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Unfinished Business: my (Interupted) Camino de Madrid

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Rather belatedly (!) I got round to writing up some notes from my Camino last year. It didn't quite turn out as planned but that's not unusual. Anyway, I found reading the summaries of other walkers/pilgrims to be of huge value when I was planning the trip and made a promise to myself that I would repeat the favour. So somewhat delayed, I hope the following is of some use to anyone contemplating the Camino de Madrid once things are at least approaching normality. Day 1 below, with the rest to follow.

Day 1 Sunday March 8th2020 - London to Madrid to Tres Cantos (23 kms)

I booked with British Airways rather than Ryanair. Result: no queues half way round the airport resulting in a missed flight (as happened on my Camino Portugues in 2019) and no staff with a personality transplant. The flight itself was full, with little evidence of social distancing and few people were wearing masks either at Heathrow or on the plane. Take-off was delayed by industrial action by French Air Traffic Control and there was a further delay waiting for my pack at Madrid airport, during which I took the opportunity to fill my water bottle at the airport.

Bag collected, the next challenge was to get to the Church of Santiago in Madrid to get my credencial. So I headed to the Help Desk opposite the Ticket Machines at the rail station in the airport, where a very nice lady advised me to take the Renfe train rather than the Metro. A good decision - It was straightforward and cheap (€3:10; 3 stops to Charmatin and then 2 to Sol)). Coming out of Sol station I found the square packed with sight-seers on a sunny Sunday - once again, little sign of any changed behaviour due to the emerging pandemic. A short walk to the Church of Santiago and I arrived just as Mass was beginning. Although I’m not a Catholic, I stayed for the service including the hand shaking at the end (I remember thinking this seemed slightly odd given the Covid situation). Service over, I headed to the office to the left of the altar and collected my Camino de Madrid credencial in return for a suitable donation.

The net effect of the delayed flight and unscheduled attendance at Mass, was that the actual walking didn’t start till gone 1pm and I had 23kms to go to Tres Cantos. The walk out of the city was relatively straight-forward, past the Bernabeu and to the Plaza de Castilla, where the yellow arrows start. The route from here is well-marked and only an idiot could get lost (so I was glad to have GPS on at least a couple of occasions). The 23kms seemed to take ages before I finally crossed into Tres Cantos only to discover my accommodation was another 20 minutes across town. I stayed at Hostal Tres Cantos - 35 euros for an ensuite single, comfortable and clean – and close to a Dominos Pizza with eat in and beer!

Only two problems:

Firstly, the next day you’ve got to repeat the 20 minute walk back out of town to re-join the Camino; and
Secondly, I had sore legs that night (although experience has taught me that’s usual for me on the first day) so I was glad to have volterol and ibuprohen with me.

Number of other pilgrims seen: 0 although I did meet a Spanish couple after the Plaza de Castilla, who had walked the Camino de Madrid.

20200309_084232.jpg 20200308_125047.jpg
 
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jennysa

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
Rather belatedly (!) I got round to writing up some notes from my Camino last year. It didn't quite turn out as planned but that's not unusual. Anyway, I found reading the summaries of other walkers/pilgrims to be of huge value when I was planning the trip and made a promise to myself that I would repeat the favour. So somewhat delayed, I hope the following is of some use to anyone contemplating the Camino de Madrid once things are at least approaching normality. Day 1 below, with the rest to follow.

Day 1 Sunday March 8th2020 - London to Madrid to Tres Cantos (23 kms)

I booked with British Airways rather than Ryanair. Result: no queues half way round the airport resulting in a missed flight (as happened on my Camino Portugues in 2019) and no staff with a personality transplant. The flight itself was full, with little evidence of social distancing and few people were wearing masks either at Heathrow or on the plane. Take-off was delayed by industrial action by French Air Traffic Control and there was a further delay waiting for my pack at Madrid airport, during which I took the opportunity to fill my water bottle at the airport.

Bag collected, the next challenge was to get to the Church of Santiago in Madrid to get my credencial. So I headed to the Help Desk opposite the Ticket Machines at the rail station in the airport, where a very nice lady advised me to take the Renfe train rather than the Metro. A good decision - It was straightforward and cheap (€3:10; 3 stops to Charmatin and then 2 to Sol)). Coming out of Sol station I found the square packed with sight-seers on a sunny Sunday - once again, little sign of any changed behaviour due to the emerging pandemic. A short walk to the Church of Santiago and I arrived just as Mass was beginning. Although I’m not a Catholic, I stayed for the service including the hand shaking at the end (I remember thinking this seemed slightly odd given the Covid situation). Service over, I headed to the office to the left of the altar and collected my Camino de Madrid credencial in return for a suitable donation.

The net effect of the delayed flight and unscheduled attendance at Mass, was that the actual walking didn’t start till gone 1pm and I had 23kms to go to Tres Cantos. The walk out of the city was relatively straight-forward, past the Bernabeu and to the Plaza de Castilla, where the yellow arrows start. The route from here is well-marked and only an idiot could get lost (so I was glad to have GPS on at least a couple of occasions). The 23kms seemed to take ages before I finally crossed into Tres Cantos only to discover my accommodation was another 20 minutes across town. I stayed at Hostal Tres Cantos - 35 euros for an ensuite single, comfortable and clean – and close to a Dominos Pizza with eat in and beer!

Only two problems:

Firstly, the next day you’ve got to repeat the 20 minute walk back out of town to re-join the Camino; and
Secondly, I had sore legs that night (although experience has taught me that’s usual for me on the first day) so I was glad to have volterol and ibuprohen with me.

Number of other pilgrims seen: 0 although I did meet a Spanish couple after the Plaza de Castilla, who had walked the Camino de Madrid.

View attachment 93379 View attachment 93377
I am looking forward to hearing more. Like you, I did so much research and everything was booked for me to start the Camino Madrid on 30 April last year, but we went into lockdown here in South Africa about the 27 March. I thought that it would all be blown over by September 2020 but no such luck. My next plan was to try again for April this year, but it is not going to happen. So, I am holding thumbs for September ......
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
I am looking forward to hearing more. Like you, I did so much research and everything was booked for me to start the Camino Madrid on 30 April last year, but we went into lockdown here in South Africa about the 27 March. I thought that it would all be blown over by September 2020 but no such luck. My next plan was to try again for April this year, but it is not going to happen. So, I am holding thumbs for September ......
Re holding thumbs - and crossing my fingers. Hopefully some time not too far away we can all walk again safely. Re S Africa - I met a really nice lady and her daughter on the Frances in 2016. The mother was involved in a cat sanctuary/cat rescue project in Cape Town I seem to remember. I'd have found out more but couldn't keep up with them (and I did it in 24 days)!
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Day 2 Monday 9th March - Tres Cantos to Manzanares el Real (27 kms)

Reasons to be grateful – firstly, I woke to find the Volterol and ibuprofen had worked their magic. Secondly, I followed Laurie’s advice (many thanks Laurie) and joined the electric coil club – marvellous to have hot coffee first thing.

