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A fine walk

Discussion in 'Camino de Madrid' started by Atlantic, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Atlantic

    Atlantic New Member

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    I did this Camino in springtime. It is a very fine walk, tho' I suggest it is better suited to those who are already experienced in other caminos. It is solitary, mostly. It lends itself to contemplation and introspection, which I value. There are only 300 a year who do this way, against 250,000 on the Frances. Which is a lovely way, but I did it when only 5000 walked that way, and now I won't go back.

    If you want to walk here, the CSJ do a simple guide, which I think is the better for being simple - I dont like guidebooks which tell me each step to take. There are little guides fromCastilla and Leon also but I believe you can only get them in Spain, which I did.

    The CM is one of my favourite ways. But only do it in spring or autumn, when you will not be roasted.
    I have about 20 words of Spanish, but I can tell you I make those words work hard. You will want at least phrasebook Spanish here. I found the people generous and welcoming.
     
  2. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    I was thinking of walking the Camino from Madrid next year but will have to change my normal July to September start time.

    I started the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon this year on the 3rd September and found walking 30+km days in constant 30c heat to be very tiresome, but I suspect it would be much nicer in Spring.

    I was thinking of a May start next year, and that way I don't have to wait too long to pull on my boots again!!
     
  3. Atlantic

    Atlantic New Member

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    Hi Covey, Yes, please don't do this way in summer. It can be brutally hot, and one risks failure, or at least not enjoying the camino. However, if you like high quality caminos (my definition!) then do plan on doing this walk. May would be perfect - lots of wild flowers then.

    In Tres Cantos, the albergue is in the basement of the ayuntamiento, but they don't let you in till midnight. Out at 7.00 am. Thats not a complaint, but I didnt know that or I would have planned differently. I started outside of Madrid, as the first kilometres didnt appeal. I wont walk through industrial zones just to stick to a route.

    The mountain stretch between Cercedilla and Segovia is very beautiful, a treasure, but I found the stage too long. I had to spend another day in Segovia because I was so tired. There is no albergue in Segovia ( but there are two youth hostels) so I went 3 ks to Zamarramalla, where there is a refuge in the ermita there - no electricity or water. Corrie th hospitalera is lovely ; she speaks good English too, if you need that. I liked it there.

     
  4. Atlantic

    Atlantic New Member

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    Hi from Alcazaren, on this cold Camino de Madrid. The temps are fine for walking tho´the refugios are a bit cold. I have only met one walker so far, a Spanish man. In Villeguillo albergue, I counted an average of 50 a year in that pueblo, if everyone signed the pilg book.

    This way is as beautiful as ever, tho´the sky is often overcast. I´ve had no rain except at night, which is fine!

    No, this route is not for everyone, and only you can decide that.

    There is a new alb being built at Zamaramalla,to replace the old hermita, with no light, water or toilets. But I like it, and will regret its passing. Zamaramalla means "looking on the fields of God", dating from the time of the Moors, a time of great tolerance and learning, which ended when the Spanish monarchs expelled the Moors and the Jews and started the Inquisition.

    Tonight I stay in the new alb here.This way is well served with albs. I hope it never gets popular.
     
  5. Lee Cat

    Lee Cat New Member

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    I hope you still read this forum. I plan on walking the Camino de Madrid next year, starting the end of April. I have not found much information, aside from your few posts. Do you have any updated info? I've written to Covey since he did the pilgrimage this year, but I haven't heard back. Can you help?
     
  6. geraldkelly

    geraldkelly Member

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    I'm arriving into Madrid on 18 September to start this walk.

    I've just been looking around for info and I found that the CSJ in the UK have just published a new version of their guide. I tried to buy it from their website but I kept getting error messages. However, I found a place where you can download it donative http://www.caminodesantiago.me/cami...pdf-guide-camino-de-madrid-madrid-to-sahagun/

    It looks good but unfortunately the pages are out of order in the pdf.

    Everybody says this Camino is a really nice walk. I can't wait!

    Gerald
     
  7. caper

    caper New Member

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    Good Luck Gerald! My wife & I plan to walk the Camino next Sept/Oct 2014. We are 71 yrs young & in great health. Hoping to get lots of information from walkers this fall via this forum, especially the seniors. Doing a lot of research so we will be well prepared. Take care & will follow your posts. Caper from New Hampshire USA
     
  8. Lee Cat

    Lee Cat New Member

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    I am planning my route for Spring 2014. I'd like to walk from Segovia to Ane and stay there for the night. The 2011 guide states that the albergues is unsuitable. Does anyone have further information on accommodations in Ane?
     
  9. sean

    sean Active Member

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    I was in this part of Spain last week and it is fantastic. There are many Camino routes through the various cities but I only saw one refugio which was in Avila. The mountains around Segovia and Toledo are fantastic but were snow covered and cold at -7C. I plan to try a section of the Madrid route next year as it does not appear to be as busy as some of the other routes. I got a book from the tourist office in Segovia but it is limited in information on the trail itself and places to stay. They seem to concentrate their information on churches. Fine if that is what you want to do after walking 30 Km but I would rather have info on best place to stay and eat. Anyone got any practical info on this route please? Is it best to start outside of Madrid, if so, from where?
    Regards,
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  10. geraldkelly

    geraldkelly Member

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    Hi!

    I walked from Tres Cantos to Santiago in September/October of this year following the Camino de Madrid.

    Madrid to Sahagun is a beautiful walk. The infrastructure of pilgrim hostels is excellent once you get past Segovia. The first few days out of Madrid the scenery is fantastic. Crossing the mountains to Segovia is a really stunning days walking. I crossed on a warm, sunny day with beautiful views in all directions. Segovia too is a beautiful town with a huge Roman aqueduct.

