Step by step we are moving away with the Way of Santiago, from the Cantabrian coast, crossing from Salas to Tineo the lands of the western Asturias, following the old mandate of Alfonso IX that there in 1222 dictated the royal order that whoever came on pilgrimage from San Salvador de Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela had to pass through the town of Tineo and Obona, without anyone daring to divert them from that road. A route that brings us closer to the Asturian mountain, surrounded by extensive and green meadows being accompanied during great part of the route by the majestic oaks and chestnut trees that adorn these lands.
The Stage 3 Salas-Tineo of the Primitive Way with 19,8 Km part of the same heart of Salas. where it says goodbye to us its imposing Palace of Valdés Salas of century XVI, while we cross under the arch that joins it with the medieval Tower that protects it. The Way begins to show us more clearly what it has prepared for us for next days, making us go up an important height that separates us from the undulating Asturian plateau where a great part of the route runs. This early effort compensates us by allowing us to walk calmly through the spectacular forest where takes place the ascent that keeps in its bowels small corners such as the Nonaya Waterfalls. A long and tiring ascent that reaches its end after passing near the village of Porciles, with our entrance in Bodenaya, where the church of Santa María welcomes us to the locality. An undulating route awaits us that leads us along the slope of the rounded mountains that escort us on the Way as we climb and descend to then climb again.
La Espina is the next locality that takes us out of the rural environment that surrounds us. Little remains of its important pilgrim history, which we try to guess as we pass by its church of San Vicente or walk its streets. From here on, we are faced with a tortuous journey along paths in which mud and water claim their protagonism, although pilgrims and locals strive to fight them. Do not forget that the modern walkways and conditioned paths are comforts to which pilgrims get used quickly but that we will not always find them. Almost without giving us time to say goodbye to this town, the next town we are going to visit arises before us, although on this occasion we do so in passing, not without letting ourselves be surprised by the coquettish chapel of the Christ of the Afflicted, La Pereda is the first of many municipalities that we will cross belonging to the council of Tineo. The route gives us a nice stretch that leads us without delay in search of the two small villages that await us later. El Espín and Bedures follow one another without us noticing the change between them. A stoic mill that resists to be invaded by the vegetation reminds us of the activity that once developed in it.
El Pedregal shows itself calmly before us, allowing us to observe it in detail as we advance towards it, but not before leaving behind the detour that would take us to the nearby town of La Millariega. The road is in charge of taking us into El Pedregal, which takes us past its church of San Justo and San Pastor from the XVI-XVII centuries, to quickly return us to the fields and the muddy roads that this stage passes through. There are not a few kilometres that we will cover crossing the green meadows surrounded by leafy trees or colossal earth slopes that cross our route. Santa Eulalia de Tineo or Zarracín see how the itinerary changes course abruptly when it seems to reach its gates. Surrounded by the landscape, whose mountains seem to get higher and rougher with each step, we arrive at the hermitage of San Roque from where we follow the Paseo de los Frailes, a conditioned route so called because it was frequented by them when the weather accompanied to visit the saint and delight in the views that this walk offers. The district of Cimadevilla welcomes us to Tineo as we descend down the street to meet the church of San Pedro, whose first stones date from the thirteenth century, accompanied by the Museum of Sacred Art that is located opposite it, this is the place chosen to end this stage.
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Pilgrims who decide to follow the Hospital Route usually venture to extend this stage to the towns of Campiello or Borres, closer to the beginning of the route, thus guaranteeing a reasonable mileage for this difficult route. But the attractions of Tineo, the demand of the kilometres that separate them from these towns and the knowledge of the implacable mountain stage that they want to face usually make them reconsider, leaving, if their time availability allows it, the approximately 15 km that separate them from these towns for the following day, taking advantage of it to be able to visit the monastery of Obona whose detour supposes about 2 km additional.
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This is a more demanding stage than it might at first appear to be, and it could cost our partner more effort than expected. Pay attention to intersections and road sections that, even without the traffic they used to have, are still dangerous. The mud is another of the protagonists that has to make it difficult, in many cases hidden under it are stones and tiles that can cause an injury.
