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LIVE from the Camino Camino Mendocino and Camino de Madrid: May 2019

2020 Camino Guides

NualaOC

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I'm in Guadalajara, ready to begin the Camino Mendocino tomorrow morning. This is likely to be a 3-day (96km) solitary walk, before joining the Camino de Madrid in Manazanares el Real.

My journey from Madrid airport was an easy one. A quick taxi ride to the train station at San Fernando de Henares, where I took the C2 train to Guadalajara. The taxi was pretty expensive (€25 for a 10 minute ride) but it was so much faster than the other options. The driver was very keen to take me all the way to Guadalajara for €85, but I declined his kind offer :)

It turns out that I’m the first ‘foreign’ pilgrim to walk the Camino Mendocino and I received the warmest of welcomes from the Guadalajara association. My credencial was ready when I arrived and I was presented with a scarf to mark my ‘special status!’ It was a most memorable experience - such genuine kindness, plus lots of practical advice. I was so glad to have brought a Camino Society Ireland badge and some chocolates as a small reciprocal token.

For anyone thinking of walking this route, Hotel España is close to the start point (Iglesia Santiago de Guadaljara). However, I couldn't get a bed there and the other options were either very expensive or not conveniently located. I decided to stay in Hotel Puerta Guadalajara which is a comfortable, albeit soulless place on the edge of the town. It has one BIG advantage - walking here tonight here gives me a 2km head start on tomorrow's 30.4km walk to Viñuelas. Every little helps, especially on a hot day with very little shade.

I'll post here when I can and I'll also share photos on instagram @nuala_wanders. Apologies in advance for the inevitable typos - I struggle with typing stuff on my phone.

Life is good!

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timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
I'm in Guadalajara, ready to begin the Camino Mendocino tomorrow morning. This is likely to be a 3-day (96km) solitary walk, before joining the Camino de Madrid in Manazanares el Real.

My journey from Madrid airport was an easy one. A quick taxi ride to the train station at San Fernando de Henares, where I took the C2 train to Guadalajara. The taxi was pretty expensive (€25 for a 10 minute ride) but it was so much faster than the other options. The driver was very keen to take me all the way to Guadalajara for €85, but I declined his kind offer :)

It turns out that I’m the first ‘foreign’ pilgrim to walk the Camino Mendocino and I received the warmest of welcomes from the Guadalajara association. My credencial was ready when I arrived and I was presented with a scarf to mark my ‘special status!’ It was a most memorable experience - such genuine kindness, plus lots of practical advice. I was so glad to have brought a Camino Society Ireland badge and some chocolates as a small reciprocal token.

For anyone thinking of walking this route, Hotel España is close to the start point (Iglesia Santiago de Guadaljara). However, I couldn't get a bed there and the other options were either very expensive or not conveniently located. I decided to stay in Hotel Puerta Guadalajara which is a comfortable, albeit soulless place on the edge of the town. It has one BIG advantage - walking here tonight here gives me a 2km head start on tomorrow's 30.4km walk to Viñuelas. Every little helps, especially on a hot day with very little shade.

I'll post here when I can and I'll also share photos on instagram @nuala_wanders. Apologies in advance for the inevitable typos - I struggle with typing stuff on my phone.

Life is good!

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Sounds fantastic Nuala. Looking forward to hearing about it. I'm on Via Egnatia just walked 32km.today from North Macedonia into Greece. I have a "Live on" thread but hard to keep up. Thought of you often when I was up to my ankles in mud or occasionally up to mid calves in water! This is ultra solitary but I'm loving it. I plan to get to Thessaloniki and then come back in the autumn and continue to Istanbul. Buen Camino. Tim
 

NualaOC

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Day 1: Hotel Puerta Guadalajara to Viñuelas - about 28kms.

I slept OK in the hotel and left at around 6.45am. I knew that today would have lots of ups and downs and was keen to walk as much as I could in cooler temperatures. As it turned out, the weather wasn’t as hot as expected and I enjoyed a gentle breeze for much of the day.

This was a really nice walk, with a good mix of terrain. Much of it was alongside cereal fields, with lots of broom, lavender and wildflowers. There were views of the mountains and a distant view of Madrid at one point. All in all, a happy first day.

