Tag Archives: delay

Just Stop With Planning

Day in Astorga

Day in Astorga

Do Not Make Plans. They Don’t Work Out

June 21, 2014

AHHHHH!

We had a nice rest day. Slept on a park bench in front of the Astorga Cathedral and Gaudi Castle until they opened. It is Saturday, everything opens up later in the morning…like 10:30. I highly recommend going in to see these two places. I am learning a lot about the Cathedrals’ history on the Camino. And Gaudi is one of my favorite people of all times. What an artist!

We met up with two of our friends from the American Pilgrims on the Camino, Amy and Ena who arrived in town walking down the middle of the street. It was nice to visit with them before they continued on.

Then we ate lunch. Picked up train snacks. Saw the Roman Bath House ruins that the Catholic Church had dug up while building over it. Ate an ice cream cone. Got lost walking to the train station. Saw some great slums. And upon arriving to the station for our 3:15 departure, found out it was going to be an hour late.
Uh-oh. We also had a connecting train to catch, but it wasn’t going to wait for us.

We hung out in the train station listening to great music from a Brazilian woman’s IPhone while we bonded with her. She had walked the whole way last year, but was leaving the Camino early and heading to Santiago to meet up with friends and head to the beach. She just wasn’t feeling the Camino Spirit inside her anymore. The people were not nice like last year and she found no need to continue.
She was a wonderful help to us in translating for us with the conductor later on.

Ok…so for the fun part. I am all about setting goals. It is the way one progresses. I read Stephan Covey’s books way back when I was 19. Hence why I like to have things kinda planned out and yet I’m not anal enough that I can’t go with the flow, however, NOTHING has gone as planned on this pilgrimage. The one lesson that keeps repeating over and over again is, “Don’t plan. Keep it loose. Just go with the flow.”

The conductor informs us that there isn’t a connecting train at the station for us. No train. He said something about taking a bus or a taxi. He is explaining this in Spanish. Abby comprehends some of it. I’m getting nothing. So for the next 40 minutes we are wondering what we are going to do. We agree that it will work out. We will sleep in the station until the next day to find out when the train comes or the bus comes. Once again, we are going to get in to a station that will be closed. The Albergue that we figured we could stay at would probably be filled up if we continued on to Sarria. And there are ominous dark clouds that completely filled the sky for the entire 4 hour trip. Rain. Yeah. Oh…and snow was on the mountains too in some parts. Yippee-skippee. And tomorrow is Sunday and trains and buses cut back on their service. And we figured we had lost out money for the remainder of our train ride and would have to pay more for another ticket.

The Brazilian woman told us to wake her up when the conductor came back and she would find out the info for us.
Thank goodness for her being there. Turns out that the conductor had made arrangements for a bus to meet us at the station to take not only us, but the other passengers that had missed the connecting train. We could stay the night at the town and have our money refunded partially or continue on without paying any additional money.

Of course we are continuing on.

We get to the station. The bus is there. We ride going 90 down the road and get to Sarria in 30 minutes. Then we get lost trying to find the Albergue. It starts to rain. It is 8:30pm when we find the place. And they are filled up.

I’m going to cry. It is raining. We look like pathetic drowned rats. We ask if they can call another place to see if they have rooms. Informed that the hostel down the street has beds at 20€ each. “I can’t afford that” I say as water is running down my face. She looks at us and says, “Wait a minute” when she comes back, she has found us each a bed in her place one at 9€ and another at 10€!

Yes. It has worked out. And breakfast is included.

We are tired. Grateful. And we will continue to start each day with prayer to help us find a bed that we can afford each night. We also give thanks each night for the blessings we have received each day.

Now let’s see if my prayers for no rain while I’m walking play out.

 

 

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.

 

 

Final Countdown

Time has ran out!

Time has ran out!

May 28, 2014

Oh my goodness. What can, will go wrong.

The debit/ credit card that was supposed to have come yesterday, showed up at 10:30 am today
I am a failure with keeping my pack light. Hindsight is 20/20.
We packed what we thought we needed. We weighed the packs and went crazy.
Time was running out. How do we ditch the weight?
We halved things. We are sharing soap, the hair stuff. We condensed and took out items from their containers and re packed them into lighter weight ones.
We did this and we did that and I was getting upset. So frustrating trying to pack it all and make the weight we wanted.

I am off by 8 lbs. I don’t care. But I do, because I have failed to meet the mark. My bag weighs 22 lbs and Abby’s is at 14lbs. We will just equalize the contents when we make it to the airport or wherever we can in order to redistribute the 36 lbs of weight so we both will carry 18lbs. BUT…this doesn’t include water nor the ponchos. But, to assure everyone, 4lbs and 3 lbs are our packs weight empty. However, that is STILL weight!
Next year, I will do better. I will be smarter. In the meantime, I’m resigned to hire the guy to carry my pack over the mountain…I will spend money doing that instead of breaking myself early on.

There was no time to reconfigure anymore. The plane was leaving at 6:pm it is 2:pm and it takes an hour to drive from our home to LAX if traffic is good.
I dump the organized packets of stuff into our bags. I dump the compressed sacks of clothes into the bags. I’m sweating like a horse in the Kentucky Derby. I have to take a shower and change into the Camino clothes. I have to write down info for my husband. The time has ran out. I am now freaking out! I have lost it.

We get to LAX only to find out that our plane has been delayed for 3 1/2 hrs. It will leave at 9:45 tonight. We won’t get to Bilbao until 11 pm Thursday night. We have made arrangements through Couchsurfer to have a couple host us and instead of showing up on their doorstep at 6 pm we don’t even know if we can catch the public bus into the city and find our way to their place let alone if they want us at 12 am!
We just might sleep in the airport.

They won’t let us carry on our bags…even though this other woman with a 70L and a 30L backpack is allowed to carry her bags on! But we didn’t see her until we were through security check and saw her with her backpacks. She is flying Quntas.

So we reconfigure on the floor of the airport. Take out the important stuff to pack in my spare lightweight pack ( bought it along for “just in case”) in case the checked in items get lost all of our main important equipment won’t be gone.

And now we sit and wait and watch others with much more carry on items than what we had, walk around.

And so begins the Camino. Let things go and just go with it.