The water should not be a problem at this stage as we pass through several points where our friend can drink without problems, but we should not trust us and his ration of water can not be missing in the backpack like his food and we will not find many services where we can have food for him.
Although not in as much quantity as in previous stages, wasps are still a risk to which we must add the loose dogs that we will find in the farms we have to go through, although the most aggressive are usually tied. For the rest the normal thing is to find us with the cattle grazing in the meadows to which we do not have nor we must accede.
The stage begins in the square of the collegiate church of Santa María la Mayor of Salas (0h 00min), from where we walk under the arch that joins the tower and the castle of the town.
The cobblestone street already lets us sense the long and tiring ascent ahead of us.
Soon we find the first fork where the street on the right will be in charge of taking us out of Salas. We follow this long street with our eyes set on the spectacular viaduct that protrudes from among the trees of the mountain towards which we are heading.
This long street takes us without further detours to the outskirts of the town where, already turned into a road, it will introduce us into the lush forest.
The proximity of the river and the sombreness of the route contribute to finding us a normally muddy road as we advance, for the moment, following an old telephone line.
Shortly after passing by the remains of what looks like an old trova, you will come across a mighty torrent that crosses the path. Almost without realizing it, we will see ourselves walking under the imposing figure of the viaduct hidden from our eyes by the trees that surround us.
The slope, without being too demanding, does not cease in its effort to make us gain height with each step, not leaving us even a moment of respite. We progress saving some streams that descend towards the valley, while the small clearings allow us to contemplate the landscape that surrounds us.
At the few crossroads we come across, our route continues without detours, always following the path we have, which is wider and more marked than the rest.
The junction with the road that leads to the Nonaya waterfall invites us to take the small detour that allows us to visit this singlar waterfall.
The itinerary continues with its tireless ascent through the forest, taking us to a hard ramp that we must face.
This demanding slope takes us away from the river, making us gain height quickly and with a lot of effort, while it brings us closer to the meeting with the road.
When we reach the height of the national we will begin a tortuous stretch following its ascending course. A dangerous stretch without hard shoulder that luckily does not support as much traffic as in the past but in which we can not let our guard down.
The road leads us to cross under the highway on a couple of occasions while we continue to gain height in search of the moment to leave the company of the national.
After passing a ruinous house we arrive at the detour where we will leave the asphalt to continue the ascent following a track of earth that leaves to our left.
Our way loses its amplitude forced by the vegetation that turns it into a narrow trail while we continue ascending, for now without as much exigency as in previous sections.
Almost at the same time that we enter another wooded area, while the path gains in width, it also gains in inclination again asking us to make a greater effort to advance while we leave behind us the different paths that lead to the nearby meadows.
The proximity of the motorway and the works undertaken for its construction have contributed not only to modify the old route of the Primitive Way but also to turn it into a wide track in quite good condition that runs next to it.
The ascent resists giving us a break while we follow the line that marks the fence of the highway leaving to our left one of the bridges that cross it.
At last we arrive at the moment to say goodbye, for now, to the motorway company following an asphalted track that takes us away from the bustling traffic.
After a short while we find the detour that would take us to the nearby village of Porciles, those who detour to it can resume the Primitive Way a little further on without the need to retrace their steps. We continue straight on, among the green fields that surround us, embedded between the stone walls that delimit them.
At the next crossroads, the itinerary leaves the asphalted track to go up the slope we were cutting. At the moment we will find a small shortcut that avoids us to cross the section of track that takes us until the road to which we are about to arrive, road by where those pilgrims will join us that were diverted until Porciles.
Regardless of the option chosen at this junction, we can see ourselves following the route marked by the asphalt. Already with a much calmer profile we progress leaving behind us how many roads we are finding approaching once again towards the highway.
We arrive at a new crossroads where we have to go straight on saying goodbye to the asphalt.
