After a long flight over the Atlantic, I watched the sun break over Spain from the air
Picking up my luggage, I passed through customs without incident. I wandered around and found the shuttle that takes you from T-1 to T-4 (a few miles away). It is here that you will find your transportation connections. I had my ticket on Alsa bus line to Burgos, where I would take another bus company to the village of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. I got off my first bus to watch the other pull away! 2 hour wait.
I stepped outside to glimpse at the Cathedral
But dared not stray too far as to miss my final bus. The kiosk for this line didn’t work (I thought), but I had I only missed a step on the machine and after playing with all the buttons, I figured it out.
The last leg of the bus journey I fell asleep! I would have slept through the stop if the bus driver had not asked about my bag. I tried so hard to stay awake. But it’s like a math equation:
2 flights [2 hr +8 hr] + 1 [7 hr] layover + 2 [3 hr wait for bus connection]+ 2 bus travel time (x4 hr) = exhaustion
Hydration+long bath in hotel + cute skort and top + Spain’s amazing grilled goat cheese and walnut salad + 1 glass of Rioja red wine eaten at a sidewalk cafe = peace
I have a Lovely room at the Parador hotel with lots of room to spread out and re-organize. Tomorrow, I will re-pack my carry-on bag, and send it in the mail to Ivar in Santiago (he helps pilgrims with luggage storage). This will lighten up my load.
After going to sleep early, no Ambien needed, I find myself awake at 1 AM. I’m not too worried as I am using this time to re-organize. My pack weighed 17 pounds when I left home. I am going through carefully my pack to take out any unnecessary items. These will go in to my carry-on which is being shipped to Santiago. Later today I will have a late breakfast at the hotel, and then walk my package to the post office to mail. I think I might put on my hiking shoes and walk back on the path about half an hour. I want to see what the path looks like coming into Santo Domingo.
I will then visit the cathedral here. Three years ago I was with my Camino angels having fun exploring this unique Cathedral which houses chickens, of all things, in their sanctuary. One can also go on the roof and look over the country. I will have tomorrow to recover from jet leg, and on Wednesday will begin my serious walking.
I am fully aware of the luxury that I have in this hotel room. But I think it’s wise and healthy to recover from such an exhausting trip. I don’t know of too many other countries who would look at a 60-year-old woman with a giant backpack and think it’s completely normal, in fact treating her with respect, because of her pilgrim status.
I feel completely welcomed by the sweet Spanish people on the plane, buses, and in the village Square last night. I almost feel like I’ve come home to my hometown. I’m so excited to see what tomorrow holds. Buen Camino!