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Questions for upcoming Camino de Madrid

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
Hi all,

We leave for Madrid two weeks from today, spending a couple of nights there while visiting friends, and then starting on the Camino de Madrid on Monday 1st April. Here are a few random questions that my cursory research has thrown up so far. I'd appreciate any advice!

1. Gronze shows a bifurcación (fork in the road) coming into Segovia. The alternative route seems quite a bit longer (~19km vs ~12km). Is there any reason to consider taking the alternative? Is the main reason to take it so you can stay at La Granja de San Ildefonso and have a slightly shorter day? If starting from Cerdecilla, the main route to Segovia seems long enough as it is!

2. @peregrina2000 wrote in her stages post that there were 'reports that the albergue in Peñaflor de Hornija was a bit on the sketchy side'. Have other people heard bad things or had bad experiences there?

3. The Sep 2018 accommodation/services update from the Asociación de Amigos de los Caminos de Santiago de Madrid lists the Santa Clara convent in Medina de Rioseco as being temporarily closed. Does anyone know if it has reopened yet? Any recommendations for alternative accommodation in MdR (the association lists Castilla, Duque de Osuna and La Muralla)?

4. I have in my notes someone mentioning that they got caught out once or twice by not carrying their own food. Are there any stages/stretches in particular where you really need to carry your own food so we can be prepared? (As we don't eat animal products, we might have more difficulties finding food than others - though typically this has never been an issue for us in Spain.)

5. Someone mentioned that the albergue in Grajal de Campos is in a palace. It's so close to Sahagún that it doesn't seem worth staying there but if it is highly recommended, I could be convinced. Is it highly recommended?

6. Other than in Segovia, any tips for impressive historical sites (ruins/churches etc) that we should look out for? I have the Wamba church noted already.

I might come up with more questions but that's it for now. Any other tips are much appreciated. Thanks!
 

CaminoJono

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fran: SJPdP- SdC Sept Oct12
VdlP:Sevilla-SdC Jan Feb15
VdlP:Cáceres-SdC Dec15 Jan16
Mad/Fran Nov17
Re point 2, I stayed at the alberque on 20/11/2017. I arrived at siesta time and one of the patrons in the bar nearby went out of his way to track down the key (the fellow on the far left). I was the only one there and found it very amenable. I'm just doing the planning for another Camino de Madrid this December with my wife and daughter. The flights are booked! We intend on staying there again.
53404

53405
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Wow, two weeks. Should be a great time to walk. Here are my comments.

1. I think the main reasons people go to La Granja are either to have a shorter day (25 km rather than 30) or to be able to visit La Granja. I love La Granja, the grounds are very pretty, the “Little Versailles” seems apt, so if you like Bourbon palaces it’s a good stop. The other thing is that it would also be a very short day into Segovia the next day so you would essentially have a rest day in Segovia, which is a great place to have a rest day! Or do what some forum members have done, visit the town for several hours and then walk on to Zamarramala. I personally would not give up the chance to see the aqueduct lit up at night, it is a stunning sight.

2. Penaflor has a new albergue as of 2014, in the house where the priest used to live. I walked years before then.

3. Medina de Rioseco has reopened. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/medina-de-rioseco-reopening-of-convent.56697/

4. I remember the stage from Segovia to Santa Maria as having nothing open. It was a Sunday, though, and there were closed bars, so you may not be so unlucky. We were hot and thirsty and finally in some little town saw a bunch of people sitting outside. We asked if we could have some water, and they were most obliging. Turns out they were two Madrid families who had rented the house for the weekend and were very interested to learn all about the Camino de Madrid. I had a hard time pulling my two walking companions away after they downed their third or fourth beer. But we did make it to Santa Maria.

5. I believe it is actually in the jail in the palace. ;) It wasn’t open when I walked through, but I think Kinky and a few others have stayed there and really thought it was nice.

6. I took a detour to Valladolid and spent a night there. It has a home Cervantes lived in, though not his birthplace. And the museum of sculpture is great. The plateresque facade of the building it is housed in is over the top, and there was some really nice old religious carving and sculpture. Valladolid also has a very nice Plaza Mayor — and I ate in a great vegetarian restaurant there! I slept in the Valladolid Association albergue in Puente Duero (a great place) and walked to Simancas and then got a bus into town. I hopped a bus back to Simancas the next day to continue on the camino.

