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Camino de Madrid April 2019 updates

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cozumel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (Easter 2019); Frances (summer 2019)
After all the great tips I got from this forum I'd like to do my part and modestly contribute to update some of the info I found here. I don't believe I always stayed at the usual stops so I'm hoping some of this might be useful. Won't be posting any distances or times or poetic descriptions about the landscape since that's been done before and oh so much better that what i could do! I'll be concentrating essentially on the logistics.

Tres Cantos-Colmenar Viejo
1) The albergue is in the basement of the Town Hall (one bunk bed) so if you arrive outside of the opening hours (like I did on a Sunday) you need to contact the Policia who take over. The phone number I used to call the cops in Tres Cantos was 912 938 092 as opposed to 912 938 002. I arrived on a Sunday and since there is no real opening time you need to negotiate a time when they can send one of their own to open and stay for the night! Of course for them, the later the better... I got lucky with 7pm! There is a small mall down the road (with a very handy AUCHAN supermarket) where you can kill time if the weather is bad since on Sundays all the bars are closed in the afternoon. No heating but I had my winter down sleeping bag so all good. The next (Monday morning) everything was closed too as you have to leave at 6pm on the dot, there is a churros place not far but no place to sit. So did a return trip by train back to Madrid for breakfast since it was raining and just waited it out.


2) I was extremely lucky to find a camino angel in Colmenar Viejo that worked at the T.O. and who opened up just for me to give me the new updated (April 2019) accommodation/services available along the camino! See attached files.
 

Attachments

cozumel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (Easter 2019); Frances (summer 2019)
Manzanares-Cercedilla-Segovia-Ane

3) In Manzanares I stayed at Ray and Rosa! Yey! WhatsApp them first for a pick-up as they live a bit off the camino, and oh my, they surpass their reputation: a-ma-zing people, their cabin is every pilgrim's fantasy! And they have encyclopedic knowledge of the many caminos: such a treat for a newbie like me! This is where I met my camino buddies: 2 lovely ladies respectively from Oz and New Zealand (Hi Christine: cross6011! and Hi Judy: Marjude!).


4) There was snow on the pass between Cercedilla and Segovia so took the early morning train which was a breeze since the Hotel Aribel/Longinos (fantastic heating in the room! And it was around 1°C outside so very welcome warmth) is a 2min walk to the station.


5) In Ane there was no info for pilgrims on the Town Hall (that was closed) notice board, so I dialed up a random number and a very sweet lady gave me the number of the Alcalde (mayor) 633 685 333. It's a fact that some places are more pilgrim friendly than others. None of the locals could let us how to get the key and the albergue itself is not loved :-( It didn't help that the outside temp. was 4°C. There is a main and small room where there is a small electric radiator that worked, the shower was hot and there was a hot plate so objectively nothing to complain about. Just an overall sens of coldness from people and weather. It was my most underwhelming experience on the camino. It was also my 1st camino so maybe that also plays.
 

cozumel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (Easter 2019); Frances (summer 2019)
Nava de Asuncion-Villeguillo

6) In Nava de la Asuncion you can get the keys to the Municipal albergue in the Sports Bar at the Sports Center, the man in charge is the bartender Raoul! It was super busy for him so he couldn't free himself for more than an hour to walk us to the albergue which is a room on the fringes of the football pitch, next door to the gear room. There were 2 small heaters so one could go in the bathroom! You pay Margarita at the town pasteleria: 5euros. There's a lavanderia with driers next to the school open 9am-10pm and a very well stocked supermarket behind Margarita's shop.


7) Villeguillo was such a contrast to Ane, the arrival in the village was a cheering welcome by the locals at the local "Social Center" i.e. bar! People wanted to take selfies with me and my camino buddy, we were asked what we wanted to eat and when I tentatively announced I was vegan Enrique said : you eat what cows eat yeah? No problem! We were given the keys, told to come back later and someone walked us to the new albergue! What a wonderful stop, very few people stay here as they are sometimes told there is no albergue: one Spanish pilgrim we met after said he had no idea there was an albergue in Villeguillo, and he was also an hospitalero. So I'd like to give a shout out to Enrique, very hard working and professional hospitalero. He must have been a professional cook because his food was amazing (all home cooked as the bread!) and he runs a great business. He also does breakfast from 7:30am and there's some food on sale to stock up if needed. The albergue itself in nothing I ever saw before or after: 2 bathrooms with towels, soap, hand-wash, TP, shampoo, shower gel, all kinds of infos for pilgrims on the wall: taxi numbers, maps etc... Electric heater in the small dorm!
 

cozumel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (Easter 2019); Frances (summer 2019)
Alcazaren-Valladolid-Medina de Rio Seco

8) Alcazaren super cute albergue. there’s definitevy love here! Some woman from the village has been knitting and doing crochet for the curtains. Well taken care of place. Heating if needed.


