Tag Archives: Couchsurfing

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.



I’m so excited (anxious) I could puke!”

"Gotta wear my LOVE shades"

“Gotta wear my LOVE shades”

May, 18, 2014

“In every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double, don’t worry, be happy” (Bobby McFerrin)

And that is the state of mind I am in. Somewhere between anxiety and excitement. We leave in 9 days. 9 days! Ahhh…so much to do in so little time.

I am a little anxious due to hearing about a woman on her Camino, fell on the Napoleon route and broke her femur. She had to be airlifted off the trail. What a way to begin and end a pilgrimage. My thoughts and prayers go out to her. Which is why I have been reviewing the beginning of the route more in depth, as the first part is steep and the descent in certain areas quite treacherous.

But, I keep reminding myself that thousands have walked this way, both the very old, the very young and all the ages in between with no problems. I just want to make sure that I do not forget which way to turn when I come upon the fork in the road and mistakenly take the route that I will regret. Steep descents cause more harm on the knees as well as one could stumble or slip and fall. Not the way to begin.

The good news is that due to Couchsurfing, I have made contact with a couple in Bilbao, Spain who will be hosting us for our first two nights. They sound like a fantastic couple who are interesting and they seek out adventurous, open- minded people to host. I believe Abby and I fit that description.

I have yet to figure out how we are going to travel from there to our starting point of Saint Jean Pied de Port. We will take a bus either to France or we will take a bus to Pamplona and then take another bus to SJPP. Either way, we will get there. It will all work out.

And that is the exciting part. Not knowing. No set plans in stone, except our reservations up at Orisson on the Great Pyrenees. We will just meander happily along singing joyful tunes to keep the anxious level at bay. “Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh…don’t worry, be happy. Ain’t got no cash, ain’t got no style…”

Speaking of which, please check out http://www.gofundme.com/8hte10