Camino Combo – Day 3 – Camino Madrid

Day: 3

Date: Sunday 21 May, 2023

From: Manzanares el Real                               To: just past Cercidilla

Distance (Planned): 26km      Actual (Garmin): 25km

Progress: 79/801km

Start Walking: 0623    End: 102pm

Time: 6h48m

Ascent: 667m           Descent: 307m

Terrain: Endless ‘ups’, but incredibly beautiful at the foot of the mountains. Country paths and bush tracks through national parks.

Weather: Very warm from the get-go, with high cloud.

Stayed At: Albergue Las Dehasas – €19.80 including breakfast.  

Some of the colourful signage that appears on the path. There certainly has been plenty of cows.

General Comments:

  • Now we’re talking! Today was tough walking, but was so beautiful. There were the inevitable visits to small towns andi thankfully I found one open for a much needed coffee about 8:00 AM, but after that mostly it was just scenic walking on country roads and through National Park bush tracks.
  •  Each day I am getting closer to the mountains and the path today seemed to hug their very foothills. They are incredibly rugged and harsh looking. This must be very hard country in the depths of winter and the searing heat of summer. The landscape is covered in low and tufty shrubs or small trees, interspersed with massive boulders that must have tumbled down from the  mountain range thousands of years ago.
Stone walls and stone mountains.
Evidence of cows in more ways than one!
  •  A feature of today was the beautiful bird life and also a wide range of Spring flowers. Again, I was thrilled to see the massive eagles soaring around the tops of the mountains and some cheeky magpie-type birds came and checked me out to see what this crazy woman was doing out walking at 6:30 on a Sunday morning when most normal people would still be tucked up in their beds.
  •  It was lovely to see so much lavender and rock roses of some type gracing the side of the road. There were even patches of tiny daisies and a plant that looked like garlic of some sort with a very delicate bloom. Yes, this is my excuse to stop and catch my breath.
I can smell the coffee from here.
  •  My lycra-clad mountain bike riding friends were out in force again today, but I was wise to them this time and kept a wary eye and ear out for their imminent arrival.
  •  The peace of the path was also broken by a few wild, rock scrambles and climbs. I am not sure they are the easiest thing for people wearing loaded backpacks, but thankfully they were still doable even if there had to be a big rest afterwards.


Top Tips:

  •  Today I think the arrows were more useful than the app. That is until they disappeared completely when I was walking through one particularly heavily forested area. I was looking at the app and it was telling me that the blue dot was definitely not on the yellow line so I blazed my own trail down the hill and through the scrub until the blue dot happily met up with the yellow line and thankfully was heading in the right direction. Maybe this is the reason why my planned kilometres and actual kilometres rarely match. All these little detours. 😁
A guard dog on the roof?
  •  I have chosen to stay further along the path to complete some of the ascent that would normally be tackled on tomorrow’s stage. Imagine my heartbreak after 23 kilometres to see a sign for a youth hostel, start to do the happy dance that I am done for the day, only to be told my the gentleman in charge that, No my hostel was another two kilometres further up the hill!
  • The moral of the story is, don’t waste your energy getting excited before you know you have definitely arrived at your correct and final destination.
Rock walls and lavender – a good combination.
Rough country
More Spring blooms.

Buen Camino.

16 thoughts on “Camino Combo – Day 3 – Camino Madrid

  1. Pretty roses and lavender. And scenery. Is there any other person doing this route? Have you prebooked accommodation, or just taking pot luck. I have seen on the busier routes that accommodation gets hard to find in some locations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been crossing paths with a young Korean woman who is in Spain to learn Spanish. Go her! Our conversations are a mishmash of her broken English and my broken Spanish, and lots of sign language, of course. Yes, trying to book each day ahead. I don’t think it will be a problem for the next week or so, until I hit the Camino Frances at Sahagun. No doubt it will be a pilgrim highway then.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s great you have such cheap accommodation, it makes it so much more accessible. Do they have dinner there too?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t afford to do these long walks without access to the albergue. That’s why it’s important to have your pilgrim ‘passport’ to prove you are genuinely walking the distance. Their offering varies greatly from the very basic Parroquia in Tres Cantos to some albergues providing meals, washing machines, kitchen facilities etc. It’s a wonderful experience sitting around a table, sharing a meal with a United Nations of walkers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll have to think about this adventure for myself!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I can highly recommend it. Perhaps think about starting with the Camino Frances as it has amazing infrastructure and you will meet tonnes of interesting people. Yes, it is busy, but you can choose your times too to try to avoid the busiest times.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Aw, Mel, you are my heroine! Sleep tight, darlin! No doubt you’ll be up to start again in a few hours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, I always seem to be awake far too early…like now! Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Are you doing this camino by yourself?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So far, Yes, although I am crossing paths with a young Korean woman who is now ahead of me after my rest day in Segovia.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The rock scrambles are good practice for the GNW. 😜

    Oh that ‘relief turned wtf’ is a killer! Especially at the end of a long hot day. Power on, Mel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I was having GNW flashbacks! 😆 Hopefully no more of those ahead. Thanks for the speedy wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a giggle at the comment of smelling the coffee, I bet you could 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Only to have my hopes dashed. First World problems…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It might be a good start not to see too many other pilgrims on the route … until you get on the ever-popular Camino Frances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I imagine it is going to be quite the culture shock in a few days time.

      Liked by 1 person

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