
You have an aversion to water or mud
You don’t fancy walking on slippy jagged rocks
You positively dislike the idea of falling on said rocks
You are afraid of cows
You hate the smell of cow piss or shit
You are not that impressed by mountain scenery even when you are not exhausted
You are above a certain age. Work this out for yourself
The colour green makes you vomit or see everything as red
If you are dumb enough to think using 2 poles is sissy
If anyone Dutch suggests it would be a nice way to see some countryside which isn’t flat. (By the way, the term ‘flat’ is relative in Asturias, in the same way as ‘low’ is in the Himalayas.)
You don’t think that climbing up several hundred meters just to see a few wind turbines is really worth it
You are sane
You are unwise enough to doubt what I’ve written here
You are already dead
You have anything else to do. Anything at all.
In fact, there are another 17 reasons for eschewing this challenge but I haven’t thought of them yet.
As for why you should do the Primitivo . . . Up until 6.15 last night, I was bereft of ideas. It was then that I hobbled into the hamlet of Campiello, where a young Dutch woman with the smile of an angel was standing on the steps of the place’s hotel – well, only building really – welcoming me for the night. As it were.
Though the gilt fell off the gingerbread when she told me there were 2 flights of stairs to negotiate en route to my room. And that there was no bath there, only a shower.
But these things are sent to try us and tomorrow is another day. After the blessed respite of this one.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Meanwhile . . . This sign points to Ordial. The yellow arrow points to Ordeal.