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The Camino Madrid in March 2018

Discussion in 'Camino de Madrid' started by LesBrass, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    My little group of walking buddies are trying to find a suitable camino for us to walk in March 2018. We have ruled out The CF, VdlP and Norte because between us we've either done them or planning to do them.

    We're not worried about ending in Santiago and we only have 2 weeks.

    We looked at the Primitivo but worry that the weather might not be ideal in March? The Portuguese is an option from Porto and we've also now been looking at the Madrid.

    Has anyone else walked the Madrid route in March? Were there any problems with weather? Flooding/Snow? I apprecaite this is a variable subject but intersted to hear from others... we've read this "early spring is also not advised as the mountainous areas can be tricky at this time of the year (for example, the snow holds on the Sierra de Guadarrama until May)"

    all thoughts and suggestions will be welcome :)
     
  2. t2andreo

    t2andreo Veteran Member Donating Member

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    What you've read is correct, especially at elevations above about 700 meters ASL. Also, it is good that you are bringing friends. When I attempted this route in 2016, I met exactly one pilgrim in four days.

    The Madrid route, though not an ancient / medieval route like so many of the others is nonetheless beautiful. If you like solitude and do not need a bar / cafe every 3 - 5 km, this route could be for you.

    If you do not mind accepting any available albergue type lodging, or do not mind going a couple of kilometers off the line of march to obtain accommodation for the evening, this could also be a good route for you to do.

    Once you climb out of the "bowl" in which Madrid sits, and after Segovia, the terrain gradually becomes less mountainous, more rolling, then flat, not unlike the Meseta on the Frances. Eventually, you intersect the Camino Frances at Sahagun outside Leon. From there, turn to the West, left. From that point you know the drill, as you are on the second half of the Frances.

    In Madrid, it is customary to start from the Church of Santiago & Saint John the Baptist. You can obtain a sello, credential and / or a shell in the front of the Church, immediately AFTER the Mass. The desk and sanctuary / office is to the front left (as you are sitting in a pew).

    Leaving Madrid, you can either walk city streets for a day or most of two, or do as I did and take the train to Tres Cantos. The rural Camino path crosses the tracks there.

    I hope this helps.
     
  3. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    @t2andreo many thanks for the detail! We don't mind no coffee stops or the longer distances. It is just the snow and passability that is the worry.

    I know that we could do the first couple of weeks of the VdlP but having walked it once in autumn I am planning to walking it again one day in the spring... so I'm saving that one :) My walking buddies have walked part of the Frances and are planning to walk it in full in October 2018 so again we're saving that one... and I'm planning the Norte.

    The Madrid looks interesting, fits our timescales and is easy to get to... so the weather might be the deciding factor. I dont fancy walking in snow :)
     
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  4. fraluchi

    fraluchi Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Maybe the Invierno, starting from Ponferrada?
     
  5. sulu

    sulu Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Hi!
    I think the camino de Madrid is attracting more people, I had days alone and at times we were up to 8 but that was at the end of September. The early days are bad on infrastructure but bearable then it gets better, it is a lovely camino but I would reckon you are likely to have to climb Fuenfria in snow, at least partially, though it probably depends on which end of March you are walking and what the weather is like next winter/spring. I would second Fraluchi's suggestion, why not look at the Invierno, or, again, go with the Portugues, the chances of snow, or frost, are probably much lower.
     
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  6. timr

    timr Active Member Donating Member

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    @LesBrass
    I did Camino Madrid, as far as Valladolid, in May of this year. The one spot it seems to me you would need to worry about snow would be Fuenfria, before Segovia. (I cannot speak about the section between Valladolid and Sahagun). Its elevation is 1.796m (5,892ft). It is a bit of a rough road up, although there is a mountain bike trail as well. You would need to check out the historical snow reports. I have just tried and cannot find them:(