    North of Segovia the terrain is a mixture of classic Meseta and, in the river valleys, pine forests with sandy ground. It was really quiet. I walked with a French guy for about ten days but otherwise I only met one other person walking, a Spanish man who was only doing two days, and a few cyclists. The local people were very friendly and welcoming. Having a couple of pilgrims in their village was a real treat for them. It was really great to experience genuine hospitality towards pilgrims. In one small village the woman in the village shop refused to accept payment for a loaf of bread just because I was a pilgrim.

    There are some lovely towns. Coca with its huge castle, Medina de Rioseco with its Easter museum, Villalon de Campos with its streets lined with arcades, and Granjal de Campos with its amazing castle and church - literally 10km south of Sahagun. And not a tourist in sight! Rural Spain has so many treasures and hardly anyone knows about them.

    I used the Confraternity of St James guide. It's excellent and very up-to-date. Besides that, the yellow arrows were freshly repainted. I was glad a few times to have GPS on my phone - although it was more as a reassurance, because I'm sure I would have been fine without it.

    So, overall a great experience. Arriving on the Camino Frances in Sahagun was a bit of a shock! But that's another story...

    Photos here: http://s833.photobucket.com/user/gerald285/library/Camino de Madrid
     
  11. Dutch

    Dutch Member

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    My name is Dutch, so...guess :)
    Hey guys,

    ive been thinking about this route. Can anybody tell me if there is alot of roadwalking or mostly nature? Is it 50/50, 70/30....
    very curious.
    Lots of towns/villages in between? Or do you have to do long stretches without any coffeestops? this goes for albergues as well? Are there many or are there days where the first and only one is 30+ Km away?

    How many walking days is this camino? From madrid to the CF? Is Sahagun the entry point? Then there still is a long way to go on the CF.

    great pics Geraldkelly!!
     
  12. geraldkelly

    geraldkelly Member

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    There is hardly any road walking on this Camino. I remember about an hour on the way up the mountains and a bit on the last day approaching Sahagun (where I think we got lost and walked the road rather than the real Camino because there were no yellow arrows). Apart from towns and villages it's almost all unpaved surfaces and often quite sandy.

    There are some long days. Over the mountains to Segovia is 32km. That's the longest. There are lots of stretches up to 20km with just open country. So you have to have lots of water and some food. The longest I walked was about 34km, but I could have stopped after 24km except it was such a beautiful day that I felt like continuing.

    Many of the albergues are in small villages but everywhere I stayed had a shop and a bar. I never failed to find something to eat and drink. You need to stock up the day before because shops and cafes don't open early.

    It's about 14 days to Sahagun. After that it's about 14 days to Santiago.
     
  13. unadara

    unadara New Member

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    Camino Madrid is a great walk. I have written a little on my blog see below. Walked last Sep/Oct 2012. Some of the Alberques in the small towns are just the best. You have to call for a key, opening hours vary, carry food and water. Enjoy the solitude. The CSJ is good. We slept in the Mayor's office (see blog) but had to share a few drinks with him before he gave us the key. We slept in the bathroom, the library and the official Mayor's office. And in another alberque we found Holy Statues and an axe in the wardrobe. Enjoy. My spanish friend only prints out a route walk from eroski.com ? and an accommodation list from same or mundicamino?.
    A small hint of what is ahead of you...
    "Segovia was great as you may have seen from the photos. Then on to Ane, stopped at a bar to have a coffee at 10am. We didn´t eat as we had 2 small pieces of pan toasted in Hostal before we left at 8am. We walked on to Ane , lovely fields and countryside. Into Ane looking for a beer. It is a very small one horse town, the guides say, a bar, an alberque, get the keys from the Mayor. Well the horse has left town. No bar except Sunday, no Tienda/shop/ aka no food..so we could not stay in the Alberque anyway. It was lucky I had cooked the night before and bought nuts and cheese and carried the left overs with me..some nibbles at least. Arrived in Santa Maria de real at 4.30. GASPING! 2 beers later we found the alberque and got last 2 beds. 7 in total. Made a nice change for me as Jose was able to speak to all others/Spanish and I was able to stop making an effort. Ha….not a joke really. Those who know me know I am inclined to be reclusive…like the quiet.
    Had a meal chips,eggs, meat, salad. All for 5 euros. Wine 7 for the bottle, there was some silly soccer match on though and the bar with filled up with men shouting at the tv..I was first to bed. Slept a little but having many problems sleeping well.
    On next day, stopped at bar for a coffee, I had some fruit bought as I didn´t want to starve again! and some chocolate and choccie biccies. Just as well, because though we stopped in Coca and ate pinchos and had a good tortilla breakfast the town we stayed in had no shop again. Good dinner again-exact same food, 11 euros with an ice cream. Breakfast was biscuits, ginger tea and bread left over from dinner. And then on 18kms to Alcazeren, no stops on the way.
    It was a very good exercise in meditative walking, the long and winding road, never going to end..maybe..where am I going. I made up a little story of a buddhist monk.. One day his master says you are going for a walk. He brings him to the edge of a forest in Spain and says, I have only one instruction. Walk. The young monk walks. He admires the trees and the sandy path and he loses himself in contemplation. Then he begins to think. Where will the Master collect me. Should I go back. If I go back and he is not there and I have to wait, he might say you were not walking. If I go forward he might not come and collect me and where will I stop, will I know when to stop and wait. The young monk is walking…
    I am in Alcazeren and going to buy some food in the supermarket so if I have to tomorrow I can stay all day in the forest walking. And enjoy..
    Even though it is a short day, it is long (Zen) haha…" from my very short blog.
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    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
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