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Starting on Camino de Madrid at beginning of October

2020 Camino Guides

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
Ola todos,
I will soon be starting out on my second Camino, this time a 'hybrid' Camino, starting in Madrid on about 1 October, walking as far as Olmedo then 'veering left' to join the Camino de Levante at Medina del Campo, from there onto Zamora and the VdlP/Sanabres to Santiago.
Looking forward to the solitude and wide open spaces, in the first half anyway. I think I have learned from my first Camino and adjusted a few things - for example I have allowed for more rest days, wearing lighter clothes for the unaccustomed heat (not used to much above 25 degrees C). I'm also expecting to have to carry more water and food, given far fewer fuentes and cafes than the Camino Frances.
My only slight nervousness is the crossover from Olmedo to Medina del Campo. As far as I can tell from Google maps/Earth, there are a couple of spots where the road I will be following crosses over AVE railway lines or a main highway, and there doesn't appear to be much room on the road shoulder for a person on foot. I guess I'll play it by ear on the day...but would welcome any advice from anyone who has been this way.
Elizabeth
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Elizabeth,
Welcome to the forum! I've walked both of these Caminos, but never contemplated the hopping over option. I know several forum members have switched over among Caminos near this point, and here are some threads that give some options. @alansykes is probably preparing for another fall camino, but you will see how he did it a few years ago. If you are a fan of old churches, making the connection earlier like he did and arriving in Arevalo is a great idea, because Arevalo has an amazing bunch of mudejar churches and two old plazas mayores that are terrific.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/jumping-from-the-madrid-to-the-vdlp.32119/#post-357805

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/alternative-to-finishing-on-the-camino-de-frances.31726/

There are lots of forum members who have walked both the Levante and the Madrid, so feel free to pepper us with questions and Buen camino, Laurie
 

KinkyOne

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

I'm one of those Laurie mentioned and also remember few threads about switching from Madrid to Levante (https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/search/4761076/?q=Olmedo&o=date). On the stage between Vileguillo and Alcazaren you cross CL-602 road. For Olmedo you have to turn left and stay on it I guess. At least I don't know for any marked path that connect two Caminos. The CL-602 was almost without any traffic when I crossed it around noon and has shoulder wide enough to walk safely. It's pretty straight road and if you stay on the left hand side of it you can see oncoming vehicles well in advance to step off it or make a pause.
Both Madrid and Levante are beautiful Caminos (not to mention more hilly Sanabres) and I hope you'll enjoy them.

Ultreia!
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
Hello and thank you so much for the welcome and the very useful advice.
I did consider crossing to the Levante at Arevalo, but it looked to be a longish day at around 30 km, and I have tried to plan my early etapas to be fairly gentle ie not too many 30 km stages in a row. I remember how tired I was at the end of each day in the early stages of the CF. The Olmedo to Medina stage is fairly moderate at just 23 km. But I will have the flexibility to change my mind and my route as I go, so could stretch myself a bit more if everything is feeling in good working order!
And thanks KinkyOne for the reassurance about following the CL-602.
My reasons for planning a 'hybrid' camino are, firstly, to fit into the time I have available, secondly, I do like exploring places I haven't been before and thirdly - and perhaps illogically - I didn't want to continue on the C de Madrid to Sahagun, due to unpleasant memories! I recall Sahagun as a grey, depressing town (perhaps it was the weather on the day) plus I had come down with a stomach bug a day or so before so wasn't feeling that great when I passed through.
Oh and lastly, I'm not one for crowds so thought a less travelled way would be good.
Questions:
1. I recall on CF that nearly every village and hamlet I stayed in had good wifi, either in the albergue or in a bar. What are your experiences of wifi availability on the Caminos Madrid, Levante and Sanabres?
2. I'm still weighing up whether to invest in a water bladder versus bottles for carrying water. I guess it is a weight versus pack space versus accessibility issue. Any views on this?
3. Did you find it tricky finding the arrows/scallop shells to make your way out of towns in the early mornings? I think I have read that these caminos are well waymarked but I wonder about in the cities/towns?
Thanks,
Elizabeth
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
... 1. I recall on CF that nearly every village and hamlet I stayed in had good wifi, either in the albergue or in a bar. What are your experiences of wifi availability on the Caminos Madrid, Levante and Sanabres?
2. I'm still weighing up whether to invest in a water bladder versus bottles for carrying water. I guess it is a weight versus pack space versus accessibility issue. Any views on this?
...
I can only comment on some/part of your questions:

1. Wifi is widely available in bars and restaurants on the Sanabres.
2. I prefer water (PET) bottles, easier to clean, easier to see how much water you have left and easier to refill.

