I’m on my way to Santiago

I am in Madrid as I write. I left Tulsa on May 2nd, flew to Dallas where I had an Iberia flight overnight to Madrid. The flights went well, and it was great fun to fly with Abdul, a young pilot from Morocco. He was flying home after his first visit to the US and was amazed at the size of DFW airport. He didn’t speak Spanish and I don’t speak Arabic or French so we settled on English. It was a ten hour flight and surprisingly I was able to sleep for several hours.

Iberia is a wonderful airline and I was able to practice speaking Spanish in preparation. I arrived in Madrid at 2 pm on Wednesday, May 3 and took the shuttle into central Madrid where I had a fifteen minute walk to my hotel, the Hostal Mayor, just off La Puerta del Sol.

Jesús at the Hostal speaks no English but we were able to communicate with my much improved Español. My room is small according to US standards, but is everything I need for these three days of getting my bearings and sleep schedule adjusted.

After checking in with Beth, I’ll need to get used to being seven hours ahead of Oklahoma, I set off to find the start of the Camino de Madrid, and to get something to eat.

Madrid is bustling and very active late into the night. I found the Royal Church of Saint James and Saint John the Baptist ( Real Iglesia Parroquial de Santiago y San Juan Bautista) where the Camino begins and will get my credencial stamped officially when I begin on Saturday morning.

The Royal Church of Saint James and Saint John the Baptist and the starting point of two Caminos.

Next I was off to the Plaza Mayor where I had a fried squid sandwich ( bocadillo de calamares) at Bar La Campana (Cervecería La Campana), famous for this sandwich. My drink came with a tapas of olives, and that along with the sandwich took care of my needs for the day.

I made my way back to my hotel after five miles of walking and settled in for the night. My sleep schedule is off and so it took a while to get to sleep but I enjoyed the sound of the city outside.

This morning I had a quick breakfast at La Churrería-Chocolatería Las Farolas, café con leche with churros and zuma natural, orange juice. I walked from there to the Prado next to the Real Jardín Botánico, just to do some walking and to get used to getting around the city. I’ll have 15 kilometers of city walking on Saturday before I get to the edge of Madrid and I am practicing with my route tracking apps.


After this it was off to Decathalon, a sporting goods store, to get my bastones de trekking, walking sticks, and some other things that I didn’t want to bring from home. Now, I’m resting up from the morning and will soon take off for lunch and the afternoon.

The travel is going well, I am enjoying the new sights and I’ll pray that the walking goes well come Saturday. I’ll check back in a few days.


2 thoughts on “I’m on my way to Santiago

  1. Jerry
    Hope all is well with your journey. I can’t wait to hear all about the adventure. I’m very intrigued to possibly do it myself. Praying for a healthy body and sound mind. Looking forward to reading your blogs along the way.
    Todd C

    1. Thanks, Todd. I’m about 100 miles in but my body is rebelling. I’m taking a few days to reevaluate. This Camino is much harder than the last one I did, and I’m nine years older. You can see my daily check ins on FindPenguins.com/jctoops
      I may have to become a turista rather than a peregrino!

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