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Cheapskates Guide to the beginning of the Camino De Madrid

Discussion in 'Camino de Madrid' started by Kiwi-family, Nov 10, 2017.

  1. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

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    The first week on the Camino de Madrid is a little problematic in terms of inexpensive accommodation options.
    To pitch it to my family as an option for me to do solo WITHOUT THEM, I know it will meet with more success from He Who Holds the Pursestrings if it is not too pricey;-)
    I have concocted this plan - can anyone see any glaring (or subtle) problems with it?

    Day 1:
    Stay at Hostel Meeting Point in Madrid €16 (which is VERY close to Parroquia Santiago y San Juan)

    Day 2:
    25.2km to Tres Cantos – walk on another 10.5km to Colmenar Viejo, then take the train back to Tres Cantos – free albergue in City Hall building (only available Mon-Fri 10:30pm-6:30am)

    Day 3:
    Take early train back to Colmenar Viejo and walk 14.8km to Manzanares el Real. Visit the castle. Walk on another 7.6km to Mataelpino where there is a municipal albergue €8

    Day 4:
    walk a mere 12.8km to Cercidilla. €5 albergue in Polideportivo. Spend the day hiking some trails in the vicinity.

    Day 5:
    22.5km to La Granja de San Idelfonso – albergue €10

    Day 6:
    12km to Segovia – lots more km looking around – late in day do 3.2km more to Zamarramala where there is reportedly a wonderful albergue (or if you’re feeling flush stay in Segovia at Duermnevela Hostel for €18 – then have another full day in Segovia and stop in Zamarramala or walk on to Añe)

    Day 7:
    21.5km or 18.3km to Añe (depending on whether you come from Segovia or Zamarramala) – not amazing albergue, but it’s free! Or walk on another 11.8km to Santa Maria la Real de Nieva to a nice-looking donativo.
    From here there are plenty of poor pilgrim options at regular intervals.

    A more straightforward alternative for the first couple of days would be to simply go as far as Tres Cantos the first day and push on 32.9km to Mataelpino the second day, but that would not leave as much time to visit the castle at Manzanares el Real. What do you think? My instincts are divided - on the one hand keeping it as simple as possible is appealing, on the other hand walking a longer distance on the Tres Cantos day when you can't get into the building until 10:30pm and then freeing up more time for the castle visit the next day seems like a reasonable proposition.
     
  2. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    You could also stay with Ray and Rosa in Manzanares, but I don't know how that would mess up your plans. @timr spoke very highly of his experience, the place, and Ray-Rosa themselves.

    http://www.rayyrosa.com/casa-de-acogida-la-encomienda-de-rayyrosa

    The castle in Manzanares is very impressive, and I went through it, but truth be told I am kind of castled-out and find that I much more enjoy walking around the outside and climbing the walls than walking through one more room with armor, kitchens with huge chimneys, and the occasional dungeon thrown in. So if you just wanted to take a swing around the outside you wouldn't need a lot of time there. It is definitely worth a closer look than what you get from the Camino, though. The turrets are amazing.

    I think most of the trails you would be walking in and around Cercedilla will go up out of town on the Camino, so you might find it makes more sense to stay in one of the two Comunidad de Madrid albergues. I stayed in the one on the left side of the road (Vila Castora???) and it was really nice and in a nice foresty location.

    I have walked Cercedilla to Segovia twice and that last part into Segovia is a slog, so I think you are very wise to go to La Granja, which is really beautiful, IMO. I would spring for the admission and definitely walk around the grounds (all patterned after Versailles, I believe, but without the crowds).

    Santa Maria is a very nice albergue and has a nice story with good karma. The owner is a truck driver and the albergue (long owned by his family) used to house seasonal workers (gallegos, he told me) so he decided to repurpose it to benefit other "transient types", namely pilgrims. It's small but the town itself has a little cloister that's pretty and a decent amount of commerce.

    On the general question of the long first day, I can only tell you how that would feel to me, but with the 8 kms or so in the city before starting out (I find city walking much more draining), I think the long haul to Manzanares would be a lot. I would find the 32 from Tres Cantos to Mataelpino much more manageable and fun than the 35 from the center of Madrid to Manzanares.