It was amusing to see the locals wearing coats, scarves and gloves, whereas I had my jacket off before leaving town. Having bought provisions for the day at the supermarket on the edge of town, I enjoyed a pleasant 12 kms stroll to Colmenar Viejo for a coffee stop. Fortunately I found no problem ‘fording’ the streams that are apparently prone to flooding. The afternoon was then a nice 15kms to Manzanares. It was a perfect day for walking: blue skies all day, lots of sandy paths, and no need for GPS. How great is water!

Pilgrims seen today: 0. Cumulative 0. But there was a close call – just before Manzanares I saw 2 guys with backpacks and carrying poles, but they turned out to be fishing rods.

I had booked a bunk bed at Hostel La Pedriza - €23.07 for bunk in 8 bed room including breakfast. As I was the only guest that night I had the dorm to myself – so an expensive bunk bed turned out to be a cheap single room. The food was great – I can recommed the Veggie burger and Beetroot humous. The cerveza was great as well. Funny that these days I rarely drink beer at home, but on the Camino....

There’s a Dia just up the road opposite the castle, so I was able to buy some food and snacks for tomorrow.

Day 3 Tuesday 10thMarch - Manzanares to Cercedilla (19 kms)


A very pleasant 19kms from Manzanares to Cercedilla: Blue skies and a cool wind again – almost perfect walking weather, plus towns to stop for coffee at 7 and 14 kms. Does it get any better? I stopped for a coffee at Mataelpino and asked for the sello in the bar and was directed to the Town Hall. A reminder that this is not the Camino Frances.

Oh almost forgot the ‘climb’ (literally) out of Navacerrada. That was a challenge, but the reward was the remainder of the day was down hill through pine forests. And then the best thing of all – Posada Pena Pintada. €25.11 for a wonderful en-suite room with 2 singles in an old house. The young lady who works here is fantastic and told me how the first owner of the house was a woman who studied medicine but couldn’t practice because she wasn’t a man – so she dressed as one! I wrote my notes drinking a Voll-Damm on the garden terrace in the late afternoon sunshine. Wonderful. If you walk the Camio de Madrid and are staying in Cercedilla, I’d highly recommend you stay here. If they charged twice the price it would be worth it. Again no sello, but the young lady on reception gave me a business card for my credencial!

Oh... pilgrims seen today: 0. Cumulative 0. But this is Camino heaven. The walk to Segovia over the mountain pass is tomorrow (so I stocked up with snacks and water in town). Cerveza time. And I think I have caught the sun. 20200309_082957.jpg 20200309_162119.jpg 20200310_090117.jpg 20200310_155815.jpg
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Days 4 & 5...

Day 4 Wednesday 11th March - Cercedilla to Segovia (31 kms)

What a day of contrasts! I saw several reports from people saying this was their favourite day, but for me it was tough, with nowhere to stop for refreshments. Basically the day split into 4 parts for me:

Part 1 – leave Cercedilla and walk up and up and up and up (and up) to the peak at Puerto de la Fuenfria. There aren’t many arrows but as you stay close to the road you can’t really go wrong. But the last part was very steep and very rocky. Huge relief to make it to the top.

Part 2 – ‘Pleasure after the pain’ – a lovely walk downhill through the forest. More of this please.

Part 3 – ‘Are we there yet?’ - after leaving the forest you can soon see Segovia but it seems that no matter how far you walk it never arrives. Walking in the full afternoon sun with no shade I got sunburn on my left hand and neck – but it’s March (so I didn’t have any sun cream). Who gets sunburn in Europe in March?

Part 4 – Wow – enter Segovia, across town, turn up a side road and wow – the aqueduct towering above me. Even having seen the photos, it’s an amazing sight. I celebrated with a creveza 5 metres from the aqueduct.

I stayed at the Hostal Don Jaime 11 - €30 for ensuite single. It’s OK, nothing special but well placed right by the Camino and the Aqueduct (and a takeaway pizza place in between).

Pilgrims seen today: 0. Cumulative: 0.

Day 5 Thursday 12th March - Segovia to Santa Maria la Real de Nieva (32 kms)

The route out of town was a tad confusing and the rest of the day is a bit of a blur and I’ve lot my notes! What I can recall is long hot day with nowhere to stop for refreshments and no fountain until Pinilla Ambroz.

I stayed c 1km off Camino at Hostal Avanto before Santa Maria – 25 euros for an ensuite single and they made me a rather nice veggie salad and veggie risotto to accompany the cerveza.

Pilgrims seen today 0. Cumulative 0.

20200311_105147.jpg 20200311_135850.jpg 20200311_163001.jpg 20200311_174124.jpg
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Days 4 & 5...

Day 4 Wednesday 11th March - Cercedilla to Segovia (31 kms)

What a day of contrasts! I saw several reports from people saying this was their favourite day, but for me it was tough, with nowhere to stop for refreshments. Basically the day split into 4 parts for me:

Part 1 – leave Cercedilla and walk up and up and up and up (and up) to the peak at Puerto de la Fuenfria. There aren’t many arrows but as you stay close to the road you can’t really go wrong. But the last part was very steep and very rocky. Huge relief to make it to the top.

Part 2 – ‘Pleasure after the pain’ – a lovely walk downhill through the forest. More of this please.

Part 3 – ‘Are we there yet?’ - after leaving the forest you can soon see Segovia but it seems that no matter how far you walk it never arrives. Walking in the full afternoon sun with no shade I got sunburn on my left hand and neck – but it’s March (so I didn’t have any sun cream). Who gets sunburn in Europe in March?

Part 4 – Wow – enter Segovia, across town, turn up a side road and wow – the aqueduct towering above me. Even having seen the photos, it’s an amazing sight. I celebrated with a creveza 5 metres from the aqueduct.