The route forces us to continue along the dual carriageway that will be in charge of setting the course without leaving us any margin for error. The road runs between the dual carriageway and the national highway, taking us directly to pass under one of the roads that join both communication routes.
On the other side we will leave a farm on our right to head towards the first town we will pass today.
The church of Santa María de Bodenaya welcomes us to the town we are about to enter.
We follow the route that makes us pass next to the church leaving it on our back to cross Bodenaya (2h 20min) without further detours.
The national road gets in the way again, forcing us to cross it in order to be able to continue with the route we are taking.
The route seems to take us towards a new strong ramp, fortunately when arriving at its height we verify that the itinerary continues straight leaving this ramp behind.
We walk through a beautiful landscape dotted with farms and houses that, together with the softness of the profile of the route, allows us to enjoy the route while we get closer to the next town we will pass through.
The dirt road we are going along ends when we find the road that joins the different urban centres that surround us with the nearby national road towards which we seem to be heading again.
We continue, with the national one to our left, entering the locality following the street of the schools.
At the end of this street the route turns to go to the meeting of the national by which we must continue.
La Espina (2h 35min) stretches around this road which we continue to cross the town.
Some signs indicate the next fork in the national road where we have to go straight on the road that leads to Tineo.
Our passage through La Espina is best done on the left sidewalk as we advance. This long street takes us without major problems to the outskirts of the town.
After leaving behind the junction with the road leading to Brañalonga on one side and to Idarga or Buspol on the other, we must cross to the right side of the road, if we have not already done so.
Once there and shortly before reaching the roundabout in front of us, we will find the beginning of the path that borders on its right, as we reach it.
Although at this stage we have already overcome much of the unevenness that we had prepared, the ups and downs do not stop almost at any time making us go up rounded hills and then throw us back into the valleys that separate them.
A long and tiring ascent awaits us in front of us once we leave the roundabout on our back, following this new path surrounded by thick vegetation and embedded between the slopes that separate us from the fields that we have on each side.
This part of the itinerary, which runs along a wide path, is usually quite muddy most of the year and although the locals and pilgrims have been busy splashing stones and tiles on the ground in an attempt to tiled the most slippery areas, we will surely stain our boots and trousers with mud.
We continue with the ascent, not far from the road that we have abandoned before, until we find an agricultural exploitation that indicates us the proximity of the following locality of the day.
The itinerary continues without leaving any room for confusion, approaching a well-kept hermitage, at which point we must take a detour and start a new ascent.
We follow the encementada track crossing a narrow road that communicates the houses and farms that surround the locality.
A new crossing gives us the opportunity to enter La Pereda (2h 50min) to follow the street on our left. The Way barely passes by this town, as the town centre is closer to the road than to our itinerary.
We continue with the continuous ascent that leads us through this area of La Pereda, leaving behind us some road that approaches the different houses that extend around us.
Once again, an agricultural pavilion marks the final point of this locality. In front of us, a hard ramp makes us fear for a new effort, although luckily the route takes the least demanding path we find at this crossroads. We soon find ourselves in the middle of a continuous and strenuous ascent that leads us to a fork in the road.
Here we must leave the entrance to the meadow on our left and continue the untiring ascent.
At the moment we find ourselves again with another entrance road to another field in which, as in the previous case, we must leave it to our left and continue with the ascent.
The barricaded and somewhat cobbled road makes us gain height while we continue to find roads that enter the adjacent meadows, without these make us doubt the right course to follow. The much more benevolent profile and even in descent, is approaching us without major complications to our next objective.
The height gained allows us to enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the fields and mountains we are walking through.
El Espín (3h 15min) arises before us initiating a succession of localities that precede each other in this part of the route.
We continue with the run of the track that crosses the town and that leads us almost without time to realize the change until the nearby Bedures (3h 20min). The narrow road that reaches these towns is in charge of guiding us as we leave them little by little behind.
Shortly before arriving at La Millariega, at a crossroads, we leave the road that if we followed it would lead us to it, to take a path that starts here. The path quickly becomes a wide path that allows us to contemplate the next town we are about to reach.