The way-marking was good, but I was glad to have Ray y Rosa GPS tracks ‘just in case.’ I used them a few times to double check that I was going the right way - it’s always reassuring to see the blue dot moving nicely along the green line.

Services were very limited today. I was delighted to get an early coffee in Marchamalo, as the next bar wasn’t for another 20kms . There are two big supermarkets in Marchamalo, but neither were open when I passed through. I expected to find a small shop in Fuentelahiguera de Albatages (25kms from Guadalajara) but I didn’t see it. However, the cheese toastie I had in the bar tasted like the best meal I’ve ever had! There are no shops in Viñuelas and the albergue doesn’t have cooking facilities. A bit of planning is definitely needed.

Lots of locals wished me well today and a few expressed surprise/concern that I was travelling alone. I had another unexpectedly wonderful experience this afternoon when I went to pick up the keys of the albergue. I’ll do a separate post about that shortly.
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NualaOC

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Day 2: Sunday 12rh May 2019
Viñuelas - Torrelaguna - Refueña. About 32kms.

I had a good plan for today: start walking at 6am and arrive in Torrelaguna by about 10am. That would allow me to keep walking to Refueña and catch the 12.30 bus back to my accommodation. Why? Because doing so would tame tomorrow’s long walk to Manzanares el Real. A quick bus ride and a 33km walk instead of a 42km one.

That plan was great in theory, but didn’t take account of what was to unfold the night before. Viñuelas is the home of Julián Pascaul, a man described by all as the father of the Camino Mendocino. Julián and his family worked tirelessly to create the route and achieve its official recognition last year. The arrival of the first foreign pilgrim in his village was a very big deal! I met the residents of the nursing home where he works, his entire family and most of the village’s 100 residents at the San Isodoro festivities that evening. And as if that wasn’t enough, I dined with the family and had the first taste of a special Camino-themed liqueur. A very special evening.

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Not surprisingly, the 6am start didn’t happen but I still managed to walk pretty quickly to Torrelaguna (22kms). It was a very pleasant and flat walk, well marked by Julián and his daughter. A mix of terrain.

Torrelaguna is a big town with lots of services and the best collection of stork nests I’ve ever seen! I opted for a room in the Posada, rather than staying in the convent albergue. I was able to check in really early, give my feet some much needed TLC and have a long siesta.

I felt great when I woke up and decided to walk that 9kms to Refueña and get the evening bus back to Torreleguna. I’m really glad I did that. It was quite a tough walk, with some steep ascents and descents. Great natural trails with constant birdsong and stunning views, but probably the most strenuous section so far.

On arriving in Refueña, a woman asked if I were the Peregrina Irlandesa. She then phoned her friend who came rushing down to give the me the town sello! Julián had told them to look out for me. They also insisted on giving me a lift back to the Posada, even though I was quite happy to take the bus. So kind of them.

On arriving back in Torrelaguna, I had coffee with two local women who were also part of Julián’s band of Camino amigos. All in all a super but somewhat overwhelming day.

Route photos to follow.
 
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NualaOC

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NualaOC

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Sounds fabulous Nuala. Give my most special regards to Ray y Rosa xxx
I’m at Ray y Rosa’s now but unfortunately they’re away - their lovely daughter is looking after me. No other pilgrims here!I didn’t need to be picked up as their home is really close to the Mendocino route into Manzanares.

Hope your walk is going well!
 

NualaOC

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Day 3: Refueña to Manzanares el Real. Monday 13 May. About 34kms.

This was a long and very hot day, but also a ‘smiling all the way’ one. It had everything: hills, nature reserves, lots of stork nests, two reservoirs ....... and toros bravos!

Most of the walk was on natural trails, through fields, trees and nature reserves. The reservoirs of Guadalix de la Sierra and Manzanares el Real were spectacular and the Camino runs alongside both. Unlike the previous days, there were a few towns with all services.

Julián wanted me to stop at each Ayuntamiento for a sello. It’s important to show that pilgrims are walking this Camino, as more support is needed for its infrastructure. . That slowed me down a bit, especially in Guadalix de la Sierra, where I joined a queue of residents with various queries about local services. Had it been any other Camino, I wouldn’t have bothered! Eventually, It was my turn and the guy stamped my credencial without much ado. He then presented me with a gift from the ayuntamiento - a Camino Mendocino bag containing energy bars, cans of Aquarius, a buff and a badge. A very nice gesture indeed.

