Monastery in Cornellana


Gateway in Salas

Shortly after leaving Cornellana the Camino offers a spectacular view of the San Salvador monastery. Parts of the building date back to around the year 900 with the complex being restored section by section.

The good 18-kilometre walk to La Espina is a fairly steep 700 metre climb through forest and lush green countryside that remind more of Ireland than Spain. 

In Salas I met again two young Italian women, I had passed on the way earlier. The reason one of them is doing the Camino: ‘I have lost myself and am trying to find myself again.’

There are many different types of pilgrims:

  • the tradional pilgrim or Peregrino walking for several weeks with a backpack who will never take a bus or taxi come what may. 
  • the ‘Tour-Grino’ who comes by tourist bus to do small 5-10 kilometre walks with the bus taking the luggage to the next luxury hotel.
  • the Bike-Grinos. These are the guys storming at you from behind on mountain bikes, who see the Camino as a sports exercise. At best you get a Buen Camino greeting at worst they force you off the road. Thankfully I’ve met very few of them on the Camino Primitivo.

Then there are those that don’t fit into any category, talking to themselves with a strange look in their eyes and carrying gigantic back packs.  In La Espina two French girls were doing the Camino with a mule, two dogs and a cat.  So they might have a small farm by the time they reach Santiago.

Reino Gevers – coach, trainer, author