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Virtual walk on the Camino de Madrid - Detailed planning

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
We are still short of things to do in Valladolid itself. From AJ's link to the Top 10 Things to Do in Valladolid, I see that the tapas festival is in November. At other times of the year, a tapas and wine route would be focused on the historic city centre and area of "las plazas Martí y Monsó, Portugalete, Universidad o San Martín", as well as the in the Mercado del Val.

There is information about many things to do and historic places to visit, but can anyone give us a compelling reason or two to spend an extra day in Valladolid? Or should I just walk through, enjoy the tapas and spend one night?
 
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Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
My day was from Puente Duero to Penaflor with no detours. After Simancos it started to get hot, on to Cigunuela and had second breakfast in a bar behind the church. Up onto the Meseta and getting too hot for me and my feet, long, flat path seemed to stretch forever. Finally downhill to Wamba and a bar for cool drinks and tapas. Thought about the Osiary but it will have to wait for a cooler time. Another long road between the fields and we crossed the two ravines and arrived at last at Penaflor. One of of our Spanish perigrinos had already arrived at the Albergue, 3 big ,cool bedrooms so the four of us spread out . I remember the back door wouldn't open so we had fun climbing out of a window to hang our washing.
Good bar on the plaza where we had dinner at 8.30. Saturday night so was very busy with locals .There were now 6 of us.
Booked myself into the Hostal Duque de Osuna for two nights rest for tomorrow in Medina Rio Seca.
 

Ian L

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Camino Frances summer 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
We are still short of things to do in Valladolid itself. From AJ's link to the Top 10 Things to Do in Valladolid, I see that the tapas festival is in November. At other times of the year, a tapas and wine route would be focused on the historic city centre and area of "las plazas Martí y Monsó, Portugalete, Universidad o San Martín", as well as the in the Mercado del Val.

There is information about many things to do and historic places to visit, but can anyone give us a compelling reason or two to spend an extra day in Valladolid? Or should I just walk through, enjoy the tapas and spend one night?
I have only passed through Valladolid by train, but there is a Christopher Columbus museum there. The middle of the Meseta seems like an odd place for a museum for someone who spent much of his time on the ocean, but he was living there when he died.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
My reading of the opening hours of the Wamba church gives these options for slow walkers:

- if it's a Friday, and we're aiming for the official opening, forget it, because once we've seen the church, assuming we were there at 5pm and we spent a decent time looking around, we still have about 8 km to Peñaflor, at that time of the day, with my darling's legs and stamina (or lack thereof) it would be very late before we arrived at the albergue. Probably not an issue for fleet-footed peregrin@s.

- if it's a Saturday or a Sunday, or a festivo, we'll aim for the 11am opening time. We'll start from Ciguñuela, and then we'll have no problems getting to the albergue in Peñaflor.

- if it's any other day, we'll call to arrange a visit, once again after having spent the night in Ciguñuela.

Or we can just hope we have @jungleboy 's luck:
Wednesday, so it looks like we got lucky!

So in real life, we would still do a detour to Valladolid. And I'm sure @peregrina2000 will at some stage share her experience.
 

m108

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2011-2016
I was in Valladolid (2 days) on my way to Salamanca and VdlP. Nice place, but not in a way like Leon or Burgos or Astorga, for example. Despite the history, the atmosphere is more “modern” (actually I don’t even know myself what I missed, probably the pilgrimage spirit). So I will not turn off the road to Valladolid on this occasion. I will visit Valladolid at the end anyway - after arriving in Sahagun I will “capture” the atmosphere of CF a bit and then take the afternoon train and sleep in Valladolid and wander around a bit. I booked a hotel near the train and bus station (which is close to the center) and close to the park where a huge number of peacocks roam freely. In the morning from Valladolid (supposedly) there is a bus that goes directly to Madrid airport.
 
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peregrina2000

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Staff member
Sorry, it looks like I should have been paying more attention. OK, what to do in Valladolid —

Well, the sculpture museum is in an old convent with a plateresque facade that I think even those who aren’t into Baroque will admire. The museum itself is spacious and has some beautiful pieces, a very nice 16C Santiago, I believe I remember.

The Plaza Mayor is huge and has some beautiful buildings. It is one of the oldest in Spain. The clerk in my hotel told me that it was the first one to use the term “plaza mayor,” and who knows whether that is true. When I was there, the OCCUPY folks had set up shop and I spent a fair amount of time talking with different people, young and old, about their complaints and proposals. I was surprised to see how hopeful and optimistic they were, especially after having spent much less time near the encampment in Madrid in the Puerta del Sol a few weeks earlier and sensing much more a feeling of violent defiance.

The Casa de Cervantes (where he lived for a few years) has rooms with furnishings of the early 17th century when he was living there. If you missed Dulcinea’s house on the Levante, you can see how the author who brought her to life lived at about the time the Quijote was published.

I remember an excellent vegetarian meal but can’t find the name. And a very nice large park as @m108 says.

I also remember that there wasn’t much romanesque in town, but a tower and portico remain in a church whose name I couldn’t remember but have found that it is Santa María la Antigua.

Lastly, my hotel was right outside the Santiago Church, which is reported to have a gorgeous altarpiece but it was closed.

Though I can’t say Valladolid is a must-see city, it is very pleasant, IMO. It is one of the lesser-visited places in Spain and I was surprised to see it. If you want a nice hotel and a day to stroll around an interesting place, this will fit the bill.
 
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Thanks, Laurie.
Thst gives a good sense of it.

Here is a map of this crossover option I posted on Alan Sykes's thread (he is coming up behind us
So an update for anyone who wants to head to the Levante - @Alan Sykes is doing that right now, and it sounds very nice. It also sounds like accommodation on the Madrid in winter of this Covid time is very thin on the ground:
Puente Duero to Tordesillas

It seems that most of the Camino de Madrid albergues between here and Sahagún are closed for covid or the season, and any bars in the villages en route that might have accommodation also might not. So, slightly sadly, I decided to detour down the Duero to Tordesillas.

It was a morning of thick fog, and mostly in thick pine forest, so quite atmospheric. Leaving the woods, some of the fields were shrouded in plastic, presumably to force the asparagus for the eponymous Puente Duero Esparragal.