I should probably have stopped for a lunch at that point, but there was a long climb ahead to the highest point of the Mendocino. It was also getting really hot. I took a quick break and got going again.

It was up, up and up for the next 6 (?) kms to the highest point of this Camino (1029m). It began with a short and steep climb out of Guadalix, but then settled into a long slow ascent.

When the Torrelaguna ladies told me last night that I’d see toros bravos, I thought they were trying to scare me! But no, the Camino runs alongside the ranches that breed these animals. Close to the biggest ranch, the Camino seemed to come to an abrupt halt. There was a huge metal gate blocking the path. It was clearly a ranch gate, so I figured that I’d missed an arrow and taken a wrong turn. I retraced my steps and then carefully followed each marker, right back to the same place. I thought I was hallucinating, as the path was now clear! On closer examination, the gate was now blocking the entrance to the ranch, rather than the trail.

I then saw a most spectacular sight - a big herd of enormous black bulls charging through the ranch, with two wild-looking men on horseback galloping behind them. No time to take a photo, but I won’t forget that sight in a hurry. It was like something from an old cowboy movie.

After that excitement, it was an easy and uneventful walk to Soto de Real, where I stopped for a sello and some lunch. The bars were full of clean and stylish people, so a Carrefour picnic in the park felt more appropriate. That break helped me to find the energy for the final 9kms to Ray y Rosa. It wasn’t too hard as it skirted the Dehesia Boyal, with its beautiful horses and grazing cattle. After that, a walk alongside the reservoir towards Manzanares el Real.

And so ended the Camino Mendocino and a very memorable three days. I had a quiet evening with Ray y Rosa’s lovely daughter and no other pilgrims. Maybe I’ll see my first pilgrim tomorrow when I join the Camino de Madrid!


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timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
@NualaOC Nuala, I feel I MUST go on this route if only for the Toros! I think you have done CdM before? I think it might be my favourite🤔.
I'm in Edessa. Rain, rain, rain. I'm getting fairly near to Thessaloniki where I must finish this time but a bit of juggling required because of very limited accommodation. I think I may do something I've NEVER done before: taxi out and walk BACK to Edessa tomorrow. Then taxi out and continue next day. It's good to be flexible!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Nuala,
So happy to see how well these three days went. I am glad you are blazing the trail so that the camino will get some more recognition, you know there will be more of us following in your footsteps! Onward from Manzanares, hope the weather continues to hold and that it doesn’t get too hot. Buen camino, peregrina, loving your posts, Laurie
 

NualaOC

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@NualaOC Nuala, I feel I MUST go on this route if only for the Toros! I think you have done CdM before? I think it might be my favourite🤔.
I'm in Edessa. Rain, rain, rain. I'm getting fairly near to Thessaloniki where I must finish this time but a bit of juggling required because of very limited accommodation. I think I may do something I've NEVER done before: taxi out and walk BACK to Edessa tomorrow. Then taxi out and continue next day. It's good to be flexible!
You must be really fed up with that rain! I’ve done the ‘forward and back’ thing a couple of times. It can be a smart solution when options are limited.

This is my first time on the Camino de Madrid. I love it so far; beautiful landscapes and natural trails. I’m in Cercedilla tonight - in that youth hostel you recommended. Just me in the room - the noisy teenagers are on a different floor 😀

And you should definitely walk the Mendicino sometime! It’s special.
 

NualaOC

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Hi, Nuala,
So happy to see how well these three days went. I am glad you are blazing the trail so that the camino will get some more recognition, you know there will be more of us following in your footsteps! Onward from Manzanares, hope the weather continues to hold and that it doesn’t get too hot. Buen camino, peregrina, loving your posts, Laurie
Thanks Laurie - this was all your fault, so you’ll definitely have to walk the Mendocino soon! I think you’d really enjoy meeting Julián Pascaul and he’d love to hear about all your your Caminos.

The heat is challenging (for me) but I’m getting used to it. It’s to get cooler this week.