Buen Camino, SY
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I would advise checking out the start of your exit route the day before. It is quite dark in the mornings now (in southern Spain) - still completely dark at. 07:00.
Buen Camino!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I agree with the advice about scoping out the departure the day before, at least for the Levante. I walked the Primitivo once in October, and it was generally dark till almost 8! I found that the in-town markings were the one Levante weakness, but I had the Amigos guidebook so it wasn't a problem. Not sure it would be worth it for you to buy the guide for three stages on the Levante, though. I didn't have a guidebook for the Sanabres, and never had a problem. If you read Spanish, the Eroski guide online is all you need. Marking for the Madrid is generally excellent, at least that was my experience a few years ago.

Wifi is everywhere, in every small town bar you come across. Buen camino, Laurie
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Generally agree with all of the above answers. Anyway here are my two cents:
1: nowadays almost every bar in Spain (and especially those on Caminos) has wi-fi,
2: I use 500ml PET bottles, 3-5 depending on Camino/weather/water accessibility etc.,
3: can not really answer that question because I have never ever started before 8AM on any of my Caminos :) Camino de Madrid is generally well marked and I didn't have any problems getting out of towns. Levante could be a little bit more tricky but no major problems also if you do a bit of research.
- when leaving Medina del Campo do not follow yellow arrows along the CL-602 after church of Santiago El Real.
Medina del Campo - Santiago El Real.jpg
Instead cross the CL-602 as if you would exit the church and walk the street on the left side of small park and veer left into Calle San Lazaro. From here on it's easy,

- after Castronuno you have two options: official Camino which has few up/down hills or Senda de los Almendros which runs along the Duero river and/or Canal de San Jose and is flat. The later was recommended by hospitalera. Two routes converge in Villafranca de Duero (turn left at first crossroads when reaching the village and right onto main road),
Castronuno - Senda de los Almendros01.jpg
Castronuno - Senda de los Almendros02.jpg
- before Toro and after crossing the long Roman bridge the arrows will lead you to the right but you can also go straight on and enter the town shorter way. But it's a killer uphill after hot day :eek: :D
Here's the view back from Toro:
entering Toro.jpg
- after Villalazan and a few kms before Zamora be alert at this spot and turn left!!!
turn left.jpg

That's all the tricky spots I can remember on Levante that you might encounter. Sanabres has many more pilgrims and marking is excellent.

Buen Camino :)
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
Thanks again for the very good advice. I have taken notes and copied the photos...such a lot of fun doing the preparations for a Camino! I think I have compiled enough information to manage to find my way! I will indeed check out the next day's exit route when in towns. As they say in the military - "time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted"!
Another query - do the albergues on these Caminos have anything in the way of blankets? I am expecting not, so I am planning to take a light down sleeping bag (about 700 gm). I took this on the CF also during late September through October and although I didn't use it every night, as many albergues had blankets, the times I did use it I was very glad of it.
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
I'm off, then. Leave New Zealand tomorrow morning and will arrive in Madrid after 30 something hours consisting of three flights, the middle one fourteen and a half hours. I have booked myself two nights in Madrid in reasonably comfortable accommodation to allow for post-flight recovery!

Really looking forward to my next Camino adventure. Don't know if I will meet many or any fellow pilgrims in the first half of my walk, but expect to have company after Zamora. By that stage hopefully I will have hit my (albeit slow) stride and able to converse on topics other than my sore feet :).

I always keep a journal of my travels, so am wondering if I could usefully contribute to the Forum by recording items of interest - eg any changes to albergues? Other reasonably priced/pleasant accommodation? Tiendas and bars encountered (or not)?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm off, then. Leave New Zealand tomorrow morning and will arrive in Madrid after 30 something hours consisting of three flights, the middle one fourteen and a half hours. I have booked myself two nights in Madrid in reasonably comfortable accommodation to allow for post-flight recovery!

Really looking forward to my next Camino adventure. Don't know if I will meet many or any fellow pilgrims in the first half of my walk, but expect to have company after Zamora. By that stage hopefully I will have hit my (albeit slow) stride and able to converse on topics other than my sore feet :).

I always keep a journal of my travels, so am wondering if I could usefully contribute to the Forum by recording items of interest - eg any changes to albergues? Other reasonably priced/pleasant accommodation? Tiendas and bars encountered (or not)?
Hi, Elizabeth, Buen camino to you! Two nights in Madrid is a just reward for all that plane travel!

All of the things you mention as the benefits your posts would provide are accurate and would be greatly appreciated. But you forgot one important thing -- there is a group of badly afflicted camino addicts who tremendously enjoy the posts so that we can be back there vicariously. I can think of at least seven of us who have walked the Madrid and love hearing from others when they walk!

