Tag Archives: bus

It’s the End of the World as We Know It…and I Feel Fine

Sleep in peace

Sleep in peace

Don’t Stop Believing

June 20, 2014

Just when I was ready to throw in the towel. No. Really. I mean it. After last night’s experience in Leon with the two rude women twins who locked the window shut due to the party noise outside. The only ventilation for the one women’s section that housed 30 of us females, we were in was now cut off and I cannot begin to describe the Hell Hole that room became.

Stunk of farts, B.O., stale pee from the bathroom…and the heat was stifling. I had nightmares. Woke up soaking in my own sweat at 4 am and had to flee the room for the outside courtyard in order to breath.

That was it. No mas.

Plus my left foot is not cooperating. A ligament is strained. If I sit or stop moving, it tightens up, swells and hurts. I limp when I walk. It is sore and throbbing. But I’m bound and determined to finish this pilgrimage come Hell or high water. I did not climb the Pyrenees to go home without my Compostella.

So we took the bus to Astorga. Yup…jumping ahead, but time is moving forward and so do we. I have no shame. I have no guilt. I do not owe anyone any excuses for doing so. Even though I overheard a conversation about pilgrims doing as such, being described as losers and cheaters. That compassionate pilgrim spirit hasn’t bit that group of pilgrims in their butt yet.

And then upon arrival, we decided…well…I decided that perhaps now is the time to bite the bullet and take the bus to Sarria. This is the point where you HAVE to walk 100km and collect two stamps per day on your credential in order to get your Compostella. This isn’t an easy decision to come to. I had looked through the next stages coming up. Knew we would take a bus in two of them, but for the most part walk and still have time left over.

Then as I was stewing in my own juices last night, the thought came to me that perhaps I should go to Sarria now and not hobble through the next stages, eeking out the left foot. What if it got worse and due to it becoming more inflamed I wouldn’t be able to continue during this last stage that HAD to completed by foot ( or bike or horse)? All for not. I would be upset with myself for NOT finishing.

Turns out, we can’t reach Sarria by bus, only by train. And we are going out late on Saturday from here, take the train to a connecting point and continue on from there. We won’t arrive in Sarria until 6:30 pm on a Saturday night. It is a crowded place with a lot of pilgrims just coming in to start their pilgrimage. We don’t know if we will have a place to sleep or not. But we are going for it.

Anyway, all of this has been a bummer. Last night’s experience. Caving into jumping so far ahead…I was feeling pretty crappy about everything, when we reached the Albergue (Albergue Publico in Plaza de San Francisco 3) that I had seen advertised last week at the 80 men hostel. It looked nice in the picture. In person, it is stunning. And they gave Abby and I our own room. With a window. With a view. For 5€ each. We squealed and jumped up and down delighted with this.

Things happen. Things work out one way or other. If we hadn’t stayed in the 80 men hostel, we wouldn’t have found this place. Just when you get discouraged and start kicking yourself because The Plan is not working, something better comes along to give you an attitude/ gratitude adjustment.

We will continue to progress.

 

Sleep..kinda..Between a Rock and a Hard Spot

Abby the airport sleeper

Abby the airport sleeper

May 30, 2014

“Money Can’t Buy You Love…but it can buy you a warm bed”

To update, plane leaving LAX was delayed by 4 hrs. They ended up replacing the original plane we were supposed to go out on due to some mechanical part that they were unable to fix. Due to this delay, our connecting flight to Bilbao was bumped to a different time and thus we found ourselves in Bilbao airport at 11:00 pm or 23:00.

We had made arrangements to stay with a couple who were hosting us via Couchsurfing network, BUT, it was sooo late, and they hadn’t received our original message sent from LAX and the wifi at the Madrid airport only allows you 15 min free AND when those 15 min are up and you are traveling within the same day to another airport in Spain, the wifi system is connected all the way around the country and therefore you can’t access the wifi for 24 hrs.

Basically, we had no way of getting in touch with our hosts. Though the nice woman at the information center kept calling them, but there phone was busy ( turns out they were trying to find us a hostel to stay in).

So we have a choice, ride the bus to Bilbao where we no nothing and it is raining and it is the last bus as it quits at 12 am OR stay at the airport for the night. Ahhh, yes, there was an option of taking a chance to stay at a hotel, but we didn’t know if they had rooms and the cost was like 60€. That is a lot of money!

We opted to stay in the car rental hallway. One long concrete walkway, connecting the parking lot to the airport with a glass ceiling. And the benches are of the industrial style…metal…with hard plastic cushions. But, it was FREE and even though the rain pounded away on the ceiling, we were safe and warm. The car rental lady had to stay way late too due to airplanes being delayed and she had to remain until the last reservation showed up. So she was nice enough to plug in my IPad to charge. Yeah Hertz!

Apparently, we were not the only ones stranded, as around 2 am about 20 people straggled in to occupy the benches. We kinda slept. We had a bathroom. We had our sleep sacks and what else could we have wanted?

We left the comfy benches at 5:30 am and went up to the main airport to seek some information. Well…long story short, we took the bus into the city ( free wifi on the bus) and pulled up the Couchsurfing people and discovered their messages. We called them at 7:20 am, but making a call from a pay phone to a cell phone costs a whole lot and I ran out of coins to feed the phone. We thought we would take a bus out to their place, drop off the English teaching games I brought for her to use in her class and hope that they would let us crawl into bed. But no…the bus never showed up to take us. It is raining BIG TIME and we have yet to buy our ponchos. We are frustrated. Abby is puking. Yes…on top of all the adventure, her body has decided it has had enough.

And so…we sit. At the bus terminal. Watching people come and go. And no art museum tours. No meeting Couchsurfer people. We booked our tickets to Bayonne on the bus and from there we will catch a train or bus to SJPP where we hope to crash for two days before climbing the Pyrenees.

So we sit. From 7 am- 1 pm. Watching the world go by. Money can’t buy me love, but it has bought us a coke and some good Spanish kinda sandwiches, even though Abby puked hers up.

Stay tune…we are having a fun time. Really.