I stayed at the Hostal Don Jaime 11 - €30 for ensuite single. It’s OK, nothing special but well placed right by the Camino and the Aqueduct (and a takeaway pizza place in between).

Pilgrims seen today: 0. Cumulative: 0.

Day 5 Thursday 12th March - Segovia to Santa Maria la Real de Nieva (32 kms)

The route out of town was a tad confusing and the rest of the day is a bit of a blur and I’ve lot my notes! What I can recall is long hot day with nowhere to stop for refreshments and no fountain until Pinilla Ambroz.

I stayed c 1km off Camino at Hostal Avanto before Santa Maria – 25 euros for an ensuite single and they made me a rather nice veggie salad and veggie risotto to accompany the cerveza.

Pilgrims seen today 0. Cumulative 0.

View attachment 93386 View attachment 93387 View attachment 93388 View attachment 93389

One of my Favorite Camino's and my 2nd toughest day ever on a Camino. I left Cercedilla the morning of April 3rd 2016. When I reached the top there was a foot of snow and 18 inch drifts. This continued on for the next 6-7km's. I was completely exhausted by the time I reached Segovia. I believe Peregrina2000 posted the video I made if you want a good laugh.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
One of my Favorite Camino's and my 2nd toughest day ever on a Camino. I left Cercedilla the morning of April 3rd 2016. When I reached the top there was a foot of snow and 18 inch drifts. This continued on for the next 6-7km's. I was completely exhausted by the time I reached Segovia. I believe Peregrina2000 posted the video I made if you want a good laugh.
Funny that we both have memories complete exhaustion! Mine was from heat, yours from snow.
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
One of my Favorite Camino's and my 2nd toughest day ever on a Camino. I left Cercedilla the morning of April 3rd 2016. When I reached the top there was a foot of snow and 18 inch drifts. This continued on for the next 6-7km's. I was completely exhausted by the time I reached Segovia. I believe Peregrina2000 posted the video I made if you want a good laugh.
Wow - I did it in perfect walking weather so respect to you guys doing it in the snow.
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Rather belatedly (!) I got round to writing up some notes from my Camino last year. It didn't quite turn out as planned but that's not unusual. Anyway, I found reading the summaries of other walkers/pilgrims to be of huge value when I was planning the trip and made a promise to myself that I would repeat the favour. So somewhat delayed, I hope the following is of some use to anyone contemplating the Camino de Madrid once things are at least approaching normality. Day 1 below, with the rest to follow.

Day 1 Sunday March 8th2020 - London to Madrid to Tres Cantos (23 kms)
Day 3 Tuesday 10thMarch - Manzanares to Cercedilla (19 kms)
Day 4 Wednesday 11th March - Cercedilla to Segovia (31 kms)
Day 5 Thursday 12th March - Segovia to Santa Maria la Real de Nieva (32 kms)
Very enjoyable reading (& photos) so far @Calisteve. I look forward to your next instalments & to see how far you actually got... No spoilers please! 😆
👣 🌏
 
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Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Very enjoyable reading (& photos) so far @Calisteve. I look forward to your next instalments & to see how far you actually got... No spoilers please! 😆
👣 🌏
Haha - no spoilers I promise. What it's really brought home to me is how different things were then - yes we knew there was an emerging pandemic and things were bad in Asia and Italy. But essentially life was going on as usual. Outside of airports I didn't see (or expect to see) anyone wearing face masks and there was no hand gel in shops etc. Yes there was plenty of social distancing - but that's because I didn't see anyone!
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Days 6 & 7...

Day 6 Friday 13th March Sta Maria la Real de Nieva to Coca (22 kms)

The day everything changed. The plan was to walk 29kms to Villeguillo but we know what happens to plans on the Camino.

I’d been watching the TV over the last few evenings and even without any Spanish (aside from ‘americano/cerveza por favor’) I could tell that things were quickly getting more serious on the Covid 19 front. Still nothing had affected me so far (unless the absence of any fellow pilgrims was linked to the Covid situation) – that was about to change.

The day started overcast with lots of walking through pine forests. Then coming into Nava mid-morning, a woman on a bike stopped me and showed me a list of albergues on her phone – all were red (indicating they were shut) including Villeguillo. So I stopped for coffee and undertook some emergency re-planning. Given the albergue in Villeguillo was cIosed, I decided to stop in Coca if I could find accommodation there, although that would mean a long day tomorrow walking to Valdestillas. I arrived in Coca in the early afternon to find the albergue was indeed shut. But with some local assistance from a lady who spoke French I managed to find accommodation at the rather excellent Casa de la Paca - 35 euros for an ensuite room but with a ‘help yourself to beer’ from the fridge (although I did replace what I took).

Pilgrims seen today: 0. Cumulative: 0.

Day 7 Saturday 14th March Coca to Valdestillas (40kms)

Faced with a walk of 40kms, the day started early and I left Coca well before sunrise. The plan now was to walk day by day, using hotels if the albergues were found to be shut. I was unsure whether I’d be able to make it to Sahagun, but was moderately positive and saw little alternative but to press ahead.

First stop was after 7kms in Villeguillo where I found the albergue was indeed closed along with the bar/cafe. Another 17kms to Alcazaren where again the bars were closed. So no coffee stops so far with none on the next 16 kms either to Valdestillas. Thankfully the supermarket was open in Valdestillas as was Meson Taquita - 25 euros for an ensuite single.

I arrived at Meson Taquita to worsening news – the bar owner explained (via my SayHi app which was brilliant) that he was expecting an order to shut within a few days. So upstairs to do so more rapid re-planning - leading me to booking hotel accomodation in Simancas for tomorrow and in Medina (44kms) for the following night. By 7pm I was sorted.

Then my wife called and said I better have a look at the BBC website which informed me that Spain was going into lockdown from Monday morning. So

1. the realisation hit home that the camino would have to wait; and
2. I needed to get back to the UK in the next 24 hours.

Challenge 1 - how was I supposed to get to Madrid? Actually, very easily – the local train station was 150m up the road, the local train was 15 minutes to Valledolid, and then an express to Madrid in just over an hour.

Went to bed early - it was going to be an early start tomorrow.

Pilgrims seen today 0. Cumulative 0.