If you've seen my post with a story about the bar owner at Castromonte https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/the-story-of-the-castromonte-bar-owner-now-almost-100.42686/ you know that we'd be delighted to hear any updates about Senor Martin. And if you get inside the church at Wamba, you'll really make me jealous. ;) But more important, just tell us how it goes for you, and who you meet and what you think. We will hang on every word!

It's just a real treat to be able to go back through your eyes. Check in and report back when you have the urge, we'd love to hear from you. Buen camino, Laurie
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I'm off, then. Leave New Zealand tomorrow morning and will arrive in Madrid after 30 something hours consisting of three flights, the middle one fourteen and a half hours. I have booked myself two nights in Madrid in reasonably comfortable accommodation to allow for post-flight recovery!

Really looking forward to my next Camino adventure. Don't know if I will meet many or any fellow pilgrims in the first half of my walk, but expect to have company after Zamora. By that stage hopefully I will have hit my (albeit slow) stride and able to converse on topics other than my sore feet :).

I always keep a journal of my travels, so am wondering if I could usefully contribute to the Forum by recording items of interest - eg any changes to albergues? Other reasonably priced/pleasant accommodation? Tiendas and bars encountered (or not)?
By all means, please, report back from the Camino. As laurie already mentioned we will be more than happy to read up-to-date posts on CdM. And especially the stage when switching from Madrid to Levante would be interesting to know more.

Enjoy it and Ultreia!
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
Thanks for the supportive words, Laurie and Kinky one. I'm currently in Madrid, more or less recovered from the peculiar slow torture that is economy class long distance travel from the Antipodes.
I've enjoyed the city. It's dirty, crowded and oh I had forgotten how the Spanish still like to smoke - everywhere. But people are generally kind, patient with my slow spanish and dining a fuera in the later cool of the evening is a delight.
I went to the Iglesia de Santiago y San Juan Bautista today to get the first stamp in my credentiale, which I had acquired via Ivar. I hadn't realised that the church issues its own credentiale, which is a particularly attractive document. So now I have two credentials, so will tuck the first one away for another Camino.
I actually went twice to the church. The first time, a wedding was about to start and I didn't feel like making my way into the sacristy through a sea of wedding guests. When I went back later, another wedding was in progress. Just as I was thinking I might have to miss out on the church stamp, I saw several other casually dressed people strolling up beside the pews so I followed them and lo and behold credential issue was in full swing in the sacristy. Never hesitate to interrupt a Spanish wedding! They seem quite public events and no one blinked an eye at the comings and goings of peregrinos/as!
But I have had enough city and am now looking forward to seeing that first flecha amarilla at the Plaza de Castilla and heading for the peace and fresh air of the countryside. Next stop Tres Cantos.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Thanks for the supportive words, Laurie and Kinky one. I'm currently in Madrid, more or less recovered from the peculiar slow torture that is economy class long distance travel from the Antipodes.
I've enjoyed the city. It's dirty, crowded and oh I had forgotten how the Spanish still like to smoke - everywhere. But people are generally kind, patient with my slow spanish and dining a fuera in the later cool of the evening is a delight.
I went to the Iglesia de Santiago y San Juan Bautista today to get the first stamp in my credentiale, which I had acquired via Ivar. I hadn't realised that the church issues its own credentiale, which is a particularly attractive document. So now I have two credentials, so will tuck the first one away for another Camino.
I actually went twice to the church. The first time, a wedding was about to start and I didn't feel like making my way into the sacristy through a sea of wedding guests. When I went back later, another wedding was in progress. Just as I was thinking I might have to miss out on the church stamp, I saw several other casually dressed people strolling up beside the pews so I followed them and lo and behold credential issue was in full swing in the sacristy. Never hesitate to interrupt a Spanish wedding! They seem quite public events and no one blinked an eye at the comings and goings of peregrinos/as!
But I have had enough city and am now looking forward to seeing that first flecha amarilla at the Plaza de Castilla and heading for the peace and fresh air of the countryside. Next stop Tres Cantos.
Elizabeth:

This is a great Camino. I am sure you will enjoy.

