Madrid Camino Day 4 – Manzanares to Navacerrada

May 9, 2017

Another day, another 15 kms. All uphill, all day.

I managed to get out of Manzanares a wee bit earlier and on a full belly of fresh food bought the night before at the supermarket. The Madrid Camino passed right by my Casa Rural (a small private hotel just outside of town) where I had my best sleep to date. A solid eight hours!

Winding trails and endless aromatic flowers

My walk today followed the base of the Sierra de Guaderrama range and climbed all day past farms of all kinds – cattle, sheep, goats, even a chicken farm. I marvelled throughout my six hour walk (slow because it was steep) at the wildflowers carpeting the mountainsides. The aromas are indescribable. My solitude was unbroken save for a solitary jogger who enthusiastically bade me a Buen Camino.

I am pleased at how well my feet are doing and surprised by how well my legs held up, given the climbing. I had a lovely picnic under a tree by a stream. Dozens of wild rabbits scampered about. Later, I stopped to visit with a couple of friendly horses. I even talked to a curious black bull for a while. He seemed interested at first but soon grew weary of my one-sided conversation. A shepherd stopped to wish me Good Road (Buen Camino) and taught me how to say “It is very hot” in Spanish. People are friendly most everywhere and I find an enthusiastic greeting, a wave and a kind word are reciprocated in spades.

A relaxed picnic in the shade

Tonight I have a room at a rather fancy Hotel. It is empty and quiet. The bed is firm and the water is hot and the price was right through I feel very pampered. At the same time, I am well aware that things are going to change soon in terms of my accommodations.

A very good day, downright bucolic. But all of the climbing! I am getting used to it though, slowly but surely.

I have to get up early tomorrow to walk to the next town – Cercedilla – where I will grab the train to Segovia. One would normally the high mountain pass through Fuenfria but it is 32 kms and they are predicting thunderstorms. And I ain’t ready to walk 32kms in stormy weather. While crossing a mountain?  I think not.