The Duero crossing at Tordesillas is infinitely more impressive than at Puente Duero. 10 arches of the bridge, with the river wider and faster. And the albergue is one of the best on any camino in all of Spain, even if only 150-odd of us (probably mostly quite odd) stay here every year. A beautifully restored 19th century bodega 50 yards from the Plaza Mayor, with an amazing kitchen, a washing machine, drier, exposed beams, comfy sitting room, beds not bunks: a real pilgrim palace, all for 5€.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Day 11 - Castromonte to Medina de Rioseco (14 km)

OK, peregrinos, now that we have done a quick tour of Valladolid, we are gathering in Castromonte, ready to move on. If you are straggling, we'll make it a short day, so you can catch up. If you are walking from Peñaflor de Horneja, it is about 24 km.

As I understand it, the albergue in Medina de Rioseco is in a convent before the bridge, but it has recently changed management. There are several hostales in town, as well. The town is interesting, and we have a leisurely time to explore.

According to the CSJ guide "If you see no other church interior on your pilgrimage from Madrid to Sahagún, this you should see. The church of Santiago is a Renaissance church of 1533..."
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
We did Peñaflor de Horneja to Medina de Rioseco and I didn't note anything between Castromonte and Medina. This is what I wrote about Medina:

Medina de Rioseco is the largest place we’ve been to since Segovia (even so, it only has about 5,000 inhabitants). The convent-albergue is indeed open again, and is now donativo. There’s also a large supermarket in town so we were able to get a lot of supplies, which was good because it’s really slim pickings between Simancas and here.

Wendy's food/accommodation notes:

Lupa supermarket at Medina de Ríoseco was very well stocked. Had hummus, guacamole, hummus guacamole (!), soy yogurt, oat cookies, pisto, etc. There was even some veggie lunch meat, but it had eggs in it.

Nick made pasta with chickpeas and lots of veggie for dinner.

Albergue - the monastery at the entrance to the town. Used to be run by nuns, but was recently taken over by an order of monks instead.

Donativo, two separate dormitories, each with a set of bunk beds put together for couples, washing machine, kitchen is well-stocked and even has jars of chickpeas, lentils, etc. that pilgrims are welcome to use. But not many utensils, Nick had to chop veggies on a plate with our Swiss army knife.

According to the CSJ guide "If you see no other church interior on your pilgrimage from Madrid to Sahagún, this you should see. The church of Santiago is a Renaissance church of 1533..."
That strikes me as a bit too subjective for a guide book. It all comes down to personal taste/opinion, doesn't it? Personally, I would never choose a Renaissance church ahead of a Medieval one like Wamba, but that's just a reflection of my own interests. Regarding this particular church, I don't have any memory of it!
 
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And here. The Museum of Semana Santa is definitely worth visiting:
 

jenny@zen

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Via De la Plata
We also walked to Medina de Rioseca. It was great walk but, due to the heat and a long stretch by the road (perhaps we made a wrong turn?) seemed much longer than the kms would suggest. We were happy to arrive in Medina!

We also stayed in the convent. There was a note in our guidebook that the convent albergue, which had been run by the Sisters of Santa Clara, had closed in late 2017. But when we stayed at Ray and Rosa’s house on Day 2 they told us that the albergue had just reopened, with a small group of Franciscan brothers living in the convent.

Later I heard / read more about why the albergue had closed and it’s quite a sad story. The Sisters of Santa Clara (also known as the Poor Clares or Poor Clarisses) had been in the convent in Medina Del Rioseco for 525 years. Some years ago their numbers were down to just two elderly and frail nuns. A much younger nun was sent to the convent to care of her elderly ‘sisters’ and it was she who had the idea to open up one of the small buildings to accommodate pilgrims walking the Camino de Madrid.

Sadly, it was this younger sister who passed away suddenly late in 2017. With no one to care for the two remaining elderly sisters, they were moved to a convent in a nearby town and the Medina convent was closed and the albergue along with it. Just a few weeks before we arrived, a small community of Franciscan brothers – someone mentioned from Brazil – came to live in the Convento and reopened the albergue for pilgrims.

The albergue is spacious and comfortable with all mod cons including a washing machine in the kitchen. It was a treat to put on a load of washing. The hot afternoon sun meant everything was dry in no time.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 11 - Castromonte to Medina de Rioseco (12.5 km)
OK, peregrinos, now that we have done a quick tour of Valladolid, we are gathering in Castromonte, ready to move on. If you are straggling, we'll make it a short day, so you can catch up.
Thank you for waiting for us slow walkers! My darling says it's a perfect stage!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
We are still short of things to do in Valladolid itself. From AJ's link to the Top 10 Things to Do in Valladolid, I see that the tapas festival is in November. At other times of the year, a tapas and wine route would be focused on the historic city centre and area of "las plazas Martí y Monsó, Portugalete, Universidad o San Martín", as well as the in the Mercado del Val.

There is information about many things to do and historic places to visit, but can anyone give us a compelling reason or two to spend an extra day in Valladolid? Or should I just walk through, enjoy the tapas and spend one night?
I took the side trip on the Madrid to visit Valladolid, and was glad I had. I remember in a relatively small area there are several buildings with some of the most beautiful facades I've seen, including the National Sculpture Museum and the Church of San Pablo. I visited the sculpture museum with its wonderful collection of polychrome wood works - worth visiting the city for that alone imo, and also the cathedral museum. There was a really good organist who happened to be practising when I was there, always a treat, joined by a choir a bit later.

The Plaza Major is lovely, a great place to sit and watch the world go by (I did) and there are some terrific restaurants in the side streets. I stayed overnight and felt it was worth it.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
6th October and left Penaflor early after milky tea in the kitchen. After crossing fields of windmills found a bar open in Castromonte,It is Sunday and didn't expect to see any bars open. also found one in Valverde for cool drink. Very hot every day. Finally after 24kms made it to Medina de Rioseco where I'm having a rest day
for my blistered feet. Said adios to my Argentinian amigos as they are going to the Albergue.Two nights at the central Hostal Duque de Osuna will do me.
 
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NualaOC

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
I'm back in synch again as I walked about 39kms from Ciguñuela to Medina de Rioseca. Again, I didn't plan to walk that far. I was enjoying the walk and didn't feel like stopping.

I've nothing useful to contribute about the places along the way, as I mainly remember the joy of walking alone in wide open spaces (and the disappointment when so many bars were closed!). I was pretty tired when I reached Medina de Rioseca and decided to stay in Hostal Duque de Osuna. €25 for a comfortable en-suite room. I didn't book - just knocked on the door.

I then walked quite a few kms around the town looking for some of the sights mentioned in the CSJ guidebook. This was daft as I should probably have focussed on rest, food and blister care. I ended up having a picnic dinner in my hotel room (good supermarket empanada and other bits and pieces). I was glad of the comfort and privacy, but I kind of missed being in an albergue.