I also will be looking forward to hearing about your journey. Something to consider. The first part of this walk is very easy when you get to Tres Cantos you might consider walking on to Colmenar Viejo another 12K. The Camino actually passes bye Tres Cantos.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
Ola. It's Day 4 and I'm in Segovia. Caught the train here from Cercedilla, having decided not to do the climb/long walk here. So it's been a very pleasant rest day exploring the old town. Staying in Hostal Juan Bravo.
Some comments from previous days:
Day 1 Madrid to Tres Canton. The first arrow has moved! Not outside Rodilla Restaurant any more. But I found one about 20 meters along at the next corner.
An enjoyable walk out of the city indeed. Well marked. Stayed in the VP Jardin Hotel which was very comfortable. Very few dinner options here, particularly on a Sunday night, but the supermarket close by the hotel was well stocked. Hotel does a good early (7 am) breakfast.
Day 2. To Manzanares el Real. A lovely walk. Had a slight glitch getting out of Colmenar Viejo. The arrows vanished just before a crucial left turn off a main avenue just before leaving the town. Several locals insisted I head down a side street so off I went in hope but it was several hundred meters before an arrow appeared. Then there was no indication to go left again down a street towards a concrete wall painted with Camino de Santiago.
Accommodation was a challenge in Manzanares el Real. The Hotel is closed, apparently you can ring the owner (?) for a room but he was on holiday. Senor Ella who used to do rooms doesn't any more. In the end a helpful bar keeper and the three local policemen helped me locate a room in a Casa Rural. Pricey, but it was a bed for the night and well situated for the Camino the next morning.
Day 3 To Cercedilla. A delightful walk. Stopped for coffee in Mataelpino, which is charming. Next time I would stay here if there is accommodation. I did see a sign pointing to "albergue".
Others have reported an arrow/mojon conflict shortly before Navacerrada. Initially I took the mojon, but ended up going in a big loop back up to the road where the original arrow pointed. So I followed the arrows and they lead me further up the road then onto a path and down into the town. There's a nice spot as you reach the town centre with a fountain, seats and shade.
The walk after Navacerrada was fine, nice to walk in the shade of the trees in the heat of the afternoon.
In Cercedilla stayed in Hostal La Maya. Decided the polideportivo accommodation was too far away from the town centre.
I'm headin for Ane tomorrow. Time to stay in an albergue!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Day 3 To Cercedilla. A delightful walk. Stopped for coffee in Mataelpino, which is charming. Next time I would stay here if there is accommodation. I did see a sign pointing to "albergue".
Obviously you didn't do your homework on CdM albergues ;)
Last year it was reported from a forum member about newly opened albergue (with description and all) in Mataelpino.

Anyway, keep on! Ultreia!
 

Phillypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C F Sept.(2013) Camino de Madrid & Finisterre/Muxia Sept. (2014)
Finisterre/Muia June (2017).
I loved Ane!
Enjoy the Madrid route!
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
And back in WiFi range...yes I loved Ane too. What a blessed peaceful place. The albergue was just fine. Plain but clean and comfortable enough. There are three bunk sets and about five individual single or double beds in the main hall, plus two bunk sets in small side room. So plenty of room, although just me last night. Oh and also a new (?) kitchen bench with sink and microwave.
It was so cold early this morning when I left I had to dig out woollen hat and parka. But back to sunblock and hat in the heat of the afternoon. Walking through the pine forest before Nava de la Asuncion was enjoyable for the additional shade provided.
Tonight I'm staying in the albergue in Nava de la Asuncion. I hadn't originally planned to stay here so didn't update albergue details beyond Max Long's (?). Obviously you no longer contact Margarita at the pasteleria (it's closed) but ring for the key instead.
Anyhow, I am safely ensconced in the albergue in the polideportivo (€5), and the lovely lady Clara who took me there obviously takes much pride in providing the room. She also muttered darkly about Ane's new kitchen...is there a quiet competition between ayuntamientos about albergues???
A couple of comments about yesterday's walk. Valseca - it does have a bar but it closes on Thursdays. I of course was there on a Thursday! I found the tienda OK and while I was in there making enquiries a local woman overheard and invited me home for a cafe con leche. She and her husband have lived there their whole lives. She also insisted on taking me to the local ayuntamiento to get a stamp in my credentiale.
Los Huertos - the bar is indeed very good and most welcome before the next stage to Ane.
Tomorrow I am heading for Olmedo, ready to 'cross over' to the Camino de Levante.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
I love those random invitations to people's homes.
Lucky you!
I enjoyed the Nava de la Asuncion albergue. Do we know if Margarita is ok???
Happy you are enjoying this marvelous Camino route ::whispering:::!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
And back in WiFi range...yes I loved Ane too. What a blessed peaceful place. The albergue was just fine. Plain but clean and comfortable enough. There are three bunk sets and about five individual single or double beds in the main hall, plus two bunk sets in small side room. So plenty of room, although just me last night. Oh and also a new (?) kitchen bench with sink and microwave.
It was so cold early this morning when I left I had to dig out woollen hat and parka. But back to sunblock and hat in the heat of the afternoon. Walking through the pine forest before Nava de la Asuncion was enjoyable for the additional shade provided.
Tonight I'm staying in the albergue in Nava de la Asuncion. I hadn't originally planned to stay here so didn't update albergue details beyond Max Long's (?). Obviously you no longer contact Margarita at the pasteleria (it's closed) but ring for the key instead.
Anyhow, I am safely ensconced in the albergue in the polideportivo (€5), and the lovely lady Clara who took me there obviously takes much pride in providing the room. She also muttered darkly about Ane's new kitchen...is there a quiet competition between ayuntamientos about albergues???
A couple of comments about yesterday's walk. Valseca - it does have a bar but it closes on Thursdays. I of course was there on a Thursday! I found the tienda OK and while I was in there making enquiries a local woman overheard and invited me home for a cafe con leche. She and her husband have lived there their whole lives. She also insisted on taking me to the local ayuntamiento to get a stamp in my credentiale.
Los Huertos - the bar is indeed very good and most welcome before the next stage to Ane.
Tomorrow I am heading for Olmedo, ready to 'cross over' to the Camino de Levante.
A kitchen in Ane albergue? Funny. And nowhere nothing to buy. Only if you're lucky to be in the village when the tienda-van comes by.
So sorry to hear Pasteleria Rosana in Nava is closed. Is that permanently? Any news on Margarita?
0296-me & Margarita at her Pasteleria (Nava de la Asuncion, 27.06.14).jpg
Nice to hear the bar in Los Huertos is opened again. It looked pretty much deserted in 2014. But the park immediately over the river to the right was also good option. Very good water from fuentes there.

