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Madrid: Lonely camino if you're on your own

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Little John has just returned from walking the Madrid to Sahagun to Santiago and Fistera-Muxia routes. He started walking from Madrid on 29th April and said that it was very cold for the first week.
He also said that it is a very lonely route. He didn't meet any pilgrims until 2 days from Sahagun when he met a couple of cycling Spanish pilgrims.
The last two days were very long and the markers were either confusing or absent at cross roads.
Although it was a very beautiful route, with excellent albergues (where he was always the only pilgrim), he wouldn't recommend it to anyone walking on their own.
He picked up a fairly decent map of the route as well as a Xacobeo 2010 Guide book.



From Sahagun onwards he found the camino fairly crowded but he didn't get into the race for beds, preferring to start around 8am, and always found a bed. Santiago was crowded so he only stayed one night and walked to Finisterre and Muxia. He also picked up a really nice map and a QR guide for this route.
 

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lynnejohn

Veteran Member
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Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
It's evident, then, that there hasn't been much overflow to routes other than CF(additionaly, Laurie's description of the VDLP). Last year we met one pilgrim on the Camino de Madrid, but I would have thought it would be a more popular choice this year. Perhaps July/August.

Nice map!

lynne
 

LNata

Member
I was walking part of Madrid Camino from Madrid till St.Maria Nivea in May. It was cold and very solitary. Albergue in Segovia is closed and the only one I stayed in was in St.Maria Nivea. There was one more in Cercedilla but it was out of town and I did not find it on the day of arrival (seen on my way leaving the town). The owner of the albergue in St.Maria Nivea showed me a book of guests: there was one pilgrim walking one day before me and second walking two days before me and nobody for a few weeks before.

But Segovia is beautiful and the part from Cercedilla to Segovia was breathtaking.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Perhaps one of those pilgrims was 'Little John'. His photographs show snow on the mountains.

This coming to you from a warm but drizzly St Petersburg. We set sail tonight for the SVIR River - our first stop being Manrogy. No signs of st James yet but a few scallop shell decorations on buildings.
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Hi,

I've never met a pilgrim walking this Camino. Only some people walking by the mountain, but not being pilgrims.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 
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alipilgrim

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I had just decided a few days ago to do the Madrid Camino, starting end of April 2011 (flight booked yesterday!). I don't mind walking alone but if there's anyone out there who'd like to come along, let me know!
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
alipilgrim said:
I had just decided a few days ago to do the Madrid Camino, starting end of April 2011 (flight booked yesterday!). I don't mind walking alone but if there's anyone out there who'd like to come along, let me know!

If you need some help to plan it, please let me know!

And, I can say that actually there's some new option to sleep in Tres Cantos, provided by the city council.

Anyway, I'm walking it again with some friends. Now we are in Segovia!

Buen Camino de Madrid,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain
 

alipilgrim

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Hi Javier,

You must be well & truly finished the Camino Madrid by now - how was it? Did you notice any changes from the previous time(s) you walked it? I have downloaded the Confraternity of St James .pdf guide to the CdMadrid, as well as made plenty of notes from the mundicamino website and between the two it seems that I'll have all the information that I'll need. Both sources state that it is a well-marked route and fairly easy - do you agree?

I am interested in making a detour to Valladolid as I walk as a 'tourist' (I like to take time to see & visit interesting sights, whether churches, castles, cities or ?) so I guess my only question is if you have any advice on how to do this?

I have made a special note to stay at the albergue in Puente Duero - any other suggestions?

Thanks, alipilgrim
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Hi Alipilgrim -

Last year we took the bus from Puente Duero to Valladolid- it is really worth the trip of only 11 km - a very nice city with lots to see. Plenty of budget accommodations as well. Took the bus back to Puente Duero and continued on our way. Manuel (the hospitalero at Puente Duero) didn't think there was any walking trail other than on the road, but perhaps Javier knows of one.

The Madrid is certainly the most clearly-marked camino we've walked so you shouldn't have any difficulty there.

Buen Camino!

lynne
 

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Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Hi Alipilgrim,

Mi special way to walk this special camino is different as usual, because we walk it step by step. For example, we were going to walk two days during this weekend, but we are going to wait for a better choice.

Why? Because my sister said to me she was interested to come with us, and as she has just returned from her incredible experience as hospitalera in Herbon (just beside Padron) she couldn't be outside home during this weekend, and our friend Iñaki couldn'd walk this weekend, and I have some back problems so ...

Mi really only suggestion is ... we calm, enjoy your Camino, the loneliness, people who are not used to meet pilgrims, paths, special places, ... before arriving to Camino Frances and crazy run-for-bed moments!

Another suggestion, if you have ten minutes for a fast meeting when in Madrid, just a PM!

Buen Camino de Madrid,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain
 
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alipilgrim

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Hi Lynne & Javier,

Thanks for the quick replies! I'm planning lots of time for both the Madrid and continuing on on the Frances so I will definitely visit Valladolid. I also plan to spend a full day in Madrid before I set out on the Camino so I will love to meet up with you, Javier. I will send you a PM a week or two before my arrival.

Cheers, alipilgrim
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Little John started walking from Madrid on 29th April. He said that there was snow on the mountains and that some days were bitterly cold.
He also said that some of the people who stayed in the albergues were obviously not peregrinos -rather they were 'gentlemen of the road".
 

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alipilgrim

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Hi Sil,

Yes, I had looked at the weather maps after I booked my ticket. May is unfortunately one of the rainier months. I hope it will not be too cold, I really don't like cold :cry:

As to your other point, should I take that as a warning to be careful about staying in the albergues, that they are frequented by vagrants?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
As to your other point, should I take that as a warning to be careful about staying in the albergues, that they are frequented by vagrants?

There are hospitaleros there to decide who can stay and who can't. I'm sure you'll be OK.

Same place - with hospitaleros.
 

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Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Hi everybody,

It looks that it's fully confirmed, Tres Cantos is the first city in Madrid and in the Camino de Madrid with something like an albergue, where to find a bed and to rest during the night.

Since May it has received 30 pilgrims!

Buen Camino de Madrid,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
just an fyi: We hiked the very top end of the Camino Madrid yesterday, between Grajal de Campos and Sahagun. We met THREE pilgrims!

The Madrid Way high-season pilgrims often stay with the Madres Benedictinas in Sahagun, as that´s the first albergue they come to. Madre Anuncia says more people use the Madrid Way than it first appears, because lots of people from the south start from their own doorsteps and only use part of the Madrid Way. The Pilgrim Office in Santiago doesn´t keep stats on how many people use the Madrid path (or the Invierno or San Salvador or Lana or Levante), so it´s really hard to know.

When I was hospitalera with the Benedictinas in Sept. a couple of years ago I had three Madrid Route pilgrims in the week I was there. (that´s why seeing three in one day was so remarkable).

reb.
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Javier, Wonderful news about the new "albergue" at Tres Cantos. Will make the first stage easier. Last year we caught a train back to Madrid from Tres Cantos, then returned the following morning to continue.

No vagrants in any albergues, Alipilgrim, and there are some great ones. After Segovia the albergues got better and better (except for Ane which I advise anyone to avoid unless the situation there has improved in the last 12 months). Most memorable for us were Nava de la Asuncion (small basic accomodacions but fun in the Bull ring), Villeguillo, Puente Duero, Castromonte (amazing, best ever albergue), Cuenca de campos and Santervas de Campos.

Yes,it is a lonely route, but beautiful. We only shared albergues with 5 others all the way, (started on May 26, 2009) and few locals in the villages speak English, so we had fun practicing Spanish, and found people very helpful and friendly.
Buen camino a todos.
 

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