    Just a comment on what @t2andreo says. I started with Mass in the Church of Santiago & St John in May this year, on a Thursday. I was able to collect my credencial and sello before the Mass (and it was not contingent on my going to Mass);). There was a blessing for me (alone) at the end of Mass!
    And I then walked from there to Tres Cantos that afternoon setting out at 1pm and I was there at 6:30pm. It is a bit of a slog, but well signposted from Plaza de Castilla on the Paseo de Castellana. About 3 hours to get out of the city, which stops very abruptly(!) and then another 3 hours kind of cross country but a good bit of it on a senda next to highway. If you like cities (as I do) it is a nice walk. It goes directly past the Bernabeu stadium as well! Between the end of the city and Tres Cantos there are no provisions so collect some water at Plaza de Castilla.
    I really enjoyed the CM. It was very solitary in May and I guess would be the same in March. But very good infrastructure. I made some notes here
    I also walked from Porto to SdC in November last year and loved it. The weather was probably better than you would expect in March, as it was uncommonly warm when I walked. But you wouldn't have to worry about snow at any point.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
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  7. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    I don't know if I would recommend Camino de Invierno instead of CdM as @fraluchi and @sulu suggested. Although Sue lives really near the route. But Invierno is in general on higher altitude and second part of it + Sanabres (after A Laxe) already in Galicia with its very unpredictable weather. I remember Asun's remark (hospitalera in A Rua) that even she doesn't really understand why this route was called Winter Route (because winter isn't really mild there I guess).
    Maybe @Ribeirasacra can give more info about winter conditions on that Camino.

    But of course I would point you to Camino de Madrid. I really loved it although I made this one and only real ascent on its entire lenght (Funefria pass) in rain and fog.

    Buen Camino!
     
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  8. giorgio

    giorgio Active Member

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    In case of snow on te Fuenfria elevation you can skip it by taking a train from Cercedilla to Segovia.
    Let me just add Camino de Madrid is simply beautiful....
     
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  9. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I am thinking about the Camino de Madrid in March 2018, maybe in addition to the Invierno. It would be great to gather a loose cohort of pilgrims!
     
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  10. timr

    timr Active Member Donating Member

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    Very tempting. I loved the first part of CM which I did in May. I hope to get back and finish in the autumn, starting again in Valladolid. I hope to be walking from Canterbury to Rome next year so won't join you.
    A 'loose cohort' sounds nice - just be conscious of the fact that some of the accommodation on this route is quite limited in numbers. From memory, I don't think anywhere I stayed had more than eight beds, apart from Youth Hostel in Cercedilla, and hostal in Segovia. In particular, just four beds in Nava de la Asunción, although there is supposed to be a youth hostel in the town also. We didn't find it. But don't let that put you off.....
     
  11. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Once when I found myself in Madrid with a free day in early February, I took the train to Cercedilla and spent the night in the pension right on the camino, and then walked to Segovia the next day, catching a train back to Madrid (it takes all of 28 minutes!!!). There was some snow on the pass but the trails were open. Joe Flavin has pictures of much more snow at a later time of year, so I think it just depends.

    I am not sure why the camino out of Madrid gets a bad rap in some quarters. In my opinion it is one of the easiest, most enjoyable, and least industrial of any city camino. As @timr says, you can start in the old part of the city at the Santiago and St. John church (not sure why they share honors). From there, the walk up to the Plaza de Castilla goes through old Madrid, and up some very nice streets, past Real Madrid's stadium on one of the city's long boulevards. It's about 6 or 7 km, I think. Then from the Plaza de Castilla, you have a short walk through the edges of Madrid, but it is not industrial. There are big hospital campuses. When you go under one of the ring roads (I cant remember if it's the M-30 or 40), the city abruptly ends and you are in the country. A lot of the walk into Tres Cantos is on a dedicated bike path, so no problem with traffic, though it is asphalt.

    I decided to do my first day a little differently than @timr. I arrived in early morning on a tranatlantic flight and after dumping my stuff in a central madrid hotel, went to the church, got a sello, and walked out to the Plaza Castilla. The next day I got on an early metro to Plaza Castilla and walked to Colmenar. Just depends on how you deal with jet lag and what kind of first day you like. The walk to Tres CAntos from the Santiago Church is over 30 km, but it is totally flat.
     
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  12. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    Many thanks for all of this information folks. I'm starting to think that the CM is going to be the perfect camino for me. I like that I can get a flight into Madrid easily from Bordeaux... thats a big plus! Its just aboout the right length too.

    I have a few plans for walking next year so 2 weeks is about all I could take in March. Both my walking chums think they can take the time too (although not 100%).

    At the moment my thinking is to start from Madrid around mid-march and plan to reach the CF for maybe Good Friday. My husband can drive down to meet me and we can spend the easter weekend in Spain before driving back to France?