This is where I cheated cos I needed to be in Madrid on the 19th April so I bused to Medina del Rio Seco. Oups!


9) Medina de Rio Seco’s albergue is open again so that was a wonderful and timely surprise. There is a congregation of monks from Chile from what I understood. Great place to stay, washing machine in the kitchen, very welcoming. No heating but was OK with my hot water bottle ;-) Leaving the town you walk along the canal for a few Ks, and I read a debate about taking the right or left side depending on the overgrowth. All the locals were on the right and I took the left. Both were fine, the tracks are wide enough a car could drive up.


10) Cuenca de Campos is a village without a shop but there are 2 bars and a grocery truck that comes in once in a while during the week. The albergue is HUGE, 3 rooms and 22 beds total, you get the keys from Carmina in the first bar, not Tata’s bar. Kitchen stocked up and functional. A quick note on Carmina : she’s a painter and in the old days her house would have 2 rooms for pilgrims that she decorated with mural painting. She’s also a pedicurist for the village and more than happy to extend her clientele to pilgrims. Although I had the whole albergue to myself I still needed ear plugs as the church bells round the corner ring all through the night… on the hour… then 5 minutes later! For a euro extra you get heating in the whole building, not very eco friendly though.
 

cozumel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (Easter 2019); Frances (summer 2019)
Santervas de Campos-Grajal de Campos


11) Most of the villages after Medina de Rio Seco are “something de Campos” because you are in the middle of the fields for the most part. So in Santervas de Campos I met the grocery truck again. The driver was very surprised to see me, as I ;-) I guess it’s a god send (pun intended!) to have these trucks plowing these villages as most of the local elderly people have no means of transportation. So in Santervas there is the albergue and nothing else, no shop, no bar. The albergue is open with on site hospitaleros,so no key hunting. There is great care in the maintenance of the place. I didn’t pick up all the history attached to it but apparently the new mayor is eager to promote the camino and the albergue is in full renovation mode with new bedding and more.


12) Grajal de Campos was my last village on the camino as I had to get back to Madrid for my flight. It’s well worth a stop. I didn’t have time to sleep in the albergue but I had the good fortune of peeking inside! The mayor was on duty welcoming visitors for a special exhibition in town, and he showed me down. Yes, it’s in the basement of the old palace. Regular bunk beds but amazing surroundings. Radiators on the lovely stone walls, microwave and spotless shower.


Getting back to Madrid was fairly easy. The train timetables are posted at the bar next to the Meson de las Cepas restaurant. There aren’t a lot so I was lucky it fit my schedule. I took one around 4pm to Madrid. The station is tiny, no station master so to know which side the train comes in you either ask locals that will give you conflicting info ;-) or figure it out remembering trains run on the left and heave a sigh of relief when the automatic recording goes on to tell you the train will shortly be arriving on platform…!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Are you sure there's no shop in Cuenca? Locals told you that or you just didn't find it? Gronze.com still has it listed. In 2014 it was in the same building as Ayuntamiento (to the left as you look at the main entrance) but with very limited opening hours. It might changed though.

