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When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears

Camino Madrid Nov. 06, 2021

mountaingoat79

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Hi all,

My first message on this board. I'm thinking of doing the Camino Madrid starting on Nov. 6. It's an easy/cheap connecting flight from London, Gatwick (traveling from Calgary) and it looks like a great walk. I'm prepared for any hiking/walking difficulty or weather but I'd prefer not to be alone for 10-12 days until I get to the Camino Frances. It sounds like there's a good chance that this could happen. I'm also wondering about the restaurant or food/drink situation on the Madrid. I'd prefer not to pack too many lunches and dinners since I cook enough at home. I also like to stop for an espresso/treat for lunch when it's possible. I would consider the option of continuing on to the Primitivo even if it's wet and difficult as long as I can have a warm meal each evening and preferably some company. I have 30 days for this Camino trip and I'm comfortable at completing 25-35KM a day with no days off but have some shorter walking days to recover. Any advice would be welcome. Maybe another Camino would be more suited for my requirements... I completed the Portuguese central route from Lisbon in November 2018.

Thanks!
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
Hi all,

My first message on this board. I'm thinking of doing the Camino Madrid starting on Nov. 6. It's an easy/cheap connecting flight from London, Gatwick (traveling from Calgary) and it looks like a great walk. I'm prepared for any hiking/walking difficulty or weather but I'd prefer not to be alone for 10-12 days until I get to the Camino Frances. It sounds like there's a good chance that this could happen. I'm also wondering about the restaurant or food/drink situation on the Madrid. I'd prefer not to pack too many lunches and dinners since I cook enough at home. I also like to stop for an espresso/treat for lunch when it's possible. I would consider the option of continuing on to the Primitivo even if it's wet and difficult as long as I can have a warm meal each evening and preferably 79some company. I have 30 days for this Camino trip and I'm comfortable at completing 25-35KM a day with no days off but have some shorter walking days to recover. Any advice would be welcome. Maybe another Camino would be more suited for my requirements... I completed the Portuguese central route from Lisbon in November 2018.

Thanks!
Hi , mountaingoat79. Welcome. I love your moniker! Go with your gut. Or your research. What do you actually want? That should help you decide, based on the mountains of information in this forum. The Peninsula is your oyster!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I think that both would be a very doable plan. I don't think you have to worry much about cooking as I believe most albergue kitchens are still closed. I would still do some planning for both caminos in terms of services and what to carry with you in terms of food and water. Take a look at Gronze.com it will give you maps, distances and services for both routes. They also do a great job of keeping up to date on open/closed albergues. Download the Wise Pilgrim and Buen Camino apps they will provide even more info. There are stages on both where there are either only one or two towns, and once or twice no towns on the entire stage. You also should know when the local, regional and national holidays are and of course Sundays, when nothing may be open in any of those little villages. Do some planning and you will be fine. But I do bet you will have to carry food with you some days and maybe for that days, lunch and dinner and the following morning breakfast. On days like that I buy some fruit. FInd the biggest baguette I can get and make a huge sandwich that I eat for lunch and dinner and a can of sardines. I will also get a smaller baguette with some of those mini packets of jelly and or butter (they are often available in grocery stores) for breakfast. It does add some weight but having food and energy more than makes up for it.
 

mountaingoat79

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Hi , mountaingoat79. Welcome. I love your moniker! Go with your gut. Or your research. What do you actually want? That should help you decide, based on the mountains of information in this forum. The Peninsula is your oyster!
Thanks kirkie. There's a lot of great information on this forum. I'm gradually working my way through it.
 

mountaingoat79

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
I think that both would be a very doable plan. I don't think you have to worry much about cooking as I believe most albergue kitchens are still closed. I would still do some planning for both caminos in terms of services and what to carry with you in terms of food and water. Take a look at Gronze.com it will give you maps, distances and services for both routes. They also do a great job of keeping up to date on open/closed albergues. Download the Wise Pilgrim and Buen Camino apps they will provide even more info. There are stages on both where there are either only one or two towns, and once or twice no towns on the entire stage. You also should know when the local, regional and national holidays are and of course Sundays, when nothing may be open in any of those little villages. Do some planning and you will be fine. But I do bet you will have to carry food with you some days and maybe for that days, lunch and dinner and the following morning breakfast. On days like that I buy some fruit. FInd the biggest baguette I can get and make a huge sandwich that I eat for lunch and dinner and a can of sardines. I will also get a smaller baguette with some of those mini packets of jelly and or butter (they are often available in grocery stores) for breakfast. It does add some weight but having food and energy more than makes up for it.
Great advice, thank-you. I'll check out Gronze.com and download those apps. Packing some food when needed shouldn't be a problem. No sardines for me though :). I typically like to plan in everyday life but on the Camino I enjoy not planning and ending up where I end up. With Co-vid and these Caminos I'll have to plan it looks like unless I do the Frances which should have many options for albergues and places to eat compared to the Madrid. I was supposed to do the Norte in April 2020 then Covid hit and I had to cancel all my flights. I may look at the Norte as well. Too many options and a lot of information to sift through. Maybe I'll just pick one out of a hat and go with that... They all sound wonderful to me.
 
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I had no problems finding food on the Camino Madrid. However, seeing it is a COVID year, I'd do a bit of planning ahead to be sure and I'd probably be sure to always have food in my pack.
 

mountaingoat79

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
I had no problems finding food on the Camino Madrid. However, seeing it is a COVID year, I'd do a bit of planning ahead to be sure and I'd probably be sure to always have food in my pack.
I’m hoping not only to find food but to find great meals on the way. Is that the case? On the Madrid are you able to stop at a cafe once a day for a break? I found the Portuguese way was excellent for this. Great way to interact with locals as well.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I’m hoping not only to find food but to find great meals on the way. Is that the case? On the Madrid are you able to stop at a cafe once a day for a break? I found the Portuguese way was excellent for this. Great way to interact with locals as well.
Noooo... not in every village. And especially since COVID, I have no idea. But I certainly didn't starve. The best meals I remember were dinner at Hotel Yelmo in Manzanares , dinner at Meson Don Jimeno in Segovia, La Cocina de Abuela Salus at Nava, Meson Mielga at Cigunuela, At Bar Hornillo in Penaflor I had very good rabbit stew for lunch. I think those were my favorites. There were some places with no bar, no place to eat, so carry food just in case.
 

mountaingoat79

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Noooo... not in every village. And especially since COVID, I have no idea. But I certainly didn't starve. The best meals I remember were dinner at Hotel Yelmo in Manzanares , dinner at Meson Don Jimeno in Segovia, La Cocina de Abuela Salus at Nava, Meson Mielga at Cigunuela, At Bar Hornillo in Penaflor I had very good rabbit stew for lunch. I think those were my favorites. There were some places with no bar, no place to eat, so carry food just in case.
Wow thank-you. You must keep a diary to remember all these places? Very helpful. I see you completed the Madrid twice. What made you want to walk it a second time with all the Camino options out there?
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Wow thank-you. You must keep a diary to remember all these places? Very helpful. I see you completed the Madrid twice. What made you want to walk it a second time with all the Camino options out there?

It's just such a lovely route and I didn't complete it the first time because I had to pick up my group in Pamplona. I would love to walk it again sometime soon.
 
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