Medina is a good stop from a services point of view - supermarkets, pharmacy, ATM etc.

As I write this I'm reminded that for me, the Camino is all about walking. My favourite days are usually those where I stop for a leisurely lunch/picnic and continue walking for another few hours. I enjoy cities and the built environment as a tourist, but they rarely interest me on a Camino.

tempImageynKmb9.jpg tempImageMWh1Jc.jpg tempImageqT014j.jpg tempImagecppuGY.jpg tempImage7j6M0a.jpg
 
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NualaOC

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
And I’m looking forward to Merida (for second time), Caceres, Salamanca and Zamora on our next Camino.
Good point - I also plan to walk the Via de la Plata and will definitely pay more attention to those places. I've already made some notes to make sure I don't idly walk by any Roman gems!
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Medina del Rioseco is a good place, lots of shops and restaurants and churches that are worth seeing if you can get in and a quaint, arcaded old centre. We stayed in the albergue in the convent/monastery. In the past a well-loved stop but a sad and neglected place when we stayed, and it may well be closed again as the monastery seems to have a tenuous existence. I am really not sure if the church authorities thought through the message that might be conveyed by that sculpture in the first picture. The second picture is in the old town and the last picture shows the albergue (or possibly ex-albergue). Next day was along the Canal de Castilla, a beautiful atmospheric section.
DSC04441.JPG DSC04443.JPG DSC04446.JPG
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
I enjoy cities and the built environment as a tourist, but they rarely interest me on a Camino.
Off topic but maybe worth discussing further, especially since I guess I 'started' this by saying I was too tired to enjoy Valladolid after the camino.

I've realised that I find mid-camino and post-camino different in this regard. Especially on this year's 'Nascente Triple', I managed to summon energy for sightseeing during the camino (the castle scramble at the Portas de Ródão and my 'I'm going for a walk' declaration as soon as we arrived in Évora after a 36km stage being good examples). But as soon as a camino ends, I feel deflated.

In this way it's rather similar to the work I do at the Olympics and other major events. Long and stressful work days and lack of sleep don't seem to be a problem during the event as the adrenaline takes me through to the end. It's only the day after it finishes that I realise how tired I am!
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Off topic but maybe worth discussing further, especially since I guess I 'started' this by saying I was too tired to enjoy Valladolid after the camino.

I've realised that I find mid-camino and post-camino different in this regard. Especially on this year's 'Nascente Triple', I managed to summon energy for sightseeing during the camino (the castle scramble at the Portas de Ródão and my 'I'm going for a walk' declaration as soon as we arrived in Évora after a 36km stage being good examples). But as soon as a camino ends, I feel deflated.

In this way it's rather similar to the work I do at the Olympics and other major events. Long and stressful work days and lack of sleep don't seem to be a problem during the event as the adrenaline takes me through to the end. It's only the day after it finishes that I realise how tired I am!
It's all very subjective, isn't it? I made a point of exploring Segovia and reading about its sights and history, despite being tired. However, what I really enjoyed was walking 'behind' the city the next morning as the sun was coming up, and seeing/feeling everything from a different angle. To misquote the old song, my happy-camino-vibe is perhaps as a 'a pilgrim and only passing through'.

I'd probably have a different mindset if I lived more than a 2-hour cheap flight from Spain! I'm fortunate to be able to return and spend more time in the special places.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Day 12 - Medina de Rioseco to Villalón de Campos (26 km)

Follow the canal out of town, and then there are some decisions to be made, as shown on the map. An old Camino route went through Berrueces, as shown in grey. The new official route follows a very pleasant path 12 km to Tamariz and then turns left for 4.5 km to Moral de la Reina, before heading north on the road (grey track) to Cuenca de Campos - for a total of about 25 km, including quite a bit of road walking.

If you don't mind road walking, you could go straight from Tamariz to Cuenca de Campos on highway VP-4008, saving about 4 km off the official route.

However an unoffical alternative is to follow the centre route on the map (left-hand orange track), going through private property, but more pleasant walking and scarcely any longer than the VP-4008. (My estimate of 26 km assumes taking one of the shorter routes.

There is an albergue in Tamariz and one in Cuenca de Campos.

Villalón de Campos has an albergue and several hostales.

[Edited to extend stage by walking 5 km further to Villalón de Campos]
 

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jenny@zen

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Via De la Plata
For us this was Day 11 - and we went a little further, a few more kms to Villalon de Campos. It was a day of contrasts that began with a chilly morning and two hours walking along the Canal de Castilla. Quite a change of scenery from all the days that have gone before and we enjoyed it very much. As always Pedro strode ahead and we expected to see him later in the day at the albergue in Villalón de Campos.

After about 8 kms, our walk along the canal came to an abrupt end. We walked past a large abandoned building, the canal made a sharp right and our path continued directly ahead. We were back on the meseta. It was an uneventful day – with no food or water shortages – and we arrived in Villalon in the early afternoon.

For only the second time on this Camino, there were hospitaleros resident in the albergue – this time a 70 something couple volunteering for two weeks. Judy (Scottish) and husband Florentino (Spanish) and their small dog with a big overbite – Chikita. Both Judy and Florentino were kind and deeply committed to all things Camino. It was another great albergue, large, spacious, clean as could be – with just three pilgrims. Pedro, me and The French.

We ended Day 11 with a late dinner with Pedro (we could only order after 9) at a modern hotel restaurant across the road from the albergue.

PS I don't know why the photos 'move around' after I insert them but, if they continue 'travelling' - the canal ones came first ... the albergue ones came last!
 

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jenny@zen

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Via De la Plata
@C clearly Gosh, don't shame me! you know I'm not good on detail. I don't remember a lot of road walking from this day. And my photos don't indicate long sections on the road ... Then again, if there were long sections of road walking I probably wouldn't take photos of that - but I would mention it in my blog, which I didn't. Perhaps we were on paths parallel to roads. In any event - I certainly don't recall traffic!

I just referred back to the CSJ guidebook which we used and it gives quite a few options - I'm thinking we would have taken the one described as more pleasant - but can't be sure.

@jungleboy - help! You will have a better memory of this stage?
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
We did the same stage, 28 km according to my notes, and yes, some of it (the last bit) is on roads if you can call them that: I actually counted 2 cars per km, so hardly busy. Judy and Fiorentino were there in Villalon de Campos, their knowledge of all things camino was encyclopaedic - they were filling in for someone who had dropped out at the last minute, and it really is a nice little albergue. Villalón is a town with bars restaurants and shops but the albergue is at the far end of town. We also ate over the road in the hotel. The walk out of Medina del Rioseco along the canal is lovely in the early morning, I think the water generates an atmospheric morning mist.