The first buildings of the town come to meet us, while we are approaching the urban nucleus.
The itinerary continues making us lose height gradually while it leads us to the encounter with the road that we have always been carrying on the left hand side.
The road is now in charge of introducing us in El Pedregal (3h 30min) following its ascending course towards the centre of the town.
As in previous occasions we crossed the locality leaving to both sides the streets and crossroads that we are finding to our step.
Little by little we are crossing El Pedregal in search of the moment in which we will have to leave the road.
On the outskirts of El Pedregal, we find the small asphalt track on our right, which we must continue along. At the starting point of this section, an old cruiser serves as a reference in case of doubt.
We begin to gain height with each step while recovering the lost orientation that returns to position us in parallel with the road that before we had left.
Almost at the moment, we leave the asphalt to continue with the recto discurrir that marks us a muddy way that cuts the slope of the mountain. This quite muddy area makes it more difficult for us to advance than the profile of the path does.
We alternate shady stretches embedded between high slopes of earth with other clearer ones that allow us to enjoy the environment that surrounds us.
There are not many crossroads and roads that we meet, and most of them only lead to the nearby meadow. The mud continues being the almost main protagonist, making difficult all that can our advance with the indispensable collaboration of the terrain that continues making us face hard ramps with their pertinent descents.
After one of these climbs we arrive at a fork where the path to choose is the one on our left. As soon as we take this path, we find a new option to take the path we have abandoned, which we leave to our right to begin a new descent.
This descent takes us directly to the meeting of another path where we must continue, ending in part this area of strong descent. Already through a more comfortable terrain we progress protected by the trees that mark the path and that separate us from the green meadows that surround us.
There is another fork in the road where we follow the path on the right. A few metres further on, we leave behind another junction with the path we have just left to continue on our way.
The landscape continues to be hidden by the vegetation that alternates with the high trenches in their task of leading us to our destination. As usual, the constant ups and downs do not cease, as if they wanted to prepare us or rather mature us for future stages.
We advance leaving to left and right the paths with which we are meeting, approaching step by step to the nearest end of the stage.
Once again, the proximity of small urban centres and their nearby farms makes us find the paths that link them.
It is at one of these crossroads where, if we go straight on, we would approach Santa Eulalia de Tineo, but the Primitive Way turns radically away from it. This path takes us through the green meadows that, together with the mountains and the villages, make up the landscape that surrounds us.
The crossroads with the paths that cross these lands do not give rise to too many doubts, since our path is usually more defined and in better condition, making clear which is the option to follow.
A small rest area indicates the crossroads at which we must go straight ahead leaving the path on the left that would bring us closer to Zarracín.
This section borders the locality as if it wanted to take us back to its gates, but before this can happen the itinerary deviates turning almost in round and separating us from it again. A leafy forest covers everything again as we cross it in search of the next clearing.
Our walk takes us straight to a road where we will continue towards the nearby Tineo. We border the football field to find a large area where there is a recreation area in addition to the car parks.
We leave this complex behind us and head towards the San Roque hermitage where we will cross the road.
The Way of St. James now follows the meticulous San Roque promenade that will bring us closer to the interior of the town, which we can already see clearly. We don't have to leave this walk, as it takes us to the very gates of the town.
We begin an urban route leaving to both sides the different streets with which we are crossing.
The church of Tineo (5h 25min) is in charge of concluding this stage, in front of it the street that on our right gives continuity to the Primitive Way through the locality, while the one that brought us here continues the descent towards the center of the locality.
Total distance. 19,8 Km
Total time. 5h 25min
The initial slope and the continuous ascents and descents can condition to a great extent the time that it takes us to cross this stage. Another factor to take into account is the mud, which if it is abundant will undoubtedly delay us quite a bit in the stretches in which we have to face it.
