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Thinking about Camino de Madrid

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Sad to say, I don’t think any change comes from our comments here on the forum, but I know that venting is cathartic (and I am not trying to dissuade people from doing that). But one good thing that may result is to help others make the decision to find another camino to walk, where the ”jerk quotient” may be significantly less. Heads up — no jerks ever found (by me) on the Salvador, Olvidado, Invierno, Levante, Ebro, Castellano-Aragonés, Mozárabe…

I have started getting email from Ivar on a weekly basis telling me which forum threads have been the most popular, and I was very surprised to see that this is the thread with the most views this week.

Maybe that means that we humans gravitate towards the negative, but I hope that newcomers realize that I think most forum members would say that despite the inevitable occasional bad experience, the overall balance continues to tip very strongly to the positive side!

I am still hoping that later April will find me on the road, heading to SdC to meet my childhood friend at the Obradoiro square for the day of her 55th birthday. Am thinking to walk out of Segovia on about April 10th to meet friend on May 4th.

Do you know anything about the Camino do Madrid, Peregrina2000? I am really hoping for something quiet, am smitten with what I have learned about Segovia… and plan on no more than Sahagún to Ponferrada on the CF, then picking up the Invierno. Am looking for a camino that won’t be like a mobile summer camp (my workplace is too much like being a counselor at a permanent summer camp, so I really want quiet). My friend will be doing her first camino, solo on the CP coastal route…. She really never gets enough time to herself because she is the “single aunt” everyone calls upon to do the labour for every other family member…. So, I won’t be crowding her space on her walk.
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Do you know anything about the Camino do Madrid, Peregrina2000?
There’s a good bunch of us who have walked (and loved) the Camino de Madrid. Springtime is the best time, IMO, which will suit your timing.

I was almost totally alone, except for two Spanish pilgrims I walked with from Manzanares to Puente de Duero. No other walkers encountered.

Here are my top off the cuff reactions why the Camino de Madrid is a great camino.

— Pilgrim infrastructure is great (assuming it will be open next year).
— Leaving from Madrid is about the best departure from any major city I have ever experienced
— Fields in springtime are huge expanses of emerald green blowing in the wind.
— The climb up to the pass from Cercedilla is one of those “iconic” moments.
— Segovia has some amazing things — even if you are not a fan of the Disney-like castle, the aqueduct at night is stunning. Segovia has several beautiful Romanesque churches, and the Vera Cruz church on the way out of town on the camino is really special.
— Though Segovia is really the only major town on this route, there are castles, cloisters, arcaded plazas, nice canal walks, pretty squares, etc in a number of the places you pass.
— The villagers along the way are interested in you and enjoy talking with you. Definitely a chance to “get to know rural Spain.”

I’m sure others will chime in! Buen camino, Laurie
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Thank you… yes, I am more interested in the Roman era imprints, and the long arcs of “hybrid culture” all across Spain…
Sounds wonderful, and I do hope to hear more from others. If I can get away for enough time, I’d like to walk straight out of Madrid, if not, I’ll take the train to Segovia and go from there.
I
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Roman era imprints, and the long arcs of “hybrid culture” all across Spain…
I'm not as experienced as @peregrina2000 and haven't walked the Madrid, but wouldn't the Mozarabe (or even VDLP) provide more Roman and hybrid culture? Maybe consider a segment of either of those routes, depending on the time you have available.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I'm not as experienced as @peregrina2000 and haven't walked the Madrid, but wouldn't the Mozarabe (or even VDLP) provide more Roman and hybrid culture? Maybe consider a segment of either of those routes, depending on the time you have available.
I plan on the VDLP for those reasons… when I retire. Right now, I’m really stuck for time.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
am more interested in the Roman era imprints, and the long arcs of “hybrid culture” all across Spain…

One of the most spectacular Roman sites on any camino is Las Médulas, where Romans figured out how to make the insides of mountains explode by running water through progressively smaller channels. That is on the first or second day of the Invierno, which is another short camino option. Or the end of the Primitivo for that matter, where Lugo has its Roman walls, and Santa Eulalia has its painted crypt/bathhouse/who-knows-what.

Sorry, this is not helpful, I know, but Roman sites abound on some of the lesser travelled caminios!
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
One of the most spectacular Roman sites on any camino is Las Médulas, where Romans figured out how to make the insides of mountains explode by running water through progressively smaller channels. That is on the first or second day of the Invierno, which is another short camino option. Or the end of the Primitivo for that matter, where Lugo has its Roman walls, and Santa Eulalia has its painted crypt/bathhouse/who-knows-what.

