I’m looking through my Cdm pics. So many good memories..
I feel I was fortunate to link up with a couple of other ladies from the forum but had started out with understanding that we could walk our own stages after first 1 or 2 days. No commitment..
However ., as it rolled on .. we seemed to walk well together and similar stages, so stayed together.
I allowed 14 days from Madrid. (I did do the Sol>Plaza Castilla section the previous day & caught metro back there on 22nd / as a result the day to Tres cantos wasn’t as long when I started proper). If I did it again I would start in Tres cantos but first time I wanted to start at the church.
I took my time. - I think 14 days but last day(day 15) I shared a taxi to Sahagún in order to catch my train to Ponferrada to walk the Invierno. My compañero walked into Sahagún and loved her last stop.
The stage going over the pass Fuenfria was snowed in and we had to take the train to Segovia for that stage. I would have liked to have walked that section in 2 days as recommended by Rachel @Kiwi-family
and stopping at Grajal
Maybe another time.
So possibly because I’m getting a bit older I felt minimum 14days was better for me., or maybe because walking with others we relax more ., not sure.
Lots of terrific albergues to stop in on this camino which were open when we walked 22mar-5aprl earlier this year 2018. Whereabouts of key etc is sometimes noted on accomodation listings but if you don’t know where key is ., just stop and chat to someone in town ., the bar often has the key. The places that didn’t have albergues or they were closed , we referred to listings and checked them out. No problem finding reasonably priced accommodation.
It’s handy to have the Csj online guide or wise pilgrim app but it’s really well marked and if in doubt a handy app which works offline is maps.me
Occasionally I’d open that to see if I was on track. There are complete set of tracks for routes in Spain and Portugal that you can download onto maps.me or any app I guess.
The first 4 pics are on walk to tres cantos. I think on the pic of the horse looking back you can see one of the twin towers of plaza Castilla. They are visible a long way out.
The 1st pic shows number of metro stops back to Sol from plaza Castilla if you want to do the first section of ‘town walk’ first and train back to centre after to shorten first days walk.
We were lucky in Wamba to be able to have the guided tour of The Church of Santa Maria and the Ossuary..
Although mainly a fairly flat camino ., there were short sections where you put your ‘head down ‘. I remember the very short climb up into the Pueblo of Peñaflor de Hornija.. it sits atop a hill., so you walk down on exit. Watch the arrows leaving. I almost backtracked lol.
There was a good climb out of (Navacerrada?? I think ) but it was cold and it was all over fairly quickly.
That section is the hilliest - after Segovia it’s more flat or rolling. Very enjoyable.
A lot of pretty green sections walking in spring.
I’ll try to put up a pic of view coming into Valverde de Campos
The last pic is walking along beside the canal which starts at Medina de Rioseco.. very pretty and peaceful until the wind blew and I had a lot of bother try to put my poncho on.
Wishing you Buen Camino
Any camino is s great camino.
Ps for @jennysa
Being comfortable walking alone I’ve found myself to be something I’ve learned can be a great experience. Although I loved the company on the Madrid. ( 3 of us mainly together but occasionally met a couple of others. ). I found myself cover the whole Invierno alone. (Bumped into another peregrina one evening). So apart from the people who lived or were in the villages I saw no-one but grew more comfortable with it the more I walked. I did get a few raised eyebrows with people why a lady would travel alone but I felt safe.
I had a phone with a sim - I guess I was lucky but I would do it again.
Buen Camino to you