Stage 3 – Manzanares el Real to Cercedilla, 22 km

The albergue at Mataelpino is only a couple of years old and well equipped with beds for 18, two bathrooms, kitchen facilities and lots of tables and chairs. The cost is 8 euros.

Last evening Paul suggested that he would stay at the albergue in the morning, have a long lie-in and wait whilst Marilyn and I returned to Manzanares to continue yesterday’s stage. This way we could walk the distance without carrying our packs. What an excellent idea! I did take my backpack, but emptied it of almost everything. Oh joy! I might try to get my pack weight down to around 4 kilos next time (in my dreams).

Marilyn and I were up and out by 07:00 and made our way to the bus stop, having no idea what bus to catch or when it might arrive. In the event we waited around 30 minutes and arrived back in Manzanares el Real just after 08:00.

It was a dark and stormy morning, with black clouds hanging over the soaring mountains and threatening to empty their contents upon us at any moment. Loud thunder rumbled behind us and bounced around the hillsides. It wasn’t long before the heavens opened and we made a quick stop to apply some rain gear and continued on our way. The downpour was soon over and as we walked on there appeared in the sky a few patches of blue amongst the black. That looked promising!

The scenery was quite stunning, very rugged and very green. It was a lovely walk and we returned to the albergue at Mataelpino about two and a half hours after we had left, and covered a distance of just under 8 km. Paul was by now ready to go and, so we packed our bags and set off again.

Eli had walked ahead and Carsten met up with Ralf for their next stage. Yesterday we greeted new guy Dave. I knew Dave would be on the camino as he is a forum member and we had been in touch. So now we are seven…well, at least for the time being.

Paul and I matched Marilyn’s pace today and we ambled through beautiful countryside, along narrow tracks flanked by flowering cistus and sweet smelling lavender, following small streams, stepping over large granite boulders and frequently stopping to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ and the impressive scenery. The weather continued to be kind, with no more rain, and quite a bit of warm sunshine. We stopped for a picnic, perching on a large boulder and all was well with the world.

After passing through the town of Navacerrada there was some steep elevation to contend with and some delightful woodland to walk through. We met some roaming horses, one of which was very happy to receive some hands-on attention, and then we arrived at our destination of Cercedilla. Marilyn and I had walked almost 22 km, but if felt like more. The paths on the route are very well marked with arrows and mojones (marker stones). Today I heard my first cuckoo of the year.

The accommodation options in Cercedilla are a mat on the floor of the sports centre, a youth hostal or several inexpensive hostals. We chose the latter and are staying at Hostal Aribel Longinos. I am sharing a room with Marilyn. Prices here vary from 25 euros for a single ensuite room, 30 euros for a double without ensuite, or 40 euros for double with ensuite.

The bad weather finally caught up with us and the thunder boomed and the sky opened up and dumped all the pent-up rain. Four of us donned our raincoats and tripped through the very wet streets searching for somewhere to eat. Not an easy task at 19:00 when most restaurants don’t serve dinner until 20:30 or 21:00. But we persevered and were eventually directed to a restaurant that would cater for us. We traipsed in, a rather soggy and dripping quartet of pilgrims.

Tomorrow promises to be a tough one, with a great deal of elevation.

Today’s distance 22 km
Accumulated uphill elevation 434 m
Accumulated downhill elevation 12 m
Total distance 76 km
Average per day 25.3 km

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.

17 Responses to Stage 3 – Manzanares el Real to Cercedilla, 22 km

  1. Mary Lynch says:

    Love all the photos Maggie..Hearing the cuckoo must have been amazing. I continue to be in awe of your tenacity. Been camino xx


  2. Good for you Maggie to persevere…Thanks SO much for sharing your day. I want to say-“You Go Girl Go…so wish I was following your footsteps…


  3. Tracey says:

    Hola. Where do you get your map elevation. thingy?? Im off to Leon in 3 weeks and would love to chart it and send blogs back home like yours. They are wonderful. Great pics and perfect length. 😋


    • magwood says:

      I use the App ‘Wikiloc’, then take a screenshot of the end of day elevation. It is a good, very basic app. Try it out well before you leave to get used to it. And the most important this is to remember to turn it on!
      Buen camino!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. David High says:

    Your email to me arrived 5.28 am,you are an “early bird”,enjoying your daily blog,can you tell me what the tree was with the purple leaves,have a happy and healthy Camino.David


  5. Janice Tyler says:

    Thanks for the link to the map! Now I can visualise your direction. Great pix too. Hope you found a decent evening meal. X


  6. JoAl says:

    Arguably the best days walking today Maggie. On the same stone paths the Romans laid. Best views but a crappy last 2 hours on the flat into Segovia if you’re going that far.


  7. martinandbethjackson says:

    As usual,enjoying your account of events maggie. All the best to you all. PS,what footwear are you sporting ?Martin


  8. Margaret Gardner says:

    All sounds like a sensible start in readiness for the toughie.


  9. Jeannette says:

    WOW! What a day! I love your pics, thanks for sharing your day. Buen Camino


  10. Impressed by the first 8 kms in 2.5 hours, including the bus ride back to go. That is indeed going some! Walked 12 kms today over Alcacuin way using considerably more time, so am full of wonder. Sliced my toe open after stubbing a sharp dead branch, which reminded me of how careful you Camino adventurers have to be. Loving your emotive writing as always. Very much a live blog.


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