Cuenca de Campos is an interesting place. The local mayor has revitalised the village/town by offering free houses to any family who will stay for at least five years. The café was very friendly and we were tempted to stay in Cuenca but were going well so we pushed.

First two pictures are along the canal, third and fourth are Villalón and last is the albergue.

An unremarkable but pleasant stage and no problems with waymarks or confusion over the route.

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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
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Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 12 - Medina de Rioseco to Cuenca de Campos (25 km)
We would follow the orange track, as it looks definitely nicer. Thank you for the photos, @jenny@zen and @dick bird !

25 km is a bit much for my darling, and it looks like we slow walkers might stop in Tamariz de Campos. There is an albergue, which, according to Gronze, has 3 beds. The keys are with Iván, at the bar next to the albergue. However, a comment posted on Gronze (you may need to login to view this) on 12 July 2021 says:
Iván, la persona que lo lleva, es un buen acogedor. Ahora mismo solo tiene una cama.
"Right now it only has one bed." Which is what the photos on the Gronze site shows. It won't be the first time in our 39 years of marriage that my darling and I share a single bed ☺️

I hope our wonderful leader won't chastise me if I say that we would not stop in Cuenca de Campos, but in the next town where @dick bird and @jenny@zen stayed.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
For us this was Day 11 - and we went a little further, a few more kms to Villalon de Campos.
We did the same stage, comme d'habitude !

And what a great stage it was in the sunshine, especially the morning section. I loved walking along the canal! It was very picturesque and photogenic, and overall it’s one of my favourite stretches on this camino.

The other thing I really loved (perhaps too much!) was the ruined 16th-century tower at Tamariz with a stork nesting in it. I love most kinds of ruins anyway, but this was especially evocative and a highlight for me.

Meanwhile, the towns are getting larger and much more interesting. For a few days there, it seemed like every village we passed through was dying. But Medina and Villalón in particular, as well as a couple of others that we’ve walked through in the last two days, are much more lively and worthwhile to visit.

IMG_5570.JPG

@jungleboy - help! You will have a better memory of this stage?
Hmm, I don't seem to recall. Looking back at my photos I didn't take any between Tamariz and Villalón. I highly doubt we would have chosen to walk on a highway, and since weren't using tracks and were following arrows and the CSJ guide, I'm sure we probably took the same option as you, whatever that may have been!
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Some notes from @Wendy Werneth about this stage:

Villalón de Campos - pop 1,820. Another very pleasant town, has a very attractive Plaza Mayor with a big church. Much larger than most and has three supermarkets. We saw two - the Spar and the Proxim. Between the two of them we got soy yogurt, cans of garbanzos a la jardinera, nuts, chocolate and bread.

There are also several bars and restaurants. The bar across the street from the pharmacy on the main street has decent WiFi. People were friendly.

Also had trouble figuring out how to use the gas stove at the albergue. You have to flip the switch on the gas canister, which is underneath the sink.
 
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NualaOC

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Medina de Rioseca to Villalón de Campos for me too.
The walk along the Canal de Castilla was beautiful and peaceful, with a most unusual sight: an unknown pilgrim ahead of me on the path! A young Spanish man who'd walked from his father's home near Madrid.

Tamariz de Campos (12kms) was quite deserted, which gave the old buildings and stork nests a magical feel. As @C clearly noted, there's a choice of options after Tamariz: via Moral de la Reina (13.3kms to Cuenca de Campos), along the quiet VA905 (10kms to C de C) or a 'middle' off-road path (11kms) which is on the Buen Camino app. I followed the middle path, which had options to join the road at various points. I seem to recall that @KinkyOne went via Moral de la Reina, but I could be wrong about that.

I didn't find an open bar in Cuenca, but I probably didn't look very hard.

The albergue in Villalón is right on the Camino, at the 'far end' of the town . That makes things nice and easy the next morning. It was clean and well-equipped, and the volunteer hospitalero was very helpful. There were 8 of us in one dorm (I see from Gronze that it has a capacity of 28 in 2 dorms). It was funny seeing two Spanish pilgrims I'd met a few days before in Santa María la Real de Nieva. They were clearly surprised to see me - I guess they didn't expect me to catch up.

Villalón is a pleasant town with all the usual services. We had lunch in a bar close to the town square, and dinner in the hotel near the albergue. Dinner was quite late, but they allowed us to sit in the terrace for drinks and snacks before they officially opened.

I have a weird fascination with Renault 4s, and Villalón had the first one I saw on that Camino 😄

All in all, an easy/flat walk and a very pleasant destination.

For those planning to walk this route please don't be put off by my frequent 'nowhere was open' comments. I'm an early-riser, so I probably see more 'cerrado' signs than those who start later. That said, it's a good idea to carry snacks on this Camino. This thread has some helpful information about that.

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tempImagegIWP2a.jpg
 
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Past OR future Camino
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On my rest day in Medina I walked along the canal for a while and thought how lovely it looked. However
I'm ashamed to say I took a taxi next morning to Villalon. Had breakfast in a friendly cafe near the plaza and just missed my amigos by 30 minutes. I've written in my journal that my feet felt better and the paths were stoney and dry over flat acres. I walked on to Santervas and stayed in the Albergue there. will talk about that in the next episode.
 

C clearly

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That sounds like a pleasant day - and not too much traffic even on the road route.

Since several of you have already commented on Villalón de Campos, I will rewrite history and change this stage to walk another 5 km to get there. It looks like a better place to stop, and if we take the road shortcut, it will be about 26 km.
 
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dick bird

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That sounds like a pleasant day - and not too much traffic even on the road route.

Since several of you have already commented on Villalón de Campos, I will rewrite history and change this stage to walk another 5 km to get there. It looks like a better place to stop, and if we take the road shortcut, it will be about 26 km.
I think that is a good idea. Our next stop was Grajal de Campos, 29 km after Villalón and I don't recall anywhere to stay in between.
 

C clearly

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Day 13 - Villalón de Campos to Grajal de Campos (29.5 km)

This stage may be a bit long for some of us, but at 16 km, in Santervas de Campos, there is an albergue and a casa. You might want to confirm what there is for food, depending on which day you are there.

Walking on another 13.5 km you reach Grajal de Campos, which has a couple of palaces, bars and restaurants. Somewhere I made notes that it is an amazing albergue. In fact, that is the main reason I changed my planned stages. Can anyone here tell us about it?
 
