Camino Primitivo

In June 2015, I hiked the Camino Primitivo, the original pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. The first pilgrim was king Alfonso II of Asturia who walked to the newly discovered burial place of St. James  1 100 years ago. The site was located about 200 miles southwest of his capital Oviedo. The Camino Primitivo follows the footsteps of Alfonso II, leading through remote mountainous areas of extraordinary beauty.

From Santiago, I went to Finisterre and Muxia, located on the Atlantic coast. Most of the time I stayed overnight in the typical albergues, which are very inexpensive places for pilgrims. Everybody who has a pilgrim’s pass (if there is still a bed available) can stay there. The whole pilgrimage took me 3 weeks.

del Norte route_1
Camino del Norte


camino primitivo
Camino Primitivo





 Oviedo still has buildings dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries. One of these remnants of the old capital is the Fuente de Foncalada, a well providing the town with drinking water. It was fascinating walking on the rocks surrounding the fountain shaped by innumerable footsteps over the centuries.



Fuente de Foncalada



Tiny water flow of the Fuente


For the medieval pilgrim, Oviedo was an important goal on the way to Santiago. There was the saying “Qien va a Santiago y no va a El Salvador , visita al vasallo y no al Señor (walking to Santiago and not go to El Salvador is like visiting the servant and not the master). This saying refers to the cathedral San Salvador where important relics (sudarium of Oviedo) are stored in the Cámara Santa, the court chapel of king Alfonso II.


Late Gothic Cathedral San Salvadore
Late Gothic Cathedral San Salvadore, 15th – 16th century




 St. James with shell and pilgrim’s staff at the left in the Cámara Santa
St. James with shell and pilgrim’s staff at the left in the Cámara Santa







Cloister of San Salvador
Cloister of San Salvador


 Traditional costumes of Asturia At a wedding party
Traditional costumes of Asturia At a wedding party



Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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  1. Hi Again

    I am doing Camino Primitivo this June and I am curious about the weather, I don’t want to pack warm clothing, I will carry rain gear.
    I am wondering if the weather is warm enough to do the Camino in shorts and T-shirts
    I did Camino Frances in September and the weather was lovely and walked the whole walk in shorts and t-shirts.
    Warm clothes means heavier backpack and I am trying to avoid that as much as possible.
    Thank you


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