Time to start making plans…

Well, the countdown has begun! Only five weeks until the new adventure starts. I have decided to travel to Madrid by train, which is a little more expensive than flying, but with much less hanging around. I am taking the AVE (Alta Velocidad Española), the super-fast train that will take me from Málaga to Madrid in just 2 hours and 45 minutes and deposit me right in the centre of the city. I have booked accommodation in Madrid for our merry band of pilgrims and we will set off on 23 April to find our way to the first stop at Tres Cantos, a mere 22 km for an easy start.

New boots have been purchased (Merrell Accentor Mid Vent WP). Not what I was hoping to buy, but after spending way too long researching and trying on over a period of months, I ended up determined not to leave the Go Outdoors shop without a pair of boots, and as there were no women’s styles that I liked in my size, I settled for this men’s style, which are very comfortable. I have worn them for around 100 kms with no sign of discomfort, so I have now put them to one side until I set out from Madrid. I’m not sure that the tread will be ‘man enough’ for the job, but there will be opportunities to buy replacements along the way if necessary.

I have been taking some fairly long and arduous walks here in the mountains to build my stamina and am definitely feeling improvement in my performance. But I am not stressing too much about this camino (famous last words!) because the first couple of weeks on the Camino de Madrid is relatively flat with only one significant climb, so by the time I hit the more challenging Camino del Salvador I should be ready for it.

Spring has most definitely sprung here in Andalucia and I have been snapping away on my walks. We have experienced a lot of rain so far this year and the hillsides and terraces are looking ridiculously green and the early spring flowers are stunning, as always.

And with the green hillsides comes the garden full of very healthy weeds that I am forever battling. But nevertheless, the garden is a riot of colour and the bees are busy at work – particularly around the wisteria.

I am continuing with my plant-based alcohol free diet when at home, and eating and drinking what I am given when out with friends. This is working well for me and I have lost another few pounds over the last several weeks. I am hoping to start this camino at the weight I normally drop to after walking for five or six weeks. It will be interesting to see what I weigh when I return this year. Amongst our group is a vegan and a vegetarian, so I am hoping their influence will help me stay focussed on eating well. However, I expect I may well be imbibing the odd glass of wine en route!

So, only 35 days to go…it will fly by. I really need to knuckle down and do some planning of my expected stages. I normally make a spreadsheet of where I expect reach each day with accommodation contact information, so that I have a rough idea of the progress I am likely to make. But it is just a plan and can be changed for any reason along the way. I have thus far planned days 1 and 2, so have a way to go.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
This entry was posted in A view of life, Camino de Madrid, Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino del Salvador, Camino Fisterra, Camino Primitivo and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Time to start making plans…

  1. Janice Tyler says:

    Good to see you this week. Can’t wait for the blogs to start!

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  2. Mary Lynch says:

    I’m looking forward to the blogs also Maggie.Gorgeous photos of your flowers and plants by the way. Much love xx

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  3. Anita Lopez says:

    Hi, have a fabulous time and I look forward to reading the blogs. We are doing just a tiny part of the Camino Portugues in June, makes a change from the frances we are not quite as adventurous as you YET. We came down from Madrid on the AVE last week a very civilised way to travel haha. Your photos of this area are beautiful, we have just spent three days walking in the Alpujarras it was also very beautiful. Enjoy the Camino.

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  4. Jeannette Burgos-Rigó says:

    yeeeeessss! I’m also looking forward to your blogs and wonderful pics Maggie. Hugs

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  5. sixwheeler says:

    Oh good, something to look forward to. Love your blog posts. By the way I have two pairs of Merrell walking boots plus a pair of shoes I got for our recent trip and love them all; have never had any foot problems since I switched to them.
    Ultreïa!

    Like

  6. Where has the time gone can’t believe it is nearly time for you to leave us again. Super photos, looking forward to your daily blogs and more wonderful photos. Viaje seguro. x

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  7. Lisa says:

    I love your photos! I don’t understand why you are putting your boots aside rather than continuing to wear them on consecutive days. Is this to save the tread that you aren’t sure will be enough?

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  8. Amanda de klerk says:

    Hi Maggie! I enjoy your beautiful photos and easy way of writing….I have done 3 Caminos and will be doing the Portuguese Camino from Lisboa to Santiago this year in Sept. I have read with great interest your blog on your experience….and wish you were just down the street to have tea with ( oh no, you just take hot water if I am not mistaken!) and to discuss the many things I would like to ask! I feel confused on the exits out of Porto and Lisboa….do I bite the bullet or “skip” the not so nice parts…..Anyway, I love your blog, good luck with the wonderful excitement of the last 35 days!
    Amanda ( Cape town South Africa)

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Amanda. I loved the walk from Lisbon. Did you see the links to documents on my ‘resources’ page to manage the long stages out of Lisbon? There is a new albergue open now about 20 km outside of the city and it is possible to arrange to be collected halfway through a long stage and dropped back the next day. We did this on the way to Santarem and it worked really well. See here for more info.