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dick bird

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The Grajal de Campos albergue is a new albergue in a very old building. It has been nicely done with bunks, kitchenette etc, but the building is the main attraction. The albergue is in what used to be the stables of the palace of the aristocratic something or others (marquises? dukes?) of Grajal and above is their large, empty, renaissance palace. While we were there, we and the other two pilgrims (Ruth and Felicity, that Jennyzen never quite met) explored and discovered a door at the end of the albergue, which was unlocked and gave us free, after hours access. In the photo of the town square, the small windows at the bottom of the building on the right are the albergue. Out of frame, further right is the ayuntamiento, where you collect the keys. The palace had a private window down into the church. The other photos are of the courtyard. Sneaking around the deserted palace was a bit like being in a scooby-doo cartoon, we expected to see sheeted spooks come shooting out of every door. but we still felt privileged to have the place to ourselves. Normally you have to pay a whole euro to go in through the front door. There was a bar-restaurant that did meals nearby, so a good end to a longish day.
 

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NualaOC

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Day 13 - Villalón de Campos to Grajal de Campos (29.5 km)

This stage may be a bit long for some of us, but at 16 km, in Santervas de Campos, there is an albergue and a casa. You might want to confirm what there is for food, depending on which day you are there.

Walking on another 13.5 km you reach Grajal de Campos, which has a couple of palaces, bars and restaurants. Somewhere I made notes that it is an amazing albergue. In fact, that is the main reason I changed my planned stages. Can anyone here tell us about it?

I'm sure many people continue to Sahagún (from either Villalón or Santervas), but it would be a shame to miss Grajal de Campos. As @dick bird commented, the albergue is very comfortable and well-equipped, but its building is the main attraction.
Sneaking around the deserted palace was a bit like being in a scooby-doo cartoon, we expected to see sheeted spooks come shooting out of every door. but we still felt privileged to have the place to ourselves.
This made me smile - it's how I remember it too!

I recall feeling a little sad on the walk to Grajal, as it was the last day of quiet Meseta walking, with vast open spaces. It was a flat and uncomplicated stage and the perfect landscape for a some contemplation.

When I arrived in Santaveras, my Swiss friends were chatting to a Bulgarian gentleman who lived in the area. He very kindly arranged for us to use the toilets in the social centre as nowhere was open before 1pm. We spend a while talking with him and sharing snacks. It was interesting to hear about his life.

Stopping in Grajal felt like a nice (almost) end to the Camino. It seemed that everyone we'd met so far plus two English pilgrims we hadn't, arrived at the albergue that afternoon. My husband Damian also joined us from the Camino Francés. There was more than enough room and very impressive bathroom facilities.

We spent a very lazy afternoon that began with a long menu del dia and a lot of sitting around in the town square. A plan began to emerge (helped by vino tinto) for what Damian and I would do after Sahagún. Instead of continuing on the CF, it became increasingly likely that we'd join our Swiss buddies on the San Salvador. Damian still maintains that we told him the Salvador was an easy walk - we had a good laugh about that when we met one of those buddies in Santiago last month.



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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
We walked on to Sahagun on our 12th and final day on thé Madrid Way, so I’ll chime in a little later when we get there! 😎
After walking together this whole time, now you leave us alone in Grajal? 😭

Reflections on this stage:

Our last full day on this camino was also the warmest, and I walked in a t-shirt for the first time. There was nothing particularly special about the trail today, but the long day offered an opportunity to reflect on the camino, which is always nice.

Note that with the current closure (April 2019) of the albergue in Santervás, there is no accommodation on the camino between Villalón and Grajal, so you are forced into doing this section in one day unless you want to try to arrange transport for part of it. Villalón would be the best place to do this because all the other villages are tiny.

The highlight of the day was Grajal. The albergue-palace is a great experience and there’s also a pretty impressive castle in town. At the bar, we sat in the sun and shared a bottle of wine with Jeff, the pilgrim we’ve been on the same stages with for the past week. We also had cider that came with a terrific wooden contraption for pouring that was a kind of mechanical version of what you see in the cider bars in Oviedo, so we had a lot of fun with that.
 
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This stage may be a bit long for some of us, but at 16 km, in Santervas de Campos, there is an albergue and a casa. You might want to confirm what there is for food, depending on which day you are there.
There is also an albergue in Melgar de Arriba.
On my map, it's 6.2km from Santervas.
Screenshot_20211119-161239_OsmAnd.jpg

Farther afield, in Galleguillos de Campos, there's a CR:
El Jardín de la Huerta
It gets mixed reviews, and is a bit of a detour. But it might be good to know about.

Thinking ouside the box:
Between Villalón and Villada, there is an Antigua Via del Tren Burra. In Villada, there's an albergue and two hotels. From there there is an alternative CF route that ends up in Granjal. 12km to Boadilla de Rioseco and 20.7 to Villada.
20211119_163029.jpg
 
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AJGuillaume

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I hope our wonderful leader won't chastise me if I say that we would not stop in Cuenca de Campos, but in the next town where @dick bird and @jenny@zen stayed.
And I won't be chastised ;)
After staying in Tamariz de Campos, we have a 17.5 km day to Villalón de Campos. Appreciated by slow walkers.

Day 13 - Villalón de Campos to Grajal de Campos (29.5 km)

This stage may be a bit long for some of us, but at 16 km, in Santervas de Campos, there is an albergue and a casa. You might want to confirm what there is for food, depending on which day you are there.
Thank you for suggesting Santervas de Campos, @C clearly , that's where we slow walkers will stop to break this stage in two days.

The Grajal de Campos albergue is a new albergue in a very old building. It has been nicely done with bunks, kitchenette etc, but the building is the main attraction. The albergue is in what used to be the stables of the palace of the aristocratic something or others (marquises? dukes?) of Grajal and above is their large, empty, renaissance palace.
I'm sure many people continue to Sahagún (from either Villalón or Santervas), but it would be a shame to miss Grajal de Campos.
The highlight of the day was Grajal. The albergue-palace is a great experience and there’s also a pretty impressive castle in town.
There is no way we're missing Grajal de Campos after these recommendations. In addition, slow walkers will appreciate a nice 13.6 km day.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Wendy's notes from this stage:

Santervás de Campos - pop 134. Another dying town that obviously used to be much bigger. Has an impressive church up on a hill in the middle of town, with some benches in front. We had our lunch there (garbanzos a la jardinera with bread, plus nuts), with a view out over the old roof tiles of the houses.

Junta booklet said there was an area de descanso on the other side of town, but there wasn’t, so good thing we had lunch at the church.