    A cohort sounds fun... if my dates fit with anyone else :) I was following @Magwood's (brilliant) blog and I'll go have a look through a few other posts and plans and see what I can find. Thanks for the 'fist day' ideas... I'm lucky in that I dont have to deal with jet lag... I'm happy with a 30km day. I used to think my limit was 30km but this April on the CF I topped 37km and I felt fine... I must be getting stronger :)

    So maybe I will be walking the CM in March 18 :D
     
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  13. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Don't mean to take this off topic, but this happened to me too, LesBrass. In 2013, when I walked the Levante, I met two French pilgrims, the only other people I had seen in four days. Since we got along and I didn't want to lose them, I gave those 30+ days a try and found that I was fine, like you. I think that is just goes to show that sometimes we are not really aware of what we can do.
     
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  14. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    I totally agree - there were no beds on the CF which meant we had to keep walking (and in a thunder storm and heavy rain too). There were three of us and we chatted and laughed and I think this really helped to distract us from the distance and the mud. I reckon I was the least 'fit' of the three but regardless I never felt out of my depth. More importantly now I can look at the stages of other walks and not baulk at the longer days, which did worry me when I started the VdlP last year.

    p.s. mind you I dont think I'd be able to do 37km day after day after day... but then again perhaps I'd surprise myself :)
     
  15. gerardcarey

    gerardcarey Veteran Member

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    Not being a wet or cold weather walker, I did the Portuguese from Lisbon starting early April this year.
    March would probably be fine but I'd check the rainfall and temperatures. Maybe make Porto your goal.

    However, I met two groups of French folks who had walked up thru the Algarve to Lisbon during March.
    They said the walking was good and temperatures excellent.
    Many folks appear to say "Yuk Algarve, all tourist developement." Not me I hasten to add.
    So I am considering this for March or April 2018.
    https://www.visitportugal.com/en/node/73808
    Regards
    Gerard
     
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  16. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    I love Portugal :D We're walking the Rota Vicetina down to the Algarve in October and hopefully will have a few days to linger in the Algarve when we finish!
     
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  17. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    @C clearly Will the Invierno be walkable in March? Honestly, this forum is a terrible place for me because I started my planning yesterday thinking I had just 2 weeks but ended the day thinking ... well maybe 4!

    I re-read @Magwoods blog and I love the sound of the route she took... I would love to follow in her footsteps but I dont think March would be the right time to do that. Then I read @Bad Pilgrim's notes on the Ruta de la Lana and thought... mmm that sounds very nice too!

    I really really want to walk when the poppies are in bloom and for that I think I need to start a camino in May... maybe 2019? :rolleyes:
     
  18. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Why not?:) In fact I have not officially started planning for 2018 but I couldn't resist your post.

    I have had vague ideas of Camino de Madrid in second half of March and then maybe Invierno in early April. But I'm trying to keep it to 4 weeks so that would be tight.

    When I get home from the trip I'm on now (with unreliable internet) I will look into it more.
     
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  19. fraluchi

    fraluchi Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Plenty of suggestions and experience. Yet the only Camino without too much winter risks which comes to my mind is the Portugues (coastal way). For the only reason that the weather is probably more temperate. All other suggestions, one way or the other, eventually lead over elevations which could be problematic at some point. Any month with an "R" is dicey anywhere.:cool:
     
  20. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    I would be interested in starting out with you all from Madrid, if you will have me :)
    Jill
     
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  21. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    It works for me :) Althought I'm still wondering if I could do 4 weeks on the Lana :D But... not sure if my husband likes that idea :)
     
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  22. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    I’m thinking of the Camino de Madrid to Sahagún, the Salvador to Oviedo, and the Primitivo to Santiago. None of which I’ve done before. I think that may take about 5 weeks :):)
    Jill
     
  23. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    I think this has probably been mentioned before, but if you want to start out in an albergue in Madrid, the Korean Association of the Camino de Santiago has an albergue in the Barrio de Pilar, which happens to be two metro stops from Plaza Castilla. I think their main purpose is to serve as a place for people in transit from or to a Camino, but I am sure you would be welcome there, too. http://cachinyeon.wixsite.com/madrid

    That would make it easy to arrive in Madrid, get to the Santiago and San Juan Baptista church, walk to Plaza de Castilla, get the metro to the albergue and then walk back the next day.

    I think several of us have done that combination, and it is a wonderful way to get to Santiago.
     