Will wait for your next post about crossing over to Levante.

Ultreia!
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
In Olmedo, half-way between Camino. Staying in Hostal la Mesnadita €35, includes breakfast. It seems to be the same place as the Gran Posada Mesnada. Big old house, seen better days but comfortable enough. Management seems rather Fawlty Towers...
I don't know about Margarita in Nava. On the Camino de Madrid noticeboard athe the entrance to town, there's a notice for pilgrims wanting the albergue key to either ring the ayuntamiento or if after 2.15 pm or on weekends to ring - and then it lists four names and numbers. One of these is a "Marga" - perhaps her?
I went to the pasteleria anyway. It was all closed up, had a Se Vende sign, and the same list of numbers to call for the key.

The walk from Villeguillo to Olmedo today (ie off - Camino) was 10 km all on the road VP 1105 I think. Quiet road and pleasant enough, but no decent shoulder to give the feet a break.

Tomorrow is 21 km to Medina del Campo, also following a road. It will be Sunday so should be quiet, plus I am hoping to be able to move off the road in places for shelter under the trees. But no bars or cafes on the way!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
In Olmedo, half-way between Camino. Staying in Hostal la Mesnadita €35, includes breakfast. It seems to be the same place as the Gran Posada Mesnada. Big old house, seen better days but comfortable enough. Management seems rather Fawlty Towers...
I don't know about Margarita in Nava. On the Camino de Madrid noticeboard athe the entrance to town, there's a notice for pilgrims wanting the albergue key to either ring the ayuntamiento or if after 2.15 pm or on weekends to ring - and then it lists four names and numbers. One of these is a "Marga" - perhaps her?
I went to the pasteleria anyway. It was all closed up, had a Se Vende sign, and the same list of numbers to call for the key.

The walk from Villeguillo to Olmedo today (ie off - Camino) was 10 km all on the road VP 1105 I think. Quiet road and pleasant enough, but no decent shoulder to give the feet a break.

Tomorrow is 21 km to Medina del Campo, also following a road. It will be Sunday so should be quiet, plus I am hoping to be able to move off the road in places for shelter under the trees. But no bars or cafes on the way!
Did you walked through Coca and Villeguillo and then turned left to Llano de Olmedo and Aguasal? The last part already off the Camino would be VP-1105. I looked at the map once again and realized that if you continue to CL-602 after Villeguillo and turning left on it you would eventually go a bit back (SW) in direction Olmedo. That's what I mentioned in one of the earlier posts because only on CL-602 I remember roadsigns for Olmedo. It was shorter what you did but VP-1105 is minor road hence there is no real shoulder.
Thanks for info about Nava and pasteleria. Marga could be Margarita indeed and seems like pasteleria is for sale.

Ultreia!
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
Did you walked through Coca and Villeguillo and then turned left to Llano de Olmedo and Aguasal? The last part already off the Camino would be VP-1105. I looked at the map once again and realized that if you continue to CL-602 after Villeguillo and turning left on it you would eventually go a bit back (SW) in direction Olmedo. That's what I mentioned in one of the earlier posts because only on CL-602 I remember roadsigns for Olmedo. It was shorter what you did but VP-1105 is minor road hence there is no real shoulder.
Thanks for info about Nava and pasteleria. Marga could be Margarita indeed and seems like pasteleria is for sale.

