Well as proper peregrinos we should be walking every single day, each etapa( stage). In June in central Spain on this Camino Madrid this means slogging along for 20/24 km each day. Slogging along paths that are “ preciosa” in early summer but are now straight, sandy, treeless ways. The landscape, which seems to stretch on forever, is brown corn or grass with the occasional red poppy and groups of upright yellow plants.

First peregrino piece on way to Cigunuela today . Breaking into monotony
A long hard slog to the top in the heat

So getting a bus or train for part of the longer stages, when we can, is always an option, not an easy option though. We work like our two cats at home: one is good at spying the mouse and the other good at catching. So Doug checks timetables and explores route strategies, working out if the transport is regional or local and if there is a bus or train option.

Then we find our way to the station or where the transport goes from. I locate the window or machine to buy our tickets, pronouncing the name of our intended destination correctly, and reach the Parada. It’s important here not to become too confident. Watch the queue. If no others are gathering then maybe it’s the wrong one. Always be ready to move to another spot or to get onto a bus which can suddenly arrive. Transport in Spain in our experience is always on time and stops and leaves quite fast. So you could be left on the train if you don’t get off fast enough, or see the train start off as you grab your sticks and bag.

If all goes well you get on the bus. However once again, caution. Just this morning on our way to Cigunuela we were jerked out of a dreamy state by the bus driver, we’d arrived at our destination. We’d settled ourselves for a longer ride and forgotten to be observant.

Ha. Got the right train here in Valdestillas to Valladolid . But at first we were waiting on the wrong platform
Doug n Sue Day 11 Camino Madrid