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  24. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I'm thinking Madrid to Sahagun, bus or tain to Astorga (picking up where I left off on the VDLP in 2017), walk to Ponferada, then Invierno to Santiago. That would easily fill 4 weeks. I need to get a spreadsheet started!

    Some company on the Madrid would be great.
     
  25. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    I followed @Magwood this year doing that... it looked amazing. I'm slow on the hills but they don't worry me :D Would the weather be good enough? During March and April I can have 5 weeks so it would be a great challenge :)

    My two walking buddies could only do the Madrid I think... if they can make it... but I could take longer and I am very tempted :) I have no time constraints at that time of year. So apart from maybe a preference to start as late as possible to avoid the chances of snow, I can be totally flexible and would love the company!

    (p.s. sadly I already started a spreadsheet yesterday :rolleyes:)
     
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  26. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I have had a busy few months - 5 weeks on the Camino, trip to Peru, twice across Canada and now finishing another month in Europe - all in 4.5 months. I am, frankly, tired. I don't feel like flying or walking for a while. WHY am I participating in this discussion??? o_O:(:oops:

    My spreadsheet is open. :cool:
     
  27. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    Spreadsheet done :D. Husband clapping his hands with joy (he has to work . . . . to pay for my caminos . . . . so he says :rolleyes:). I am happy to start mid-March :). Any later and my flights might get expensive as Easter approaches. I can do cold and wet :eek: (did the Rota Vicentina in February); not so good in snow (can’t practice that here :p). I can do hills, but also slowly (very slowly).
    Jill :):)
     
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  28. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    Methinks a loose cohort of pilgrims may be a-gathering :D
     
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  29. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Wait a minute, jsalt, are you now quietly transitioning over to the "two caminos a year" subgroup of this forum? Not fair, not fair, not fair.
     
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  30. naturmenneske

    naturmenneske naturmenneske

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    I went the Camino Madrid last March. I had no problems. I took the train from Cercedilla to Segovia to avoid the snow in the mountain. There are few others pilegrims, but many nice local people. I had one day with rain and the rest of the walk I had sunny days. Buen Camino
     
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  31. Elizabeth_B

    Elizabeth_B Member Donating Member

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    I am reading this thread with much interest...I walked the Madrid last October as far as Villeguillo, then crossed to the Levante at Medina Del Campo before joining the VdelP at Zamora, and on to Santiago via the Sanabres. I met no other pilgrims until just before Zamora - a cohort would have been rather nice! But the Madrid was indeed lovely. I would echo others' comments about having to be more deliberate about accommodation, sometimes I chose other than an albergue (hostal, casa rural or pension) just to be close(r) to facilities.
    In Madrid at the Church of Santiago & St John I struck a day of weddings and ended up sitting at the back of the church awaiting the end of one wedding before being able to go and collect my credencial (no one seemed to mind the extra wedding guest!). I took a taxi to the Plaza de la Castilla and walked from there to Tres Cantos, which was I thought a very pleasant walk.
    I also took the train from Cercedilla to Segovia (the train station has a cafe for that breakfast coffee etc). It's a convenient and pleasant option if the weather etc interferes with plans.
     
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  32. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    If there is snow, or the weather is just bad, does anyone know if it is practicable to walk along the road (the 601)?
    Jill
     
  33. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Veteran Member

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    I would think the road would be clear?
     
  34. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Hi, Jill
    From Cercecilla to Segovia via road is more than 38 km, and you would have to go up and over the pass at Navacerrada. To top it off, the road looks very narrow, based on the google street view I saw. I don't think I'd do it. Screenshot 2017-07-25 17.00.06.png
     
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  35. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I am thrilled to have just loaded the GPS track for the Camino de Madrid onto my phone and I can view it in the Wikilok app. Just don't ask me how I did it! :( I have a lot to learn about using various map programs.

    Let's keep this thread active so we can gather a few more pilgrims for March 2018.
     
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  36. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    I remember that at the top of Puente de la Fuenfria was a road and found the street view:
    https://www.google.si/maps/place/Pu...x49a1d960068ef633!8m2!3d40.7925!4d-4.06?hl=sl
    It's gravel road that is coming from Cercedilla but it's very long and winding. Here are two printsceens and the white line that intersects Camino at the top and once before back to Cercedilla is that road:
    - here you can see it coming from the lower left corner (Las Dehesas), going up and making a huge loop lower right corner (Mirador V. Aliexandre) and going up again: https://prnt.sc/g0g5ie
    - and here the upper section with the pass: https://prnt.sc/g0g4yp

    I hope it makes sense because I had to zoom in so much to be able to see that at all:
     
  37. Magwood

    Magwood Veteran Member

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    I walked the camino de Madrid this year, setting off on 23 April. I was lucky to walk in a rather tight cohort consisting of pilgrims met on previous caminos, including forum members @eli and @marilyn van graan, plus a German and a Brit, and, from time to time forum member @Undermanager. It was very good to have company on this lonely camino.