20200314_082556.jpg

20200314_204333.jpg
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Day 8 Sunday 15th March – Valdestillas to Madrid to UK

Up at the crack of dawn for a the journey by 3 trains from Valdestillas to Madrid Airport (booking tickets via Renfe’s website proved super easy). The 7:50-8:55 Valladolid to Madrid train gave me plenty of time to change my return flight. I was booked with BA who promised ‘you can change the flight any time and only pay the difference in price’. How nice of them – three flights were available: the earliest one was an extra £160, the other later options were an extra £115 or an additional £450! Thanks BA.

So I paid the extra £115 and got my flight home one week after arriving, and 5 days earlier than anticipated. Quite a few more masks were in evidence at the airport and on the plane compared with a week earlier.

Conclusions:
  • Yes the CdM is quiet – I didn’t see anyone else walking the CdM, but I enjoyed it and would do it again without question (even the day from Cercedilla to Segovia).
  • It can be hot, even in March. So I’ll always pack sunscreen in the future.
  • Since my first Camino I haven’t had any blisters and my shoes were well worn in. But I got a blister (although on part of my foot never affected previously). Grrr. Good job I packed my foot care kit – bandages, antiseptic cream, compeed etc.
  • It’s not the Camino Frances – the almost complete absence of adverts for albergues outside of towns is just one indicator of far less developed infrastructure. More seriously, there are long stretches/days with no refreshment stops and even worse, no fountains. And this was in March – so always carry plenty of water (2 litres at least).
  • Way marking was generally very good, although given my ability to miss the most obvious yellow arrows (and there was no one else around for me to follow), having the GPS route on my phone was a no-brainer.
  • The CSJ guidebook (on Kindle) is highly recommended. I read it before leaving home and then again before each day’s walk. Don’t leave home without it.
So…will I go back to finish it? Absolutely – as soon as we are able to walk safely again I’ll be back to finish the CdM Valdestillas to Sahagun stretch, and will then walk to Leon to pick up the Salvador to Oviedo, and then the Primitivo to Santiago. Well that’s the plan.

Stay safe.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Day 8 Sunday 15th March – Valdestillas to Madrid to UK

Up at the crack of dawn for a the journey by 3 trains from Valdestillas to Madrid Airport (booking tickets via Renfe’s website proved super easy). The 7:50-8:55 Valladolid to Madrid train gave me plenty of time to change my return flight. I was booked with BA who promised ‘you can change the flight any time and only pay the difference in price’. How nice of them – three flights were available: the earliest one was an extra £160, the other later options were an extra £115 or an additional £450! Thanks BA.

So I paid the extra £115 and got my flight home one week after arriving, and 5 days earlier than anticipated. Quite a few more masks were in evidence at the airport and on the plane compared with a week earlier.

Conclusions:
  • Yes the CdM is quiet – I didn’t see anyone else walking the CdM, but I enjoyed it and would do it again without question (even the day from Cercedilla to Segovia).
  • It can be hot, even in March. So I’ll always pack sunscreen in the future.
  • Since my first Camino I haven’t had any blisters and my shoes were well worn in. But I got a blister (although on part of my foot never affected previously). Grrr. Good job I packed my foot care kit – bandages, antiseptic cream, compeed etc.
  • It’s not the Camino Frances – the almost complete absence of adverts for albergues outside of towns is just one indicator of far less developed infrastructure. More seriously, there are long stretches/days with no refreshment stops and even worse, no fountains. And this was in March – so always carry plenty of water (2 litres at least).
  • Way marking was generally very good, although given my ability to miss the most obvious yellow arrows (and there was no one else around for me to follow), having the GPS route on my phone was a no-brainer.
  • The CSJ guidebook (on Kindle) is highly recommended. I read it before leaving home and then again before each day’s walk. Don’t leave home without it.
So…will I go back to finish it? Absolutely – as soon as we are able to walk safely again I’ll be back to finish the CdM Valdestillas to Sahagun stretch, and will then walk to Leon to pick up the Salvador to Oviedo, and then the Primitivo to Santiago. Well that’s the plan.

Stay safe.
Thank you for your posts. I am glad you at least had some days. It will happen, though you don’t yet know when, that you can pick up and complete your Camino. Your thread reminds me that this time last year - February 16th - I booked a couple of tickets looking ahead to July 2020. If I had waited even two weeks more I would have saved a lot of money and energy! Hope springs eternal. I have credit with Iberia till 31/12/2021!!! I look forward to your next chapter.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Days 4 & 5...

Day 4 Wednesday 11th March - Cercedilla to Segovia (31 kms)

What a day of contrasts! I saw several reports from people saying this was their favourite day, but for me it was tough, with nowhere to stop for refreshments.
I am one of the 'favourite day' people. That was my favourite day on the Madrid and still in my top three days on any of my four caminos. But then again, I rarely stop at cafés etc for refreshments except on rainy days.
 
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Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
I am one of the 'favourite day' people. That was my favourite day on the Madrid and still in my top three days on any of my four caminos. But then again, I rarely stop at cafés etc for refreshments except on rainy days.
Funnily enough the more time passes the more i look back on that day with affection! Loved the walk down hill!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
What great fun to read. I had always thought you were from California given your screen name, but your travel home plans suggest differently! Great plan for picking up and continuing on the Salvador/Primitivo, that’s exactly what I did when I walked the Madrid! Such a contrast in terms of landscape, and that makes it even more delicious.

So, maybe the electric coil club will gain a few more members, especially as the pandemic makes the availability of bars and cafés much less assured. (That thread is one of my favorites). @C clearly gave me hers on my last camino, saying that she never used it and didn’t want it. It was exactly one day after my 6 year old coil had sparked its way to oblivion. I wonder if she will want it back for her next camino!

Thanks for the posts, they have been fun to read. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
What great fun to read. I had always thought you were from California given your screen name, but your travel home plans suggest differently! Great plan for picking up and continuing on the Salvador/Primitivo, that’s exactly what I did when I walked the Madrid! Such a contrast in terms of landscape, and that makes it even more delicious.

So, maybe the electric coil club will gain a few more members, especially as the pandemic makes the availability of bars and cafés much less assured. (That thread is one of my favorites). @C clearly gave me hers on my last camino, saying that she never used it and didn’t want it. It was exactly one day after my 6 year old coil had sparked its way to oblivion. I wonder if she will want it back for her next camino!

