Day 1 23/3/2018 22.2 km
First day of the Camino Madrid -from train ride to Colemar de Viego to Manzaneras el Real.Cheating ,but it was a hard first day anyway .Walked from Petrus Albergue in outer Madrid ,to the metro and bought a ticket by Cercernaris to Colemar,
Not as clever as I thought as train dropped us off at station which initially seemed in the middle of nowhere ,and there was a 2 km uphill walk to find the arrows for the exit from the town .As usual there were several starts ,but eventually located the first arrow in front of the old church ,via a series of roadworks and potholes .A very pretty church ,was hauled in by the old man who was looking after it to sign our credentials ,plus a long monologue on the town and the pilgrims who have passed through,We were itching to get going now especially as the sky was looking increasingly grey ,the wind harsher and some threatening drops of what seemed like sleet or snow .But he was a kind and gentle old man who obviously spent most of his day in the old church waiting to tell visitors about this beautiful old church and its stories .He stamped our credentials ,or passeportes ,once again and we were off ,
After an hour walking the wind became increasingly cold and hard ,and the arrows increasingly elusive ,appearing in unexpected places .Probably it was getting used to the arrow chase again. Stumbling over rocks .no sense of where the path was heading .An old bridle path and sometimes Roman,Snow threatening now ,and hard walking against the wind
Why am I walking in 5-8 degrees in rain and cloud and an evil wind ?Why heading to a place I dont know ,to a bed (hopefully ) somewhere ,following yellow arrows which shift position or disappear? This camino seemed a good idea 2 weeks ago -always forget the weather inclemencies ,the uncertainties and the anxieties of walking .
Camino lovers would say that the camino throws up the problems one needs to confront.Do I go along with this ? I do believe that as one moves from the certainties and fabric of the everyday with its routines ,jobs, conflicts ,relationships,and are separated from anyone to blame ,there is only self left .Self with minimal baggage ,moving slowly on 2 legs ( or a bike or horse I guess)across a landscape which is at times beautiful but also quite stark ,sometimes quite ordinary ,often positively confronting .Stone walls and blackberry bushes ,mud, lean toos ,cows placidy grazing ,dogs guarding run down small holdings ,men and women working land .
The thing is I am not even sure of where I will end up tonight ,or where I will stay or even of the way itself.