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Walking the Camino de Madrid early October 2014 - Making plans

Discussion in 'Camino de Madrid' started by Emma, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Emma

    Emma Member

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    Hi all,

    I walked the CdeF in July-August 2011 before I embarked on a three-year doctoral training programme. This is now coming to an end (Sept '14) and I find myself once again wanting to walk a camino for a chance to pause, reflect and just simply be for a while. I have decided to walk from Madrid as I will punctuate my camino on either side with a visit to my sister and niece who live in northwest Madrid.

    It seems this is one of the lesser-ventured caminos and I have a few concerns that some of you may be able to help me with. I anticipate it taking at least 28 days to walk from Madrid to Santiago say roughly leaving Madrid 13th October, hoping to arrive in to Santiago on or around 10-12th November. Is there a pilgrims office in Madrid where I can get a passport or should I arrange it from here before I go?

    Firstly, weather-wise, is it likely to be mild, cold or very cold around that time? I imagine I will need rain gear but I wonder will I also need something like UnderArmour for warmth? Am I deluded thinking I might get a week or two walking in shorts? My pasty white legs badly need some sunshine! My boots are Goretex, I think they are 2-season boots - they certainly aren't waterproof as I discovered while walking in thigh-high snow over the Galtee mountains in Tipperary in January :( ... I think I can predict being advised to buy leather boots???? Or am I being overly cautious?

    Another concern I have is whether or not some of the hostels are likely to be closed at that time? I imagine this is less likely the closer I get to Santiago - I believe the CdM joins the CdF at Sahagun - but I can't imagine all the hostels that are open in the swells of summer remain open year round. Anyone have any info on this or be able to point me to somewhere that might?

    Lastly, (for tonight anyway), given my blisters-in-my-blisters, leg-squeeking-tendonitis and root-canal-needing-toothache I experienced along The Way in '11, I ended up having a few bus days simply because I was in a heap. Is this option also available on the CdM? I imagine there are a steady supply of buses between Santiago and Madrid daily but do they run close to the trail or through the small towns along the way? I hope not to have to bus it as much this time (having learned from my experiences - I hope!) but I don't want to be caught out without an option if I want to skip ahead a few towns/villages.

    I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has done the Camino de Madrid even if you don't have answers to my questions specifically.

    Thanks in anticipation!

    Emma
     
  2. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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    This site has good info on all the routes http://www.mundicamino.com/

    Personally I would pick up your Passport in Ireland before you go, 2 reasons 1 supporting the local confraternity and 2 it will be a talking point as it is quite different to all the other Pilgrim Passports.

    I can't help much with your other questions but hopefully this will bump the thread back up again for others to chime in.
     
  3. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi Emma,
    Leather boots for deffo. I have been out there in October rain and it can get really wet. I would think/hope that most of the hostels will be open, as I am walking slightly South of you at the same time (Toledo, Zamora, Astorga and wherever). No problem with the bus as I think all route are never far from main roadways. Plenty of warm gear and you will be fine.
    Enjoy your Camino,
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  4. Emma

    Emma Member

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    Thanks Leslie & Sean,

    I used the Irish passport on my CdF and it was definitely of interest to the other pilgrims as they mostly had the ones from SJPP. But you're right Leslie, it's good also to support the local group so I will get that one and again, get my first stamp in St James' Church in Dublin. Thanks for the link Leslie, I will check it out.

    Sean, I think you're right on the boots. Plus, if I get new leather boots I will have to a) get out before I go to break them in & b) get out over the winter to make use of them & not worry about thigh-high snow-covered mountains! I suppose that also means the trousers and tops will also need to be updated. Will have to consider all this cost. Might take a trip to Decathalon when next in Madrid as it's generally cheaper than here.

    Cheers guys!


     
  5. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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    I love Decathalon, Anna really has to keep me out of stores like that - and I hate shopping, strange. I still have some technical T shirts I bought there in France from a few years ago, must say I am surprised how well they have lasted given the price.