Same for Santervas. Within the albergue complex there was a bar/restaurante and shop (again Gronze.com still lists it). And also Centro social few meters down to the left from albergue/church. So 2 bars and shop in 2014.
 

cozumel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (Easter 2019); Frances (summer 2019)
Final thoughts


First huge thanks to all you forum members that contribute regularly to make endeavors like this possible with minimum stress. A first camino is a little unsettling in a good way and you just crave info! I’m sure my next caminos will be much more easy going and instead of focusing on the logistics and the physical challenge I’ll be more into the social, historical, cultural aspect and who knows I might get all spiritual about it;-)


For pilgrim newbies as me I also had to remind myself (too late) that your day doesn’t end when you get to the albergue: you still have to do quite a bit of Sherlocking around to get the keys, you also have to do your laundry and eat and then you should still have energy enough to do a bit of sight seeing. Some of my stages were too long and since I didn’t have any blisters, no tendinitis, a light pack and trained before hand and was super excited! I probably pushed it and didn’t really enjoy the stages as I should have. Next time!
 

cozumel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (Easter 2019); Frances (summer 2019)
Are you sure there's no shop in Cuenca? Locals told you that or you just didn't find it? Gronze.com still has it listed. In 2014 it was in the same building as Ayuntamiento (to the left as you look at the main entrance) but with very limited opening hours. It might changed though.

Same for Santervas. Within the albergue complex there was a bar/restaurante and shop (again Gronze.com still lists it). And also Centro social few meters down to the left from albergue/church. So 2 bars and shop in 2014.
For Cuenca you might be right as I remember Carmina telling me we could get me some bread but she had to get someone to open the shop, so for me it wasn't an official one. I thought it was in someone's house like it can sometimes happen like in Ane for example.
In Santervas I'm sure. I went to the Social Center first and there were a couple of men drinking but no food at all, and the Bar/Resaturant NamNam closed a few months ago as the chef left. The albergue has no shop and talking to the hospitaleros they said it was indeed a problem since they themselves have to communte to get food for the communal diner. They also warned me that some future hospitaleros might not even offer food because of that reason. You can also check it in the updated services for the camino files I uploaded: NamNam is no longer listed...
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
This thread is wonderful. I have already downloaded all of the attachments and the thread as a whole to my iphone, to have with me on the trail when I walk the camino this fall. Of course, change happens all the time and I realize that you have no control over what may happen later or what the situation is at places where you did not stop. Thanks very much.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
For Cuenca you might be right as I remember Carmina telling me we could get me some bread but she had to get someone to open the shop, so for me it wasn't an official one. I thought it was in someone's house like it can sometimes happen like in Ane for example.
In Santervas I'm sure. I went to the Social Center first and there were a couple of men drinking but no food at all, and the Bar/Resaturant NamNam closed a few months ago as the chef left. The albergue has no shop and talking to the hospitaleros they said it was indeed a problem since they themselves have to communte to get food for the communal diner. They also warned me that some future hospitaleros might not even offer food because of that reason. You can also check it in the updated services for the camino files I uploaded: NamNam is no longer listed...
Thank you very much @cozumel for this info. It's extremely usefull for future pilgrims. Situation in those small villages can change from month to month.

Do you have any recollection about a shop (in 2014 you could also bought fertilizers there or as we say everything from a needle to a locomotive :) ) in Valverde de Campos which is last village before Medina?
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
For Cuenca you might be right as I remember Carmina telling me we could get me some bread but she had to get someone to open the shop, so for me it wasn't an official one. I thought it was in someone's house like it can sometimes happen like in Ane for example.
In Santervas I'm sure. I went to the Social Center first and there were a couple of men drinking but no food at all, and the Bar/Resaturant NamNam closed a few months ago as the chef left. The albergue has no shop and talking to the hospitaleros they said it was indeed a problem since they themselves have to communte to get food for the communal diner. They also warned me that some future hospitaleros might not even offer food because of that reason. You can also check it in the updated services for the camino files I uploaded: NamNam is no longer listed...
Thanks @cozumel . Sorry to hear of the closure of Nam Nam (which I'm sure everyone knows means Yum Yum!) The food was excellent three years ago... And on a very cold November day a great woodchip stove to settle next to food the afternoon.
 
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cozumel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (Easter 2019); Frances (summer 2019)
Thank you very much @cozumel for this info. It's extremely usefull for future pilgrims. Situation in those small villages can change from month to month.