    And one last thought about Segovia. I have been to Segovia many times, but always only during the day. Last December when I was in Madrid for work, I took the train out with some colleagues who had never been there. Because night fell so early, we were there well after dark and I have to say that I found the aqueduct lit up at night to be absolutely breathtaking. That is really the highlight for me, along with a few romanesque churches (worth a detour off the camino or on your walk through town, a couple of them have just beautiful towers and portals). The cathedral and the Alcazar (from the inside) are ho hum to my jaded eyes. But the views of the Alcazar as the camino leaves Segovia are fabulous.

    I think you will love the Madrid, Rachel. Do I remember right that you will be meeting up with others at some point? Buen camino, Laurie
     
    MyraW, Kip, alexwalker and 4 others like this.
  3. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

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    upload_2017-11-10_16-32-15.jpeg
    Looks like you're right Laurie!

    Staying at Manzanares would make for perfectly divided days and is a sensible suggestion. My one limitation is that with trying to make it as cheap as possible, I would not want to stay with someone and abuse their hospitality by not paying enough. If I ever did the Madrid with my husband, we'd stay there for sure and pay willingly! Incidentally, does anyone have a suggestion for what would be a fair contribution for a place like that? I'm really not sure. Would 20 euros for the bed and the same for food be reasonable for a single or would that be too stingy?

    Laurie, I think I wasn't clear. I wouldn't go all the way to Manzanares on day one, but just as far as Colmenar Viejo. From Madrid centre to Manzanares would be nigh on 50km! Day two would be from CV through Manzanares and on to Mataelpino. But your suggestion of simply wandering the walls en route is attractive. I can always see how I'm doing that first day and if I feel like stopping in Tres Cantos, could do it that way.

    Sounds like planning to stay overnight in Segovia is a treat not worth missing! I'll listen to you on that one. And I'll look for the romanesque churches too. I remember detouring to see the visigothic San Pedro de la Nive and was absolutely delighted by it. I can see I'm going to have a great sketchbook when I get home!

    As for meeting others. Yes, would meet hubby and three youngest kids in Leon (was going to be four but it looks like the seventeen-year-old might start university next year instead of the following year). We'd do the San Salvador together and then meet friends (a couple and their daughter the same age as our youngest) in Oviedo for the Primitivo. My other tentative plan would be to turn right at Sahagun before heading for Leon and going to visit Rebekah in Moratinos if she's around.
     
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  4. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    Hi, I have the same problem, starting from Madrid in March.

    35.7 kms for the first day sounds rather far, and certainly not an option for me. I could do that once I’d got into my stride after a week or two, but I wouldn’t attempt it the very first day.

    If you are going to get a train, you could just get a train to Colmenar Viejo from Madrid, and start your camino from there.

    For the first day, 25.2 kms, I have booked a twin-bed room at VP Jardin in Tres Cantos (booking.com) for 36 euros in the hope that another pilgrim may be on the road at the same time and will share it with me, making the cost 18 euros each. If I have to take it alone, it’s not too expensive. I am not even considering that albergue in Tres Cantos; to be let in at 10.30pm and kicked out at 6.30am is not an option for me (especially in March when it is still dark for another hour or two)!

    There are a few hostals/hotels in Manzanares el Real for the second day (25.3 kms), and I hope to find a reasonably-priced pension. (Where have others stayed?) I may be able to walk the 7 kms on to the albergue in Mataelpino. Will see on the day, when I get there.

    Next day Cercedilla.

    Then I will definitely head for the albergue in La Granja de San Ildefonso, depending on whether the pass after Cercedilla is clear of snow or not. I may have to take the train into Segovia.

    Enjoy the planning!

    Jill
     
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  5. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

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    @jsalt I’d love to hear what you end up doing.
    35km on day one is inspiration to train plenty at home!!!
     
  6. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    A note of caution; we found both the hostels near Cercedilla closed in September. The police opened up the polidesportivo for us and we slept on the gym mats.
     
  7. JohnCP43

    JohnCP43 Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Looks like a very well thought out and well researched itinerary. You alluded to it but it might be worth repeating for newcomers to the forum that "donativo" does not mean "free" but rather pay what you can which should at least be roughly the amount you would have spent at a fee for service type. I'm sure even those which are described as "free" would appreciate a donation. As they say "there's no such thing as a free lunch". The same would apply to a bed for the night!
     
  8. alexwalker

    alexwalker Forever Pilgrim Donating Member Donating Member

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    (2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
    Thank you very much for the plan; I plan to walk after Easter 2018, and have bookmarked & will print your suggestions. Very helpful: Thank you again!
     