    I started using 53 Degrees North in Ireland during the last couple of years, but yes in Ireland the outdoor gear is expensive.
     
  6. geraldkelly

    geraldkelly Member

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    Hi Emma

    I walked the Camino de Madrid last year. I started in Tres Cantos to avoid walking out of Madrid, it's on the suburban train network. I started about the middle of September.

    This Camino is beautiful and I highly recommend it. There weren't many people, until Sahagun I met two other walkers, a French man who I walked together with most of the way and a Spanish man who was just out for the weekend. We did encounter a few cyclists,some of whom stopped to talk.

    I stayed in pilgrim hostels most nights, except Sagovia and the first town after Tres Cantos (can't remember what it's called). The pilgrim hostels are mostly basic. We never had a problem with anything, although speaking a bit of Spanish will help. We always found food and water, although some mornings we didn't get breakfast. Everybody we met was very friendly and helpful.

    The Confraternity of St James have an excellent guide book, you can download from here https://www.caminodesantiago.me/wp-content/uploads/Booklet-Madrid-Sahagun-v2.pdf although their website may have a more up-to-date version.

    You can see my photos here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151729801336441.1073741830.649376440&type=1&l=d724834166

    Arriving on the Camino Frances was a bit of a shock and both of us struggled to adapt to the crowds in the albergues at night and the general commercialism, although the chocolate croissants for breakfast were appreciated!

    You can get a credencial from the Amigos in Madrid. Their address is here http://www.demadridalcamino.org/ They're not open every day.

    If you have specific questions just ask and I'll try to answer.

    Ger
     
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  7. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi Ger,
    I am tempted by this one and may try it instead of starting in Toledo. I have 3 weeks, so should get a bit of company on the French Route in the latter stages. Decisions, decisions.
    Regards,
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  8. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi Ger,
    Decided on the Madrid route. Arrive 30th September and start walking next day from wherever in Madrid. Thanks for your info on the route.
    Emma,
    If you are on the route at the same time, who knows, we may meet? I will be walking the first few days with a friend from Alaska and after this, he returns to Madrid to study. We plan to do a few hefty days walking, so if you are up for it, let me know.
    Regards,
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  9. geraldkelly

    geraldkelly Member

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    Hi Sean

    I was just checking the weather in Madrid. Low 20s. Just perfect.

    I'd love to go too - a year ago at this time I was there - but unfortunately I have to work!

    The stage which ends in Segovia is the hardest. 32km over a range of mountains, no towns, no villages. But it's also beautiful (you can see my photos on FB). Once you're past that it's plain sailing.

    I hope you meet some other pilgrims because it'll be lonely in the evenings if you don't.

    What are your plans when you arrive in Sahagun? Continue to Santiago?

    Ger
     
  10. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi Ger,
    5 Days to go and I have also been looking at the weather forecast. Perfect temperatures but a bit of rain thrown in for good measure. Looks like there are a few long stages in the mix, but such is life. I do not mind long walks and a bit of peace and quiet every now and then. I will have company up to Segovia and after that, I am alone. I would think that the milder weather will bring one, or two out for a stroll. I drove through the area last December and it is fantastic country for hiking.
    When I get to Sahagun, I will head West with the flow. I love company of others and the bit of craic in the Refugios. Having only 3 weeks, I will not get to Santiago but not to worry, there will be other trips.
    I will post an update on the Madrid route up on return.
    Many thanks for you help on this and other routes.
    Regards,
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  11. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi All,
    Just back from a great trip on Camino de Madrid. I have made detailed notes on the current situation and will post them in a few days, when my mind stops walking.
    Leslie,
    Do you wish me to enter them into the Sub Section you have created on the page?
    Ger,
    You were correct about the lonely evenings on the route. I was alone from Segovia. Details later.
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  12. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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    Hi Sean,

    good to hear you had a great trip.

    Whichever section you think works best for them, I trust your judgement.
     