    Although we started in late April we met with extremes of weather - extreme heat on a couple of days just outside Madrid and absolutely freezing conditions on the way down from Fuenfria where we were walking through low cloud. I remained bitterly cold even after donning almost all my clothes. I would recommend packing some warm gloves - I had a pair of liner gloves which were nowhere near warm enough.

    Our party divided after Fuenfria (and rejoined the next day). Three went directly to Segovia whilst my group walked to La Granja de San Ildefonso. I wanted to take this diversion as I had read good things about the albergue, the town and the palace at San Ildefonso and I wasn't at all disappointed. But also because I wanted to take a short day into Segovia so that I could spend some time as a tourist. What a fabulous city!

    I will get around in time to posting a list and review of albergues I used on this route, but in the meantime if anyone is interested you can take a look at my blog (see link below) where I posted live every day from the camino.
     
  38. timr

    timr Active Member Donating Member

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    @Magwood I was happily walking about 10 days behind you and in particular benefitting from your updates and those of @Undermanager
    I agree that the diversion to San Ildefonso was very attractive with, as you say, fantastic accommodation, and a short day to Segovia. Even if it was the occasion of my bovine incident....... But I would certainly do the same again!
     
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  39. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Thanks, K1 -- Jill's post asked about the 601, which is the old road to Segovia from Madrid before the tunnel and the autovia. It goes up through the Navacerrada pass. That's what my picture shows. So you've found another alternative. I remember that gravel road as well, in fact, I think we walk on it for a ways further down, no?

    I wonder if the gravel road would be plowed in the snow or if it is likely to be any more passable than the trail through Fonfria. What do you think? My gut tells me that if the Fonfria pass is snowed in, the Navacerrada pass is likely to be snowed in and the best thing to do would be to take the train from Cercedilla to Segovia and come back to walk another day.

    I did walk that route in late January or early February and it was a bit slushy but no huge accumulation. Joe had a much different experience when he walked several months later and found lots of snow. So it's really changeable, and I'm sure the people in Cercedilla will know what's up.
     
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  40. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Oh, my bad, I thought the question was for the road from Cercedilla. I'm sure we didn't follow that gravel road down to Valsain/Segovia because Camino goes straight over it as you come up past that tree. You can see this if you rotate 360 the street view. The Camino coming up is much steeper and Camino over the gravel road is pretty flat for few hundred meters.

    I'm almost sure this gravel road wouldn't be plowed but I guess Puerto de Navacerrada might be. It's not the fastest (AP-61) car travel connection between Madrid and Segovia but it's the shortest and I would say more scenic.

    I agree that in really shitty weather the train is by far the best option.
     
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  41. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    My CSJ guide to the Camino de Madrid arrived today. It seems to have about the right amount of information and commentary, and I look forward to going through it. There are elevation figures for each stage but no maps. That is fine since I will have the maps on my phone with the track. Initially I thought "why did they print on such large paper" since there are quite wide margins that could be trimmed to reduce the weight (from 60 g! :rolleyes:). However, now I have decided it is perfect for me to add notes from this forum, and also to take notes as I go. Since it is regular (not glossy) paper, it is easy to write in pen or pencil. I won't take another notebook as I usually do.

    In separate but equally exciting news, I have acquired replacement rubber pole tips and a new merino wool full-zip jacket.

    Did I mention that I haven't decided yet if or where I'll walk in Spring 2018? :D:D:p
     
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  42. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    So, I haven't done the math, but I think that Camino de Madrid plus train or bus to Ponferrada plus Camino de Invierno will come out to about 4 weeks. ;)
     
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  43. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Yes, I think so. The temptation that I am facing is that I'd like to walk the portion from Astorga to Ponferrada as well, to "complete" last year's camino from Seville to Astorga. That would add a couple more days. But that's not significantly over 4 weeks, is it? :rolleyes:
     
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  44. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    I go away for a few days and I missed so much!

