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My experience of albergues, September 2016

Discussion in 'Camino de Madrid' started by sulu, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. sulu

    sulu Active Member

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    I like to stay in municipal albergues whenever possible, I also like to self cater so I try and choose albergues with kitchens, for others who think likewise here is my experience. I must stress that walking at a different time of the year or on different days of the week will make for a different set of experience.
    Day 1: I aimed to stay at Tres Cantos as I didn't want to walk to far on the first day, unfortunately the 'albergue' is in the Town Hall and only available between 21.00 and 06.00 so I walked on to Colmenar Viejo. There is no albergue but Sra Andrea lets rooms/beds for €20. No kitchen but there is a fridge, lots of bars locally. I had a salad and a long rest as I was on my own.
    Day 2:Mataelpino - €8 New, everything clean and in good condition. The kitchen only has a microwave but there are microwaveable dishes. There is a shop near the albergue.
    Day 3: Cercedilla - I paid €30 for half board at the Youth Hostal Las Dehesas so I could get in early and rest and cut down the following days walk.
    Day 4: I walked to La Granja de San Ildefonso, there is an Albergue Turistica €10
    It is super and has everything one could need. I was alone and had the kitchen to myself, I'm sure that it is different in summer.
    Day 5: Zamarramala - free! Really well equipped, there is a hospitalero there in the afternoon.
    Day 6: Sta Maria de la Nieva - €5, a private albergue, a quaint little cottage, kitchen tiny but has everything. It was here that my careful planning fell to bits as I arrived on a Saturday afternoon and the shops were shut, I had forgotten Spain's strange opening hours.
    Day 7: Villeguillo - €5 A lovely albergue with a nice kitchen and dining area, that is until you try and cook in the kitchen, loads of plates and dishes but almost no cutlery. Only 1 pan and 1 frying pan, I still managed to prepare a 3 course meal for 2 from my emergency supplies!!
    Day 8: Alcazaren - donativo. The kitchen has a microwave and a fridge but no plates, cutlery or anything else and only 2 chairs. There are shops and bars.
    Day 9: Puente Duero - donativo
    This was place was mad but brilliant, we had a communal BBQ, breakfast at 07.00
    Day 10: Cigunuella €3 plus 1 extra to use the kitchen. Really well equipped, there is a shop but when I was there it wasn't open in the afternoon.
    Day 11: Medina de Rioseco €7. Really well equipped and the nuns were really generous with provisions.
    Day 12: I planned to stay at Cuenca de Campos but it was shut, being used for a congress! Villalon de Campos €5 voluntary hospitaleros March to October. Very well equipped
    Day 13: Santervas de Campos €6 No kitchen, but there is a microwave and a few dishes and cutlery. It is in a wonderful old house.
    I hope this will be of use to someone. I must add that I always carry basic foods with me; soup, pasta etc.
     
  2. gittiharre

    gittiharre Veteran Member

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    Hi Sulu. Great info. Thank you very much!
    Did you like the route itself?
     
  3. Felipe

    Felipe Veteran Member

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    Very useful info "fresh from the field". Thanks.
    Buen camino.
     
  4. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Camino Busybody Donating Member Donating Member

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    I love this camino. It's still so rural and solitary and camino-y! Thanks for reminding me of its simple splendor, Sulu.
     
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  5. smj6

    smj6 Siempre hay que ver el positivo Donating Member

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    Might it be useful to put this info into Ivar's app on lodging, food etc?
     
  6. sulu

    sulu Active Member

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    I liked it too, every day seemed to be different terrain, different views and I enjoyed just the right mix of solitude and company. Even Fuenfria was not as hard as I expected.
     
  7. handzondeck2

    handzondeck2 Active Member

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    Hi Sulu
    Great info. I'm walking this route in April next year so I'll take into account your stages. Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Veteran Member Donating Member

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    This was a wonderful route. I enjoyed it very much.
     
  9. Bad Pilgrim

    Bad Pilgrim Veteran Member

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    It's a great compilation, thanks! I see some of the places where I stayed myself, a couple of months earlier. Although I'm quite the opposite from you - I stay in hostals whenever there's a possibility. Sorry, no true pilgrim... :O(

    I loved the blog from your Camino de Levante a couple of years ago. I remember that I also read somewhere on the Forum that you said that you had been cured from the "Camino bug" once and for all - has it come back to bite you?! :O)

    /BP
     
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  10. sulu

    sulu Active Member

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    Yes, it's come back to bite:D I aim to finish the Levante next month, I'll see how that goes, but the Camino de Madrid was really good, I enjoyed that :)
     
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  11. Magwood

    Magwood Veteran Member

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    Hi @sulu and many thanks for this useful thread. I was about to start a new thread asking about taking a diversion to La Granga de San Ildefonso, so that I can walk a shorter day into Segovia and have plenty of energy to take a good look around. Luckily I came across this first. Was the route easy to find and would you recommend the diversion? Do you know the distance between Cercedilla and La Granga and between La Granga and Segovia?

