Camino Madrid, take a walk in our shoes.

We have committed to finishing the Camino de Santiago this fall, but not by the same route that we followed last year. Sandy really wants to walk the traditional Camino Frances route. We have elected not to do the first leg which is a steep ascent over the Pyrenees mountains on day one. Instead we are starting in Pamplona on September 26 and will end in Santiago de Compostela on October 30. In preparation for that long walk we will be doing weekly long training walks. Our first walk was only ten miles in the Casa de Campo park in Madrid last week. Jim discovered that there is a Camino de Madrid which starts a few blocks from our home in Plaza de Santiago. It consists of a long slog north through Madrid and its outskirts until you end up in some beautiful rolling farmlands. The first town is 16 miles away. We thought that this leg would be a perfect test for us and Tuesday’s weather was predicted to have a high of 72℉ with cloud cover.

Starting out at 9:15 in Plaza de Santiago in front of the Church of St. James and St. John the Baptist. We took off fast, walking busy city streets heading north through new neighborhoods for us, but occasionally we would recognize a circle that we had been through.

This is the fanciest homeless shelter that we have seen in all of our travels.
This is the Plaza de Castilla which we have been by on a driving tour our first week. This obelisk was a gift from the financial company Caja Madrid to the city on the companies 300th anniversary. It is a very controversial gift as the city had to pay 5 million euros towards building it and now the maintenance costs the city another 150,000€ per year. It is meant to light up like a waterfall but the electrical costs are exorbitant so it has only been lit up three times.
These twin skyscrapers are also in Plaza de Castilla and they lean in towards each other. They were built in the 1990’s and were the world’s first leaning skyscrapers.

We saw no yellow arrows in Madrid proper but had an app with a map that we could follow. The first yellow arrow we saw was in the northern suburbs and from there on we were able to follow the arrows quite well.

The paths and vegetation varied which made for an enjoyable walk.
These wheat fields were beautiful in the sun
This is a good view to see how far away we have walked out of the city. It is always gratifying to look back and see our progress.
Beautiful and unusual flowers along the way.
A long and winding road takes us back to memories of our Camino last September.
We leave a rock behind to symbolize letting go of hardships in our life.
The Camino Madrid follows the train tracks north which is behind the fence on the left.
This was a nice flat path which made for a faster pace. We averaged between 18-22 mins/mile. We did not have walking sticks which slowed us down on rougher terrains and inclines.
Love seeing these markers to confirm we are on the right path as there are many times it is confusing as to where to turn.
Pretty purple flowers. There were also red poppy fields in the distance but too far away to capture on camera
Sandy was so happy to see these horses along the way as she loved taking pictures of the many animals we would see on the Camino
Jim heard this peacock quite a distance before we saw him.
This was a welcomed rest stop at mile 12 where we had an empanada, water and dates to refuel.
Going under the train tracks.
The highlight of the walk was meeting a pilgrim along the way who had left the Madrid suburb in the morning and aimed to reach Santiago in 30 days. We wished him Buen Camino, the traditional greeting of the Camino to pilgrims.
Sometimes the paths are really narrow with tall growth, not a favorite of Sandy’s.
The narrow path is for walkers which runs beside the nice bike path where the cyclists fly by and then the cars go even faster on the Autovias. To our left the fast train goes by at 200km/hour.
We did have to walk a short distance on it, fortunately there were only a few cyclists
Up again on the narrow, rutted path.
The last few miles were very hard for Jim as the path seemed never-ending at that point. 16 miles done.
Tres Cantos meaning three songs is the last town of the first days walk of the Madrid Camino. We had a nice lunch of salad and dumplings at a Chineses Restaurant and then took an Uber back home.

10 responses to “Camino Madrid, take a walk in our shoes.”

  1. […] October we are enjoying trying out short segments of other Caminos. We walked about 17 miles out of Madrid on May 24 and we thought that it would be fun to now walk out of Porto on the Portuguese coastal […]

  2. Bill & Karen Boyle Avatar
    Bill & Karen Boyle

    Beautiful day and a beautiful walk. 16 miles is never a casual walk. Buen Camino
    Bill

  3. The cloud cover pictures are stunning! You guys are my traveling heroes!

    1. Thanks I sent Donna some dates to get together when we are back

  4. Fantastic!

  5. Wow! 16 miles out of the gate! Pretty impressive. Loved the wheat fiield pics—gorgeous. Good on you.

  6. Charles Inman Avatar
    Charles Inman

    Pictures did come through

  7. Charles Inman Avatar
    Charles Inman

    Was this post supposed to contain pictures? Mine didn’t but had empty squares.

  8. Photo of wheat field and clouds is spectacular!

    Quite a walk. We’ll done!

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