    @peregrina2000 - I wonder if you could please edit the title of the thread for me? It looks like we will be walking the Madrid, in March 2018... so maybe it should read Camino Madrid - March 2018... It might encourage a few othes to join in :)
     
  45. alansykes

    alansykes Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I thought the view down onto Segovia from Fuenfría was one of the great sights of any camino, up there with the el Greco view of Toledo from the Levante, or the first view of the sun striking the twin cathedrals of Salamanca from 10km out.

    When I went (December) there was quite a lot of snow on the north side of Fuenfría, but it wasn't a problem as there were lots of ski tracks and footprints, so it was never over ankle depth.

    Tempted to join you for a few days next March if your group isn't full up, but still lambing until about the 15th - do you have dates?
     
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  46. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    Hello @alansykes - I think at the moment we're thinking maybe starting from Madrid a little bit later (23rd maybe) but nothing is confirmed. :)
     
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  47. timr

    timr Active Member Donating Member

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    I used the Kindle version of the CSJ guide, on my phone and found it contained all the information I needed. Although I like maps, I didn't really miss them.
    One correction:
    On page 9
    In the Plaza de Santiago, very close to the church of Santiago and Saint John, is the church of the Comendadoras de Santiago of 1668, a monastery founded in the early sixteenth-century by Iñigo Zapata y Cardeñas. Inside is a retablo of Santiago Matamoros by Lucas Jordán (1695) and a statue of Santiago Peregrino by Antonio Pereda (1660). The church is a fitting place to start your pilgrimage and you can obtain your first stamp here.
    I went to visit this place, (which is not as near as implied, although it is roughly on the way out of Madrid) but found it closed for renovations, with no information available about when or if it would open again.
    If you plan to walk from church of Santiago and John the Baptist, (which I did and would recommend) DO pick up sheet map of Madrid from a hotel to help you navigate out of Madrid.
     
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  48. Magwood

    Magwood Veteran Member

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    The 'maps.me' App is also an excellent tool to for guidance through a city.
     
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  49. timr

    timr Active Member Donating Member

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    @C clearly Yes indeed I should have said, while I didn't miss having maps (like in eg Brierley) in the CSJ book, I DID use maps quite a bit with maps.me or wikiloc. And indeed would have been (even more) lost without them on occasions, as I mention in my 'live on the camino'. In the situations where I was lost, I don't think a small (<one page) map would have helped me.
     
  50. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    I was querying about not having to take the train, and walking instead if the weather was bad, because on the Norte recently, in one albergue, I’d been chatting to some “experienced backcountry hikers”, who took a train in the morning because it was pouring with rain. They’d asked me, when I went out for the evening, if I could check the local train timetables as rain was forecast. Which I duly did. But I really couldn’t believe, as I threw my poncho over my head, that they were actually going to the train station, but they were. Hence my query. Many thanks for the replies! I’ll suss it out when I get there!
    Jill
     
  51. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    Just bought my ticket!

    I arrive in Madrid on 21 March, spend a day sightseeing, so will be ready to roll on Friday 23 March.

    Found a fantastic deal on Iberia Airlines quite by accident. A return to Porto (in Portugal) via Madrid, from Johannesburg, is cheaper than a simple return to Madrid. Weird. So I won’t take the onward connection from Madrid to Porto, but I will probably use the return flight from Porto to Madrid.

    If any South Africans are reading this, I paid a total of R6,267 (about 400 euros) for all four flights.
    Jill
     
  52. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    @jsalt Jill, take care with a partial journey - I have wanted to do the same thing a couple of times but was told that if I did not turn up for that part of the journey, or cancelled it, then the whole journey would be cancelled.
    It is different if you buy the ticket as an "open jaw". Can you do that?
     
  53. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    Hi Kanga, thanks for the warning. I don’t think I’ll have a problem, but I would be interested to hear what others say. I think I could just “miss” my connection to Porto. I would have to change terminals in Madrid after all. With no hold luggage checked in, they are not going to wait for me. The return section from Porto to Madrid (which I will use) and on to Johannesburg, was priced separately (and differently), to the outward journey. It was like buying two separate tickets: one from Jhb to Porto, and the other from Porto to Jhb, completely independent of each other, but in the same booking code.
    Jill
     
  54. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I agree with Kanga that you should read the fine print very carefully. At least in some cases, this is expressly forbidden and the whole ticket is invalidated.
     