    I am at an early stage of planning and so far am looking at the following stages:
    Madrid to Tres Cantos 22 km
    Tres Cantos to Mataelpino 34 km
    Mataelpino to La Granga de San Ildefonso ??km
    La Granga to Segovia ??km

    Many thanks for your help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  12. Undermanager

    Undermanager Active Member

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    When are you leaving? I'll be off sometime in the first two weeks of May. Started the 'get fit again' routine this evening with an hour's brisk walking. The plan is to add 5 minutes each day up to 2 hours, then do a few longer hikes on weekends. Have also bought two tubes of Gehwol cream to start the foot improvement regime 4 weeks before departure, and have purchased some very fetching knee high ladies tights for under the socks, which really helped last time out. I also have a complete set of gpx and klm coordinates for the whole route and am planning to stay in as many places that I didn't stay in last time, just for fun. Looking forward to the trip again. Doesn't time fly!
     
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  13. Magwood

    Magwood Veteran Member

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    I'm setting off from Madrid 23 April, so will be a few weeks ahead of you. Not heard of Gehwol, but have heard that what we Brits refer to as 'pop socks' can be useful as liners. By chance do you know anything about the Ildefonso diversion?
     
  14. Undermanager

    Undermanager Active Member

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    "the Ildefonso diversion"

    I think it's like the heinrich manoeuver, but for Spanish people.

    :)

    But no, I haven't.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  15. Undermanager

    Undermanager Active Member

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    Hurrah! Wonderful news.

    Have just been informed that my current work contract finishes on the 7th April so will be thinking about setting off sometime shortly after. Looking back on my own notes, I'm thinking about starting from Tres Cantos or maybe even from the next town this time. I'd get out of Madrid airport about 7pm with Ryanair so would need to work out how to bus / train it to one of these places, I think from Terminal 4. Am thinking of arriving around 21st April now. Boy oh boy. It's getting real again. I hope the sun shines most every day like last time!

    :)
     
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  16. Magwood

    Magwood Veteran Member

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    Hi @Undermanager, glad to hear your plans are coming to fruition. I shall be a couple of days behind you - setting out from Madrid 23 April.
    Buen camino!
     
  17. sulu

    sulu Active Member

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    Mataelpino to La Granja is about 42 kms, it would be marginally less to Valsain. The following are the notes I made for the descent from Fuenfria and the turn off for Valsain.
    'At 1.9km, mojon 597 the remains of asa Eraso, there is then a steep descent until Fuente de la Reina or Matagallegos @2.7 kms, mojon 596, to the right of this we join the asphalted carretera for 900m. Then at the split take the Rt which ascends slightly then carries on downhill, carry on to the next major cross-roads at 7.5 kms at Los Aleonardos and this is the place to turn Right for Valsain 2kms and La Granja 4.4kms. This road is not marked, just keep right at every intersection, and you can see Valsain down in the valley. In La Granja, for the albergue, tel:
    662094929, pass the parador and turn Rt into c/Reina in Plaza de los Dolores take Rt side and head into Rinconada de los Dolores.'

    It's 10k from La Granja to Segovia. La Granja is worth a visit in its own right.
    Buen camino
    Sue
     
  18. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Camino Busybody Donating Member Donating Member

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    La Granja de San Ildefonso is really worth seeing, it's a pity you're so worn-out by the time you arrive. It's a palace/summer hideaway built by Philip V, the first Bourbon king in Spain, with gardens and froufrou to rival Versailles. The formal gardens, topiary, allees, etc are unique in Spain; the fountains are particularly spectacular, but it's hard to figure out when they're scheduled to be switched on... The town maintains an 18th century air and is quite touristy in a nice sort of way; some really good bars to be found there.
    http://www.patrimonionacional.es/real-sitio/palacios/6252
     
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  19. Donovan

    Donovan Active Member

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    Agree completely, the gardens are well worth a visit, but drop off your backpack first. Initially the police lady at the gate stopped me from entering the gardens because I had my backpack. When I explained the necessity for a backpack on the camino she very affably waved me through, but extracted an undertaking that I would not eat any food inside the gardens. I guess that is how they keep them so pristine.

    If tired on arrival at Valsain there is a regular bus service from there to La Granja. From memory, about 10 per day weekdays, fewer at weekends. The bus then continues to Segovia.
     
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  20. Stephen B

    Stephen B New Member

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