Ultreia!
Ola. Yes, that is the route I followed. Just outside Villeguillo there was an arrow indicating right for the Camino de Madrid. I carried on past it, staying on the VP1105 through Llano de Olmedo and Aguas to Olmedo.

Lots of on road walking today from Olmedo to Medina del Campo. A straight forward route, plenty of road shoulder and traffic light (being a Sunday?). There were a few places closer to Pozal de Galinas where I could walk on a well compacted sandy track parallel to the road, but these weren't extensive. Mostly it was a plod on until you get there kind of day.
Staying in Hostal Plaza Major, €25.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Ola. Yes, that is the route I followed. Just outside Villeguillo there was an arrow indicating right for the Camino de Madrid. I carried on past it, staying on the VP1105 through Llano de Olmedo and Aguas to Olmedo.

Lots of on road walking today from Olmedo to Medina del Campo. A straight forward route, plenty of road shoulder and traffic light (being a Sunday?). There were a few places closer to Pozal de Galinas where I could walk on a well compacted sandy track parallel to the road, but these weren't extensive. Mostly it was a plod on until you get there kind of day.
Staying in Hostal Plaza Major, €25.
Even from Villeguillo to Olmedo there's a nice alternative on presumably AG roads and past three smaller lakes as I can see on Google maps. But it might be a bit longer.

Enjoy Levante :)
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
Ola. In Toro, delightful old town. Staying in Pension Zamora (€20) which is quaint, sort of like your grandmother's house! But well located and the welcome was warm. I arrived at the same time as a thunderstorm with a sudden burst of heavy rain. Good to find shelter and a hot shower quickly.
Yesterday stayed in Castronuno. A very pilgrim friendly town. On my way into town I called in at Bar Sevilla which seems to be the main point of contact for pilgrims seeking accommodation. The barman rang the list of hospitaleros and one came and picked me up, drove around the village pointing out bars, tienda etc before taking me to the well set up albergue by the polideportivo. All that to myself once again!
But I did actually encounter another pilgrim today, a French man who had started in Alicante. I think we were both quite startled to see each other. It will be interesting in a few days meeting greater numbers of pilgrims on the Sanabres.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Ola. In Toro, delightful old town. Staying in Pension Zamora (€20) which is quaint, sort of like your grandmother's house! But well located and the welcome was warm. I arrived at the same time as a thunderstorm with a sudden burst of heavy rain. Good to find shelter and a hot shower quickly.
I also liked this hostal very much. Run by pilgrim-friendly family (at least in 2014). The son (17 years old perhaps) asked me at what time I wanted breakfast in the morning. I answered 05:30 but I knew I couldn't demand that anyone in the house gets up at that hour just to serve me. But he said "OK, no problem", and the next morning he had prepared everything for me. That is: he was there in person to make coffee, etc, although I was the only pilgrim/costumer! The rest of the family was very friendly as well and we had a long talk about Camino adventures/misfortunes and so on.

Oh, when you mention the shower: it looked like a NASA space shuttle!! I thought it would catapult me up in the air if I pushed the wrong button. It did take me a while to understand how I would get it to start! I say, it's the first shower that looked like something from Star Trek.

/BP
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I also liked this hostal very much. Run by pilgrim-friendly family (at least in 2014). The son (17 years old perhaps) asked me at what time I wanted breakfast in the morning. I answered 05:30 but I knew I couldn't demand that anyone in the house gets up at that hour just to serve me. But he said "OK, no problem", and the next morning he had prepared everything for me. That is: he was there in person to make coffee, etc, although I was the only pilgrim/costumer! The rest of the family was very friendly as well and we had a long talk about Camino adventures/misfortunes and so on.

Oh, when you mention the shower: it looked like a NASA space shuttle!! I thought it would catapult me up in the air if I pushed the wrong button. It did take me a while to understand how I would get it to start! I say, it's the first shower that looked like something from Star Trek.

/BP
My feelings exactly! I think it's too bad that the family can't figure out a way for pilgrims to leave early without waking them up. But they do it with a smile.

We ate lunch there and it was simple, home cooked and way too much of it!

Toro is a gem of a place -- fabulous church and romanesque door, great wine (lots to taste up and down the main drag) and only a day out of Zamora!

Elizabeth, I would love to hear about how it went into Zamora and whether you managed to not get lost in the cottonwood forest. And then how was the Sanabres? Buen camino, Laurie

p.s. And will the next pilgrim who stays in Toro in the Pension Zamora please post a picture of that shower contraption. It is truly the most complicated and unintelligible bathroom piece I've ever seen, I should have taken a picture!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
My feelings exactly! I think it's too bad that the family can't figure out a way for pilgrims to leave early without waking them up. But they do it with a smile.