I haven’t fully decided what I’m doing tomorrow. I think I’ll walk to La Granja and visit the gardens. Not sure if I’ll stay there or walk a bit more. Nice to have options!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Nuala,
Just by coincidence saw that Javier had posted a link to a local article about the Camino de Madrid. https://www.madridesnoticia.es/2019/05/camino-de-madrid/

One interesting tidbit — a 40% increase since 2014, but the numbers are very small still — only 720 total pilgrims in 2018. Hope you meet some nice peregrinos on the way, abrazos.

But wait, surely you are not walking to La Granja tomorrow, that would be crazy!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Thanks for posting about your walk on Mendocino. Next time I'll decided to walk Madrid (I did it in whole in 2014 and some stretches last year) this is the way to go. Seems beautiful and with all the hospitality of locals definitely a good option.
I took Valsain variante and next time I want to walk directly do Segovia/Zamarramala and I also want to check out variante (not the canal one) after Medina de Rioseco. Maybe even detour to Valladolid. And Grajal de Campos will be a must for me :) So that's more than enough reasons to go there again and include Mendocino in itinerary.

Buen CdM!
 

NualaOC

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Nuala,
Just by coincidence saw that Javier had posted a link to a local article about the Camino de Madrid. https://www.madridesnoticia.es/2019/05/camino-de-madrid/

One interesting tidbit — a 40% increase since 2014, but the numbers are very small still — only 720 total pilgrims in 2018. Hope you meet some nice peregrinos on the way, abrazos.

But wait, surely you are not walking to La Granja tomorrow, that would be crazy!
Thanks Laurie, I’ll take a look at that.

And sorry, I should have explained that I’m a day behind with my posts. I’m in Cercedilla now, in the Albergue Juvenil just past the town.
 

NualaOC

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A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Thanks for posting about your walk on Mendocino. Next time I'll decided to walk Madrid (I did it in whole in 2014 and some stretches last year) this is the way to go. Seems beautiful and with all the hospitality of locals definitely a good option.
I took Valsain variante and next time I want to walk directly do Segovia/Zamarramala and I also want to check out variante (not the canal one) after Medina de Rioseco. Maybe even detour to Valladolid. And Grajal de Campos will be a must for me :) So that's more than enough reasons to go there again and include Mendocino in itinerary.

Buen CdM!
Thanks @KinkyOne, that sounds like a very interesting plan. And by the way, I think I first became aware of the Camino Madrid from your 2014 posts.

What’s the diversion after Medina de Rioseca? I love diversions!

Oh, and no Renault 4 sightings yet. I was sure I’d see at least one in the little villages on the Mendocino 😀
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Thanks @KinkyOne, that sounds like a very interesting plan. And by the way, I think I first became aware of the Camino Madrid from your 2014 posts.

What’s the diversion after Medina de Rioseca? I love diversions!

Oh, and no Renault 4 sightings yet. I was sure I’d see at least one in the little villages on the Mendocino 😀
After MdR there used to be three options. The one that is now official and most walked is along the Canal de Campos and goes straight to Tamariz de Campos (the most righthand option). The middle one on the dissused narrow gauge train track (Via Verde) goes to Moral de la Reina. And the lefthand option goes through Berrueces first and then on to Moral de la Reina. I don't know how last two are marked but all three converge in Cuenca de Campos.
Check Map 9 in attachment.
If you can't open it here's print screen: http://prntscr.com/nokkoc

No, R4s??? Oh, that's a shame :D
 

Attachments

NualaOC

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Quick update; I’m in Santa Maria la Real de Nieva now. I walked to Segovia yesterday and very nearly took a rest day there. However, I realised that it wouldn’t be a rest as there’s so much to see! I’ll definitely visit again as a tourist.

The transition from the Mendicino to the Madrid has been a comfortable and gradual one. I left Ray y Rosa’s place at 7am on Tuesday morning and watched the sunrise over the Manzanares reservoir. I walked alongside it for a couple of kilometres until the castle came into view and celebrated completing the Mendocino with a ‘proper’ coffee and a seriously calorific chocolate treat.

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I continued walking to Cercedilla and stayed in the Vila Castora youth hostel. As others have said, great location and accommodation. Food not so great, but did the job.

I loved the walk to the Puerta de la Fuenfria yesterday morning. And I met my first pilgrims on the way down! Two Swiss guys who are also in the albergue tonight.