Thanks for the posts, they have been fun to read. Buen camino, Laurie
Laurie - you're a star - your posts about the CdM were a real bonus when it came to planning and what more can I say about the electric coil - I'm a convert. Re the name - yes I'm a Brit and my motorbike is a Moto Guzzi California - hence the 'Cali' in the my name. Am really looking forward to the CdM/Salvador/Primitivo (and Lisbon to Porto, and the VDLP, and the Norte). Lockdown here = too much time to plan lots of Caminos. Thanks for all your input/advice - it really is much appreciated.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Laurie - you're a star - your posts about the CdM were a real bonus when it came to planning and what more can I say about the electric coil - I'm a convert. Re the name - yes I'm a Brit and my motorbike is a Moto Guzzi California - hence the 'Cali' in the my name. Am really looking forward to the CdM/Salvador/Primitivo (and Lisbon to Porto, and the VDLP, and the Norte). Lockdown here = too much time to plan lots of Caminos. Thanks for all your input/advice - it really is much appreciated.
Thanks so much for your report. I love these reports more than any other postings on our forum. SO much really good information. I hope, pray I can do the VDLP in October this year. Just had my Pfizer vaccines and hopefully we all will be vaccinated by end of summer. Hopefully. I look forward to future caminos as well. Hope to do the CP for a second time but to start in Faro this time. Last time I started in Lisbon. That camino I will do the coastal out of Porto and the Variant. I am also looking at doing the Levante/Sanabria to Santiago and finally the Madrid/Frances/Invierno/Sanabria to Santiago. So many caminos so little time! Thanks again.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Thanks so much for your report. I love these reports more than any other postings on our forum. SO much really good information. I hope, pray I can do the VDLP in October this year. Just had my Pfizer vaccines and hopefully we all will be vaccinated by end of summer. Hopefully. I look forward to future caminos as well. Hope to do the CP for a second time but to start in Faro this time. Last time I started in Lisbon. That camino I will do the coastal out of Porto and the Variant. I am also looking at doing the Levante/Sanabria to Santiago and finally the Madrid/Frances/Invierno/Sanabria to Santiago. So many caminos so little time! Thanks again.
It looks like you and I have similar tastes in caminos. I have walked the VdlP, Sanabres and the Madrid, Frances, Invierno, Sanabres, and am planning the Levante, VdlP, Sanabres for this fall, if the routes are open, and if I can be vaccinated in time. This process has been rather slow in Canada so far and I am not in a priority group.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Funnily enough the more time passes the more i look back on that day with affection! Loved the walk down hill!
Thank you for posting this: It is very helpful in planning my future CdM. Thanks again!
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I loved reading your posts. A wonderful reminder of this interesting route, which was pretty deserted even in pre Covid times, although we bumped into @LTfit and shared a bunkroom with her for 1 night. I walked it with a friend in 2016.
 
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Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
And many thanks for the comments - what a nice bunch you/we are.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Thank you for posting this: It is very helpful in planning my future CdM. Thanks again!
@alexwalker
If you find the description of the day walking through Fuenfria pass and on to Segovia to be somewhat challenging, there are options to make it less daunting. There are three possible challenges on this day: 1) the long uphill walk to the top of the pass, 2) The effort of getting through the pass if there is a lot of snow. 3) The long walk from the top of the pass to Segovia. When I walked the Madrid, I knew about these challenges, but did not face any of them. 1) I walked through Cercedilla and up the hill about three km to Albergue Juvenil las Dehesas, thus shortening the next day's walk. 2) I walked in the fall, which was outside of the long season when the pass has snow. 3) Before the pass, I took a road off to the right and spent the night in Granja de San Ildefonso, which contains an albergue and a royal summer palace. I did not get a space in the albergue, which is very popular and should be booked in advance. It is a short walk, about 11 kms, by the side of a not busy highway CL601, from Granja to Segovia, and lots of time to see the sights in Granja before walking on. If I go again, I will stay at the Albergue Juvenil las Dehesas again, to shorten the climb, but probably go straight from there over the pass, out of snow season.
 
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lindam

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Can not see it.
I clicked on the link but was unable to view the video you tried to share.
Hmm, so when you click on the link, you should come to a page that looks like the screen shot I’ve attached. When I click on the title “jpflavin1 in the snow at Fonfria pass” the video starts running. You won’t see Jpflavin, however, just a bunch of snow. 😁 But it looked to me like the drifts were several feet high.


79B448A9-C13E-4E58-911E-081F21B5E971.jpeg 79B448A9-C13E-4E58-911E-081F21B5E971.jpeg
 
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Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Day 8 Sunday 15th March – Valdestillas to Madrid to UK

Up at the crack of dawn for a the journey by 3 trains from Valdestillas to Madrid Airport (booking tickets via Renfe’s website proved super easy). The 7:50-8:55 Valladolid to Madrid train gave me plenty of time to change my return flight. I was booked with BA who promised ‘you can change the flight any time and only pay the difference in price’. How nice of them – three flights were available: the earliest one was an extra £160, the other later options were an extra £115 or an additional £450! Thanks BA.

So I paid the extra £115 and got my flight home one week after arriving, and 5 days earlier than anticipated. Quite a few more masks were in evidence at the airport and on the plane compared with a week earlier.

Conclusions:
  • Yes the CdM is quiet – I didn’t see anyone else walking the CdM, but I enjoyed it and would do it again without question (even the day from Cercedilla to Segovia).
  • It can be hot, even in March. So I’ll always pack sunscreen in the future.
  • Since my first Camino I haven’t had any blisters and my shoes were well worn in. But I got a blister (although on part of my foot never affected previously). Grrr. Good job I packed my foot care kit – bandages, antiseptic cream, compeed etc.
  • It’s not the Camino Frances – the almost complete absence of adverts for albergues outside of towns is just one indicator of far less developed infrastructure. More seriously, there are long stretches/days with no refreshment stops and even worse, no fountains. And this was in March – so always carry plenty of water (2 litres at least).
  • Way marking was generally very good, although given my ability to miss the most obvious yellow arrows (and there was no one else around for me to follow), having the GPS route on my phone was a no-brainer.
  • The CSJ guidebook (on Kindle) is highly recommended. I read it before leaving home and then again before each day’s walk. Don’t leave home without it.
So…will I go back to finish it? Absolutely – as soon as we are able to walk safely again I’ll be back to finish the CdM Valdestillas to Sahagun stretch, and will then walk to Leon to pick up the Salvador to Oviedo, and then the Primitivo to Santiago. Well that’s the plan.