We ate lunch there and it was simple, home cooked and way too much of it!

Toro is a gem of a place -- fabulous church and romanesque door, great wine (lots to taste up and down the main drag) and only a day out of Zamora!

Elizabeth, I would love to hear about how it went into Zamora and whether you managed to not get lost in the cottonwood forest. And then how was the Sanabres? Buen camino, Laurie

p.s. And will the next pilgrim who stays in Toro in the Pension Zamora please post a picture of that shower contraption. It is truly the most complicated and unintelligible bathroom piece I've ever seen, I should have taken a picture!
Oh Laurie, your response made me laugh. I was about to add the exact same words in my previous posts: that one should have taken a picture of that shower. :O) I'm glad to hear that others got the same impression of it as me...!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Ola. In Toro, delightful old town. Staying in Pension Zamora (€20) which is quaint, sort of like your grandmother's house! But well located and the welcome was warm. I arrived at the same time as a thunderstorm with a sudden burst of heavy rain. Good to find shelter and a hot shower quickly.
Yesterday stayed in Castronuno. A very pilgrim friendly town. On my way into town I called in at Bar Sevilla which seems to be the main point of contact for pilgrims seeking accommodation. The barman rang the list of hospitaleros and one came and picked me up, drove around the village pointing out bars, tienda etc before taking me to the well set up albergue by the polideportivo. All that to myself once again!
But I did actually encounter another pilgrim today, a French man who had started in Alicante. I think we were both quite startled to see each other. It will be interesting in a few days meeting greater numbers of pilgrims on the Sanabres.
Hi,

... And I was also about to write the same thing as Peregrina above: is there a next chapter of your Camino? Did you finish the Sanabrés? Would love to hear about it.

Oh, you stayed in the albergue in Castronuño. Baaaaaad memories. Not of the albergue itself but of that night. I don't know if I've written about it here on the Forum? In the middle of the night: bangs on the door: youngsters throwing stones (large stones, the size of your fist - we found the stones outside next day). The door is made of metal so the bangs echoed in the whole building (there's only one room). Every ten minutes = sounds like an explosion. The other pilgrim shouted at them from the door, out in the darkness - in vain. This continued until about 01:00 am. I've never experienced anything like it in terms of Peregrino Bashing. We called hospitalero - asleep. We called Guardia Civil, couldn't get hold of them. Finally the hospitalero's collegue turned up with her car at the albergue and scared the youngsters away. Next day: the door was full on the outside of marks and scratches where the stones had hit. On a beautiful, new albergue, raised with the help from American Pilgrims association or something. I won't write here what I would have done with these teenagers, had I got hold of them.

/BP
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Generally agree with all of the above answers. Anyway here are my two cents:
1: nowadays almost every bar in Spain (and especially those on Caminos) has wi-fi,
2: I use 500ml PET bottles, 3-5 depending on Camino/weather/water accessibility etc.,
3: can not really answer that question because I have never ever started before 8AM on any of my Caminos :) Camino de Madrid is generally well marked and I didn't have any problems getting out of towns. Levante could be a little bit more tricky but no major problems also if you do a bit of research.
- when leaving Medina del Campo do not follow yellow arrows along the CL-602 after church of Santiago El Real.
View attachment 29240
Instead cross the CL-602 as if you would exit the church and walk the street on the left side of small park and veer left into Calle San Lazaro. From here on it's easy,

- after Castronuno you have two options: official Camino which has few up/down hills or Senda de los Almendros which runs along the Duero river and/or Canal de San Jose and is flat. The later was recommended by hospitalera. Two routes converge in Villafranca de Duero (turn left at first crossroads when reaching the village and right onto main road),
View attachment 29241
View attachment 29242
- before Toro and after crossing the long Roman bridge the arrows will lead you to the right but you can also go straight on and enter the town shorter way. But it's a killer uphill after hot day :eek: :D
Here's the view back from Toro:
View attachment 29243
- after Villalazan and a few kms before Zamora be alert at this spot and turn left!!!
View attachment 29244

That's all the tricky spots I can remember on Levante that you might encounter. Sanabres has many more pilgrims and marking is excellent.

