Madrid Camino Day 2 -Tres Cantos to Colmenar Viejo

May 7, 2017

Unbelievable how great the weather has been for my first two days on the Madrid Camino – sunny and warm with a cool breeze at my back.

More poppies as promised

I chose a shorter walk today as my sleep patterns have yet to adjust and my body needs to get accustomed to the weight of the pack and the hours of walking. I am very happy I made that choice as I am a bit done in right now and looking forward to tonight’s sleep.

After a fitful night, I had the free breakfast at the hotel this morning in Tres Cantos and got off to a very leisurely start. (Showered and shaved and on the road by 10) The route out of town was simple and the first half of the day’s walk was amazing – the trail wound through gently rolling hills and down into a long river valley. I passed fields of wild poppies and through old forest and cattle country. There were a few cyclists en route and a couple of local hikers. Everyone recognized me as a peregrino (pilgrim) and all wished me an enthusiastic Buen Camino. So far, everyone I have encountered has been kind and friendly and helpful.

For several hours I felt as if I was in a wonderful dream. Stepping stone river crossings, wandering cattle, birdsong and more poppies. My feet are fine – thanks to the regular attention – though my legs began to tire as I came within 5 km of my destination. I hit the foothills with a vengeance. I looked for, but failed to find, a walking stick. I know there is one waiting for me somewhere along The Way.

Colmenar Viejo seemed so tantalizingly close but after labouring up a long steep hill, a valley and another hill appeared. The sun beat down and I took a few water breaks, had snacks and changed my socks in whatever shade I could find.

Five hours of walking and I was at my hotel, very happy to have written down clear directions the night before. The ancient town is atop a steep hill – like many in Spain – and can be a little complicated to navigate. I know there are more to come.

The hotel is super nice and reasonably priced. Great to be walking in the off season for sure!

I had a bath, did my laundry (at the same time) and booked my next two nights’ accommodation online. There are fantastic deals to be had this time of year. I see good weather ahead for two more days but then I may be walking in mountain thunderstorms.  Hopefully I will be in Segovia by then and I can play tourist while the worst of the weather passes.

I am planning to go for a stroll through Colmenar this evening to see some sights and rustle up some grub. I am glad of this smooth and sensible beginning to my journey and, oddly enough, I am not at all intimidated by the distance yet to be covered. So far so good – I am loving the Madrid Camino!