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  55. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Jill bought two separate tickets if I understand correctly and not the return travel:
    1: Johannesburg - Madrid - Porto
    2: Porto - Madrid - Johannesburg

    If she "misses" the second flight (Madrid - Porto) on ticket no.1 that's OK especially without hold baggage and it doesn't interfere with ticket no.2
    She will fly back from Porto which is the second ticket and completely new check-in.

    The problem would arise if she wants to fly back from Madrid and "miss" the flight from Porto to Madrid. That would cancel the ticket no.2.
     
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  56. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    Hi, forewarned is forearmed, very many thanks to you all. And Plan B often comes in handy. I will check at the Iberia Airlines desk in Madrid airport regarding the conditions of my ticket. I cannot find anything in the fine print that will invalidate the entire booking if I “miss” one flight. By the way, although this is a non-refundable booking I can make changes to it for a 50 euro penalty (plus, of course, any difference in the price, if any, of a change of dates if I have to return home earlier).
    Jill
     
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  57. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    This recent article suggests that the airline can continue with this practice, but they will have to refund your money.

    My experience is exactly like Clare's and Kanga's -- if you have a round trip ticket and miss any leg, they will cancel the entire ticket, to prevent exactly the kind of thing you want to do.

    I had a RT ticket this year from Champaign-Chicago-Madrid-San Sebastian and return from Santiago to Chicago and home. In mid March, my little puddle jumper flight from home to Chicago was cancelled and the airline reorganized flights. I had no idea. About a week or so before the flight, I got online to check and saw that my entire itinerary had been cancelled. They reinstated everything, of course, but it could have been a real hassle if flights were overbooked at this point,etc. When I asked them how this happened, I was told just what Clare and Kanga said -- that if any segment of a flight is cancelled, the whole ticket is cancelled. I think you may have to fly to Porto and get back to Madrid to prevent the cancellation.

    But since you got such a great price, I wouldn't be too upset about the extra cost of getting from Porto to Madrid!

    Buen camino, Laurie

    p.s. Kinky, I don't think you are right, I think Jill has bought a RT ticket from Johannesburg to Porto and back.

    forgot to link to the article http://www.independent.co.uk/travel...ve-iberia-lawsuit-london-madrid-a7810586.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  58. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    Hi Laurie, if it was a return ticket wouldn’t I have been quoted just one price for the whole round trip? It wasn’t like that. I first had to select an outward journey for Jhb to Porto from several options and prices. I then had to select an inward journey for Porto to Jhb from several options and prices. I made my selections, and the two prices were added together for the total fare.
    Jill
     
  59. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    oh yes you are absolutely right, I misunderstood what you said. Score another one for Kinky. :p:p:p. When you said you bought a "return to Porto" I assumed it was one round trip ticket. If you have two separate tickets in your email, then they are unlinked and you can do what you want with the first one and it won't have any effect on the second one.

    But I think that the fact that they quote you different prices and let you adjust legs that will change the price doesn't necessarily make it two separate tickets. That's the way I buy my round trip tickets all the time. I pick an outward bound, and then they show me the various total prices for the return trip, which will vary depending on what trip I have chosen for the outward bound.

    This is probably very easy to determine, because I think the only question is whether you have one round trip ticket or two single tickets. Sorry to make this so confusing, and I apologize if I misunderstood and caused unnecessary anxiety. Laurie
     
  60. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    It’s not two separate tickets. It was the outward trip and the inward trip put together on the same ticket with one booking code reference. The ticket lists the four flights separately. As you say, no big deal if I have to fly to Porto and bus back to Madrid! I’ll check with Iberia Airways when I get to Madrid. Jill
     
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  61. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Just one more reason not to check any luggage, because if you do, they will surely check it all the way to Porto.
     
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  62. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Huh, that's something else I think, Jill, and all the rest are right. One booking code means just that - one booking code. And for the operator that's one ticket. Really better check at Iberia counter when getting to Madrid. Hope for the best.

    These airfare searching machines are tricky. I use skyscanner.com and when I decided on the base of price for the outbound ticket/combination of flights my wished (depending on a time frame) return dates automatically bounced up. If I choose cheaper return ticket first then the outbound will bounce up. No way to end that :D
    That's why I buy return ticket first and within days from another computer I buy outbound ticket. Got the best prices every time but maybe it's different with overseas flights and operators.
     