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The walk to Segovia was fine, but it was very hot again and I was exhausted when I arrived in the city. hadn’t booked accommodation, but I got a bed at the Duerme Vela hostel. It’s a nice place and I slept well.

I didn’t plan to walk 34 (?) kms today, but I was feeling good and there was a cool breeze, so that’s what happened. 5 of us in the Santa Maria Real de Nieva albergue tonight: me, the two Swiss guys I met yesterday and two Spanish men.

Coca tomorrow.

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Loving your posts. Five people in Santa María would be almost maximum capacity, no?! It was such a cute little house. I’m sure I’ve told this anecdote before, but the owner of the house, who is a truck driver, I believe, told us that for generations that house was used to give temporary housing to the seasonal agricultural workers who came to work on his family’s finca. He said the he was honoring their memory by turning the house into accommodations for a new bunch of transients.

On to Coca! The albergue there is big enough to probably give all five of you your own individual rooms! Buen camino, Nuala, abrazos from Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Quick update; I’m in Santa Maria la Real de Nieva now. I walked to Segovia yesterday and very nearly took a rest day there. However, I realised that it wouldn’t be a rest as there’s so much to see! I’ll definitely visit again as a tourist.

The transition from the Mendicino to the Madrid has been a comfortable and gradual one. I left Ray y Rosa’s place at 7am on Tuesday morning and watched the sunrise over the Manzanares reservoir. I walked alongside it for a couple of kilometres until the castle came into view and celebrated complying the Mendocino with a ‘proper’ coffee and a seriously calorific chocolate treat.

View attachment 57388

I continued walking to Cercedilla and stayed in the Vila Castora youth hostel. As others have said, great location and accommodation. Food not so great, but did the job.

I loved the walk to the Puerta de la Fuenfria yesterday morning. And I met my first pilgrims on the way down! Two Swiss guys who are also in the albergue tonight.

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The walk to Segovia was fine, but it was very hot again and I was exhausted when I arrived in the city. hadn’t booked accommodation, but I got a bed at the Duerme Vela hostel. It’s a nice place and I slept well.

I didn’t plan to walk 31 kms today, but I was feeling good and there was a cool breeze, so that’s what happened. 5 of us in the Santa Maria Real de Nieva albergue tonight: me, the two Swiss guys and two Spanish men.

Coca tomorrow.

View attachment 57447
I am enjoying following you, Nuala. Intrepid pilgrim! Thanks for your posts.
 

Pilger99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
I'm a bit confused about your "hot" day complaints. I hope you just mean, lower temperature would have been easier, because anybody who walks in central Spain should be prepared to very hot days in summer and also to snow/ice in winter! Unfortunately the few weeks of lovely spring time can't be predicted. It changes pretty fast and spring also comes with rain.

This month was fairly cool compared to my "summer" experience of the Madrid way some years ago. You had just one day with 31°C in Madrid and right now "freezing" 13°C in Segovia :).
I started with 38°C and kept around 35°-40C in the whole Madrid province (I still noticed 32°C at midnight in Tres Cantos). After a thunderstorm at night the morning up to Fuenfria pass was rather cold and foggy, while sunshine started again about an hour after the top. The height of Castilla was still good to reduce the maximum by 3 to 5 degrees.

May you have the weather you like on your journey. Enjoy.
 

NualaOC

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I'm a bit confused about your "hot" day complaints. I hope you just mean, lower temperature would have been easier, because anybody who walks in central Spain should be prepared to very hot days in summer and also to snow/ice in winter! Unfortunately the few weeks of lovely spring time can't be predicted. It changes pretty fast and spring also comes with rain.

This month was fairly cool compared to my "summer" experience of the Madrid way some years ago. You had just one day with 31°C in Madrid and right now "freezing" 13°C in Segovia :).
I started with 38°C and kept around 35°-40C in the whole Madrid province (I still noticed 32°C at midnight in Tres Cantos). After a thunderstorm at night the morning up to Fuenfria pass was rather cold and foggy, while sunshine started again about an hour after the top. The height of Castilla was still good to reduce the maximum by 3 to 5 degrees.

May you have the weather you like on your journey. Enjoy.
You’re right @Pilger99, those ‘hot’ temperatures were nothing unusual and the weather forecast was very accurate. I just found it tough as I’m from a colder climate.