Stay safe.
Ohhh 😔.... I was hoping you would get somewhat further as I was so enjoying your posts & writing style! Any other past walks you feel the need to revisit in the written form? 😉
Best wishes
👣 🌏
 

lindam

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Hmm, so when you click on the link, you should come to a page that looks like the screen shot I’ve attached. When I click on the title “jpflavin1 in the snow at Fonfria pass” the video starts running. You won’t see Jpflavin, however, just a bunch of snow. 😁 But it looked to me like the drifts were several feet high.


View attachment 93503 View attachment 93503
Still does not work for me but thanks for trying.
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Ohhh 😔.... I was hoping you would get somewhat further as I was so enjoying your posts & writing style! Any other past walks you feel the need to revisit in the written form? 😉
Best wishes
👣 🌏
Haha - in all seriousness we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before (Laurie, Jungleboy etc etc). re past walks - if I can find my notes from the Ingles, Muxia and Finisterre in 2019, I'll see if I can I pull a few thoughts together. re the CdM I could have carried on but the accommodation offerings were disappearing fast and the border closure was the key stimulus for me - I remember looking around my room in Valdestillas and thinking I could be stuck somewhere like that for weeks. Stay safe.
 

Stripey Socks

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
What a highlight of my day! @Calisteve I had planned to walk the Madrid/Salvador/Primitivo combo in May last year, but a little thing call Covid put paid to that and many other walking plans I had lined up for 2020. I am now looking at 2022 as it is still illegal to leave Aus. I was interested in the time of year you walked....March and that it was hot! I was thinking May would be a good time, but March sounds like perfect walking weather for me.

Anyone else have any comments about walking in March, especially then moving onto the Salvador and Primitivo!

Thanks again for the inspiration or the dose of wanderlust at least! ;-)
 
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Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
What a highlight of my day! @Calisteve I had planned to walk the Madrid/Salvador/Primitivo combo in May last year, but a little thing call Covid put paid to that and many other walking plans I had lined up for 2020. I am now looking at 2022 as it is still illegal to leave Aus. I was interested in the time of year you walked....March and that it was hot! I was thinking May would be a good time, but March sounds like perfect walking weather for me.

Anyone else have any comments about walking in March, especially then moving onto the Salvador and Primitivo!

Thanks again for the inspiration or the dose of wanderlust at least! ;-)

Stripey socks - many thanks, much appreciated.

Re altered plans - I was due to fly to Aus last April for work and to see friends in Queensland - so I've your problem, but in reverse. I've written off any chance of getting back to Aus this year unfortunately.

Re time of year to walk the CdM - I was surprised quite how warm it was. I was warned that snow was a possibility at the Puerto de la Fuenfria (so was prepared to take the train to Cercedilla if necessary) but it was blue skies and warm all day with not a sign of snow. Day 1 I was walking with a thin fleece, but most days after that it was just a T shirt and the afternoons ranged from warm to hot. The early mornings were chilly so I wore my jacket, but by 9am the jacket was off and as I said, I got sun burnt one day. For a Brit I'd say it was perfect walking weather (and all my previous Caminos have been in June/July when it can get HOT). So depends if you're from somewhere like Canberra (you'd love it) or from somewhere more like Brisbane (you'd think it was freezing).

Fingers crossed for both of us that Aus stays virtually covid fee and opens up as soon as is possible.
 

Stripey Socks

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Stripey socks - many thanks, much appreciated.

Re altered plans - I was due to fly to Aus last April for work and to see friends in Queensland - so I've your problem, but in reverse. I've written off any chance of getting back to Aus this year unfortunately.

Re time of year to walk the CdM - I was surprised quite how warm it was. I was warned that snow was a possibility at the Puerto de la Fuenfria (so was prepared to take the train to Cercedilla if necessary) but it was blue skies and warm all day with not a sign of snow. Day 1 I was walking with a thin fleece, but most days after that it was just a T shirt and the afternoons ranged from warm to hot. The early mornings were chilly so I wore my jacket, but by 9am the jacket was off and as I said, I got sun burnt one day. For a Brit I'd say it was perfect walking weather (and all my previous Caminos have been in June/July when it can get HOT). So depends if you're from somewhere like Canberra (you'd love it) or from somewhere more like Brisbane (you'd think it was freezing).

Fingers crossed for both of us that Aus stays virtually covid fee and opens up as soon as is possible.
This has really got me thinking that I may aim for late March/early April. I will take a down sleeping bag and a few layers and see how I go. Bring it on!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
What a highlight of my day! @Calisteve I had planned to walk the Madrid/Salvador/Primitivo combo in May last year, but a little thing call Covid put paid to that and many other walking plans I had lined up for 2020. I am now looking at 2022 as it is still illegal to leave Aus. I was interested in the time of year you walked....March and that it was hot! I was thinking May would be a good time, but March sounds like perfect walking weather for me.

Anyone else have any comments about walking in March, especially then moving onto the Salvador and Primitivo!

Thanks again for the inspiration or the dose of wanderlust at least! ;-)
I had snow in April on the Madrid and snow in April (my worst hiking day) on the San Salvador, different year.
 

Stripey Socks

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I had snow in April on the Madrid and snow in April (my worst hiking day) on the San Salvador, different year.
OK - so maybe I need to temper my enthusiasm a little and reconsider my timing! All good fodder for dreaming while we wait for the borders to reopen. Many thanks for your feedback.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
OK - so maybe I need to temper my enthusiasm a little and reconsider my timing! All good fodder for dreaming while we wait for the borders to reopen. Many thanks for your feedback.

My comments are not meant to deter you. There could very well be no snow. Hiking through the mountains in Spring can be challenging. ie: I have hiked the Napoleon route twice 2010, 2011 on March 23rd and had no snow at all. Just be careful and listen to locals.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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Stripey Socks

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
My comments are not meant to deter you. There could very well be no snow. Hiking through the mountains in Spring can be challenging. ie: I have hiked the Napoleon route twice 2010, 2011 on March 23rd and had no snow at all. Just be careful and listen to locals.

