Walking the Camino de Invierno and Camino Primitivo back-to-back

Walking along the Camino de Invierno | Heath de Burgh
Walking along the Camino de Invierno | Heath de Burgh

Trip Report: Walking the Camino de Invierno and Camino Primitivo

The inspirational Heath de Burgh has returned from her back-to-back Camino de Invierno (Winter Way) and Camino Primitivo walks. Not bad for a sprightly 80-year-old!
Read on for her report on walking these two lesser-known Camino trails during October.
Fascinating natural scenery along the Camino de Invierno |  <i>Heath de Burgh</i>

"I had a wonderful time! Both walks are terrific. I’m glad I did the Primitivo first. The Invierno was really tough for the first few days so it was fortunate I was hardened up a bit! 

Both of the walks are really spectacular and the best thing about them both was the fact that there were no crowds! I know I was there late in the season but even so I don’t think either of them would be too busy even in peak time. 
Cliff top views from the Camino trail |  <i>Heath de Burgh</i>

On the last few days of the Primitivo, when I joined up with some of the other Camino trails closer to Santiago, it was bumper to bumper! The Invierno was very quiet. I probably only saw 12-15 pilgrims during the entire time.
My accommodation was all good. In some cases there was an effort made to serve gluten free food, but it was the same experience I had in France – not much idea. I was delighted to find Spain has a lot of gluten-free beer so I pigged out on that – nothing like a cold beer after a long, hot walk! 
Beautiful bridge along the Camino in Spain |  <i>Heath de Burgh</i>

All of the many transfers worked perfectly and they were almost all absolutely spot on so I didn’t have to hang around cooling off and stiffening up waiting after the walk. And the luggage transfers went smoothly, as usual.
The weather during October was mostly good, I’m happy to say. I had a couple of days when I had to put a slicker on for a while but I didn’t have to deal with lots of heavy rain and wind.
Vivid green landscapes in Spain while walking the Camino de Invierno |  <i>Heath de Burgh</i>
I haven’t really looked at my photos yet, but I’ve attached a few just to give you an idea of what you’ve got to look forward to if you ever decide to do these two very beautiful Camino trails.

My thanks to Michele and Allie from the UTracks team for organising it all for me. When I’ve sufficiently recovered my breath, I’ll take a look at what I might do next year."
The route of the Camino de Invierno |  <i>Heath de Burgh</i> Walking along the Camino de Invierno |  <i>Heath de Burgh</i> Historic old church on the Camino de Invierno |  <i>Heath de Burgh</i>

About Heath de Burgh

Heath is a veteran UTracks Traveller and has completed many of the world's great hiking trails. Her accomplished routes include...take a deep breath...sections of the Via Francigena and the St Francis Way in Italy; sections of the Camino de Santiago and Granada and the Alpujarras in Spain, Mt Everest's Kanshung Face in the Himalayas; Macchu Pichu and the Inca trail; the 18-day Mongolian Panorama; and the Warrumbungle Summits and end-to-end Larapinta Trail in Australia.
Read her feature article about walking the full 40-day French Way of St James at 79 years young.


>> View the Camino de Invierno
>> View the Camino Primitivo

Were you inspired by Heath's travels? We sure have been and can only hope to be making these long distance pilgrimages when we reach her age. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Camino, Camino de Invierno, Camino de Invierno review, Camino Primitivo, Camino Primitivo review

Comments (2)

Andrew Hickey

My wife and I have just completed a challenging walk with Utracks from Garmisch to Innsbruck. We are both in our 70s and seriously considered that we might be getting too old for these challenging walks. Now I read about this 80 year old lady still going strong and I am encouraged even a little ashamed of admitting such weakness. I really like the idea of the Primitivo trail without the madding crowd.

9 months ago
William from UTracks

Hi Andrew,

Don't feel bad - we think it's an incredible achievement to hike the Trans Tyrol alpine route! Heath is an incredible source of inspiration and we're so happy to hear she has inspired you to see what's possible too. And the Camino Primitivo would certainly be a quieter pilgrimage path, perfect for calm reflection. We look forward to helping you plan your next active holiday in Europe.

9 months ago
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