Stage 1, Madrid to Tres Cantos

Last night we numbered four camigos at the Hostal Far Home Atocha. Myself, (Australian) Eli, (South African) Marilyn and (English) Paul. This morning we set off at around eight am, heading for the church of Santiago and San Juan. Eli and I went to the church last evening, hoping that I could acquire the rather nice credencial (pilgrim’s passport) that they provide. When we arrived the priest was busy attending to others and when I managed to ask him about my credencial, he suggested that we wait until after the 8 pm mass when he would have more time. So we attended the mass and were given a special pilgrim’s blessing and afterwards waited for at least half an hour. Eventually he appeared and told me that he was finished for the night and instructed me to leave and return at 11:30 am. Yeah, right! That definitely wasn’t happening. Luckily I had a less attractive credencial that I can use without delaying my morning departure. But I was a little sad not to have the official church stamp to start me off. Hey ho, that is how it is in Spain. They say ‘no’ and there is absolutely no arguing.

We took a couple of selfies at the church before taking our first steps on this camino, luckily Eli was prepared with directions downloaded on her smartphone as there are no arrows to indicate the way until we reach Plaza de Castilla, around 6.5 km from the church.

But what a send off we had! Police were lining the streets and had closed the side roads so that we had easy passage. There were live pop bands along the route to motivate us to keep up our pace. The were loads of stewards with countless hundreds of bottles of water to quench our thirst, and then came crowds of people running to wish us farewell and good luck. Many might have believed that all this effort had been put into action because of some sporting event, perhaps a marathon with over 30,000 participants. But I knew it was all in order to give us the best possible send off, probably organised by the priest who was feeling rather guilty at sending me away last night!

Once we reached the city limits and passed through the area of Fuencarral at 11 km, we were suddenly in the countryside walking through green pastures and, it being a Sunday, we were constantly passed by cyclists, buzzing by in ones and twos and large groups, but there was plenty of room for us all to co-exist.

We received a few ‘buen caminos’ and one cyclist skidded to a halt to talk to us about the camino.

I am stealing an idea of Eli’s and taking a shot at 12 noon each day. This is noon-shot, day 1

It was quite hot – mid to high twenties centigrade and I needed to drape my scarf around my neck for protection. We arrived at Tres Cantos, our chosen end of this first stage, around mid-afternoon. Paul and I overstepped the mark by around 500 metres, but we soon realised our mistake. There is an albergue in Tres Cantos, but it is situated in the basement of the ayuntamiento (town hall) and as it is a Sunday, it is very unlikely that we would be able to gain access. So I booked rooms for us in the hotel VP Jardin, which is really rather nice. We have two family rooms each with three beds, one for the girls and one for the boys for a cost of 23 euros each. Very good value.

I heard from (German) Carsten that he and his friend Ralf had arrived in town (they had made a later start from Plaza de Castilla) and we joined them for a drink and then we visited the huge carrefour store for supplies for tomorrow.

Paul, Ralf, Eli. Carsten and me

Day one done, thirty six to go.

Distance 26.7 km
Accumulated uphill elevation 244 m
Accumulated downhill elevation 163 m

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
This entry was posted in Camino de Madrid, Camino de Santiago de Compostela and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Stage 1, Madrid to Tres Cantos

  1. caminojakke says:

    Buen camino from Monasterio, Extramadura!


  2. Janice Tyler says:

    Like the idea of a daily noon shot


  3. Renate says:

    Hallo Maggie!
    Durch Zufall habe ich deinen Blog gefunden. Wir haben uns 2015 auf der Via de la Plata (C. Sanabres) kennen gelernt, das Ehepaar aus Österreich. Wie schön, Paul ist wieder dabei. Wir haben ihn im Vorjahr auf dem Camino del Norte getroffen, das war eine Freude :-).
    Liebe Grüße und buen camino, ich werde euch verfolgen ;-).


  4. Brian says:

    Hi Maggie,
    Waking up to read your latest daily news has become a highlight of Autumn in Oz!! Is Eli the same one from Portugal 3 years ago? If so please give her a warm G’day from me, we dined together in Rubiaes and discussed the effects of social and lifestyle needs of building for indigenous communities.
    Hope your latest Camino unfolds happily with its own rewards,


  5. Jeannette says:

    Buen Camino Maggi, what a nice group!!!


  6. sixwheeler says:

    Great to be on the road with you again Maggie, particularly as my own walking plans are on hold with a dodgy knee and yesterday the hospital cancelled my appointment. Ho Hum!


  7. Annie Carvalho says:

    Hey Maggie! So happy to see you doing this route. It’s my FAVORITE of all the routes and is simply beautiful this time of year. Have a Buen Camino! Annie


  8. OzAnnie says:

    Love it ! What a fun exit to start day 1.
    And looks like great camaraderie post shower!
    Buen camino


  9. Lovely! I LOVE reading camino blogs, and yours is very good. burn Camino!


  10. Buen Camino! I couldn’t imagine having to walk through Madrid. Hats off to you.


  11. Danielle says:

    What a send off!! You guys must have felt like royalty, lol… Looking forward to reading your nice blog daily! Buen Camino!


  12. Grace says:

    Maggie you write so well. Thanks for feeding us armchair caminoists.
    I’m on countdown for the Levante (29 days to go) Originally I had thought of doing the Madrid but somehow settled on the Levante. Your blog posts will surely encourage me to think about the Madrid next year perhaps.
    Buen Camino


  13. Birgit says:

    Dear Maggie, I found your blog this winter, when I was thinking about my next camino, and I liked it so much. I read about all your previous caminos and I could really imagine you on your way walking to Santiago with all the joys and troubles. So this is the first of your caminos that I can follow in “real time” and I am very excited. I wish your and your group all the best and hope that you have a wonderful time! I am longing for the day when I can go back on the camino myself but up until then I have your blog as a substitute. Greetings from Munich, Birgit


  14. Abbie Cerchi says:

    Read well A little more landscape description and architecture high light lights would be good.
    Walk happily and healthily!!


  15. Conchy says:

    Buen camino! Give Santiago apostol ahug from me. Love your blog. Feel as if I am walking with you.


  16. lynharrison4wind says:

    What a send off indeed. Those marathon participants must have felt quite put out at all the fuss that was being made of your four. Good to see the padel outfit now doing the job it was designed and made for! Wishing you happy feet. Love. XXX


  17. Lee Wakelin says:

    I love your blogs and am walking with you vicariously! My Caminos are on hold until my renovations are complete! Buen Camino……enjoy!


  18. Wilco says:

    Hola! Maggie, buen camino. Nice to read all about it!


  19. Justine Still says:

    So delighted to see and hear that you are off walking the Camino again. I enjoyed your blog last year and wish you a Buen Camino this year from Atlanta, Georgia.


  20. Sabine Pietercil says:

    Will be lovely to follow you once again. As always great writing and sublime pictures.


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