Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Saturday, May 03, 2014

To Colmenar Viejo

I have absolutely NO idea why there is this huge blank space up above.

Arriving in Madrid was nice.  I had been to the Atocha Rail Station several times, but Joe hadn't seen it. They've put in a nice arboretum with lots of beautiful plants - I almost lost my walking partner in the jungle!

Next morning, we walked to the Santiago Church to pick up our Credentials for the walk to Sahagun.  We began early in the morning, so there weren't a lot of people on the sidewalks.  It was quiet and cool. I loved it.

I laughed when I saw this sculpture of a crashed angel!
Look closely!

Poor old angel!

The Church is easy to find.
Just look for Calle de Santiago!
It was early and the door was locked.

The Church was getting a facelift.
The priest was having his coffee - 
but he opened the door and gave us our Credentials. 

My first sello this Camino!

Today we caught the train to Tres Cantos and walked to Colmenar Viejo.  The walk was about 13 kilometers and if this is a preview of what is to come on this route, all I can say is, "Wow!' What a beautiful walk it was. We went through farmland, cottonwood meadows, saw sheep, cows, friendly horses, red tail hawks, kestrels, and dozens of storks. 

I love seeing the storks!

We are now very happily resting in our 60 Euro double room in El Gran Hostal Chiscon. To find this place at the opposite end of the town, I suggest you ask directions for the bull ring. Then instead of turning right to go to the bullring, turn left. You can't miss it. It's large and beautiful. A luxury for a pilgrim but for now the only bed in town we've been able to find. 

From the entrance to town, just follow the flechas amarillas up and to your left, past the Cathedral, up the street. At the far end of town you will turn left at the second rotunda. 

The address is Frailes, 91, Colmenar Viejo, 28770 and you can book via

Here is a photo of our room. 

As far as ease goes, the way was very well marked except for one place.

ATTENTION:  Here are a couple if notes you may want to keep.
We took the Corcanius from Atocha station to Tres Cantos to begin our walk. That same train stopped at Chamartin station in case you stay closer to that station. The ticket was only 2,55 Euros and you are looking for Line C4. Take the one that ends in Colmenar Viejo. 

  • When you arrive in Tres Cantos, to find the Camino, exit the train station. 
  • Turn LEFT. 
  • Walk to the corner past a nice hotel. 
  • Turn LEFT again. 
  • Walk to the corner, past a supermarket and go under the highway. 
  • Turn LEFT again. 
  • Walk Up a short hill, then turn RIGHT to cross over the freeway on a bridge. 
  • The first yellow arrow is at the beginning of that bridge. 
  • Go over the bridge then cross over to the left, following the arrows. 
  • Cross again immediately to the right and you go up into a dirt parking lot across from a small water plant. 
  • WATCH Carefully to your right. 
  • The Camino goes to the RIGHT alongside the freeway for a bit but very soon turns scenic.
  • If you are walking from Madrid or Golosco and need food and water, cross that bridge to go back into town to a very nice and convenient market. It's at most a 5 minute detour. 

  • Take care - few kilometers past Tres Cantos there was a milario that had been knocked down. It was on the right hand side. There were arrows pointing back toward town and also UP a steep hill to a farm. IGNORE this and continue straight on the dirt track. 

  • This walk goes uphill gradually but if you are not in shape (like me) it won't be easy. Once you reach the cemetery there is a break, but then it's uphill again into town

We saw only one fountain about half way. It did have a shell on it but we were too tired to go see if it was potable. If nothing else you could cool off there. 

The cool, cool fountain
The next fountain is at the town entrance. The water is cold and sweet !  It is right past a tony chapel next to the rotunda leading into town. 

If you have any questions , just ask. I'm trying to make these notes while it is fresh on my mind. 

Joe is happy to be near town. See the waymark above his head ?

OMG!!!I just cut my photos out!  I'm gonna cry. It's hard blogging on a phone. Let me go see if I can find them. 
They are gone. Oh noooo!  

Plenty of places to eat and buy supplies here. I picked up a nice sturdy umbrella at the China Store here. Paid 6 euros. 

Tomorrow we walk to Manzanares and I promise photos. 

I'm sad about today's photo fiasco. But trust me when I say the walk was lovely. By the way, we have not seen another pilgrim today!!

Love, Annie


  1. My beautiful photos have all disappeared. I'm gutted. What that taught me is not to do the blog like Patty and I discussed. Too dangerous. I had some lovely shots. I guess I will only post one photo per blog and will add the rest when I get home. What a shame. :(.

  2. I hear ya, Annie. There has to be a better blog app for phones. It’s so much easier on the computer. I’m enjoying your blog none the less, so keep on keeping on! Buen Camino

    1. Patty, I discovered if you take photos and blog later you CAN add them in! I wonder why we thought that would not work? Anyway, that's what I'll do today Really sad about yesterday's photos. :(

  3. When I walk this route again I will walk right out of Madrid. But I was short on time this year. So many routes, so little time!


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