Grajal albergue - Basic kitchen with a microwave but no stove. And there’s a small tienda somewhere in town where Nick bought chocolate (85%) and bread (very good).

Nearby is a surprisingly lively bar called Mesón Las Cepas. It has WiFi and cheap food and drinks (patatas bravas were 3.50 and very good, bottle of house wine was 4 euros). Also had cider served in the traditional way, with a contraption you use to pump it into your glass. We had fun with that, celebrating with Jeff, as it felt like the end of our Camino already.

After two raciones of patatas bravas we went back to the albergue and ate the pisto that we had bought in Medina el Ríoseco with the bread.
 
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peregrina2000

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Note that with the current closure (April 2019) of the albergue in Santervás,
More current information — Álvaro Lazaga’s videos of the Madrid a few months ago, showed it open. He stayed there and says it’s very nice. (Post #183 in this thread lists the albergues he encountered open along the way).

Santervás is also the birthplace of Ponce de Léon.
 

C clearly

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There is also an albergue in Melgar de Arriba.
Gronze says specifically that the albergue will be open "En 2022: del 1 de abril al 31 de octubre." The CSJ guide refers to reports from 2017 that it was closed, but that is rather outdated!

It is hard to assess openings/closings now, because of the combination of Covid and winter. If/when I walk in 2022, I'll be checking against this list from the Amigos, combined with Gronze. With the horde of pilgrims we are rounding up on the forum, I hope most places will be open!
 
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9th October...I walked from Villalon and it was really hot so decided to stay in Santervas. Next door to the albergue was a cool, inviting bar run by a young couple who spoke English, the wife was from Manchester. Hospitalera arrived and showed me around the albergue. big, traditional building. I took a corner bunk in the dorm room which was clean and wondered if I would be alone. After the usual jobs and a rest I went out in the heat and had a look at the interesting church and statue. I saw that other Forum members had stayed the previous night.
I could choose my dinnertime so after a nice G and T, they made me an omelette and chips and pork which was delicious. As it happened a young man arrived so I wasn't alone. Poor guy was a vegetarian and there was no salad or vegetables for dinner so he had to have fried eggs and chips.
Tomorrow will be my last day on the Camino Madrid.
 

dick bird

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I am feeling a bit conflicted about this. On the one hand I like to walk the unbeaten path and feel like a pioneer (and don't talk to me about hordes and turigrinos, - we worked as hospis on the Norte just outside Bilbao in August), but on the other hand a camino that isn't walked becomes forgotten - like the Olvidado. We talked to local volunteers and association members on the Olvidado and it is so hard for them to try and keep that camino alive without pilgrims. Not to mention the economic benefits: Nancy Frey in 'Pilgrim Stories' describes Foncebadón as an abandoned village' in the 1990's, it is now a flourishing community. On balance, I would prefer the Madrid to become more popular even it does mean that sometimes an albergue is full. I can say that, of course; having already walked it I don't have to worry about finding a place to stay at night, but between neglect and popularity, I think the latter is preferable. And there are so many more caminos to discover.
 

peregrina2000

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On balance, I would prefer the Madrid to become more popular even it does mean that sometimes an albergue is full.
And if you look at the full list of Albergues, if they ever all open up again, there are frequently alternatives for those who may get squeezed out of an Albergue by a horde. Either another Albergue a few kms on or some private options.
 

jenny@zen

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I am feeling a bit conflicted about this. ... it is so hard for them to try and keep that camino alive without pilgrims. Not to mention the economic benefits: On balance, I would prefer the Madrid to become more popular even it does mean that sometimes an albergue is full. I can say that, of course; having already walked it I don't have to worry about finding a place to stay at night, but between neglect and popularity, I think the latter is preferable. And there are so many more caminos to discover.
I agree. I guess our two 'remote' caminos have been the Mozarabe and the Madrid. In both cases, the local people and associations have invested time and money - as well as care and attention - into albergues, waymarking and information. Particularly on the Mozarabe, those we spoke to (in our limited Spanglish) were welcoming and keen for more pilgrims. I imagine even a quadrupling of pilgrims on these paths would not overwhelm. And, if needed, enterprising local people might be happy to meet the demand.
 

AJGuillaume

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dick bird

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The Madrid, like many other caminos, joins the Francés and we know the shock of suddenly encountering all those people. I have always been scared I might turn into a camino snob: disparaging the 'popular' caminos and those who walk them. I think what effected the beginnings of a cure was working as a hospi on the Francés. Night after night, we'd hear stories from pilgrims walking for the first time and what it meant to them. For many it is a hugely significant experience: for some cathartic, for others confronting and some comforting and often a deeply spiritual experience, which is something I don't relate to well myself but I couldn't help recognise what it was for others. When all is said and done, the Francés has something that maybe other caminos don't. We've walked bits, maybe one day we'll walk it all, probably in winter. And I think you will discover something on the Francés too.
 
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A delightful part of these virtual caminos is just this kind of sharing. It is not merely the planning that I find important but also the feeling into a camino, which are are doing as we reflect about the coming merger with the Frances. :eek:

Dick, I really appreciate what you just shared - it really resonates. 100 km may not seem like much to some of us, but those 100 km can be life changing.
 
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Levi

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I'm a bit late catching up with this thread. But just wanted to say thanks, guys, for bringing back some precious memories of the Madrid. I'm the 'Ruth' that @dick bird mentions a few posts above. So, hello! And Buen Camino to all wherever our paths may lead...
 

C clearly

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Day 14 - Grajal de Campos to Sahagún (6 km)

This is a stage to thrill the short-stage walkers!

@VNwalking has already left us a note to say that she has headed off to join the Camino Frances further back at Moratinos.
I'd be considering heading not to Sahagun but over to Peaceable Kingdom to bother @Rebekah Scott . So being the off piste queen, I'm adding a way to do that, @11.5kms:
View attachment 113668

Another option would be to take a side trip from Grajal de Campos to the Romanesque Monesterio de San Pedro de las Dueñas. Brierley says it is a "gem of a national monument." Here is a screenshot of the possible route. That red line might have more road walking, but you could walk to the Monesterio (2 km) and back again to the regular (orange) route. Does anyone have experience with this?

Picture1.png

Sahagun has several hostales, a Municipal Albergue, and the Albergue de las Madres Benedictinas. I have been in Sahagun twice - once I just stopped for a snack and walked on, and the other time I went straight to the train station as I had to end my Camino unexpectedly due to a family situation.

What are the sightseeing highlights in and around Sahagun?
 
