We strapped on our backpacks to hike up to the car and make our last journey in it to Madrid. We have been very grateful for it and though our trip changed it added dimensions we would not have experienced without a car.
This route was much more a hike through Spain than a Camino. The distances between towns were longer and accommodation more difficult, especially for a group of four. The Ruta de la Lana is a trade route and as such is not so well supported for walking continuously. Having said that, it was a fabulous opportunity to see much of wild Spain and some different and significant historic cities. It has been one of the most scenic walks I have undertaken and the quietest. The car gave us opportunities to visit places we would not have been physically capable of doing without a tent!
We managed to exit Burgos quite easily in the end and travelled on to Madrid with one stop for Churros and Chocolste. Our first in the whole trip. The chocolate was liquid – just and the churros fresh cooked. Delicious but not gluten free!
Arriving in Madrid was daunting for Karen and the plan to get as close to the apartment to drop bags was thwarted by the special zone restricted to residents it was in. Plan b was just go to Hertz at Atocha station after filling up with petrol first. All was accomplished without mishap though Karen was somewhat strained as the driver! Once we left the car Peter and I decided we were not walking but would take a taxi and so we grabbed one large enough (just) for all and where at the apartment in about 10 mins. And €10. Well spent as it turned out because Karen and I had to go to another street ( not far) to retrieve the keys from a key safe in a Lock and Go place.
As it turned out we didn’t have an access code that we could find for the actual lock and Go but some one came at the same time who did and we were able to enter and retrieve our keys. We would have been ropable if we had walked there and had that bother. Once we returned to the men minding our gear on the footpath we entered and climbed to the 4 th floor (again – what is it with us and 4th floors?)
Colour coded keys for colour coded door (no number I could see!) and we were in a very cool but quirky place. Bright light, spare, IKEA furnished odd. There are two fold out beds downstairs and an attic bedroom and bath up a winding , narrow staircase. The toilet is downstairs near the front door abd my bed. Bath has no privacy but is open in the bedroom. It was not meant for four old fogies that is for sure! We all like it despite the oddities. Very artist/young person on an adventure in Madrid feel. You could write your novel sitting in the bath.
Once we’d all had a cup of tea and snacks as well as wine we went out to explore. Heaps of restaurants- very multicultural area near the Reine Sofia art gallery. It was a bit overwhelming for us because apart from Burgos every place has been so quiet and siesta time was adhered to strongly. Big City, lots of people, more shops and bars open and it was aperativo time. Not a table to spare! We walked about three streets before returning and finding a table at last. We had a jug of Sangria and some lovely snacks. Then we headed back closer to home to La Barbiera an Italian restaurant. Very busy, cool and with good food and a fabulous blues singer and guitarist. The noise was energising for me but Karen was finding it a bit overwhelming.
The news that Bolselro fromBrazil was likely to be ousted had brought out the Argentinians to celebrate and they were loud, happy and singing!
What a fun start to Madrid.