Sorry, this is not helpful, I know, but Roman sites abound on some of the lesser travelled caminios!
Thank you! As my aim is to walk the Invierno instead of the CF from Ponferrada that’s great to know.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
What can I add to peregrina2000's remarks apart from 'ditto'? We did exactly what you propose - Madrid + Invierno and it was memorable. We did it in autumn, but spring would be even better. Buen camino.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
One of the most spectacular Roman sites on any camino is Las Médulas, where Romans figured out how to make the insides of mountains explode by running water through progressively smaller channels. That is on the first or second day of the Invierno, which is another short camino option. Or the end of the Primitivo for that matter, where Lugo has its Roman walls, and Santa Eulalia has its painted crypt/bathhouse/who-knows-what.

Sorry, this is not helpful, I know, but Roman sites abound on some of the lesser travelled caminios!
Where Roman intruders destroyed the environment? I felt a bit depressed walking by!😨😩
 
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata
Agree with all the positive comments above. Camino de Madrid is wonderful! We started in early September 2018. Think it would be great in spring or autumn. Saw just a handful of pilgrims the whole way. Good accommodation. We (I) like to have a private room where possible these days (due to lack of sleep in dorms) - but on this camino, there were so few people we were often the only ones in the albergue or sharing just with or two. Loved everything about it. Segovia is wonderful. Also Coca a favourite.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Where Roman intruders destroyed the environment? I felt a bit depressed walking by!😨😩

Not sure we should point too many fingers at Romans given our own track record, but I get that reaction. When I said “spectaclar,” I guess I meant it in a jaw-dropping kind of way. Taking the walk through the gallery, going to the museum to understand the process itself, and then seeing the view from the Mirador de Orellán were all things I am glad I got to do.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
— Pilgrim infrastructure is great (assuming it will be open next year).
— Leaving from Madrid is about the best departure from any major city I have ever experienced
— Fields in springtime are huge expanses of emerald green blowing in the wind.
— The climb up to the pass from Cercedilla is one of those “iconic” moments.
— Segovia has some amazing things — even if you are not a fan of the Disney-like castle, the aqueduct at night is stunning. Segovia has several beautiful Romanesque churches, and the Vera Cruz church on the way out of town on the camino is really special.
— Though Segovia is really the only major town on this route, there are castles, cloisters, arcaded plazas, nice canal walks, pretty squares, etc in a number of the places you pass.
— The villagers along the way are interested in you and enjoy talking with you. Definitely a chance to “get to know rural Spain.”
Spot on! Piling on:

- In addition to the city departure from Madrid, the fact that the starting point is Madrid makes it very convenient. No 'so how do I get to SJPdP again?' questions for this camino.
- For a short camino, there is quite a bit of variety of landscape, from the pre-mountain boulders to the mountain pass to the sandy pine forests and finally the Meseta. Compared with the Primitivo (a similar length camino), I thought the Madrid offered a lot more variety.
- Wamba!

More from me here: Camino de Madrid Highlights

yes, I am more interested in the Roman era imprints, and the long arcs of “hybrid culture” all across Spain…
The CdM is not overflowing with Roman remains but in addition to the aqueduct, there is a Roman road on the way to the pass and the archeological museum in Madrid itself has some Roman pieces such as mosaics and sarcophagi.

And if you really want to stretch it, towards the end there are a few churches that are Roman ... esque. ;)
 
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata
One thing I'd add - I don't think it's been mentioned above. As well as a brief visit in Madrid before starting our camino (we are not so good in large towns), we took the train to Toledo for the day. So happy we did that. What a fascinating town with its mix of Arab, Jewish and Christian history, culture and architecture. Though we only had one day there - it's not a huge town to wander around. Highly recommended if you can make the time. We LOVED Toledo.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
And adding on from what @Jenny@zen said.
If you want to walk the Madrid, but want a longer walk, you can start in Toledo on the Levante, following it for a week as far as Medina del Campo. Then one day's walk on the brings you to Valdestillas on the Madrid. My OSMand map shows a route that's called the Ruta de Carlos V. From Valdestillas onward on the Madrid. (I thought I remembered some recent chatter about this, but the search function doesn't pull it up - so maybe I dreamed it. @peregrina2000, do you remember this exchange?)

Downsides - missing the mountain stage and Segovia
Upsides - Toledo and Avilla.

It's a bit of a tossup. I'd do either in an eyeblink.

Where Roman intruders destroyed the environment? I felt a bit depressed walking by!😨😩
When I went through there, a glass half full response surprised me. Considering the immensity of the mess the Romans made - of destruction and pollution - nature has recovered very nicely.
It's a beautiful place.

When we humans are gone life will go on, and eventually repair itself without us.
20190604_184732 (2).jpg
 
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Anthony Rocco

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Ignaciano, Aragones, Arle, Tolosana, Salvador, Primitivo, Madrid, Olvidado/Invierno (2020)
I am still hoping that later April will find me on the road, heading to SdC to meet my childhood friend at the Obradoiro square for the day of her 55th birthday. Am thinking to walk out of Segovia on about April 10th to meet friend on May 4th.