  13. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi Leslie,
    I will post it up on the Sub Section page next week. I am jaded after the walk and need a few days to formulate the structure of what I plan to write. I want to make it easy to understand for Pilgrims considering the route. Thank you for the opportunity given to try this new idea.
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  14. Emma

    Emma Member

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    Hi all,

    I have to apologise for not being in contact after I posted my initial thoughts about doing the Camino de Madrid. Somehow, I missed all the posts that I think were posted after Leslie's one about Decathalon until seeing them today. I realised that this wasn't the time for me to go due to intense fatigue as I want it to be an experience I can enjoy, not just endure. I have just finished my doctoral training and could not even manage to walk from home to work (about 1 mile) over the summer so the idea of doing the camino was somewhat ambitious to say the least!!

    I very much do want to do this camino but will most likely hold off until next spring/summer at earliest. I was actually in Madrid for a week at the beginning of October and 10 days at the end as my sister now lives there. I only saw 3 people who I reckon were definitely pilgrims in all that time (they had the arrows on their bags/t-shirts). I did manage to find a road called Calle de Camino de Santiago but otherwise, I came across no hints of it.

    Sean, I am very much looking forward to reading about your experiences when you post it. I hope the lonely evenings were balanced by the craic in the alburgues from Sahagun westwards. How far did you get to in the 3 weeks?

    Hope all are well, winter is beginning to take a grip here in Dublin which is actually my favourite time of the year to go out walking so I plan to get back out there and begin putting one foot in front of the other again.

    Cheers, Emma
     
  15. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi Emma,
    I started walking on October 1st from Madrid and made Santiago in 3 weeks. The walk was lonely until I got to Sahagun as there was no one else on the route. I have put up a record of the stages I walked and some comment on the facilities on the route in this page Sub Section. I would recommend that you find some company to walk with you if you choose to go. Late September may be a little bit better, as I got a lot of rain in the end. A treat walk though. If I can help, please ask.
    Slan,
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  16. Emma

    Emma Member

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    Thanks a million Sean! I will definitely have a look at what you've submitted and if I have any further questions, I will get back to you.

    Slan leat go foil (sp?)

    Emma
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  17. walkmag

    walkmag Member

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    Hi not sure where sub section is I am interested in Sean's notes on Camino Madrid.
    Thnx Maggie
     
  18. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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  19. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi Maggie,
    If you have any additional queries please ask and I will try to help. What time of year do you plan to walk?
    Regards,
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  20. walkmag

    walkmag Member

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    so ......months later reply is: will start walk sept 9th 2015 planning Olivado but also tossing up Camino Madrid .
    Any thoughts ,opinions very welcome.

    Olivado scenery looks lusher and Camino Madrid trails look sandy, dusty and dry is my impression accurate ?
     
  21. sean

    sean Active Member

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    Hi Walkmag,
    You got it in one. The Madrid is mostly over sandy type soil until you reach Sahagun. Not many people walk this route, so be prepared for some lonely evenings.
    The Primitivo Route out of Oviedo is, in my opinion the best of the Camino routes I have walked to date. If you have time go up to the coast and start from Villaviciosa. I walked this in early September 2 years ago and there were a reasonable amount of people walking.
    Whatever you choose, enjoy it.
    Sean,
    Dublin
     
  22. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I walked the camino frances last October. We're planning on walking the same route again in Sept / mid-Oct 2017 with my brother and his wife. I've read several posts regarding camino de madrid and I am intrigued. We've been to Madrid and Segovia before. I like the fact that it connects with camino de frances during the latter part of the hike. If we continue on a two year cycle, this would place us hiking the camino de madrid in Sept or Oct, 2019. A few questions to the forum veterans:
    • How far is the ruta madrid, starting from madrid and ending in Santiago?
    • Is the camino de madrid well way-marked (how so compared to camino de frances)?
    • Is there a backpack transport service available for the madrid route (like Jako-trans)?
    • I am reading through Max Long's 2013 Pilgrim Guide (madrid to Sahagun). Are there any more current / comprehensive books available comparable to Brierley's guidebook?
    Thanks, as always. Bob
     
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