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jungleboy

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This morning’s walk was just a little victory lap to finish off the Madrid, a great little camino that I really enjoyed and one that I thought had a lot of variety for a short camino (in all aspects: the landscape, the trail, the historic sites and the towns).

Way marking out of Grajal can be a bit confusing - you’re not supposed to follow either of the trails that run alongside the river, because they lead to the highway. Instead, continue past the river (away from Grajal) and take the next right (arrows on the ground).

Coming into Sahagún, the Iglesia da la Peregrina, where you can get a certificate, is literally the first building you come to, on the left before the final descent into town. It’s €3 for the certificate and entrance to the church, which is now an interpretation centre of sorts. There is some wonderful Mudéjar decoration in the chapel to the right of the apse, but in my view it has been completely over restored to the point of ruining it. There’s a ‘before’ photo on display and it looks so much more authentic and atmospheric; the restoration has removed/covered all the historic brickwork and replaced it with squeaky clean whitewashed walls.
 

jungleboy

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A few in the past; more in the future!
What are the sightseeing highlights in and around Sahagun?
As we've been approaching Sahagún on the Meseta at the end of this camino, we've started to see examples of Romanesque-Mudéjar hybrid architecture (remembering that Mudéjar is Muslim-influenced architecture in Christian lands). The church of Santervás de Campos is a good example of this.

This fusion continues in Sahagún. The San Tirso church is, I think, the most famous example. This 12th-century church shows multiple medieval Spanish architectural styles and materials, starting with Romanesque, represented by the stone at its base, and finishing in Mudéjar form with its brickwork and Moorish influence. Here it is in the early morning light upon departure from Sahagún.

35798433435_3e22818ea5_c.jpg
 

jenny@zen

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I'm a bit late catching up with this thread. But just wanted to say thanks, guys, for bringing back some precious memories of the Madrid. I'm the 'Ruth' that @dick bird mentions a few posts above. So, hello! And Buen Camino to all wherever our paths may lead...
Good to ‘meet you’ Ruth, having seen your name in the albergue registers a day ahead along The Way. 😎
 

Levi

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Also I meant to say (on foot of your discussion about the busyness of the Frances) that in October just past I walked from Astorga to Santiago. There were a lot of pilgrims. But it was five years since I had walked this route and I was totally beguiled by the beauty - so much gorgeousness that I had forgotten. And there is just something special about the Frances.
 
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dick bird

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Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Way marking out of Grajal can be a bit confusing - you’re not supposed to follow either of the trails that run alongside the river, because they lead to the highway.
I have empirical evidence of this. 'Look at all those funny arrows' one of us said. 'They can't be the right ones'. So off we trudged in the semi-darkness, turning right after the bridge and following the river, firmly believing that the absence of further arrows was because it was dark and we couldn't see them. But there comes a point where even the King Canutes among us have to admit that something has gone horribly wrong. Luckily, we didn't lose more than an hour of futile wandering. The walk into Sahagún was otherwise uneventful and I can't remember anything much about it apart from the fenced-off monastery under very slow restoration as you come in. We didn't stay. After a mundane breakfast, we joined the flood and after the initial shock found the sight of all those pilgrims strangely funny even though were part of it all. Here is a thread in the making 'How do you feel when you join the Francés from another route?' We turned off onto the variant to Calzadilla de las Hermanillas, which is a nice little village, and so continued our walk towards Ponferrada for the Invierno turn-off. Would I do it again? Well, there are a lot of camino we haven't walked yet, but we have very fond memories of this one, so probably, definitely, 'yes'.

We have our fingers crossed for the Lana next year. I suspect we might even see some of you there, but wherever you are and whatever you do, buen camino!
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 14 - Grajal de Campos to Sahagún (6 km)

This is a stage to thrill the short-stage walkers!
We are thrilled 😄
Thank you for leading us on this Camino, @C clearly !

We have added this Camino to our list. As for the Ruta de la Lana, which we walked virtually a while back, at the completion of this Camino, we might walk towards the coast and back towards the French border, on our way back home to Switzerland, taking the Olvidado back to Bilbao and the Norte, or the Salvador to Oviedo.

¡Buen Camino!
 

jenny@zen

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Via De la Plata
This is what I wrote about our last day.

Our last day on the Madrid way was also our longest - 36 kms to Sahagun. There was plenty of time today to reflect on our 12 days on the Camino de Madrid. The French and I enjoyed our time on this quiet path – for many reasons. Mostly, I think for its stark beauty and its simplicity. There are not many bells and whistles on this Camino ...

You don’t meet many people on this path – more locals than other walkers – but I’m sure most if not all who choose the Madrid Way are prepared for that. The people we did meet were friendly and welcoming and we won’t forget them – especially Ray and Rosa, Charo, Rosana, the bar owner senor in Coca, the bar owner senora in Alcazaren, our festiva friends in Penaflora, the French hospitaleros Pepita and Pepito, and our fellow pilgrims, Pedro and Anthony. Muchas gracias, amigos.

This Camino is not for everyone, that’s for sure. It’s not a long walk (most people do it in between 11-14 days). It’s not difficult – other than perhaps the heat of the afternoon. But it’s quiet – you could go many days without seeing another walker – and there are some long stages with nothing very much in between.

After 36 kms we arrived happily in Sahagún, where the unassuming Camino de Madrid joins the iconic Camino Frances. As expected, within five minutes of entering the centre of town, we saw many more pilgrims than we had seen in the past twelve days. In many respects, the experience of walking these two paths could not be more different. But, like all Caminos, both offer an opportunity to walk, whether alone or with others, with an open heart and an open mind – one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, one step at a time. Perfecto.
 

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jenny@zen

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Via De la Plata
I'd be considering heading not to Sahagun but over to Peaceable Kingdom to bother @Rebekah Scott .
Epilogue: Well, it's funny you should say that @VNwalking.

When we arrived in Sahagun - rather than walk on to Leon (from where we would walk the Salvador to Oviedo) - we walked backwards on the Frances to Moritanos, and Peacable Kingdom, to stay in the home of Rebekah and Paddy, whom we didn't know. The back story of how that came to be is yet another long tale which I won't tell here. Rebekah was away at the time but Paddy and their good friend James welcomed us warmly.

It would take too long to retell all that we discussed during that afternoon, over dinner that evening and on our walk the next morning back to San Nicolas with Paddy, James and ‘the girls’ Ruby and Judy. And it’s not important. Enough to say that I don’t recall a more interesting and enjoyable time spent with two people I’d never met before – and I think The French would say the same.

After breakfast at San Nicolas, we said our goodbyes – Paddy and James wished us Buen Camino. The French and I walked the 7 and something kms back to Sahagun – this time ‘with the tide’ of pilgrims – and caught the 2pm train to Leon.

