Thank Goodness It’s a Pilgrimage – Trying Times Before We Even Get Under Way

(Thought for the day: Do the Gospels ever mention that Jesus got off to a late start on one of his trips around the Sea of Galilee, or that he headed down one dusty road in Palestine and the donkey carrying the wine and supplies went down another?)

Our Camino de Santiago hike officially started yesterday when we left Richmond. Our plane backed away from the gate at 5:49 p.m., 39 minutes late. We then stopped midfield — before takeoff — due to an emergency at JFK, thus missing our connecting flight to Madrid. Re-booked on Air Europa. Because it took forever for the agents to issue boarding passes for us, our bags (they said) weren’t released by Delta to Air Europa until about 3 minutes before we boarded the plane. Flight was fine, quiet for a packed Airbus, left around 11 p.m., arrived in sunny and dry Spain 12.5 hours later.

No luggage at the carousel, no leaving the airport anytime soon as we filed a lost luggage report. Lots of waiting, lots of explanations, lots of paperwork.

So here we are. Madrid to us is a welcoming hotel, lots of discussion about how to round up our bags, feeling generally grimy, an interesting urban landscape around our hotel, time and money spent at Cortes de Inglis department store, a nice meal at an outdoor cafe, and just now a warm shower and doing laundry in the shower, and soon to sleep.

We hope to see our bags again; we have the bare minimum to make the hike, but there are gaps — one pair of socks for me, one pair of pants, and one of us could use a few things in the intimate apparel department. No pajamas.

Both of us will sorely miss our hiking poles — the ONLY reason we had bags to check. Hiking poles aren’t allowed in carry-on baggage.

Neither of us can even contemplate what we’ll wear in Paris after we are done.

It will be great if our luggage is returned to us, but we will be in a different town every night that we are in Spain. And as of three hours ago, Air Europa was “still searching” for our bags. Oh, dear.

On the plus side, we are entitled to some compensation from the airline (peanuts, really, and more paperwork), and we have trip insurance. But we don’t have hiking poles!

Hardly any photos yet, and none of Spain. My mind was otherwise occupied.

One photo at the Richmond airport, one of sunset over NYC. I hope to figure out photo placement soon.

Adios for today.

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