Ultreya,
Joe
Thanks for the advice @jpflavin1 - hopefully one day soon I will get to put it to the test.
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Thanks for this post. Like some people I had planned the Madrid last Sept along with the Mendocino (thanks Nuala!) and the Invierno.
Hoping to do the Madrid next year, not sure this year is going to happen at all, but "quien sabe!"
Question to those who have done the Madrid. If I get the train into Madrid from the airport, what accommodation recommendations do people have for close to Sol (?) train station and close to start of Camino, or maybe the 2 are not close at all?
Thanks a lot.
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Thanks for this post. Like some people I had planned the Madrid last Sept along with the Mendocino (thanks Nuala!) and the Invierno.
Hoping to do the Madrid next year, not sure this year is going to happen at all, but "quien sabe!"
Question to those who have done the Madrid. If I get the train into Madrid from the airport, what accommodation recommendations do people have for close to Sol (?) train station and close to start of Camino, or maybe the 2 are not close at all?
Thanks a lot.
Can't advise on accommodation as I flew in and started walking from the official start point at the Church of Santiago - but I can confirm that the Church is just a few minutes walk away from Sol. Fingers crossed we can walk it later this year.
 

Stripey Socks

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Thanks for this post. Like some people I had planned the Madrid last Sept along with the Mendocino (thanks Nuala!) and the Invierno.
Hoping to do the Madrid next year, not sure this year is going to happen at all, but "quien sabe!"
Question to those who have done the Madrid. If I get the train into Madrid from the airport, what accommodation recommendations do people have for close to Sol (?) train station and close to start of Camino, or maybe the 2 are not close at all?
Thanks a lot.
Thanks @laineylainey. I am interested in this topic too. Mel
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Thanks for this post. Like some people I had planned the Madrid last Sept along with the Mendocino (thanks Nuala!) and the Invierno.
Hoping to do the Madrid next year, not sure this year is going to happen at all, but "quien sabe!"
Question to those who have done the Madrid. If I get the train into Madrid from the airport, what accommodation recommendations do people have for close to Sol (?) train station and close to start of Camino, or maybe the 2 are not close at all?
Thanks a lot.
@laineylainey
When I walked the Madrid in the fall of 2019, I stayed at The Hat, a hostel popular with forum members, close to Sol metro station/Sol Cercanias train station. From there it is a short walk to the Church of Santiago and Saint John the Baptist where I got my first sello, and a pilgrim blessing and began my camino.
 
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laineylainey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
@laineylainey
When I walked the Madrid in the fall of 2019, I stayed at The Hat, a hostel popular with forum members, close to Sol metro station/Sol Cercanias train station. From there it is a short walk to the Church of Santiago and Saint John the Baptist where I got my first sello, and a pilgrim blessing and began my camino.
Thanks @Albertagirl . Also like you I have thought that the day from Cercedilla to Segovia is too much, so I am planning to split it into Cercedilla to La Granja and then the following day 12K To Segovia, which also means I can do a bit of sightseeing. I have thought as well the following day to only leave Segovia after lunch and stroll down the road to Zamarramala because the Albergue there is much talked about. But nearer the time I am sure I will change that plan!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If I get the train into Madrid from the airport, what accommodation recommendations do people have for close to Sol (?) train station and close to start of Camino, or maybe the 2 are not close at all?
Yes, the Cercanías stop is at Sol, right in the center of town. Are you planning to start to walk from the church?

(I’m asking because when I walked I arrived early morning, dropped my stuff off at my hotel, got down to Sol and went to the church. After getting my credential stamped, I walked the 8 or 10 km through Madrid (there are good routes mapped out on the forum if people are interested) and ended my day at the first arrow in front of the Rodilla Sandwich Shop, just north of the Plaza de Castilla. Then I went back to central Madrid and slept, and the next morning hopped back on the metro to Plaza Castilla. I would much have preferred to avoid that metro interlude, but there really aren’t many good places to sleep near the Plaza Castilla. Then I walked to Manzanares el Real the next day.

In Madrid, I slept in Alonso Martínez, one of my favorite central neighborhoods — good food, good hotels, good metro connection.

I stayed at The Hat, a hostel popular with forum members, close to Sol metro station/Sol Cercanias train station.

Albertagirl is much more of a hearty tolerant trooper peregrina than I am, because about 5 years ago I decided I was DONE with sleeping in youth hostels (not albergues, just youth hostels). My experience was that there is just too much partying and exuberant youthful noise for me to get the sleep I needed. If I wanted to start sleeping at 8 or 9 in the morning, it would be perfect, because nearly everyone would have come in from their nighttime by then.

There are tons and tons of choices — do you prefer hotel, pensión, chain hotel, etc?

So, @laineylainey, have you decided not to walk the Mendocino?
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Hi Laurie, thanks for all the information. At this point nothing is certain!
When things are open up again and it is possible to walk again I may walk my original plan, Mendocino, Madrid at Manzanares to Sahagún, then the Invierno. It depends if the Albergues at Vinuelas and Torrelaguna on the Mendocino reopen post Covid. So I am just having plan B, the Madrid and Invierno. The problem for me is Madrid! I find it difficult to navigate, even getting from the airport is a challenge for me!
So a couple of questions. Is the start of the Madrid at Plaza de Castilla? If so can I get public transport to there? Assume there will be plenty of bed options in that part. My flight arrival in Madrid could be very late, so being as close to the start of the Camino I see as an advantage forvthe next morning.
Elaine
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Albertagirl is much more of a hearty tolerant trooper peregrina than I am, because about 5 years ago I decided I was DONE with sleeping in youth hostels (not albergues, just youth hostels). My experience was that there is just too much partying and exuberant youthful noise for me to get the sleep I needed. If I wanted to start sleeping at 8 or 9 in the morning, it would be perfect, because nearly everyone would have come in from their nighttime by then.
This comment amuses me, since I was assigned to a men's dorm in The Hat, the women's dorms being full, and stayed two nights. I had a few chores to do in Madrid before setting off and prefer a continuous walk from where I start. The men's dorm was, for those two nights, occupied by myself and by several young men who were totally quiet; I had to try to be the same so as not to disturb their sleep. No one stayed out late and everyone put himself to bed in extreme quiet. I guess I was blest.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
A further comment on staying in Youth Hostels, as applied to @laineylainey 's plans to walk the Camino de Madrid. I stayed, along with other pilgrims walking the Madrid, at Albergue Juvenil (Youth Hostel) Las Dehesas, 3.2 km. past Cercedilla. We were put in small dormitories with our own bathroom facilities, upstairs from the larger youth hostel area. Meals were available and I was glad to have the 3.2 km of uphill behind me as I began my walk the next day over Fuenfria Pass. I had a quiet night, with only one female pilgrim sharing the small dorm room with me. It was a little more expensive than the average albergue, but quite reasonable. I would certainly stay there again if walking the Madrid. See gronze.com for further information.
 
