Introduction: Oviedo

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
Gustave Flaubert

The return from Edinburgh (the uninitiated can start here) was strange, intense, inscrutable.

The image that has stuck with me is that of crossing all of Newington and half of Edinburgh at 4 in the morning, drizzling, in the dark darkness and the dimly lit streets of Northern Europe, half lame, with the backpack of 14 kg on the back and the small and light on the chest.

In Scotland, at 4 o’clock at night, cities sleep. There were few people on the streets, a couple of weekend drunks, a couple of alcoholics anonymous, and a group of young people leaving a flat where the party was already over. In the middle of the closed night, only solitude. And disorientation. And lack of definition. And questions and questions and a distant and misty horizon. Four hours later, I landed in Barcelona with the karma decompensated and the chakras to be taken by sack.

La vuelta de Edimburgo

Why the Camino

And now, kind reader, you will be thinking that to rebalance the chakras and put karma in place I decided to do the Camino de Santiago. Not really. I did it for as simple a reason as I had a lot of holiday remaining days to spend and had no money to invest in them. So, the Camino was a good option. And I decided on the Primitivo because it is the most mountainous, the least crowded, and because it is the only one I could do while in a fortnight.

If you do not know what the Camino Primitivo is, visit the link above.

My story, however, continues on September 26, when at 10:57, 20 minutes later than the scheduled, I took the train to Oviedo. Natalia was waiting for me.

To León, with delay

But before I talk about Natalia, let me tell you about the train. Because really the one I caught was not going to Oviedo, but to León. And you don’t know how difficult it is to find, on the Renfe website, a train that can be used to go from Lleida to Oviedo, or to Santiago. Because you plan your trips with a little time, look for the train after three months, and it turns out that the Renfe page tells you that there are no trains making that route. And it turns out that yes, the problem is not the route, but that Renfe does not sell tickets so many days in sight. Overall, I don’t know how, I guess thanks to Google, I knew the line existed, and at some point I decided to look for it as if I had to travel the next day and not three months later.

In short, the train was going to Leon. And there I had to transfer, and I thought I had more time than I really had, and while I was eating a doughnut a reviewer told me that I was about to miss the train to Oviedo. But in the end, I haven’t lost it.

The Way of San Salvador

The trip from León to Oviedo is fantastic. Slow, yes, a lot, because is a very steep route. And much of the tour is inside tunnels, but when you go outside, the views are spectacular. In fact, from León to Oviedo is the Camino de San Salvador: 130 km of beautiful landscapes divided into 5 quite hard stages, with no intermediate stops or almost villages where you can buy food. In fact, they say that Who goes to Santiago and not to the Salvador, honors the servant and leaves the Lord, regarding the Cathedral of San Salvador, in Oviedo, where very famous relics are preserved during the Middle Ages


When I arrived at Oviedo station, Natalia, the couchsurfer who has offered to host me tonight and quickly show me Oviedo, was already waiting for me outside. And the truth is that we have not had much time: we have made a long walk through the old town, and we have had a great burger. I liked both, the old town and the burger. We have chatted for a while with Natalia, and I have discovered the Bursera graveolens or Holy Wood, which is a tree whose wood is used as an air freshener and purifier, and the oil as an antidepressant, diuretic, sedative and something else. Really, the smell is very pleasant, and, I did not know, but I would accompany myself during the trip. Also, nice, it’s been the music.

As the initial intention was to start walking very early, being a very early Sunday holiday, we have not lengthened the talk much. I had twelve days on my way ahead of me.


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