The ‘freezing’ temperatures today - perfect hiking weather for me!
 

NualaOC

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Day 7: Santa Maria Real de Nieve to Coca. About 21kms.

Super-easy walk today and much cooler temperatures. The forecast had predicted rain, but it fell during the night and was gone by the morning. It was nice listening to the rain on the wooden roof of the albergue - brought back happy memories of scout camps when I was younger. .

I stopped for an extended breakfast in Nava de la Asunción and chatted to a Spanish man who spent time in Dublin last year. He told me of his surprise at hearing so many young people speaking Spanish. He hadn’t known about the annual influx of young language students in the city.

The Coca albergue is really good and the hospitalera is very enthusiastic about her role! She saw me walking into the town and took me under her wing. She put me in the small 2-bed room, which is amazing. €5. Just 3 of us here tonight, but she said that things have been much busier than last year. 37 pilgrims so far this month.

I’ve had a very lazy afternoon here. Menu del dia with the Swiss guys, rest, blister care and a wander around the town. Another good day on the Camino de Madrid.

I’m having trouble uploading today’s photos - I’ll try again tomorrow.
 

NualaOC

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Loving your posts. Five people in Santa María would be almost maximum capacity, no?! It was such a cute little house. I’m sure I’ve told this anecdote before, but the owner of the house, who is a truck driver, I believe, told us that for generations that house was used to give temporary housing to the seasonal agricultural workers who came to work on his family’s finca. He said the he was honoring their memory by turning the house into accommodations for a new bunch of transients.

On to Coca! The albergue there is big enough to probably give all five of you your own individual rooms! Buen camino, Nuala, abrazos from Laurie
Yes, the Santa Maria albergue has six beds, so it was nearly full. A lovely little place. There’s a similar story in the CSJ guide about its origin.

I’m really enjoying this Camino.
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
You must be really fed up with that rain! I’ve done the ‘forward and back’ thing a couple of times. It can be a smart solution when options are limited.

This is my first time on the Camino de Madrid. I love it so far; beautiful landscapes and natural trails. I’m in Cercedilla tonight - in that youth hostel you recommended. Just me in the room - the noisy teenagers are on a different floor 😀

And you should definitely walk the Mendicino sometime! It’s special.
Hi Nuala just catching up with your great posts and wonderful photos.
I am in Elizonde in the great bar you recommended for coffee- wonderful thank you.
Buen Camino amiga
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Day 3: Refueña to Manzanares el Real. Monday 13 May. About 34kms.

This was a long and very hot day, but also a ‘smiling all the way’ one. It had everything: hills, nature reserves, lots of stork nests, two reservoirs ....... and toros bravos!

Most of the walk was on natural trails, through fields, trees and nature reserves. The reservoirs of Guadalix de la Sierra and Manzanares el Real were spectacular and the Camino runs alongside both. Unlike the previous days, there were a few towns with all services.

Julián wanted me to stop at each Ayuntamiento for a sello. It’s important to show that pilgrims are walking this Camino, as more support is needed for its infrastructure. . That slowed me down a bit, especially in Guadalix de la Sierra, where I joined a queue of residents with various queries about local services. Had it been any other Camino, I wouldn’t have bothered! Eventually, It was my turn and the guy stamped my credencial without much ado. He then presented me with a gift from the ayuntamiento - a Camino Mendocino bag containing energy bars, cans of Aquarius, a buff and a badge. A very nice gesture indeed.

I should probably have stopped for a lunch at that point, but there was a long climb ahead to the highest point of the Mendocino. It was also getting really hot. I took a quick break and got going again.

It was up, up and up for the next 6 (?) kms to the highest point of this Camino (1029m). It began with a short and steep climb out of Guadalix, but then settled into a long slow ascent.

When the Torrelaguna ladies told me last night that I’d see toros bravos, I thought they were trying to scare me! But no, the Camino runs alongside the ranches that breed these animals. Close to the biggest ranch, the Camino seemed to come to an abrupt halt. There was a huge metal gate blocking the path. It was clearly a ranch gate, so I figured that I’d missed an arrow and taken a wrong turn. I retraced my steps and then carefully followed each marker, right back to the same place. I thought I was hallucinating, as the path was now clear! On closer examination, the gate was now blocking the entrance to the ranch, rather than the trail.