      There is a very useful guide here written by Laurie Reynolds full of useful information and a detailed description of the route out of Lisbon to Porto, which I found extremely helpful.

      And this one on the route from Porto to Santiago

      Thanks for your good wishes and Buen Camino for September.

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  9. Anja Sundqvist says:

    Thank you Maggie for your blog, I love it. I´m flying to Madrid from Helsinki 26th of April and starting either from Madrid or Leon with the camino San Salvador and Primitivo. Perhaps I will see you on the camino.

    Like

  10. Tony Rice says:

    Two things Maggie.
    1. The Camino eats shoes, boots, and sandals. Good luck with that one.
    2. Wine and Spanish Cava are made from grapes ergo wine and Cava are fruit. 😉

    Buen Camino & Happy Trails

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  11. You are such an inspiration! Thanks for letting us share your experiences!

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  12. caminojakke says:

    Buen camino! Good to know Spring is there. Enjoy! I will as well (after Easter).

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  13. Sally says:

    So looking forward to following your adventures this time. Bien viaje amiga x

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  14. Bill says:

    I’m so looking forward to reading your post again while you are on your camino. I followed you on your last year’s camino and enjoyed it very much. I had to read your other pervious camino’s. Gives me a sense of being there. Love the photo’s too.

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  15. Jenny Corney says:

    Another here appreciating your pics, our spring has not sprung yet. Enjoy you travels.
    we have seen great walks for you here in Italy so don’t wonder why your ears have been burning
    Regards to you and David

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  16. JoAl says:

    Hello Maggie, we are in Cercedilla for tonight Sunday. We face a big climb tomorrow then down to Segovia. It has been hot so I hope its not too bad for you. Some very beautiful scenery out off Madrid. Will you walk out if Madrid to the twin towers or tram to there? We walked,quite a trudge through town but doable. Hope your boots are okay. Take care. Alan and Joan

    Like

    • magwood says:

      How good to year from you walking the Camino de Madrid. Will you continue after Sahagún, which camino? I will walk directly from Madrid. Did you get your credencial stamped in the church of Santiago? Buen camino to you both – would love to know how you progress.

      Like

  17. Chris Travels says:

    Hi Maggie,
    I recently contacted you on the Camino forum and appreciated your reply. I had asked you about Andre from the Netherlands. Are you meeting up in Madrid with friends you have met on your previous walks? How many of you will be walking together? Hope you have a great and injury free trip! I leave myself, once again, on April 10th!
    Buen Camino,
    Chris

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Chris, lovely to hear from you again. I wish you a fabulous camino with your family. It is a great privilege to walk with our children. I hope to do so again some time when Ella isn’t busy doing something else. There will be six o us setting out from Madrid. I have no idea if we will all stay together or peel off to do our own thing. Vamos a ver! Buen camino to you all.

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  18. marilyn van graan says:

    Well Maggie – after always reading your blogs and enjoying them I am excited to think that I will be tootling along or behind you this time and having first hand information- as usual your photos are a real treat and I must say I am a tad jealous of your lovely flowers whilst we in Cape Town are still drying up fast and furiously. Boots look great to me – I am sure they will walk well – take care and enjoy the summer days.
    Then then in friendship – Marilyn

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  19. Leona Sutton says:

    Buen Camino Maggie. Lovely to see spring flowers, you really capture the beauty! All we’ve got is budding on my lilac bushes, and about 1 inch of iris leaves pushing up. Normally, this time of year is when we get some heavy, wet snowfall, sometimes into May. The wind this year has been horrendous! No camino for me this year. Next year, Lord willing, my camino companion from our first camino in 2014 and I are planning the Portuguese route, starting in Porto. I, too have pretty much settled on Merrills. They’re very comfortable for the long haul, and wear very well. Waiting eagerly for your blog posts! Onward!-Leona in Wyoming, USA

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    • magwood says:

      Hola Leona. Thanks for your comment. We have also had some really (really) strong winds. I’m surprised that any of my spring flowers survived the battering, but nature is very purposeful and here they are in all their splendid colour. You will love the Caminho Portuguese – such a lot of culture along the way and such friendly people.