Time of year. Eye in rainy periods
Although initially the route, except for a few days, can be made throughout the year with autumn and spring being the periods of greatest splendor and most colorful, the rains especially in the second half of the stage will certainly not let us enjoy that part of the itinerary.
Material required. Boots and gaiters
More than the type of terrain we are going to find, it is its state that advises us to put on our boots. Moreover, if we know for sure that we are going to find mud, some rain gaiters, which are lower and easier to transport, can avoid filling us with mud, boots and trousers. The batons will help us not only to travel the kilometers but also to gain stability if necessary. The water and the food that usually cannot be missing, in this stage become more necessary because we do not find many options along the way. Moreover, although we are protected from the sun to a large extent by vegetation, the cap, sunglasses and sunscreen should be our companions. As for clothing as always adapt to weather conditions without forgetting that we begin to gain altitude so mornings will surely be cool and fog can accompany us even in summer. Consult our list of material and equipment to make the Way. Read more
Slope acumulate. 1200 m Slope positive. 815 m Slope negative. 385 m
Without a great kilometric distance in comparison with other stages, this one will force us to face us in its first half to bridge a considerable already unevenness, whereas in the second part of the day it will give us continuous ups and downs. It is important to take this stage calmly enough and not to start to maintain a high pace by wasting energies that will be very useful in the coming stages. The heat, the humidity and the mud will surely harden this route that we should not underestimate for its apparently short mileage.
The sections that we travel by road and the possible muddy areas that we have to find are the biggest complications that we should find in normal conditions. We should not trust the apparent little traffic that have the roads we will walk, nor the tiles and stones that try to avoid stepping on the mud, otherwise we are likely to get some fright or other.
Once again it is the thick vegetation that sometimes helps us to recognize the Way, and at other times hides some signs forcing us to be attentive. There are not a few roads and crossroads that we are going to find along the route but in general they are signposted enough so as not to have problems. The passage through the localities and the proximity of others to the Way influences in finding us with some additional sign that directs us towards short variants of the route that can get us confused.
|1-Salas||0h 00min||240 m||0 Km||29T 721765 4809883|
|2-Bodenaya||2h 20min||638 m||7,2 Km||29T 716763 4808742|
|3-La Espina||2h 35min||656 m||8,4 Km||29T 715869 4808185|
|4-La Pereda||2h 50min||701 m||9,6 Km||29T 715008 4807523|
|5-El Espín||3h 15min||724 m||11,4 Km||29T 713974 4806412|
|6-Bedures||3h 20min||723 m||11,6 Km||29T 713793 4806327|
|7-El Pedregal||3h 30min||704 m||12,4 Km||29T 713391 4805593|
|8-Tineo||5h 25min||673 m||19,8 Km||29T 709537 4801293|
Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84
This sketch of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.
This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 027, 1:50.000"
Senditur has manipulated the tracks to correct the aberrant points that may exist, caused by problems with the reception of the GPS signal. In any case they are always approximate. SENDITUR encourages you to use the new technologies within your reach, using them as support and consultation in your activity, not basing the realization and orientation of the same only and exclusively on them, since they may see their functioning altered by very diverse causes, not functioning correctly and their indications may not be precise.
Me gustó mucho esta etapa del Camino Primitivo, exigente como casi todas pero bastante entretenida.
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¿Did you know that...
The council of Tineo, located in the heart of western Asturias where history and nature are mixed with its people, customs and people, not in vain is the second largest council of Asturias keeping true treasures both natural and artistic. Protected spaces such as the Sickles of the River Esva or well-tended villages such as Tuña or Navelgas are added for example to the Monastery of Santa María La Real de Obona, a small sample of history and art that we will find in this council.
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The walk through Tineo where you can learn about its rich cultural and historical heritage, the town hall, the palace of the Garcia de Tineo or the church of San Pedro are just some of the attractions that this town offers its visitors. A town of great historical importance, both on the Way of Saint James and in Asturias. Its people and traditions will allow us to discover a little more about this town declared a Historic Site for its samples of Asturian rural architecture and ethnographic.
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This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 13-11-2018. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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