On the train to Ponferrada, starting point for our Camino de Santiago. *
Madrid is great city, but we explored only within 500 meters of our hotel. Pathetic, really. But lovely helpful people, well-preserved city center architecture, and a vibrant retail scene. We have replenished our s(t)ocks.
Brilliant sunshine, warm and dry. The terrain that the train is traversing (alliteration always) is arid — miles and miles of dusty light brown country. Spots of green.
Zero photos of Madrid, not like me at all. Spent too much emotional energy on the stupid baggage problem. There are a hundred lessons here. The main one, as Debbie said, is that it’s best to wake up thinking about all we have, not what we’ve lost.
The people we’ve met have made all the difference. Even on the plane flying over there were happy, laid-back passengers, proud of their homeland, joyful even. It’s all about a positive attitude. We don’t speak their language, but a lot of helpful communication still took place. They wanted a good outcome by offering to help.
St. James says we must return.
A special thank you to Susan Brown who from her home in Valencia recommended Decathlon for gear, and to Masha Skuratovskaya in Juneau. She and her husband traveled through Spain while their bags went elsewhere, and pointed us straight to H&M. Finally, jammies. See, help arrived even from around the globe.
The walk starts tomorrow, 13 miles on Day 1.
Update: Luggage is now in Spain and the great reunion will take place in a couple of days, in time for our steepest descent. Yes! Hiking poles!
Vaya con Dios! Translation: “Go with God.”
* Not posted until Ponferrada, so here are a few shots of the town.