      Like

  20. OzAnnie says:

    Sounds like you’ll be a happy band of pilgrims

    A nice picture in my minds eye.
    Buen camino and interested to read your blog

    Like

    • Wishing you the most amazing and companiable camino Maggie. Jeff and I head off in 2 weeks time from Malaga on 18th April with all your good tips and advice in our heads from your Camino Mozarabe. Can’t wait but anxious at the same time – have we prepared enough? have we got our gear right? Will we meet bed bugs? etc etc. The excitement of the unknown. Looking forward to reading your blog entries, love them and the photos.

      Like

      • maggie, does it matter if we purchase our train tkts from madrid to malaga online or if we buy them at the train station in madrid when we arrive? the AVE train will cost us $248AUD for the two of us. Does that sound right to you seeing you will be doing the same trip but in reverse. thats about 105 euros for both of us?

        Like

      • magwood says:

        You might get a better price if you buy them ahead of time, but I don’t really know. I think the price you quote is a little less than I paid, which was around 60 euros.

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      • magwood says:

        Hi Carlene, incredibly you are the second person to comment here who is walking the Mozarabe from Málaga in the near future. I am sure all will be well – it is a beautiful walk. Will you be posting your progress on your Facebook page? A huge buen camino to you and Jeff.

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks Annie – it will certainly make for a different camino.

      Like

  21. Jo Ke says:

    Looking forward to your reports Maggie. We are in training to follow the Mozarabe starting early June. Flying in to Madrid from NZ and taking the train down to Malaga. Safe travels .

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Wow, I’m very excited for you. Hope it’s not too hot in early June – be sure to have items to cover your arms, legs and back of neck just in case. I would love to know how you enjoy the Mozarabe. Buen camino to you both.

      Like

  22. Kathy Bonaccorsi says:

    Delightful flower pics on this 1st day of spring! I have butterflies for you! I leave in 2 mos for Le Puy Camino!
    Joyfully, Kathy

    Like

  23. Henk Slabbekoorn says:

    Your pictures of flowers really helped me to see the better part of our world. Look for the flowers, not for the rubbish. In a few days I will start on the Via de la Plata and I hope to see a lot of flowers there. Buen camino to you!

    Like

    • magwood says:

      You will see flowers in abundance Henk. Would love to hear about your camino – I hope the weather is kind to you. Buen camino – it is a fabulous route.

      Like

  24. cphilippen says:

    Counting the days…and should also start doing at least something that ….comes somewhat close to very rough planning… 🙂
    But I booked the flight, bought the shoes…and for the rest Camino will look after me and the odd 10 glasses of wine en route…will give me all the wisdom I need. 🙂

    Like

  25. Stewpot says:

    Hi Maggie, Sounds like we are all getting excited for you. Not long now. Lovely photography. Spain where you are looks like a nice place to be. Buen Camino

    Like

  26. Stewpot says:

    Hi Maggie, Time is flashing by. It will soon be time when trepidation turns to excitement. Reading the forums many are setting out now or very soon with those mixed emotions derived from the unknown. There is a thin line between excitement and fear. Buen Camino.
    (Hope this gets through the ether my feedbacks are disappearing somehow)

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Hi Stewpot. And many thanks for your perseverance. Your last comment was awaiting approval. So my fault it hasn’t yet shown up! Apologies. I really appreciate feedback – sometimes I respond immediately and other times life gets in the way and I am not so prompt. Will try to do better!

      Yes, I can feel the excitement building, and a slight anxiety about how I am going to fit everything in over the next three and a half weeks – mountains of gardening, two trips away from home, more training walks, finalising my stage plan and last minute preparations. Wow, putting it all into words (rather than it swimming about in my head) has definitely not eased my anxiety. But all will be well when the time comes.

      Like

  27. JoAl says:

    Hello Maggie as you know we walked from Madrid this month. If you have any concerns about anything regarding the route please ask. Buen Camino

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  28. Stewpot says:

    Hi Maggie, I have been following CClarely’s “Camino Trip”. Excellent! A good example of making the most of things. It was good to see that you managed to meet up. I am just fluffing the cushions up in the armchair in readiness for your trip. Buen Camino

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    • magwood says:

      Are you following Clare’s current camino? Whilst you are fluffing your cushions, I am stressing about being fully prepared and fitting in a trip to the UK before I start walking in exactly TWO WEEKS!! And seeing that written down has not helped my stress levels at all!

      Like

      • Stewpot says:

        LOL. I have read last years and now am reading the current one. Have a good trip to UK and buen camino for your Camino

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