It was an unexpected and perfect end to our Camino de Madrid.
 

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Pilgrim9

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
Hello, everyone.

I am receptive to readers' opinions about starting the Camino de Madrid (CdM) - commencing in Madrid - in mid-March, with respect to weather*, seasonal availability of lodgings**, cafés, etc.

* I do not mind cool or even cold weather but dislike rain and snow.

** I prefer economical hotels, hostals, residencials, etc. Albergues are my choice of last resort.

Starting the CdM at the end of March would probably provide better weather but would cut my walking time down to two weeks before I must return home. That would be too short to make my trip worthwhile.

I appreciate all your help.

Pilgrim 9
 

jenny@zen

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Via De la Plata
Hello, everyone.

I am receptive to readers' opinions about starting the Camino de Madrid (CdM) - commencing in Madrid - in mid-March, with respect to weather*, seasonal availability of lodgings**, cafés, etc.

* I do not mind cool or even cold weather but dislike rain and snow.

** I prefer economical hotels, hostals, residencials, etc. Albergues are my choice of last resort.

Starting the CdM at the end of March would probably provide better weather but would cut my walking time down to two weeks before I must return home. That would be too short to make my trip worthwhile.

I appreciate all your help.

Pilgrim 9
hi there - just regarding albergues vs private rooms. These days we also usually opt for private rooms where possible - mainly because a good night's sleep is important for me. But on the Madrid Way - other than in Madrid, Tres Cantos, Cercedilla and Segovia - we stayed in albergue dorm rooms. They were of a good standard and often we were the only pilgrims there - or with one or two others. In some of the stops, you may have difficulty finding an alternative, whatever the season. And there can be long stretches with a few towns, but not necessarily an open cafe.

That said, it was in September 2018 and pre-Covid. Others will have greater knowledge / more informed opinions about the mid March start in other respects.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
Here I am at the Coo's tail. My last day walking from Santervas to Sahagun. Started early with the young perigrino ,Fernando. walked alongside a small river and were bitten by mozzies but the trees and bushes made the path attractive. Soon let him walk on as he was doing my head in with his Eco food talk. Saw Grajal over to the right but decided not to detour as I really wanted to get to Sahagun. I also got confused coming under the bridge after Grajal so remember to go straight ahead until you see the arrow on the ground on your right. So happy to come over the hill and see Sahagun and the church. Went straight the station and caught the 2pm train to Astorga and continued on the Frances to Santiago. I for one was glad to have some others to talk to.
This was my 15th Camino and if, I say IF, I ever walk the Madrid again it would be in the spring when the flowers and poppies are out. Thank you all.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Also I meant to say (on foot of your discussion about the busyness of the Frances) that in October just past I walked from Astorga to Santiago. There were a lot of pilgrims. But it was five years since I had walked this route and I was totally beguiled by the beauty - so much gorgeousness that I had forgotten. And there is just something special about the Frances.
I agree, Ruth, I walked from Burgos to Santiago last month and had exactly the same feeling. It's a beautiful walk (especially from Astorga) and as @dick bird mentioned above, it's a privilege to spend time with so many people experiencing their first Camino.

Thanks @C clearly for starting and managing this thread. It was my first time to participate in a virtual walk and it was an enjoyable little escape, with great company. @jungleboy and @Wendy Werneth, special thanks for all the food notes. I'll definitely make better decisions in the little tiendas next time.

I haven't much to say about the walk from Grajal to Sahagún, other than that it was a very nice entry to the town, close to the good coffee shop with the fancy pastries 😋
 

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Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Just joining you for a pastry now I made it to Sahagun - to offer a heartfelt thanks to you, @Cclearly, for your skillful guidance, and to everyone here for your active input and participation. The latter is what makes these special, and it's a real bummer when you're going along writing posts and they go into a silent void - not at all the case for this camino. It's been a wonderful journey!

Special thanks to Nick and Wendy for the food info. If I do this in the flesh, that will be really important information to have.
 
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laineylainey

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
I normally give myself a "tourist" day or two, so this time I was thinking of Segovia as a place to spend a little time. Instead of taking an extra day there I think I might, as has been suggested, stop at La Granja the day before then only have 12k? to walk to Segovia. The next day, I was thinking of more time in Segovia setting off late afternoon to stroll the 3k down the road to Zamarramala where there is a highly recommended Albergue but then that leaves me with 30k the next day to Santa Maria Real. Any thoughts or suggestions? Is Zamarramala worth stopping in?
Thanks to all.
 

jenny@zen

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Via De la Plata
Hi there. We didn’t stop in Zamarramala - we went from Segovia to Santa Maria - and I don’t really remember the town But if it’s just a place for dinner and bed, after a day enjoying Segovia, that sounds like a fine idea. And, as you say, cuts a few kms off the walk to Santa Maria which, although long, we didn’t find to be a tough day.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I had hoped to participate more on this great thread, but life got in the way. And now it’s done!

The next day, I was thinking of more time in Segovia setting off late afternoon to stroll the 3k down the road to Zamarramala where there is a highly recommended Albergue but then that leaves me with 30k the next day to Santa Maria Real.
Lainey, I think your idea about how to get to Segovia is a good one. The La Granja palace is called a “mini-Versailles” — in fact I believe that the Bourbon king who built it actually was born in Versailles and wanted a replica. The gardens are really pretty, and would be a great place to enjoy some down time.

I love Segovia, but for me the main attraction is the aqueduct lit up at night. The Disney-like castle is fun to see from afar, and I know lots of people enjoy going through. Walking around the old town you will come across a number of Romanesque churches, the old Jewish quarter, little plazas — it’s very nice.

If the 30 to Santa María seems too much, you could (assuming these places open up again in the near future)) push on a few more from Zamarramala to Valseca or even more to Los Huertos or Añe. (See gronze). I think @jenny@zen is right that there is not really much of anything to see or do in this little village. The same is true for all of those little towns between Segovia and Santa María, IMO!
 

Ian L

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Camino Frances summer 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
Thank you everyone for all of this great information and @C clearly for all of your hard work and time on this.

Also, there is a train station in Sahagun so it is very easy to get back to Madrid to catch a flight home or possibly to the starting point of another Camino.
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Yes, that is my main memory of Sahagun!

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread! I am hoping to walk this route in the spring of 2022, so it has been very helpful for me.
Hope you will have time to post your own actual experience of walking the Madrid? It would be wonderful to hear how and what has changed if anything?
thank you in advance
 
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