Coca’s castle is pretty awesome, too!

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Everything has been covered but I add a vote for La Granja, Segovia’s aqueduct at night (there’s a hostel a few metres from it), Santa Clara, Wamba (check out opening times - if you arrive right on closing time you will not be admitted, not even for a peek), and even the dungeon in the palace at Grajal.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
Thanks everyone, and especially Laurie, for the tips. Good news re: the accommodation questions.

We've been to Segovia before but it was 12 years ago and I'd still like to stay overnight there, so at this stage I'm thinking of skipping La Granja. It looks like we have to go through Valladolid to get to Salamanca on the way home so we might spend a few hours or even a night there then.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hi all,

We leave for Madrid two weeks from today, spending a couple of nights there while visiting friends, and then starting on the Camino de Madrid on Monday 1st April. Here are a few random questions that my cursory research has thrown up so far. I'd appreciate any advice!

1. Gronze shows a bifurcación (fork in the road) coming into Segovia. The alternative route seems quite a bit longer (~19km vs ~12km). Is there any reason to consider taking the alternative? Is the main reason to take it so you can stay at La Granja de San Ildefonso and have a slightly shorter day? If starting from Cerdecilla, the main route to Segovia seems long enough as it is!

2. @peregrina2000 wrote in her stages post that there were 'reports that the albergue in Peñaflor de Hornija was a bit on the sketchy side'. Have other people heard bad things or had bad experiences there?

3. The Sep 2018 accommodation/services update from the Asociación de Amigos de los Caminos de Santiago de Madrid lists the Santa Clara convent in Medina de Rioseco as being temporarily closed. Does anyone know if it has reopened yet? Any recommendations for alternative accommodation in MdR (the association lists Castilla, Duque de Osuna and La Muralla)?

4. I have in my notes someone mentioning that they got caught out once or twice by not carrying their own food. Are there any stages/stretches in particular where you really need to carry your own food so we can be prepared? (As we don't eat animal products, we might have more difficulties finding food than others - though typically this has never been an issue for us in Spain.)

5. Someone mentioned that the albergue in Grajal de Campos is in a palace. It's so close to Sahagún that it doesn't seem worth staying there but if it is highly recommended, I could be convinced. Is it highly recommended?

6. Other than in Segovia, any tips for impressive historical sites (ruins/churches etc) that we should look out for? I have the Wamba church noted already.

I might come up with more questions but that's it for now. Any other tips are much appreciated. Thanks!
Although all of the question were more or less already answered I'll add my two cents.

- 1: I only walked detour to La Granja so can't compare the two routes. Of course the main reason for this detour would be Royal (summer) palace and its gardens. And then you have very short walk the next day to Segovia and more than whole afternoon for sight seeing if you don't plan additional day in the first place. Worth it.

- 2: Albergue in Penaflor is very nice, with two dormitories, equiped kitchen, fridge, washing machine, walled patio. I walked through there in 2014 and I got the key from the mayor who lived in a red brick house which you see directly in front of you after coming around the corner of albergue. Or if you exit albergue and look to the right you see the house. Of course I don't know if this is adequate info after 5 years!

- 3: It is reopened as I remember from last years reports.

- 4: It's not really a problem. In all stops (and in between) there is some way to either buy food or eat in the restaurant. At least a bocadillo or tortilla.

- 5: I would definitely suggest staying there. I had the privilege to stay there before the new albergue was completely built sleeping on the floor behind the reception desk (the least draft at that spot). No real hassle for me and I remember that night with great joy. The palace is opened and you can wander through it. And across the street is also the fortress which might also be an answer to your final question.

- 6: Castle in Coca isn't really on the Camino but more or less all the other main attraction you can see from Camino.


Wish you a very Buen Camino. It's beautiful!
 
Last edited:

marjude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
4/2019 Madrid, Frances
Hi Nick, great questions, all topics that are helpful for me and thanks everyone for all your answers.
I will be 5 days behind you and I won’t catch you so have a great Camino.
Buen Camino judy.
 

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