Camino Francés 2021 – Days 8 & 9 – Madrid

September 8th and 9th 2021 – Days 8 and 9

My final post in this series and one I always have great difficulty in writing. My walking was over for 2021 but I was looking forward to meeting a friend in Madrid before making a short flight back to Dublin. My Camino family would be in my thoughts as they made their way to Santiago and I walked with them vicariously. The bus trip to Madrid was close to 4 hours – the ALSA was empty as it stopped at Mansilla bus station. It had come all the way from Bilbao early in the morning. I got on and sat into my seat, the only pilgrim.

Arriving in Madrid was a kick to the senses. I arrived in Estacion Sur and immediately felt like I was at home. I had been accustomed to the busy mid afternoon rush of the train station back in Dublin. Now to gather my thoughts and find a way to Gran Via – where my hostal is located! I will never get tired of the metro in Spain. It zooms from A to B and back again. I arrive at Gran Via. Both sides of the road are full of people walking past you like you mean nothing – the opposite to the Camino.

I wash and meet my friend who takes me out for some tapas. Madrid is is filled with people at night but I am surprised by how many wear masks. ‘This wouldn’t happen in Ireland’ – I think to myself. I am brought to the start of the Camino Madrid – the Iglesia de Santiago. Is this a sign? A Camino to consider in the future maybe? The arrows intrigue me, and I do some “googling” when I arrive back at my hostal later on that evening.

So all that was left to do was pack my bags and decide on next years steps. Part of the fun is the planning and once I decide on a Camino, I dive head first in. At the time of writing, I have decided to walk the Portuguese Coastal Camino with my brother from Porto next May. I hope to write more in the months leading up to the walk so please do stick around. I have walked this route before however from A Guarda on the Portuguese border – not as far as Porto. This was in 2018.

Handy links:

Buen Camino!

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