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  9. Christobal72

    Christobal72 Member Donating Member

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    Just did the Madrid camino a few months ago. From Puerta del sol to Tres Cantos it was 27km according to my gps. I went to Colmenar Viejo that day and it was about 40km. If I did it again I would either stop in Tres Cantos on the first day or start from there. Next stage would be to Manzanares el Real and from there to Cercedilla. From Tres Cantos its a beautiful walk all the way to Segovia. The part from Madrid to Tres Cantos I could do without..
     
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  10. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    Hi Christobal, did you notice any pilgrim places to stay at in Manzanares el Real?
    Jill
     
  11. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

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    Thanks, that's really useful.
    Someone needs to open an albergue at Manzanares el Real!
     
  12. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

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    You might want to consider what others have added on this thread. I've altered my probable plan based on their input and some PMs. Here's my revision:

    Day 1 25.2km to Tres Cantos, go to supermarket, get food for tomorrow, stay at Polideportivo for the fun of it - hopefully overcome irrational fear of being alone in a big empty building - or worse yet, being there with one other person!
    Day 2 be kicked out of Polideportivo at 6:30am – hang around train station and have breakfast (purchased yesterday) – wait for sun to rise at 8. Walk 25km to Manzanares, so arriving about 1 Eat picnic lunch while sketching the castle walls - maybe visit the inside too (open from 10-5:30 or 6, €3 discounted, otherwise €5). Then walk 7.6km on to Mataelpino where a reserved bed will be waiting. Sunset is 8:30 so plenty of time to be walking in daylight. Googlemaps shows some eateries in Mataelpino but might be safest to take food from TC. Will ask when reserving bed via email.

    Continue as per original idea
     
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  13. long trails

    long trails Active Member Donating Member

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    Carrying a tent would be the cheapest way
     
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  14. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Just so you know, Rachel, if things haven't changed, the albergue in Tres Cantos is in the Town Hall/Ayuntamiento. I don't think you have access to more than a small room, so at least you won't have that feeling of being in a huge empty hall. And I am also not sure if this has changed, but I know that they used to lock you in, which I find more terrifying than being alone.

    Does anyone know if the people at Tres Cantos still lock pilgrims in the building?
     
  15. Donovan

    Donovan Active Member Donating Member

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    IMG_3157_R.jpg IMG_3158_R.jpg View attachment 37290 View attachment 37291

    Laurie/Rachel, when I stayed at the Ayuntamiento in 2015 my instructions were very specific – in by 9:00pm, out by 6:00am. When I arrived at the front door to leave at 6:00 there was a security official waiting to let me out. I didn’t ask, but suspect that I was indeed locked inside the building. If I stayed there again I would check the emergency evacuation procedures. The room I was in was large and comfortable with only a single two-bed bunk. I think there is another dormitory as well. Showers etc. were excellent, but no outside hanging space for washing. I asked at a few bars and established that none would be open in the early morning. Knowing I would have an hour or so in the dark I pre-walked a couple of km. It's an easy path to follow and all worked out well. There was only one signage uncertainty but I had Kinky1’s notes with me and they sorted that out.

    I liked the first day. Starting from the church door the walk out of Madrid is much better than most big city routes. You are into the country quite quickly and get some good views back to the city skyline. All in all a nice, gentle lead-in to a lovely camino.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017 at 1:41 AM
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  16. alexwalker

    alexwalker Forever Pilgrim Donating Member Donating Member

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    You sure got a good price: The best they would give me was Eur 42/night. But the location looks perfect, and I may spend 2 days there to explore a little of Madrid before leaving from the church for the walk. ;)

    http://www.hostelsmeetingpointmadrid.es/
     
  17. MyraW

    MyraW New Member

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    My friend and I will be walking the Camino Madrid in September 2018 and I am so grateful for all the very helpful info this thread has given me.
    I now possess a much broader insight toward planning a most exciting journey.
    Thank you to all contributors.
     
  18. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

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    On booking.com it’s Eur15, and hostelbookers.com is where I found E16. I put in some random dates and came up with those prices every time. Maybe they quoted you a private room.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 12:35 AM
  19. alexwalker

    alexwalker Forever Pilgrim Donating Member Donating Member

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    (2015): Astorga-SdC
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    (2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
    (2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
    Hard to find them...
     
  20. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

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  21. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    I stayed at the Toc Hostel, and it was €24. It was the closest hostel I could find to the Church of Saint James and Saint Paul, where I started walking (having failed to find a way of walking from the airport). I booked it though booking.com
     

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