Buen Camino :)
Hi, K1,
Just going back and thinking about the Levante (and wondering whether I should change from the Norte to the Sureste this year or some other crazy change-- this is all Bad Pilgrim's fault)

Anyway, I just had a question about the picture you posted right before where I got lost in the cottonwood forest. You said it's important to turn left - is that a left before the hut or after it? I ask, because it looks like the most obvious thing to do (and what I most likely did do) would be to stay on that path swinging around to the left, and that is always a trap for the unwary person who is blabbing away and not looking for arrows.
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
I also liked this hostal very much. Run by pilgrim-friendly family (at least in 2014). The son (17 years old perhaps) asked me at what time I wanted breakfast in the morning. I answered 05:30 but I knew I couldn't demand that anyone in the house gets up at that hour just to serve me. But he said "OK, no problem", and the next morning he had prepared everything for me. That is: he was there in person to make coffee, etc, although I was the only pilgrim/costumer! The rest of the family was very friendly as well and we had a long talk about Camino adventures/misfortunes and so on.

Oh, when you mention the shower: it looked like a NASA space shuttle!! I thought it would catapult me up in the air if I pushed the wrong button. It did take me a while to understand how I would get it to start! I say, it's the first shower that looked like something from Star Trek.

/BP
Oh yes the shower! I also found it a challenge at the end of a day of walking, in fact I tried both in case the first one wasn't working but not so - definitely a knack to it! As I recall, it was fine once it was turned on. Definitely a leader in the list of Camino showers to remember!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hi, K1,
Just going back and thinking about the Levante (and wondering whether I should change from the Norte to the Sureste this year or some other crazy change-- this is all Bad Pilgrim's fault)

Anyway, I just had a question about the picture you posted right before where I got lost in the cottonwood forest. You said it's important to turn left - is that a left before the hut or after it? I ask, because it looks like the most obvious thing to do (and what I most likely did do) would be to stay on that path swinging around to the left, and that is always a trap for the unwary person who is blabbing away and not looking for arrows.
You're spot on, Laurie. It's not before the hut as there isn't any path to the left at all, just a field and a forest soon after it. The route goes slightly to the left after the hut at let's say 15°. You just shouldn't cross that small "bridge" over the narrow hardly visible (overgrown) canal to the right and you'll be OK. I was warned by yours and other posts and it was easy-peasy.
Later after Villaralbo you have two options as I remember at the end of the village. One is sticking to minor tarmac road and might be shorter (to the right) and the other one is marked mostly with GR signs (the left one) and follows some 2mts wide canal until you come to suburb of Zamora again on minor tarmac road. Once you come to the Rio Duero you just follow it to the left until you reach the second (the old) bridge where you cross it into the old town. But you already know that part I'd say ;)

Changing your mind about another Camino Combo every 2 weeks, eh? :D:D:D
 

Elizabeth_B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
My feelings exactly! I think it's too bad that the family can't figure out a way for pilgrims to leave early without waking them up. But they do it with a smile.

We ate lunch there and it was simple, home cooked and way too much of it!

Toro is a gem of a place -- fabulous church and romanesque door, great wine (lots to taste up and down the main drag) and only a day out of Zamora!

Elizabeth, I would love to hear about how it went into Zamora and whether you managed to not get lost in the cottonwood forest. And then how was the Sanabres? Buen camino, Laurie

p.s. And will the next pilgrim who stays in Toro in the Pension Zamora please post a picture of that shower contraption. It is truly the most complicated and unintelligible bathroom piece I've ever seen, I should have taken a picture!
I enjoyed Toro, despite torrents of rain and very gloomy skies. This camino for me was particularly punctuated by acts of kindness from locals I encountered, and I recall the pharmacist here who went out of her way to search through her backroom stock to find me a small, travel sized bottle of contact lens solution.
Laurie, I ended up taking a bus to Zamora. I had originally intended to walk from Toro to Zamora but had by then come to the realisation that, despite my best intentions, I was not happy (mentally and physically) walking further than mid 20 kms. I think Toro to Zamora was around 34 km? So I did not get to address the cottonwood forest challenge.
I liked the Camino Sanabres, possibly more than the C. Madrid, although that might be a reflection of the timing - I think it can take a little while to 'settle into' a camino walk, to change the pattern and pace of one's day. For me the C.Madrid took some settling into, and I feel I was a bit hampered by my memories of and therefore expectations from my first Camino, the Frances, two years earlier. It also took me more effort to adjust to the solitude - both day and night - than I was expecting. These caminos - what they teach us about ourselves! :).
I would like to share some of my Sanabres experiences, but it might be more appropriate if I post those on the C.Sanabres section, where they might add to the knowledge there.
One general observation on the 'fallout' from this camino for me - I came home thinking that I hadn't enjoyed this camino as much as the first and that I probably wouldn't do another (lots more of the world to see etc). Well doh! Not six weeks after my return I found myself reading and researching the Caminos del Norte and Primitivo...and the Via Francigena. I guess the Camino can work on a person in subtle and unexpected ways.
 

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