Well, let's say that getting home is turning out to be an interesting experience and has required a village to make it happen.
For some reason I did not sleep well last night. I just could not get comfortable, yet I was by the window so I could open and close it for temperature control. Did you know that all windows here have ZERO screens on them and most have metal roller shades or shutters to keep the places cool from the blistering sun. Hey North america -- instead of making our houses pretty and requiring a ton of electricity for AC, why not follow suit??? I'm in!!!
I planned on going to the little restaurant at 7 AM to get somthing to eat, but to my dismay when I arrived, the darn thing was closed. HEY -- it's MONDAY!!!! Well, now I have two hours to kill before the bus comes and it's CHILLY out. Thankfully, I had long pants and my fleece on. But even then, it was cold. I have abandoned my shoes and wearing my sandals with no socks, so that didn't help the coolness aspect.
My feet were feeling decent so I deided to go for a walk to warm up. Oh --- the door to the bus depot was locked when I arrived. The pavement was perfectly flat and I walked slow, so I was in good shape. It felt good to walk like an almost normal human. The walk continued down a very smooth gravel path and I still had loads of time to kill so off I went. I passed the bull fighting arena!!!! Nothing going on --- way too early.
I managed to buy a ticket online yesterday, although I could have paid the driver directly, but I wanted to ensure I had a ticket. The bus was a bit late, but I managed to get on and sat right in the back. Thankfully, the night before, we had stopped at a small supermarket and I picked up a banadan, Dorito Bits (which I want in Canada) and a chocolate bar. That's all I had to eat on a four-hour bus ride to Madrid.
All I can say, is that I would not have the courage to drive a bus here. I cannot believe how narrow of areas those massive buses can go and they barely slow down!!
The first part of the trip was fun as it followed the camino or the Camino followed the road. More or less. I could see some of the signs and saw a few pilgrims along the way. Once we got to Burgos, the Camino continued on and we headed inland to Madrid.
I slept a bit here and there on the bus. Thank god we had to wear masks because I'm sure my mouth was hanging open on numerous occasions.
Then we arrived in Madrid. Wait --- where are we going? We went underground to an entire word of BUSES. The bus terminal is underground and multiple levels. I have no idea how we got to where we did but it was insane! And so practical --- no above ground spaces or traffic to deal with. Although no one honks their horns here.
I got off the bus and asked for the bus to the airport which was easy enough to find. Down one level an Gate 11. How do you get a ticket? Oh -- on the bus. It was 1.5 E and of course, I did NOT have enough change and only had 20 E bills. There was a sign saying "no change over 5 E). However the bus driver took pity on me and so while he is driving the bus through the underground terminal, he's also making change. Not for the faint of heart for sure!!!
Oh crap --- the schedule is posted on a screen. Multiple terminals. Which one do I want? Thank god for Google. Here's a tip for anyone. If you travel to a country where you do not know the language, BUY a sim card for that area so you have access to Google and your phone. That was the BEST 30 E I spent on the trip.
I arrived at the airport and of course, there is NO counter for Air Canada. So I resorted to the app. I could NOT get the app to work. It kept freezing and I couldn't find a decent flight.
So sent an SOS to DH. No answer. Seriously?????? I had to get someone to all him. Thank god for What's Up. I've been in communiation with my Monday sewing group the entire time and they have been enormousy supportivve and HELPFUL all the way. thank you Monday group and especially Heather who has bailed me out several times to make phone calls!!!!
And to Diane, who is my online medical consultant.
The bottom line, DH got on the phone with AC and I have a direct flight tomorrow. But what to do today?
I managed (again through Google) to book a hotel and call them for a shuttle. I'm bunkered down in the Marriott at the airport. I caved for a bit o f luxury and thought they might have a tub. Nope --- Just a shower. Oh well.
Went to the cafe which is probably open 24 hours and I had an excellent, albeit late lunch,
Then I spend the last three hours on Zoom with my Monday sewing friends. Seriously???? I would be LOST without them. They are the BEST ever and I wouldn't be here without them!! I LOVE you all!!!!! Hey -- at this point, I love everyone!!!!
Should I tell you the story of my hotel??? It's huge and yep --- I've got lost. I miss those yellow arrows to show me the way! My room is 1206 which you would think is on the 12th floor. Nope --- it's on the first floor! Which is NOT the ground floor. I think I have it now!
Well, I might wander down for a little more to eat today and book a shuttle to the airport to catch my flight.
I have a lot of personal reflections that I want to put down on paper, but all I can say as a start is that traveling in a country where you do not know the language is a humbling experince. Actaully, this entire trip has been very humbling. Did I only need 8 days to realize that? Is that why I'm going home now? Has this trip changed me? I'm not sure about all that, but I have a LOT to reflect upon.
BTW --- should anyone want to come with me to do all or part of the Camino? WE could make that happen!!!!!
On that note, I'm out of here. While I love my foldable keyboard, I cannot wait to get onto a real keyboard!!!!
I forget when I arrive but the blog will be later tomorrow as well and then hopefully get back to the routine.
NOTHING changes for dates of anything. No changes to UFO, or other classes --- I'm going to hibernate or sit in the gazebo with my girls, a book and a case of Corona!!!