I then saw a most spectacular sight - a big herd of toros bravos charging through the ranch, with two wild-looking men on horseback galloping behind them. No time to take a photo, but I won’t forget that sight in a hurry. It was like something from an old cowboy movie.

After that excitement, it was an easy and uneventful walk to Soto de Real, where I stopped for a sello and some lunch. The bars were full of clean and stylish people, so a Carrefour picnic in the park felt more appropriate. That break helped me to find the energy for the final 9kms to Ray y Rosa. It wasn’t too hard as it skirted the Dehesia Boyal, with its beautiful horses and grazing cattle. After that, a walk alongside the reservoir towards Manzanares el Real.

And so ended the Camino Mendocino and a very memorable three days. I had a quiet evening with Ray y Rosa’s lovely daughter and no other pilgrims. Maybe I’ll see my first pilgrim tomorrow when I join the Camino de Madrid!


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Nuala what a great Camino ambassador you are and what a "hats off" to the Irish!!
Well done that woman x
Elaine
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
I’m still a very happy peregrina on the Camino de Madrid, but not doing very well at this live from the Camino thing! I’m in Ciguñuela now - 4 of us in the little albergue.

Day 8 (yesterday) was: Coca to Alcazarén - about 24ms. 3 of us in the excellent municipal albergue.

Dat 9 (today) was Alcazarén to Ciguñuela - about 36kms.

Gorgeous walk today with rabbits, birdsong and a beautiful deer running across the trail. It was so graceful that its feet barely touched the ground. Lots of cyclists on the roads -very impressive strength and fitness.

It was an uncomplicated stage as the towns are very well spaced. Breakfast in Valledestillas, a quick coffee in Puente Dueoro and a great lunch in Simancas, which led to a rather late arrival at the albergue.

Not sure where I’ll walk to tomorrow. I’m enjoying the lazy spontaneity of it all.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
It's so great to finally catch up and read where you are now, Nuala! May that happy walking long continue - buen camino, peregrina!
And I hope you've had better weather than we...😑
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Day 13 and I’ve arrived in Sahagún. So many pilgrims here!

Since my last post, I walked:
Day 10: Ciguñuela to Medina de Rioseca- about 39 kms
Day 11: Medina to Villalón - about 30kms
Day 12: Villalón to Grajal - about 30kms.

I enjoyed today’s slow 6kms to Sahagún. It was a nice opportunity to reflect on the journey so far.

The Camino de Madrid was wonderful. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment and that it was great to be able to ‘just walk’ without worrying about beds. The albergues are really good and I experienced a lot of kindness. Just the right amount of pilgrims for a mostly solitary walk, but with company in the evenings.

I’m on a bus to León to (probably) start the Camino San Salvador with Damian tomorrow. Or maybe a rest day. I’m tired and looking forward to a hotel room with a bath!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Day 13 and I’ve arrived in Sahagún. So many pilgrims here!

Since my last post, I walked:
Day 10: Ciguñuela to Medina de Rioseca- about 39 kms
Day 11: Medina to Villalón - about 30kms
Day 12: Villalón to Grajal - about 30kms.

I enjoyed today’s slow 6kms to Sahagún. It was a nice opportunity to reflect on the journey so far.

The Camino de Madrid was wonderful. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment and that it was great to be able to ‘just walk’ without worrying about beds. The albergues are really good and I experienced a lot of kindness. Just the right amount of pilgrims for a mostly solitary walk, but with company in the evenings.

I’m on a bus to León to (probably) start the Camino San Salvador with Damian tomorrow. Or maybe a rest day. I’m tired and looking forward to a hotel room with a bath!
Wonderful posts, so glad you are a happy peregrina. Things are definitely changing, because when I walked, I met two walking peregrinos the entire time.

Let me know about your Savador plans, Nuala, and I will tell Ender that he should head down to La Robla (or wherever the stops are ikely to be) to say hi!
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Day 13 and I’ve arrived in Sahagún. So many pilgrims here!

Since my last post, I walked:
Day 10: Ciguñuela to Medina de Rioseca- about 39 kms
Day 11: Medina to Villalón - about 30kms
Day 12: Villalón to Grajal - about 30kms.

I enjoyed today’s slow 6kms to Sahagún. It was a nice opportunity to reflect on the journey so far.