Do you know anything about the Camino do Madrid, Peregrina2000? I am really hoping for something quiet, am smitten with what I have learned about Segovia… and plan on no more than Sahagún to Ponferrada on the CF, then picking up the Invierno. Am looking for a camino that won’t be like a mobile summer camp (my workplace is too much like being a counselor at a permanent summer camp, so I really want quiet). My friend will be doing her first camino, solo on the CP coastal route…. She really never gets enough time to herself because she is the “single aunt” everyone calls upon to do the labour for every other family member…. So, I won’t be crowding her space on her walk.
We loved the Camino de Madrid. This was part of a camino combo that saw us walking from Loyola to Logrono on the Camino Ignaciano, an incredibly mountainous, quiet, challenging but breathtaking walk. We bussed to Madrid, spent a few days, then bussed out of town to start our walk. It was delightful from start to finish. Very few other peregrinos, a combination of great cities (Segovia, Valladolid as a side visit, Madina del Rio Seco, Sahagun), meseta as well as hills and villagers embracing us all along the way. We were treated so special we forgot about the conga line of the Frances...until we hit the Frances at Sahagun. We saw more walkers in two minutes than we had seen on the Ignaciano and Madrid combined. We would not recommend it for first time walkers who don't know the routine of being a pilgrim. On several occasions, we entered a seemingly empty village as our destination. We knew what to do; find the main plaza, set on a bench, act like an exhausted, miserable, starving peregrino. Not much acting needed, but it's important to stay put and wait for the villagers to emerge to help you. And they will. And don't forget to get the beautiful certificate in Sahagun at the convent of the statue of the Peregrina.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
I've walked it twice and rate it highly; there is a great cross-section of experiences, is historical esp Roman, it's a much less busy route but with (had) good infrastructure and if you only have 2 weeks, this is a great choice. Its also easy to get to Madrid and start (or end). That day's walk out of Segovia is classic big countryside stuff and one of my favourite memories!

Search for daily blogs, e.g. with my name and 'We're off' for day by day detailed blogs.
 

frbobs

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances-(2014)
Camino Portugues-(2017)
Camino Madrid (August 2019)
I am jealous that you can go in April. I walked the Madrid in August 2019 (Yes, HOT). I too wanted quiet and solitude (and, boy, did I get it...be careful what you ask for...). It was difficult in some respects, but a magnificent experience overall. Reminding me how little I truly need, and how to be dependent (upon God's care, and the people "sent" to me) and grateful. I appreciated the little things so much more. I started in Madrid and ended in Sahagun. I LOVED Segovia, something about all of it, inspired me greatly (I stayed 4 days, had a little more time than I needed for that route). I wasn't even going to write because what everyone else has already said has been so right on the money. Be a little more attuned to carrying provisions, take your time. No matter how isolated it seemed at times, I always had a bed to sleep in. If you can speak Spanish, I imagine, it will be really fantastic (I can get by, but not really converse, definitely a detriment at the time).
Hope it all works out. Buen Camino and Peace, Bob
 

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ranthr

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Hoping to take up my caminoplans for 2020 next year, having booked a flight to Madrid May 9. 2022.
The plan was the camino from Madrid and on to the Vladience after that.
Now wondering about a repeat of the Invierno afterCamino de Madrid, instead of visiting the Picos in the north.
Return from Madrid June 20., so many plans can be made, unless my age or the covid do stop me.
Filling my backpack to walk with from my home in the arctic of Norway for training through winter.
 
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Undermanager

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana

Here are the notes from the second time I did the Madrid, combined with a few other Caminos - what a truly glorious trip that was! It brought it all back, reading through them again. The notes from the first trip three or four years earlier must be in this forum somewhere, too. It would be fun to do this one again, to see what has changed.

Cercedilla is worth a few days if you have the time, and the hotel in the blog is worth staying in for its location and history. If short of time, I think you can get a train direct from Madrid airport to here to save a few days, but it could be the memory playing tricks?
 
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igailfh

Active member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Português, Camino de Tejo (Fatima)
One thing I'd add - I don't think it's been mentioned above. As well as a brief visit in Madrid before starting our camino (we are not so good in large towns), we took the train to Toledo for the day. So happy we did that. What a fascinating town with its mix of Arab, Jewish and Christian history, culture and architecture. Though we only had one day there - it's not a huge town to wander around. Highly recommended if you can make the time. We LOVED Toledo.
I agree - Toledo is amazing! I’ve been twice, once for an afternoon on a bus tour, & once for a whole day of wandering & exploring. If you go to the top of the Biblioteca there’s a wonderful view.
 

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