  63. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte.
    All my return flights require me to select the outward journey (at one price) and then to select the return journey (at a different price). The two prices are then added together. It is still considered a "return" trip, even when my return journey starts from a different place to - i.e. it is open jaw. If you have two seperate booking numbers, then you may have two separate tickets, otherwise I think not. If it were me, and I had any doubts whatsoever, I'd check with the airline. Losing that return flight could be very difficult.
     
  64. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,306
    Likes Received:
    3,292
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Astorga to Santiago (2012); Baztan, Voie de la Nive, Frances to Leon, Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra and back (2014); Oxfam Trailwalkers NZ (2015); Portuguese from Porto (June 2015); Via de la Plata/Sanabres (May/June 2016)
    You could do worse than spending a day in Porto!!! Wish the dilemma was mine!!
     
    C clearly likes this.
  65. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2013
    Messages:
    4,348
    Likes Received:
    4,811
    Location:
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
    Finisterre ('11, '16),
    Madrid ('14),
    Invierno ('14),
    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Exactly!
     
  66. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,427
    Likes Received:
    2,575
    Location:
    South Africa
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Portugués, Francés, Norte, Du Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac
    Hi, I contacted Iberia Airlines in Johannesburg, and I received the following reply:

    Dear Mrs. SALT:
    In accordance with the information you have requested, we want to inform you, in a round trip reservation, or reservation with more than 1 let, regardless of the fare applied, if any of the legs bought are not used, the remaining legs on the ticket will automatically be cancelled.

    So! I want to thank Kanga so much, and everyone else who replied, for your warnings. Gosh, what would I do without you all? :eek:

    Buying flights these days is like negotiating a minefield blindfold.

    And, Kiwi-family, yes!, I get to spend a whole day in Porto, my favourite city in Europe. I can do that :).

    Next morning at 6am I can get a cheapo flight on Ryanair back to Madrid . . . now where is that thread I saw recently about flying Ryanair . . . .
    . . . . . . . . .
     
    Kiwi-family, Kanga and C clearly like this.
  67. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,103
    Likes Received:
    7,809
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Astorga-SdC (Nov 2012). SJPP-Sahagun (Oct 2014). SJPP-SdC (Oct 2015). Leon-SdC (Mar 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017)
    Good to have this clarified!
     
  68. Cliff175

    Cliff175 Member Donating Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Camino(s) past & future:
    April / May Camino Frances 2013
    Portuguese Camino May of 2014
    St. jean to pomplona, - Santander to Oviedo, SAN Salvador to Leon , to Santiago in 2015
    2017 March -- VDLP Seville to Santiago
    I'm planning on walking the Camino Madrid in March 2018 also.
    Tentative date March 20, I'm open to company,
     
  69. Cliff175

    Cliff175 Member Donating Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Camino(s) past & future:
    April / May Camino Frances 2013
    Portuguese Camino May of 2014
    St. jean to pomplona, - Santander to Oviedo, SAN Salvador to Leon , to Santiago in 2015
    2017 March -- VDLP Seville to Santiago
    I plan on walking around the 19th of March, date is flexible if you like company
     
  70. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,427
    Likes Received:
    2,575
    Location:
    South Africa
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Portugués, Francés, Norte, Du Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac
    My flight (from Porto :rolleyes:) arrives in Madrid on 22 March, so happy to start walking 23 March. Would love some company to start off with :cool:.
    Jill
     
  71. Rebekah Scott

    Rebekah Scott Camino Busybody Donating Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Messages:
    3,176
    Likes Received:
    9,037
    Location:
    Moratinos, Palencia Spain
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Many, various, and continuing.
    Wow, this looks like fun! I alwys get "itchy feet" in late winter, and Madrid is only 2 hours on the fast train...
     
  72. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    6,649
    Likes Received:
    6,835
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances 2006,9,11,12,13,14, 16, Aragones 2011,12,
    VDLP 2011, 13, Lourdes 2012, Portuguese 2008, Madrid 2014, (2016)
    Well, my plans changed and I'm not going to walk the Madrid.
    Another great adventure dropped into my lap and so I am buying a van and seeing American instead, once I'm home from my Camino - so I am saving cash by not walking ahead of time.

    I DO have reservations for a triple at Segovia for TWO NIGHTS on 2 and 3 May for €80, if anyone wants to buy it from me.
    It was inexpensive because I can't cancel. Bummer.
     

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