Posted by: paulgilders | April 27, 2012


We managed the flight to Madrid without too many hiccups. We paid no excess baggage fees in Santiago due mostly to Gill’s organisation and had plenty of time to spend our remaining Chilean pesos.

The flight was with Iberian airlines. It was cramped and we had our share of babies to keep us from sleeping too much.

Once landed at Madrid we waited about 90 minutes for our “special baggage” to arrive and then sailed through customs which seemed to have no import restrictions at all (we had needlessly scrubbed the bikes spotless to remove all traces of mud before packing).

Gill had booked an apartment in Madrid for 3 nights, which was way above our budget, but there was little alternative and we wanted to see some of Madrid. We cleaned ourselves up before walking out of our narrow laneway to the nearby plaza for coffee. Yes, finally really good coffee and fresh croissants – how could we have coped so long without such essentials!


We then spent the afternoon wandering around Madrid. It is a wonderful city with traditional and modern architecture and a lively ambiance. There are small individual bakeries, butchers and grocers along the alleyways as well as modern shopping precincts.




Unfortunately, with all this beauty and excitement, the following morning I went down with a gastric bug – spending the next 2 days inside the apartment focussed solely on getting better. The girls managed to see more of the city and do a little shopping.





I was feeling better on our final day in Madrid (we could only extend our stay by one night), but spent most of the day putting bikes back together. Our apartment was stretched to the limit. Gill obtained topographical maps and advice on cycling out of Madrid in preparation for our departure the following morning.


All in all, we liked Madrid very much and could have spent much longer there. Budgetary constraints forced us to leave.


  1. Been waiting for the update! ANd gees doesn’t all that architecture make you think about the history of Madrid … the huge open squares … and beautiful gates, archways and statues. So amazing that somehow the beauty got into your stomach and upset it?? That’s such a shame but I’m sure the girls made up for your moderate intake of sustenance by heartily sampling all there was to try. YUM – that cheese! And Poppy looks very happy with the meal she’s got in front of her. Great stuff.

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