Do you have any recollection about a shop (in 2014 you could also bought fertilizers there or as we say everything from a needle to a locomotive :) ) in Valverde de Campos which is last village before Medina?
No I have no info to share unfortunately, reason is I cheated! I bused from Alcazaren to Medina so didn't get a chance to stop in between... Sorry. But sounds like a great shop-stop! I'm reaching out to Marjude too as we were on the road at the same time, she might have some fresh news;-) And thanks for your encouragements!
 

cozumel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (Easter 2019); Frances (summer 2019)
Ah, Villeguillo... One of my favourite stops on Madrid and Caminos at large. Excellent albergue and extremely friendly bar.
Yes, that was the highlight of the camino for me. And such a great feeling of being adopted in the village straight away. The excellent food was memorable, veggies a la plancha for me and fresh fish for my camino buddy, and cheese and fruit and icecream and it just kept coming. You won't starve here! But it's the human warmth that stands out, this is literally the heart of the area;-)
 

cozumel

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (Easter 2019); Frances (summer 2019)
Thanks @cozumel . Sorry to hear of the closure of Nam Nam (which I'm sure everyone knows means Yum Yum!) The food was excellent three years ago... And on a very cold November day a great woodchip stove to settle next to food the afternoon.
Or Miam Miam in French! Yes I was looking forwards to having a great meal there. And the Social Center can't make up for it, even for a place to chill out or warm up. My experience was that the bartender couldn't get me out the door quick enough;-)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Are you sure there's no shop in Cuenca? Locals told you that or you just didn't find it? Gronze.com still has it listed. In 2014 it was in the same building as Ayuntamiento (to the left as you look at the main entrance) but with very limited opening hours. It might changed though.

Same for Santervas. Within the albergue complex there was a bar/restaurante and shop (again Gronze.com still lists it). And also Centro social few meters down to the left from albergue/church. So 2 bars and shop in 2014.
Kinky, you are always so enthused and eager to add in your thoughts about so many of the trails you have already walked. You either take great notes or have a sharp memory!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Yes a little bit of everything you mentioned but I don't even look in my notes (maybe for distances) because everything is still so vivid in my memory even after 5 years.

I guess it's a survival method ( e.g.escapism) for times when I'm not there :D
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes a little bit of everything you mentioned but I don't even look in my notes (maybe for distances) because everything is still so vivid in my memory even after 5 years.

I guess it's a survival method ( e.g.escapism) for times when I'm not there :D
Yes, but do you at least have to look up the spellings of all those unusual village names you know such as Ayuntamiento?😛
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hahaha, usually not.
But Ayuntamiento isn't the name of the village ;)
Oh, you are right of course! It is the name of a "building"...making it even more difficult to remember or look up!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
For those who walked the Madrid route in April, what dates did you walk and what was the weather like? I've walked it in May, but am thinking of dropping in around the 2nd week of April ...
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (2014)
Le Puy - SJPP (2016)
Camino de Madrid (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
For those who walked the Madrid route in April, what dates did you walk and what was the weather like? I've walked it in May, but am thinking of dropping in around the 2nd week of April ...
Hi Annie

I started from Madrid on April 7 this year. A few days later there was rain, hail, sleet and snow flurries on the day into Cercedilla. We had to take the train from Cercedilla to Segovia because the mountain route was closed by snow (but only for one or two days, I think). Had a very cold day exploring Segovia - see the photo! But otherwise there was little or no rain, it was cold in the mornings & evenings and pleasant cool daytime walking. Big frost overnight when we were at Ane. The albergues had no central heating, though some had plug in heaters, and in general they were very cold & I was glad of my down sleeping bag. I was walking with Cozumel and she had a hot water bottle, which I envied!

Christine
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
Hi Annie

I started from Madrid on April 7 this year. A few days later there was rain, hail, sleet and snow flurries on the day into Cercedilla. We had to take the train from Cercedilla to Segovia because the mountain route was closed by snow (but only for one or two days, I think). Had a very cold day exploring Segovia - see the photo! But otherwise there was little or no rain, it was cold in the mornings & evenings and pleasant cool daytime walking. Big frost overnight when we were at Ane. The albergues had no central heating, though some had plug in heaters, and in general they were very cold & I was glad of my down sleeping bag. I was walking with Cozumel and she had a hot water bottle, which I envied!

Christine
Oooooooo... a hot water bottle may go on my packing list
I hopped up to the route in late April one year from the Cordoba route, on which I was drowning and the weather was gorgeous, but it was later in the month. Thanks for the info!
 

tinta

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago 2016, Le Puy en Velay to SJPP 2018, Santiago to Finisterre, Muxia 2018.
A big thankyou from another peregrino. The information you have so thoughtfully provided is muy apreciado.
 

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