The Camino de Madrid was wonderful. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment and that it was great to be able to ‘just walk’ without worrying about beds. The albergues are really good and I experienced a lot of kindness. Just the right amount of pilgrims for a mostly solitary walk, but with company in the evenings.

I’m on a bus to León to (probably) start the Camino San Salvador with Damian tomorrow. Or maybe a rest day. I’m tired and looking forward to a hotel room with a bath!
Well done Nuala. Nice to hear that Damian enjoying you for the next part. I planned to do the Salvador afterwards.....but it hasn't happened yet. And I have been distracted to the south and east since..... But i look forward to getting back there sooner rather than later. I am back in London now. T
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
You were flying! Wonderful to read your posts, Nuala! I hope you enjoy the San Salvador as much as you did this one. It will have a bit more variety in elevation than the last while on the Madrid!;)
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Wonderful posts, so glad you are a happy peregrina. Things are definitely changing, because when I walked, I met two walking peregrinos the entire time.

Let me know about your Savador plans, Nuala, and I will tell Ender that he should head down to La Robla (or wherever the stops are ikely to be) to say hi!
The hospatilera in Coca said that the Camino is a lot busier this year. However, I didn’t meet anyone until the Puerto de Belate and there were between 4 and 8 pilgrims in the Albergues each night after that. Mostly Spanish, plus me, a Dutch girl, 2 Swiss guys and an English couple on the final night.

We’re starting the Salvador this morning. A rest day might have been wise, but we’ll have a couple of tourist days at the end.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
Yes, the Santa Maria albergue has six beds, so it was nearly full. A lovely little place. There’s a similar story in the CSJ guide about its origin.

I’m really enjoying this Camino.
Santa Maria seems to be the meeting place of the CdM. We only saw four pilgrims the entire way last month but we met three of them at that albergue. And two of them were never seen again!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The hospatilera in Coca said that the Camino is a lot busier this year. However, I didn’t meet anyone until the Puerto de Belate and there were between 4 and 8 pilgrims in the Albergues each night after that. Mostly Spanish, plus me, a Dutch girl, 2 Swiss guys and an English couple on the final night.

We’re starting the Salvador this morning. A rest day might have been wise, but we’ll have a couple of tourist days at the end.
Sleeping in La Robla? And from there to Poladura?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Hi Laurie, we’ve just arrived in La Robla. What a nice walk from León! Probably Poladura tomorrow- we’re chatting about it over a menu del dia 😀
Enjoy, Nuala, You are more than well able. It will be so enjoyable for you. If you meet Marisa, she won’t remember me so it doesn’t matter! The other Sandra, Benduenos, I’d say you will also love that a lot... buen camino, chica, y chico.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Thanks @NualaOC for your posts and intro to the Mendicino. As I was off walking myself, I entirely missed your thread.

The Madrid does sound busier than last June when I walked. Except in one albergue when we were 8, I never saw anyone while walking. My original plan was also to walk to Leon and then do the Salvador but the spring had been quite wet and the idea of slip sliding in the mud on the Salvador lost its appeal. I met several nice guys in the albergue in Sahagun and at the last minute decided to rewalk the Frances!
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Thanks @NualaOC for your posts and intro to the Mendicino. As I was off walking myself, I entirely missed your thread.

The Madrid does sound busier than last June when I walked. Except in one albergue when we were 8, I never saw anyone while walking. My original plan was also to walk to Leon and then do the Salvador but the spring had been quite wet and the idea of slip sliding in the mud on the Salvador lost its appeal. I met several nice guys in the albergue in Sahagun and at the last minute decided to rewalk the Frances!
Thanks to @LTfit for bumping this thread, which I completely missed too, due to a very busy few weeks - unfortunately not walking.

Even more thanks to @NualaOC for reporting on this interesting little route.
Thanks Lee and Clare. The Camino Mendocino was very special - I've been thinking a lot about it since I got home. I chose it because I wanted three days of solitude and anonymity, but instead experienced a phenomenal amount of kindness and attention. As often happens, the Camino/Universe gives us what we need, rather than what we want.

I'll start a thread soon with more detailed information about stages, accommodation etc. Hopefully a few more pilgrims will choose this an alternative start to the Camino de Madrid.
 

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