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camino07

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
A further comment on staying in Youth Hostels, as applied to @laineylainey 's plans to walk the Camino de Madrid. I stayed, along with other pilgrims walking the Madrid, at Albergue Juvenil (Youth Hostel) Las Dehesas, 3.2 km. past Cercedilla. We were put in small dormitories with our own bathroom facilities, upstairs from the larger youth hostel area. Meals were available and I was glad to have the 3.2 km of uphill behind me as I began my walk the next day over Fuenfria Pass. I had a quiet night, with only one female pilgrim sharing the small dorm room with me. It was a little more expensive than the average albergue, but quite reasonable. I would certainly stay there again if walking the Madrid. See gronze.com for further information.
Good memories Albertagirl from our stay in Las Dehesas. I enjoyed meeting you and Lindar on the Camino Madrid. Although it was hot and I thought I would never get to the Hostel, I would definitely stay there again. Worth it for the next day and we got packed breakfasts.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
When I walked the Madrid I stayed at a hostel that was the closest I could find to the Church of Santiago (noted "y Juan Bautista") with the intention of getting my first stamp there but alas, there was no-one to be found and I did not want to wait around as I was eager to start walking. I enjoy a suburban walk so was very happy to walk all through the city the first day.

When still in the planning stages I wanting to start walking directly from the airport. That plan got abandoned - like most airports it is ringed by motorways!
 
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laineylainey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
A further comment on staying in Youth Hostels, as applied to @laineylainey 's plans to walk the Camino de Madrid. I stayed, along with other pilgrims walking the Madrid, at Albergue Juvenil (Youth Hostel) Las Dehesas, 3.2 km. past Cercedilla. We were put in small dormitories with our own bathroom facilities, upstairs from the larger youth hostel area. Meals were available and I was glad to have the 3.2 km of uphill behind me as I began my walk the next day over Fuenfria Pass. I had a quiet night, with only one female pilgrim sharing the small dorm room with me. It was a little more expensive than the average albergue, but quite reasonable. I would certainly stay there again if walking the Madrid. See gronze.com for further information.
Thanks @Albertagirl , I have this in mind as Nuala O'C stayed there on her Madrid walk and said the same thing as you. Quiet part of the Hostal with bathroom. Also meals available.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Is the start of the Madrid at Plaza de Castilla? If so can I get public transport to there? Assume there will be plenty of bed options in that part. My flight arrival in Madrid could be very late, so being as close to the start of the Camino I see as an advantage forvthe next morning.
I walked years ago, and at that time the first arrows were at the Plaza de Castilla. Gronze now puts the “start” at the Santiago church, which I totally understand — it’s a 25 km walk from there to Tres Cantos, and the walk through Madrid from the church is very nice if you route it right.

Plaza Castilla is very busy central spot, lots of buses and metro lines go there. And it is not more than a few minutes walk from the train station Chamartin, which is also where the Cercanías train stops. When I said there weren’t many “good” places to stay near Chamartín/Plaza Castilla, I should have said — there aren’t many “charming” places to stay. As it’s a major train station, there are lots of modern functional chains, so that would be a good area to stay in if you plan to start walking from the Plaza Castilla instead of the church.

Decisions!!!!

And p.s., Like @Albertagirl, I have also stayed in the Dehesas albergue on the way up to Fonfría. It is very nice — and I would make an exception to my “no more albergues juveniles” rule for this one. 😁 Also the one in Manresa, come to think of it — when they are government run, it’s a different kettle of fish.
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Yes, I remember the Chamartin area from the last time I was in Madrid. It would serve the purpose of a hotel bed if my arrival is late night and mean I would have a straightforward start to Tres Cantos the following morning. Only snag with that plan is a credential which I read from @Calisteve you get from the Church of Santiago.
I walked years ago, and at that time the first arrows were at the Plaza de Castilla. Gronze now puts the “start” at the Santiago church, which I totally understand — it’s a 25 km walk from there to Tres Cantos, and the walk through Madrid from the church is very nice if you route it right.

Plaza Castilla is very busy central spot, lots of buses and metro lines go there. And it is not more than a few minutes walk from the train station Chamartin, which is also where the Cercanías train stops. When I said there weren’t many “good” places to stay near Chamartín/Plaza Castilla, I should have said — there aren’t many “charming” places to stay. As it’s a major train station, there are lots of modern functional chains, so that would be a good area to stay in if you plan to start walking from the Plaza Castilla instead of the church.

Decisions!!!!

And p.s., Like @Albertagirl, I have also stayed in the Dehesas albergue on the way up to Fonfría. It is very nice — and I would make an exception to my “no more albergues juveniles” rule for this one. 😁 Also the one in Manresa, come to think of it — when they are government run, it’s a different kettle of fish.
 
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Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
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Yes, I remember the Chamartin area from the last time I was in Madrid. It would serve the purpose of a hotel bed if my arrival is late night and mean I would have a straightforward start to Tres Cantos the following morning. Only snag with that plan is a credential which I read from @Calisteve you get from the Church of Santiago.
And it's a very nice credencial too! Specific to the Camino de Madrid. Very nice people there as well.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Out of interest has anyone stayed at the Albergue at Zamarramala just outside Segovia?
I can't speak for the albergue. I stayed at Duermevela Hostel in Segovia, very close to the aquaduct: friendly hospitaleros, a variety of accommodations and reasonable prices. Unless I were in a hurry, I would stay there again.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I'm enjoying this thread. I thought I stayed at Zamarramala but went back to check my photos and found that I'd walked on to Los Huertos. A great excuse to look at some fun stuff!

IMG_0116.jpeg
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
That photo reminds me of stopping to sit down at a bench in a village square a short distance south of Segovia on the Madrid. I had removed my socks and was cutting pieces of Hypafix to attach to my feet for protection against blisters. A local woman stopped and offered to help with the process. I surrendered my tools and waited while she did her best. She found the process challenging and I felt sympathy with her as she tried to help and found the sticky tape challenging. Eventually, she finished to her satisfaction. I thanked her and went on, grateful for her kindness. I found the same friendliness with pilgrims everywhere on the Madrid.
 

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